I met a boy today…
It was afternoon. The sun was at its best. I was just done with getting my phone fixed in the place that serves as the Igbo man’s Silicon Valley.
Tired and hungry, I made my way home. It was going to be at least a 20 minute ride in a keke napep considering the hold up at the motor park area. But first I had to trek to the spot where I could find one – the keke I mean.
So, I’m on the move when this boy spots me. Like every other person who works there, he’s all about making ends meet…his’ by begging. They are quite a lot here…beggars I mean. All minute in stature, most, immigrants. You know this because they are the African shade of white with their curly hair. The most tenacious set of entrepreneurs you’ll ever meet I tell you. This boy though is black and as soon as he spots me, quickly decides he has wasted enough time on his most recent victim. On to the next one. He made his way to me and with the softest of touches clung to me, matching my every stride with his tiny little feet. I tried not to panic and continued to walk, as though to ignore his very presence would make him go away. My assailant though had a more steely resolve than I’d bargained for and still with his hand on mine, began to make faces and gestures at me…like they all do. I made mine right back, as though to tell him I really didn’t have to give him. However, I do not think my faces looked sincere at the time.
I had no change.
At least that was the excuse I had already given myself as to why I couldn’t give him any money. I just had no change. Then came the time when I crossed the road and he was right behind me. I began to wonder at this kid. Crossing the road was supposed to be my genius master stroke. The one that finally got rid of him and I imagine I probably would’ve looked back to give the stranded boy a more sincere apology or a smile of victory but, it was not to be. He was right there with me.
The others spotted me too and as if they had begun to wonder at why the boy wouldn’t let me be, they crossed the road too. I was now in full on panic mode. I had heard tales of the dexterity of their fingers and in a way, tried to guard myself from my would-be assailants as a patient would. Strangest thing though now that I think about it, as a prayer answered before it was even made, I saw a keke that was going my way.
Now I’m safe. Now I’m not panicking but the boy has refused to let up. I’m really amazed at this. He’s running in step with the moving tricycle. Again, I sincerely had no small money but he deserved something and I had to tell the driver to give him money for all his troubles and put it on my tab.
…moments later I’m reminiscing about the young man I’d just seen and certain questions pop up.
How often do I stay on God like a leech until he gives me what I want?
How many times have I prayed just enough and given up before God even decides I’ve begun?
How tenacious am I really in the place of prayer?
I believe God just spoke to me…