I consider myself to be a pretty decent husband.

‘Quite the catch’ in fact, is how I would put it. The type of man anyone would be lucky to have, the type of man who…Oh hold on, Kat has just informed me that I am NOT, in fact, ‘all that’, and why don’t I tell them about my disgustingly long toenails that are “like soooo gross” and that could very well be the end of us one day.

Thanks honey.

Anyway, my point was, because I consider myself to be a good husband (toenails aside), one of the things I try to do is let Kat sleep when I wake up early to get to the gym. Ok dear reader, I understand that the last bit of that sentence deserves an explanation. So here goes. About a year ago I decided to get onto the gym bandwagon again in an effort to become healthy. So now, about four times a week I get up early and I go to the gym. The thing is, when I get there, I am so intimidated by grunting men with large muscles that instead of actually doing a workout I end up going to the café instead and buying myself a coffee and a slice of Victoria Sponge. Since becoming a member I’ve put on three kilos.

My gym/coffee-and-cake mornings start with the alarm on my phone going off, and me bolting up to turn it off before it wakes up Kat.

However last week when I turned to the bedside table to turn it off, my phone wasn’t there.

The alarm was ringing. But I couldn’t see my phone.

And then, Kat mumbled something.

That meant she was waking up. I didn’t have much time.

Now at this juncture you might very well be thinking “Whoa Steve, it is sweet that you don’t want to wake your wife up, but ‘not much time’? Bit much, surely?”

And it is here that I have to confess, it is not just about being a good husband.

It is also about self-preservation.

Kat can be…how can I put this… extremely aggressive (nicest way I can think to say it) when woken up in the morning especially if she feels that she has not slept enough.

Which means that when I couldn’t find the phone- even though I could hear it and the alarm was getting LOUDER – beads of sweat were starting to form on my forehead.

And then I saw it. Somehow, during the night my phone had ended up on the floor at the foot of the bed. I knew immediately what I had to do.

I launched off the bed in a frantic attempt to turn the alarm off. However I was still so entangled in the sheets and duvet that instead of the graceful swoop and dive that I had in my head I just nosedived off the bed and clunked into the bedside table.

The knock on the table meant that the table lamp went flying so I stretched out to try to save it. Which, to be fair, I almost did. However, whilst stretching heroically (if ultimately, pointlessly) to save the lamp, my foot flew up meaning that I inadvertently kicked the wall and without wanting to, screamed in pain.

I had been awake for less than 90 seconds. During that time, I had fallen off the bed, bruised my ribs against a bedside table, broken a lamp, and quite possibly fractured my toe whilst kicking a wall. All this and the alarm was getting louder and louder.

I somehow crawled towards my phone and managed to switch the alarm off, before taking a deep breath and whipping up the courage to pull myself up onto the bed and face Kat.

I gulped. Getting myself ready for the onslaught… But she was still asleep.

Then I saw the post-it note she had left attached to the back of the phone.

“Wearing ear-plugs so I won’t hear your alarm in the morning. Enjoy the gym. X”

As I hobbled out of the flat, with the remnants of the lampshade in a rubbish bag, I only had one thought.

‘Double Victoria Sponge today’.


© 2018 – VIDA Magazine – Steve Hili