By: Naima Baghozi
You can read part 1 here: https://lubnah.me.ke/the-selfish-girl-part-1/
Tears were rolling down my cheeks and a huge painful lump clogged in my throat wondering if Kela did even have any meal at all. I felt so sad for her and such strong feelings of pity filled the whole of me and for the first time in my life I lifted my face up to the sky and thanked God so much for the privileges that I had, which those people living down that hill never had. I vowed there and then to help this girl in what ever means I can.
Now, everything fell right in place in explanation to her misery and to her attitude in general. One thing impressed me though about her and which made me wonder “how does she manage to come to school so clean every day?!”
I looked down once more and then dragged my feet home like in slow motion, my heart feeling so heavy in sadness…
Due to all this, I was of course a bit late getting home and especially since the distance wasn’t short either. As I got up to the gate of my home, my mom was at the door with a worried frown on her face and as soon as I got to her, she asked me:
“Malu, where have you been? I have been so worried and after seeing all your friends pass by without you…”
She suddenly stopped, realizing she wasn’t getting any reply from me. She then also noticed the look on my face which tugged at her heart. Not knowing what was wrong with me, she just gently took my arm and slowly pulled me inside and took me straight to the sitting room and sat me down. She then took my face in her gentle hands and peered into my face and asked so quietly:
“Malu, my daughter tell me what has happened to you, you look so sad, what happened to you? Please don’t keep me in suspense, you are really worrying me…”
I kept silent for a little while and then slowly raised my face and looked at my mother and started slowly relating to her as to what happened…
“Mom, do you remember about that new girl in my school I told you about?” My mother just nodded, so I continued to tell my mom all that happened from day one to this moment of where I came from. My mother didn’t even realize that there were tears rolling down her face, you see my mom was a very kind person and everyone knew it and that is where I got my kindness too, from my mother.
“So, you see mom, I have decided to be extra kind to Kela from now onwards and I will urge my friends to do the same” I ended.
My mom said “That is very good my dear, you see it is always good to be kind to others in order to have a better life, isn’t it?”
“Yes mom, it is and that is what you always teach me,” I replied.
My mom just smiled and for a few minutes we just sat in peaceful silence, then suddenly I jumped up with excitement and said to my mom:“Mom, what do you think if from tomorrow onwards when I pack my break time snacks, I pack for Kela too? This way if she doesn’t have any food at home then she will at least have something in her stomach, even if a little bit…”
My mom looked at me with a smile on her face and thought to herself: “How lucky I am to have such a kind-hearted daughter. Thank God.” She then said to me:“Of course Malu, you can, that is the most wonderful thing to do.”
“Oh! Thanks a lot mom,” then I suddenly looked down at my fidgeting feet and the look of excitement and happiness was gone. This made my mom wonder what was wrong with me now. She knew when I did this I had something else on my mind.
“Malu, what’s wrong? Tell me, what is in that beautiful head of yours now?”
I hesitated slightly. My mom urged on: “Go on, tell me now; I am just your mom after all…” this made me smile a bit and said to her: “I was wondering mom, since I have lots of clothes and shoes maybe I could give to Kela the ones I don’t use anymore – they are still in good condition and just sitting in my cupboard, what do you say mom? Please, please – pretty please mom…” and at this, my mom laughed outright.
“Okay dear, you have my permission.” Replied my mom. I couldn’t contain my happiness so I jumped over my mom and hugged and kissed her over and over again saying “ you are the most wonderful, best mom in the whole wide world and I am ever so lucky to have you, May God bless you and preserve you for us.” My mom couldn’t contain her laughs now and said to me:
“Well, I don’t know about that my daughter but I certainly know that I am the one who is lucky to have you” and with that I hugged my mom once more and ran off to my room leaving my mom with a big smile wondering where I got all this energy.
I was so happy that it felt like walking on air. I rushed to my closet and took one box out and started to neatly place the clothes I didn’t need together with a couple pairs of shoes. I then remembered that Kela always carried her books in her arms so decided to add in a school bag since I had extra bags and finally closed the box with a happy sigh.
That night I could hardly sleep from excitement in knowing that I may make some one happy tomorrow and started planning on the best way of presenting these things to Kela, after tossing and turning I finally dropped off to sleep with a big smile on my face.
It looked like it would be a beautiful day, the sun shone nicely and the breeze was cool.
I could hardly take breakfast from excitement. I finally left my house with my school bag on my shoulder and the box on my head, I met up with my friends outside my gate and they looked curiously at me and asked me almost simultaneously:
“Malu, what is in the box?”
“What are you carrying to school today?”
“Please Malu don’t keep us in suspense, do tell….
“Well, quiet down and give me a chance to explain, my friends” I said, laughing.
“Do you remember yesterday after school I told you to go on and that I will catch up with you?”
“Yes we do” replied her friends.
“Well, this is what happened…” so I went on to explain to my friends where exactly I went and what I saw and even how sad I became. As to be expected by this time all my friends’ eyes were brimming with tears and one of them said: “Poor Kela…” “Yes” the others replied in unison.
So, I continued: “Well, my friends, after that I have decided from now onwards I will be bringing Kela break time snacks and in this box are my clothes and shoes which I don’t use any more and I also put in one of my school bag for her, as you all know she is always carrying her school things in her hands. I hope she will like them and even in a small way feel special…”
“Of course she will, your things are always the best Malu,” said one of her friends.
While my friends were listening to me, they all seemed to look at me with wonder and each one of them decided in their own way to be kind and generous to Kela from then and thanked God for their being privileged.
They also now understood Kela fully; her refusal to share came from her poverty and not having much even for her self leave alone to share. She led such a tough life thus had no time to make friends or get attached to anyone. Her rudeness came from being so unprivileged thus didn’t know how to be friendly or polite, she didn’t even have the strength to smile!
All these realizations made the girls feel pretty awful and felt they had misjudged Kela very badly, so I made all my friends promise to be extra nice and kind to Kela and give her a chance to learn how to be friendly and polite. They all agreed to include her in their group as one of their friend. With this in their minds they happily ended their journey to school.
They all agreed to let me go look for Kela alone so as she may not be embarrassed in being given all these things probably for the first time.
As always Kela was in class all alone sitting at her desk while the other students were out playing in the school compound as it was before class time.
I walked slowly towards her and very cautiously pulled my chair next to her and said “Hello Kela…’
The other girl looked at me strangely then looked at the box which I had placed on my desk and then asked “What is this you have put on my desk? And why?”
Slowly I took Kela’s hand and started by telling her “Kela, I now know everything and so do my friends and we would really like to help you and be friends with you, please accept us!”
Kela looked confused and at first really didn’t know what to say – you see Kela is not used to such kindness nor know how to deal with it – she just asked me: “what do you mean?”
I continued to hold her hand and started explaining to her how I followed her to her home and what I saw and also how I was touched and then told her what was in the box and requested her to accept it. I then took out of my bag the snack I had packed for her and gave it to her and told her that I will everyday be bringing her a break time snack.
By this time Kela was so lost for words for I guess she had never come across anyone like me. She covered her face with both her hands and started sobbing so hard that I got so confused and wondered what wrong I had done.
I hugged my new friend and asked her “What is wrong Kela? Have I offended you? Please tell me, I just want to be your friend and I want you to be happy.” Kela looked up and in between sobs said “But I am and I don’t really know how to thank you, you are the most kind-hearted person I have ever met and may God reward you always my friend” and then she in return hugged me in a way to show me the gratitude she felt.
All this time my friends were hovering by the door full of curiosity and finally asked if it was safe to come in, I just waved them in with a huge smile on my face. They all rushed in and came over and hugged Kela and promised her they will always be there for her and her needs.
It was certainly the very best and happiest day for all the girls and most especially for Kela.
That evening Kela carried her beautiful new belongings home with a light step in her walk and feeling like a very heavy load had been removed from her chest.
Meanwhile I was the happiest person having been able to solve the problems surrounding my new friend Kela and felt I had done a very good deed indeed… 🙂