Les Petits Contes

About life's little observations, which matter. About hilarious situations, which illuminate. About stories which offer immense possibilities, open endings, different interpretations and perspectives.

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Location: Singapore

A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Thursday, November 05, 2015

He made me smile


I have not seen Henry at the postgrad studies reception desk for a few days. Curious, I asked the colleague sitting there in his place, ‘’where’s Henry?’’
‘’He’s had a stroke,’’ she said, with a grimace.

“Oh no,’’ was all I could manage.

I don’t know Henry well.  But on mornings when I pass by his reception area on my way to the office, he would greet me with the warmest ‘’Hi Janet’’ and the widest smile, and sometimes made some banter, or helped me open the door as I struggled with the erratic card access system.
For the longest time I did not remember his name, even though other colleagues have told me whenever I asked, ‘’who is that chubby guy at the post grad reception area?’’

I am not always bright and cheery in the mornings, especially after a long journey fighting the morning crowd and dragging myself to the boonies to work.  But I would make the effort to put on a big smile and an equally warm greeting for Henry whenever I walked past him, no matter how dreary I felt that morning.  I would even make small talk with him.  This, especially after I was told that he was hired from Minds (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore). 

I hope that I did not do it out of pity.  I always thought, if he could be so helpful, cheerful and friendly, why can’t I - someone a lot more fortunate than him – be like that too?
I hope you get well soon, Henry.  I miss your hello.

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