This is one of those days where words fail me. I’ve got a traffic in my thoughts but I really just can’t seem to get them all out. I honestly don’t have much to say but;
Do picture this.
It’s the end of the month. My salary has already found its way to my bank account. I’m headed to the bank to withdraw some money for my home use and of course, a mini vacation.
Outside the bank, there are a couple of kids. Street kids to be precise. They also seem to be aware that it’s the time of the month when ‘kind humans’ can show a little mercy and give them money. Most are already begging. Their common phrase is being hungry and having not eaten for days. That is somehow true but then, my school system suggests that street kids often indulge in drug abuse. The kinds of glue, it somehow keeps them sane. We probably know the odds here.
I’m already done with my small business and I’ve gotten out of the bank. This innocent looking child/boy has walked up to me. He stretches out his hand and begs for lunch money. I oblige. The most common reason is you know, being a good person and obviously living up to the fruits of the holy Spirit. The other reason is fear. Again, I remember being warned several times of the dire consequences of not ‘tipping’ street kids. You may end up with an insult, sometimes gang beating and other unlucky times, being robbed off your money.
I reach out to my pocket, take some coins and hand them to him. I have a spa appointment in about 30 minutes so I hurriedly rush away. I generally hate missing deadlines.
I haven’t taken a lot of steps when I realise someone is following me. I get to know this when I’m taking a selfie, and accidentally pressing on the side power button. What happens next is a reflection of a boy who also is in a hurry. I turn back, and immediately realise it’s the street child I’ve given some coins.
The next thing I do is hide my phone in my handbag, hold on to it tightly and begin my speed walking. Thank you highschool for the lessons.
Not so shockingly, he increases his pace too. In order to not draw attention to ourselves, I take another turn. Hoping to lose him and also praying that it saves his life. How?! Well, I’m normally hysterical in tough situations. I may honestly decide to scream saying a thief is behind me. The results of this is something I don’t wish to ever see happen on someone. And worst of all, a little child, who’s perhaps hungry.
It’s a little relief when I lose sight of him for some seconds. One minute later, exactly as my watch dictates, he reappears. I instantly become tachycardic. I’m getting sweaty. Sweating like a pig may be an understatement to my situation.
To make this whole uncomfortable scene ugly, he reappears with another street boy. Slightly muscular and taller than himself. I see from a distance him pointing towards my direction. Wild guess, it’s me. The other boy is doing that too, I’m assuming it’s a confirmation that the target is acquired. The tall boy, say BOY T, disappears in another corner of the buildings we are sandwiched in. The other little one is currently walking towards me. For the first time since this ordeal started, I’m noticing that he’s holding some paper bag. What’s inside, only God knows. His other hand is stretching towards me, and he’s shouting some words which I can’t hear.
My hearing is good, my sight isn’t helping since I can’t actually see what he’s holding. I can’t hear because I’ve already taken to my heels. The second time! This time it’s not the walk, I’m running like some mad woman in town.
There aren’t so many people in this place which at this moment is a blessing and a curse. Blessing because I know my country people. They may take their phones out and delight in recording my sorry self. Before I know it, I’m in a meme clip which can be humiliating. Curse; what if I’m killed or anything bad happens to me? There aren’t as much people around to help.
While running, I’m constantly looking back. To see how far apart we are. I barely notice someone in front of me. When I do, I’ve already stumbled on him and we hit the ground. Guess what?! BOY T has entered the chat. I get back up, and sadly, I’m surrounded. I’m well aware that I can beat up people (I’ve been to karate classes, in my fantasy). At the moment though, surrendering is a good option too.
Practically speaking, I kneel and request them to grant me a final wish of whispering a prayer to my Maker. They bust out with some laughter and tell me to get up.
‘Relax!’ boy T says, ‘we aren’t here to hurt you. My little brother has a message for you.’
‘Ma’am, you dropped your bank card while removing the money. I just wanted to give it back and say thank you. I didn’t have the chance then because you were in a hurry.’
Remember me stating that being in a meme video clip is humiliating, I take that back. This is a learned humiliation and embarrassment. I’ve never seen a mad person run for their dear life since I was born. That was not until today, when I saw myself.
‘What was your first impression about him chasing you?’ boy T asks.
At this point, I can’t hide my shame and I definitely can’t ruin the heroic act. Instead of answering, I offer to buy them lunch. So yes, I’ve made two friends today.
If you’d ask me, my first impression was being robbed, or beaten. Or insulted for giving out mere coins.
That’s what the horn effect does.
If our first impression of somebody is negative, then we are more likely to concentrate on only the negative aspects of their character and not treat them as well as we should.
He’s a street child. From sources best known to myself, they harm people. I made the biased conclusion about Emmanuel (I later learnt his name). He’s a good kid, but is masked by what people assume street kids are. One thing for sure, they may have experienced the wrath of some of those kids and then conclude that all of them have similar behaviors.
It’s inhuman to judge, but sometimes, experiences scream loudly. What I’ll forever be acquainted with is, NEVER RUN IN PUBLIC WHEN A STREET KID IS CHASING YOU. This is common sense because how exactly will they attack you in public? They’re afraid of people, they’ve had their fellow friends being beaten to death and they wouldn’t wish that on themselves. If only I knew that.
Anyway, I said earlier I don’t have much words today.
As always, read, comment, like, share, reread and learn.
Till next time lovies.
Au revoir et bisous