In response to Word High July the snippet below is inspired by the Filipino word ‘makisig’ or ‘dashing, well dressed’. It’s part of a series charting the impact of the discovery of intelligent life in space on five ordinary people over the course of a month. Enjoy!

Image taken from Buzzfeed: “36 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The Philippine Language”. All credits goes to them.


It was difficult not to fidget with his tie as Luke checked his outfit once more in the hall mirror, but Momma had threatened to change the wifi password for a week if he didn’t leave the damned thing alone for the rest of the night. And Momma never made a threat she wouldn’t carry out.

“You look fine baby, Dr Strass and his friends are gonna be very impressed,” she said, emerging from the sitting room.

Momma looked pretty great too; she’d put on the dress she’d bought for New Year’s Eve and a row of cream pearls that glowed against the deep brown of her skin. The blue of her dress matched Luke’s suit closely enough that their reflections half merged when she slipped an arm around his shoulders and gave him a squeeze of solidarity.

“I just don’t want to embarrass Dr Strass, there’s a whole bunch of important folk gonna be there tonight,” Luke replied.

“I know, I know. Why’d you think I’m polished up and I read all those darned papers you been bringing home? Not that I understood more’n half of it, and when I read them out to your poor suffering Aunty Michele I thought that woman’s head was about to fall off from confusion!” Momma said, a wide grin on her face.

Luke snorted at the thought of his aunty trying to make sense of the research proposals and grant documentation. For all her play, Momma was a sharp woman and Luke hadn’t need to explain anything more than once despite some pretty high level theoretical principals. Aunty Michele on the other hand; she might be Momma’s best friend but a sharp tack she was not. And Luke wasn’t at all nervous about Momma coming with him to the dinner, it was the mess he might make at issue.

If only Dr Strass hadn’t taken him aside to let him know that some of the people attending were from prestigious science colleges, to suggest that it would be a good idea for Luke to start a little networking if he was going to be making applications in the fall. Ever since the conversation it was all Luke had been able to think about, because maybe Dr Strass thought he was pretty good at stuff but one dumb comment and Luke could mess the whole thing up.

“Baby, I can almost hear your thoughts whirling. Take a breath for me,” Momma told him and waited until he did as she said. “Good, now let it go and let all those crazy terrible ideas of yours go too. You’re a smart, handsome young man and wherever you end up will be lucky to have you, one dinner isn’t going to change the world. And even if it did, it wouldn’t change how proud I am of you. Now get your butt moving to the car, ‘cause being late isn’t an option tonight.”

The edges of Luke’s mouth tipped in a smile and he nodded, pocketing his wallet and keys. But he couldn’t help but wonder if Momma was wrong, as guilty as it made him feel, about one dinner not changing the world.


7 thoughts on “Makisig

  1. So glad that Luke and Dr. Strass’ relationship are getting better with your every post, Sam. Now he’s helping Like to widen his horizon. ☺️ But I must say I felt bad for Aunty Michele. I would probably feel the same if I listened to such complicated research proposal. Haha. Tried to read my thesis again and I was like… What? Did I wrote all of these? 😁😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

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