I broke a little girl’s heart today. I was caught up in me, my tea and in so much hurry to get to my destination. I forgot for a while, that pedestrians mattered, especially the little ones. So as I approached that bend, I almost didn’t want to stop until I saw her grandfather walking her gingerly to school.
Flashback to my dad walking my sister and me to Airforce Primary School Ikeja. We usually took our sweet time, snacking on hot Akara balls and Agege bread. That was the highlight of my childhood, I smiled and came to a full halt.
The grandfather hesitated and smiled at me apologetically. I realized he had assumed I was in too much hurry to stop. He had unconsciously reduced his pace to accommodate me. I thought I saw her excitement drop for a second, her heartbroken as she watched her school from the center of the road.
That look was all I needed, so I did stop, and signaled for them to go ahead. I can a spare a few minutes more, I was suddenly felt generous. Her face lit up in a smile, melting my heart as I urged them to go ahead.
I felt I needed to say something, so I pulled over, lowered my windows and apologized. “I am sorry”, I said, “nobody should ever make you wait unnecessarily”. And when you have a goal and you are that close nobody should play the cog in your wheel. Because little girl, I don’t know what your story will be. But I never ever want you to wait or hesitate.
Her grandfather looked at me, he smiled again, his eyes said thank you. I kept thinking of her surprised smile, when I apologized, I hope it resonates for a lifetime.
My Dad would say “I never want you to hesitate when you need to dance the most. Life is after all your stage, seize every moment delightfully”…
Excerpt from “The Girl from Mafoluku”…