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Of Strangers and Angels

On a rainy Nairobi night, a young lady gets lost in the city’s insanity. As the crowd bumps and hits at a lost village soul, she is separated from her only means to her contact in the town. Her phone, her money, her handbag were all gone; too far from her reach.

Helpless and timid, she walked on in the hope of meeting her sister by the bus stop. As it poured on her hair, she felt tears fall into her soul. As it trickled down her visage, she looked on, desperately searching the crowd looking for any glimpse of hope.

In her person, she had no strength, no worries. Her fault being her ignorance of learning about the meandering streets of the enormous city. The rain made her feet ache she was numb from the cold, for some reason that had been the day she wore an ornamental sweater, what ill luck!!!

Her numb heart and mind were a luxury she appreciated at the moment; she would have dreaded breaking down in front of all those people. Little did she know that all her prayers were aligning to become a miracle.

Drenching in rainwater, she leaned on a wall, waiting for whatever fate had to deal her.

“Hey, would you mind sharing an umbrella?” a voice asked. It sounded like it was miles away. She awoke from her thoughts and looked up.

“Huh?”

“Would you like to share my umbrella?” he asked softly, but assertively. He was a young man probably in his mid-twenties, of average height, fair skin, and good looking.

“Okay, sure.” She replied meekly.

With the kind of stories she had heard about Nairobi and in greater focus the men on the streets of the capital, she was reluctant in her acceptance. None the less she went under the umbrella and whispered a weak thank you.

For the first time since her ordeal began, she could breathe. She was glad for the shade, at least she didn’t gasp for air then, or try to sought out air from rain. In her confusion, she was struggling with the most basic human need, air. It was like her brain had forgotten how to do the most natural of things.

“Are you okay?” the kind stranger asked.

“Yes, yes, I am.” She smiled dismissively, not wanting to make him feel like he was invading her space but still not inviting him to think that she wanted a conversation to ensue.

“Please hold my umbrella for me; I need to do something.” His request was well received. She took it and looked away. He took his phone from his pocket, while his other hand held onto his briefcase. After he was through, he proceeded to retake the umbrella and held it in a way that she was fully covered.

“Could I borrow your phone?” she asked. With the robberies and conmen around town, she could only hope that he was not the paranoid type. He handed her his Samsung, and she dialed all the phones her sister was carrying, including hers.

No answer. She sighed, gave back the phone, whispered a thank you, and went back to her worrying. There were no buses at the stop, so she was glad that he would not leave her in the rain again. Out of nowhere, he tapped her shoulder in a kind, non-invasive way; he looked at her straight in the eyes and asked, “Do you have bus money?”

“No,” she answered, feeling very weak and broken. Moments like this were never a part of her. She hated being helpless; she loathed it. He reached into his pocket and brought out two hundred shillings.

Looking at her, he asked, “How much do you need?”

Not fully understanding what was happening, ashamed at her thoughts about the stranger, thankful that he was asking her, and she did not have to, she answered,” just the transport.”

“That would be 80 shillings normally, right? Take this. I hope you get home safe.” He handed her the 200 shillings note and started walking away.

“Thank you,” she said as he went. Involuntary tears fell, she was so happy it hurt. In her luck, it was still raining so only she knew she was crying. As she stood in line waiting for her turn, she thankfully prayed for the kind stranger, no names we exchanged, there was no need. His kindness was profound.

Her view of the big capital city changed from that moment on. Nairobi was a kind city full of kind people. She would love her stay there.

 

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