In the Year of Our Lord, Our Dear Lord, I continue to procrastinate.
I now understand Why I feel the way I do. I also know How I can solve my problem and the details of my plan become clearer each day. But it is the When, working out when to make my move that is proving so tricky.
Alwin was watching me during dinner. I could feel his eyes boring into me as I ate my soup. The meal of the day is so important to all of us that everyone is usually very upbeat at the table. But last night I just sat there, staring sullenly into my bowl. So of course he realised something was up.
I want to reach out to him and explain how I feel. ‘Dear Brother, I love you with all my heart but I am so miserable. I cannot do this any more.’ But I know he would grab me by the scruff of the neck and drag me out of the room as he always does. The penance for my doubt would probably put me out of action for ages. It could be a year before I’d be able to get back to my plan. So I think I must hold my nerve and remain silent.
I just need to work out the right time to leave. Even though I have outgrown this family I do not want to offend our calendar. It is so full of important work that Our Dear Lord has set for us to do. I cannot find the moment when I can bare to turn my back on it all.
There is the Month of Moonbeams when we work with the children, all the dear children – as many as we can find living in and around the block. It is such an ambitious program, they need me there for support, especially the little ones who don’t always make it to the end.
There is the Joyous Harvest, as meagre as it is from window boxes sitting in the smog. But it is a wonderful time, my favourite time when we sing and laugh and eat – oh how we eat!
I cannot miss the night in August when we remember Ano, secretly, silently recalling his dear frail soul in the dark because Brother Alwin has now forbidden his name. But we must never forget.
And then there is the Festival of Alabaster when we challenge the resolve in our hearts, seek forgiveness for all our digressions and renew the commitment we have made to Our Dear Lord. I still have that commitment. I just want to do things another way.
Brother Alwin has given me extra duties. He definitely knows something is up. I have stairwell watch three times this week and two stints down at the bins. And I am not allowed to go on my own any more. Aiden sat on the stairs with me yesterday and we told each other jokes using our eyes and the blinking code we made up. It was so hard to stifle the laughter that welled up as we came to the punchlines. I nearly told Aiden about my plan but changed my mind at the last minute. I can’t quite trust him not to go and tell.
I’ve decided if Anna is told to accompany me to the bins tomorrow I will tell her what I want to do and maybe we will grab each other’s hands and run out onto the street together, disappearing into the crowd.
Or maybe I cannot find the right moment in our schedule because it hasn’t arrived. Maybe I am being premature, again. I need to wait, confess to Brother Alwin and gain some valuable thinking time, reconsider my feelings as I heal. Maybe, maybe next year.