The day I became a Gladiator in a suit

Summer of 2014. August.

We all know how sometimes summer nights at home can be boring. It’s very hot despite the AC working full force, you can’t go outside because there are mosquitos everywhere, you’re sticky & often times hungry. Everyone is sound asleep but you’re the only soul still awake at 5am. Not a hint of tiredness. Your mind doesn’t seem to want its due rest.

And so at 5am you start to remember conversations with friends in the hopes of entertaining your bored self. In my case, I remembered a particular conversation with a friend about a tv show called Scandal. The said friend, with whom I share a passion for Grey’s Anatomy has been urging me all year to start watching but I always refused out of loyalty for Grey’s Anatomy. Out of silliness and narrow-mindedness I now realise.

Excited that I finally found something to entertain me, I hurriedly searched for the first episode of Scandal. At that time, the show had 3 seasons. Enough to last me till I go back to school I thought. Silliness. Again.

The episode opens on a woman running in the streets & entering a crowded bar to meet a man. So I automatically thought : Couple. Dating.


The woman tells him off in one breath. There’s no exclamation points in her tirade no dots or comma to allow her to breathe in some oxygen. She just fast forwarded from the first capital letter to the final dot. Maybe too much for my brain to register any of her words at 5am. At this point I’m just trying really hard to focus on the scene with only one question twirling in my mind : Can you PLEASE slow down? 

I continue watching their exchange until IT happened.

IT being the exact moment where all trace of confusion and frustration dissipated leaving me extremely focused, entranced, excited, amazed. It only took two words from the african american character, who will later be known as the charming Harrison Wright, to change the whole dynamic.

Olivia Pope, he uttered full of confidence.

Olivia Pope.

And just as clockwork, his interlocutor, a cute slightly disoriented baby lawyer; who will later be known as Quinn Perkins, lighted up. Her eyes shining bright, glistening despite the dim light of the bar full of patrons who are none the wiser of the importance, the enormity, the meaning of what just happened. And just like Quinn’s my eyes were also glistening. My face mirroring her reaction. I couldn’t see my face in that moment because of the darkness of the room but I didn’t have to see it.

I could feel it.

Quinn clearly knew a whole lot more about Olivia Pope than I did at that moment but I too was mesmerized by the mere mention of her name.

Now engrossed in the exchange, my mind was atune with what they were saying. Long was gone the fogginess of the early morning hour.

And then IT happened again.

A question. One question. THE question.

You want to be a gladiator in a suit?

You gotta say it.

Do you want to be a gladiator in a suit?

YES! I want to be a gladiator in a suit!

And just like that, like an evidence, like magic I became a gladiator in a suit. And somehow, in that moment, I knew that I would always be a Gladiator in a suit.


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