He wouldn’t let us pick up anyone nor offer a lift when he was in the car. His reasons being that his car is not a taxi and if he goes a little further, he is afraid we may pick up a half dead human who will finally quench in the car and he will have to explain to the Nigerian Police why the Black Rabbit is not White. So while traveling anybody we come across that beckons on us is seen as a potential dead man or harshly say “a walking corpse”. That’s my 77 year old boss for you and he hasn’t got insurance not even for himself, myself nor for other selves. He’s had his taste of life, good and worse and Carefulness has become his sermom. He can be that careful in dealings. And anytime I beckon on him to pick up him to someone, he would tell the person seated next to the driver to offer his seat for someone to be picked. And by that, he always won. Who else seats beside the driver anyways?
But my silent thoughts would be the questions of Faith. What if they don’t die? What if they don’t land us in any trouble? What if we were supposed to be their answered prayers? What if? What if? Or what if that baby wouldn’t land on the floor? So I’ll keep throwing her up for the pleasure and Joy she derives that infects my soul.
So its not strange that only 3 persons will drive in an 8 seater Jeep even when people pleaded. Or rather in my Boss’s voice, ” when walking corpses pleaded”. Its gotten to a point that the car is well known and nobody will waste his/her time to wave at us anymore because we wouldn’t stop especially with the driver’s dark shades that won’t smile and my photochronic lens supported him to give us the secret agent look.
So whenever the car develops a fault or breaks down, I will often make fun of the driver by reminding him of the of prayers his potential but unlucky passengers must have been praying for him and his car.
So just last Friday, I was on my way out of the campus and suddenly some students beckoned on me to help them to the school gate as no taxi was available in the campus. It was quite a walk so I stopped to give them a ride. I can barely use the rear mirror cos the driver and I keep adjusting it back and forth to our preferred heights. So that way, I don’t really get to see my passengers sitted behind. So I drove off very fast to impress my passengers 🙈🙈 and to drop them off quickly before their battery finally goes off and my Boss will get a chance to say “told I so you”. I dropped them off without even knowing who they were. I had helped them, they were grateful and they didn’t quench in my hands. That’s good enough for me.
Next day, I was happily hungry in the night and decided to rush quickly off campus to get a bite before darkness falls and while I was pulling out, hunger in my blurry eyes combined with the car front guard made me scratch a parked car. I felt horrible and waited till the owner arrived. I apologised to them (A Lady and a Man) and WOW😱, they didn’t ask for anything more. In my mind, these were too good to be earth species.
Now just yesterday, I was on my way from the campus and just a few meters home, a young man was already tired walking down same path and he waved at me and as usual, I parked and he hoped in. I still didn’t look at his face to know whom. The act was to me more satisfying than knowing who I helped.
Today came must faster than thought and here was I dressed and heading out for an appointment, the prayers of those bystanders finally caught up with us again. But this time with me behind the wheels. The car just won’t start. The battery was out. On the 3 different occasions it had happened, it would cost the driver 1,000NGN to get a replacement for the car to start.
Now in this case, I was the driver. I was so foncused and didn’t know how to walk the long distance by foot. I advised we talked to those with cars around, but he wouldn’t oblige so after few unproductive minutes, I braced up for the worst “NO” that could come from them. I walked gently to one of the young men and pleaded him to help me identify the owners of the cars packed and hurray🙌, he owned one of the cars. I explained to him my predicament and he offered to help. As he was about driving to my location to help jump start the car, 2 hound ladies then arrived who were in his company. One quickly identified me and said “were you not the one that hit us that day? Surprised, I quickly said No. She was bent on it and kept on till I finally remembered she was the lady whom I scratch (not hit) their car on my hungry night. Then she added. “I knew you, but I just like making people feel bad by reminding them their wrong” Oh what a Hobby😏. So I quickly apologised again and Lo and behold, it was same car that was going to help me so I took a good broad-daylight-look at the side I scratched and felt even worse. While we were about to leave, the second girl now added, I also remember you. At this point, my heart was already in my mouth. What have I done again. These ladies are just gifted in making me feel bad. So I shamefully turned and she said ” were you not the guy who gave us lift the other day to the school gate? Have you forgotten us?” Hmmm, from shame to smile, my lips could barely seal🙈🙈. It was now a 1-1 affair
She expressed her gratitude once more. Then the man who was about to help me now added. “Don’t you remember me again? You picked me up yesterday on my way to the quarters.” Oh for the sheepish me. I don’t even know the people I pick up nor look in the mirror to see if they were still breathing air. But now my smile had doubled and it flooded my soul. The car got started and I couldn’t contain the lessons that flowed upon me. It was now 2-1. I had won
Indeed I had stepped on toes and made a few smile without even knowing I did. But for whatever it was, they were grateful. Its a beautiful thing when you don’t slam-shut the door against yourself.
Seeing strangers as potential friends unless proven otherwise. Even when people take advantage of your meekness, that shouldn’t deter you. At least they would be enough evidence to put you behind bars for the good you did.
As my friend would say,
We Smile, Laugh and Share our happiness and comfort not because we have everything we want, BUT because we want to change Lives, Touch Hearts and of course make the World a Better Place by Living the Change we like to see.
As long as it is within your power, do the Good you can, to all the People you can, at all the Times Possible without an expectation from them. BUT there is a God in Heaven and He also lives in the hearts of men.