The Uninvited Guest

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I’ve always known Nigeria to be soaked in the despondent slime of poverty, but the encounter of that Tuesday afternoon was not anticipated, as I walked into a roadside cafeteria in Hawan Hotoro area of Kano and placed an order for wheat and egusi soup which was promptly served before I stood up to a corner to wash my hands, only to return and see that a young man, disheveled and dressed in dirty and tattered clothing, with hair curled by months of combless neglect and dryness, had gone almost half-way in munching the food with such frenzy that my twitching belly and the hunger I felt suddenly settled into subdued calm as I beheld him while letting my eyes soak in the algid normalcy that sat on the faces of others in the cafeteria – including the one seated closest to him – wondering if I was normal myself to be surprised by the sight, waited until he was done with the last ball, stood up with the sachet water which he splashed to wash his soiled hands and then gulped the rest before doing obeisance to me as a show of gratitude, thereafter dashing away, while I followed on his trail, to find out more about this spectacle; and when I caught up with him and asked how he survived each day, he looked me up with a beckoning eye, then held me mildly by the wrist, leading me through footpaths, across feeder roads, saying nothing until we were at an open grassland, with large expanse sparsely dotted by deciduous trees, before turning to me to speak “I’ve no burden, so I live in the open field and survive each day on those like you who can feed themselves, either through the work they’ve for me or through their food,” leaving me to wonder about the various burdens we carry in life such that when I traced my path back to the comfort of my hotel room, all I could feel was emptiness and brooding thoughts about how complicated our lives have become.

Note: I’ve found some fun writing one-sentence stories and I’ll be posting some of these once in a while, hoping that you, my reader, would share in the fun. I’ll be grateful for your feedback. Thank you.

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1 Comment

Filed under One Sentence Story, Writing

One response to “The Uninvited Guest

  1. akupeace ike

    The uninvited Guest is what we see everywhere in our cities; young people who are looking for at least one square meal a day. How sad!

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