Last week I attended a birthday party of a mutual friend and on my way back at about 2AM, the taxi I rode in drove through a popular nightlife spot in my city and my eyes could not ignore a sight I saw. There was a well-clothed, good-looking dark lady who stood by the road, a bit away from where others stood. This description could have poured out within the minute I saw her. The headlamp of the taxi beamed on her like a dancing spotlight and I held my heart. She was just too young, beautiful and well dressed to be there.
She looked like she had closed from work or was waiting for someone to pick her up but she paced about when a vehicle approached. I told the taxi driver that the lady was definitely not hustling, like the rest of the ladies who lined up the road in half clothes, handbags and tired looks and the man laughed heartily at me. I almost swore about my claim but then it was 2AM and to prove a point when I insisted, he turned around and we parked in front of the lady. She approached the car and when she mentioned her bill, I held my jaw in my hand. It was about fifteen dollars and though I took her number and promised to stay in touch,
stay in touch, I realized that the world was not as beautiful as it appeared. A lot of people are doing everything possible to survive. The lady spoke so well and I thought she could do any kind of job – aside the kind of hustling I witnessed. I wanted to find out why she was out that late and her trade but what if she asked me same, or what if she picked offense. What if she wanted to mind her business and if I observed same decorum? The first challenge for me was to just understand that whatever I take for granted, someone has to work odd hours and in odd postures to receive it. And maybe the people around, those who compare our little progress to that of others, if they knew that life could be excruciatingly tough and that adults should be allowed to live, to feel and to make decisions by themselves, maybe it would put some people at ease.
When you have an opportunity to hug someone, do it without reservation. When you have an opportunity to gift someone a meal, do it, for it may mean a lot. This age would rather see people typing condolences on social media than taking proactive measures, to ensure that dreams are supported and people are empowered to live because they deserve a bit more than life offers. And since life isn’t human with all the senses we have, it is not expected to be fair. We are humans. If we are fair to people, they’d say that life is fair to them. We are life. Let’s be fair.
Bura-Bari lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria