I was very nervous that night. I didn’t know what to expect. I haven’t been out, at least not out for a glamorous dinner. Dressing up freaks me up. I wouldn’t know if I’m overdressed or overexposed or if my make up’s too thick or too blend.

What should I wear to a college alumni dinner ? The cupboard door flung opened. There was a pause that seemed to linger forever as I stood thinking, considering my choices. Black. The black dress. I took out the halter neck two piece outfit, the lavender flowers greeted me.I remember so well the moment I fall in love with its floral pattern in the stall of Chatuchak, Thailand.

The hand sewn flowers entices me. It was love at first sight. The minute I tried it, I knew I found my special dress. I smiled to that sweet memory as I took out the wrap around skirt. “I don’t think the dress looks nice on you” she said, a distant memory reminded me. “I don’t care, I love the purple florals and I love them more on me,” I thought to myself, ignoring the unflattering comment.

I put it on and danced around my room. The skirt unfurled as I made the tiny steps in front of the mirror. I felt like a princess. Little things that makes you feel good about yourself, with some imagination, I have confidence.

I arrived at the alumni dinner half past seven. I was late. I stepped into the ballroom and a familiar face greeted me warmly. I sat down on the round table, nervous and scared. I knew nobody at that table. I looked for my comfort zone and I walked to the faculty table. Ten years, it has been ten years I last met eyes with the people whom ignited the circuits of my highest potential. A knowledge that now lies dormant in me.

Taking photos with the dean from Coventry University, the chancellor, standing tall and proud announced, “these are the first class graduating students year 1999”. Humbly, I smiled. Shyly, I thought, “I’m only a tuition tutor now and yet my chancellor was glowing with a justifiable pride.” I suppose our papers made a difference to her life. A standing glory. I acknowledged it and I continued snapping away with my other lecturers. The bond was rekindled with each passing question.

As the night drew closer, the limelight of the dinner was on the attire. Names were called up on stage. I sat in excitement and was very amused with the outfits on stage. Sparten, Obi Wan, Snow White, Zorro.

It was unbelievable, that at present age and time, people still made the effort to dress up. And I was only in my little black dress.

The remaining of the night was rather pleasant. The faculty performed. Watching the lecturers shake their booty, entertaining ex-students was indeed a rare occasion. I left early for the night and adjourn to another Halloween party. At the party, with my black dress, I was a witch.

A Halloween night, perhaps with the right spell, the days ahead would be kinder to me.