She sat pensively next to a window on a bus. It went for few kilometers before it hastily stopped to pick more passengers. It was a sunny day, so she opted to leave the windows next to her seat open. Before the bus could continue with the journey, a small boy showed up next to her window. His clothes were torn and he appeared unkempt. In her judgment, the boy was a street kid. He was unsettled and when their eyes met, he asked for money to buy food. Did she have any? Yes only that the money she had was the only note; and she was going to use part of it as her bus fare. The little boy only needed Sh.10 out of the Sh.50 she had. She felt the need to help him as it was genuine. But she had no other money. She was in a dilemma as giving the boy the whole amount would mean she had to trek for several kilometers. There was no guarantee that the little boy was going to get her change before the bus was on its way again.
This whole time she was quiet. But as the little boy insisted she said: ‘I don’t have the money you’re asking for’. The lady seated in front of her turned back to look at her and sneered. She started whispering something to the person she was sharing a seat with. This made her more unsettled. The little boy went away as the bus left the bus stop. Guilt was eating this lady up.
When it was time to pay the bus fare, a middle aged man offered to pay for this lady’s bus fare. She hadn’t asked for it. She didn’t see it coming either as the man was a complete stranger. However much she tried to protest, the man won’t hear any of it. He didn’t want a refund of his money. In his words: ‘I paid your fare because I find you pretty’
The two ladies in the front seat turn back to look at her again. She had never felt so uncomfortable. She couldn’t wait to get home. She wished she had given the boy all that money. But how was she to know that a stranger would pay her fare? She was sure she had been harshly judged by some of the passengers in her bus. Their eyes told more. She had the longest 15minute drive to her home.
What would you have done if you were in her shoes?