Finally January is over, what a month. If there is a time we Kenyans whine more for our failure to plan is January. But let January be bygones, at least we have 12 more month before we can whine again. Till then let’s focus on not whining so much next year.
There are people you meet and for some weird shit they remind you of something. Some remind you of your better days, some of your worst days, other great moments in your life, and others remind you of a dark period in your life that you would rather not remember. So today as I drove home I met a guy who reminded me of the darkest moment in my life. This particular guy used to be my neighbor; he is one of those people who would erode your faith in humanity by uttering a single word.
I stopped in my village shopping area to buy some meat because I was taught never to show up at any home empty handed including ours. As I was engaging the butcher someone tapped my shoulder, when I turned around there he was my former neighbor. For a minute I thought he had recognized me but to my surprised he had not. I said hi to him and he responded so calmly “my son can you buy me some lunch I am so hungry.” For a minute I felt blood leaving my skin but then I remembered I’m a good guy (Trump voice) and so I kept my calm and without a thought handed him some money to go find food.
By now I am sure you are wondering why does my old neighbor asking me to buy him lunch makes every nerve in my body alert? That neighbor of mine is the most uncaring and mean person I have ever met. The thing is I grew up in a village and as it’s with every village most people are not well off but there is always that guy who is a like a small god. So this guy was our small god, he was the only guy in the entire village with a car. So when people needed help at the middle of night mostly to rush a sick relative to the hospital he was our to go guy.
One particular night, I remember it as if was yesterday my neighbor was so sick with malaria. We tried giving her some med but she wasn’t improving. So we decided it’s was a better idea to take her to the hospital. But with no means of transport we decided to go to our god to ask him if he could help transporting our neighbor. So when we got to his home we knocked the gate and his watchmen came to open the gate, we explained ourselves and he said let me go call mzee. When the said mzee showed up where we were standing he didn’t need to say a word, we could read them all over his face ourselves. I will quote exactly what he told us " I don’t run an ambulance and you should never knock on my gate again asking for my help, tell your fathers to buy cars too.”
Feeling defeated and less important we went back to our neighbor’s house. On arrival we didn’t need to say anything to those who were waiting for us, because it is as if they had heard what was said to us. The next few minutes there was a total silence, when I think back I guess we were paying our respects for being poor. With no choice left we decided to transport our neighbor to the hospital using a wheelbarrow, it took us over an hour in pitch darkness to arrive.
My former neighbor begging me for lunch made me feel some kind of of way. First it was a reminder that I should never look down upon people despite their status in life, Secondly no one knows what tomorrow hold for us and thirdly as much as I don’t wish anyone bad luck I could not help myself not to remember the Portuguese saying that’s goes like “ca se faz,ca se paga” meaning whatever you do here on earth, payment is right here.
Hopefully as he enjoys that lunch I hope he will remember that night, and if his tide ever changes he will never treat anyone the same way he treated us that night.