Excited Melissa hopped into the car, sitting comfortably at the owner’s seat. Mrs. Annabel passed her a smile, started the engine and the journey began.
This respected deaconess would soon be her mother in law. She was there when she said yes and she had been happy about it. Jarvis, her cute fiance would be discharged today, all things been equal he should meet her parents in less than two weeks. These and many more thoughts kept her face bright as they journeyed to the hospital.
“Peeeeeeem peeeeeeem” Mrs. Annabel honked and Melissa’s wandering mind travelled back. A shabby young girl ran out of the way with a terrified look. She had been right in the middle of the way trying to stop a vehicle that didn’t stop. She drove the car to a small packing space angrily, Melissa could tell she was going to give the girl a hot rebuke.
“You should learn how to be more careful on the street” Mrs Annabel said, raising her voice.
The young girl stood still, timidity written all over her. Clothed in a tattered brown gown torn from her neckline to her left shoulder revealing her black skin, she held her tangled hair as a drop of tear ran down her left cheek.
“Its OK young girl, just be careful next time” Melissa said softly.
“Please let me work for you” the young girl said, stretching forth her two hands apologetically, her knees finding their way to the ground.
“Work? How old are you?” Melissa asked.
“I clocked eight last month. Please let me work for you, I can do anything”
“Why do you want to work for me?”
“My mum is dying. We use to walk the streets begging together but she’s sick now. I don’t want her to die. Please let me work for you”
Melissa’s eyes lost strength as tears formed in them. The girl stared expectantly. Mrs. Annabel started the engine without saying a word.
“I could be of help” Melissa said as the car kicked off.
“Sure! Those kind of people need prayers. They need the gospel too”
“I mean we could help take her mum to the hospital”
“Don’t be deceived girl. Beggars on the streets of Lagos are scammers. Its all deception, a way to rob you of your money”
“Even if she were robbing me, a token would not be bad”
“That token should be dropped in the church’s offering bag, Melissa”
The discussion was getting longer than she anticipated. She’s just getting to know Mrs. Annabel and she wouldn’t want any disagreement just yet. She looked back and the girl was out of sight.
They had traveled farther. The journey continued and her conscience kept knocking bringing to memory the words of Edward on the day she confessed Christ. For three months now she had been searching for her place in the world – what she could do to make the world a better place. Here was an opportunity. If only she was alone, she could help this girl.
“Such is life Melissa, you can’t change the world” Jarvis said when she raised the issue on their way back.
“But we can change a world Jarvis, we can change the world of a little girl child, we can change the world of a sick poor woman”
“The only lasting change is the change that Jesus gives. Pray for them and if you have the opportunity, preach to them” Mrs. Annabel projected.
“How? How do you preach to a young girl whose mother is dying? That Jesus would heal her mother when you have the money right in your pocket to take care of the situation?”
“Are you yelling at my mum?” Jarvis questioned.
She had been consumed with passion she didn’t realize her voice was getting high. She apologized and remained mute for the rest of the journey. An idea roamed in her head and she couldn’t wait for them to reach their destination.
She sat still on the edge of her bed, her eyes swollen from too much tears. The tears had rushed out as soon as she got to her apartment.She was her last hope. Melissa had gone back to the street to look for the girl. She was no where to be found. She asked the banana seller by the road and she narrated;
“She was knocked down by a speeding vehicle as she attempted to cross to the other side. She died instantly. Her sick mum who laid in that shop heard the noises of people mourning and she came out shivering. She collapsed. She died too. Its such a tragedy I’ve not recovered from myself”.
She had carried the weight of the news in her heart as she travelled back home. Now that she’s home, she could cry all she want to. She failed her. It wasn’t Mrs. Annabel’s fault neither was it Jarvis’. It was hers – her inability to look away from what they thought to what was right. With her teeth squeezing firmly her lower lip, she had to ask herself again, if walking down the aisle with this man would be purposeful.
Written by Fruitful E. John
Copyright@ Fruitful Writes