By Ifeyinwa Kojo
My story continues...
"Chubby and I met in downtown Optija"
"Where's that?", I said too quickly surprised
"Google", the brain mocked me. I ignored it.
"It's one of the worst places in our great Croatian country, quite a mess of a place", she sighed. I could feel a sudden change in her countenance. "Regret?, not exactly"
"I was a social worker assigned to those areas and you won't believe half the problems we have there", she continued thoughtfully.
She was a social worker?..... What made her stop?. I decided to keep my questions for later so as not to stop the flow.
"There was a terrible snow storm and as always, we had to check some of the streets after to see if there are any homeless trapped in the Strom. That's how I met Chubby", she smiled.
"He was trapped in the storm?", I whispered, shocked to my core. She nodded.
"He was half dead, almost frozen. I nearly walked past him but I just felt this sense that we could save him and I called the medics. Luckily we did. He was homeless and starved, but even in that condition, there was this thing in his eyes that wouldn't let go of life.
I stared. These Igbo boys will not kill me! Homeless, half frozen and starved in Optima! What the heck is wrong with these boys! Why this compulsion to leave the country or die trying!
"The usual routine was to release them to their fate after treatment. There was no way to accommodate all of them especially with immigration breathing down on us but within that time we kinda developed a bond.
He was funny and quick minded, and I kinda liked him. So we agreed that he will stay with me for sometime until he can get a job and get off the streets.
One thing led to another and fast forward 2 years later, here we are....married and in Lagos...his country."
I shook my head. Someone hit me please.
"What made you help him?", I asked.
This is a woman I almost condemned for marrying a boy young enough to be her son or at least younger brother. She was quiet for a while, then smiled.
"I am not exactly sure why I picked him out that day, maybe "Cosmic Intervention". But I do know why I married him", she said laughing.
"You know when you have this very strong urge to do something....Good. You can call it Fate in religion."
"Helping him was like an atonement for me. I also lived a rather rough life. So I could easily identify with him. Always running and hiding. Once upon a time someone good dragged me out of the trenches, thought to do the same for him".
I stared at her like she was a saint in the flesh. I knew this woman had lived "that life", but she definitely had my absolute respect right now.
In all my churchy-girl disposition, would I extend such love to a stranger? This is exactly the line......"What would Jesus do?" Meanwhile she is not a Christian.
"When you took him in, did he get a job?", I asked.
She shrugged. "An illegal black foreigner, without any known skill, or education.... His chance of survival was slim. In the city where he found himself, the next thing was drugs. The one good thing going for him was his willpower. If he wanted to do drugs, he would have easily survived but he didn't. So the other friends wouldn't help him. They left him to roast alone. That's why I called it Cosmic Intervention, some Comic Powers wanted to save him."
"Lord, I take that to be You. "Thank You" I thought to myself.
"So, knowing he probably won't get any job, you still took him in?"
She nodded. I squeezed her hand in gratitude. I was close to tears.
"Father, I love this Nwa Bekee"
She smiled at me, and reached for some tissues.
"You Nigerians are really nice", she said. I have met some awesome people.
"We are the nicest, happiest, poor people in the world", I thought.
We were quiet for sometime, each with our own thoughts.
"Why did you marry him?", I asked suddenly remembering what she said earlier.
"The Sex is Good, ....No Great!", she said without qualms.
"W...h..a..t?", I screamed, shocked to the core.
"Black boys get down so good, and Chubby is a blast"
I covered my ears with my two hands and she burst out in a loud laugh.
Seriously, I am done here.
Dad, this is Your daughter, I need to check in right here, right now.