The Girl Whisperer
as published by the Sunday Guardian
I went to a birthday party last night; lot’s of food and music. People laughed, danced and chatted, and there dancing in a snazzy hat and a short dress, was the girl of my dreams. She was beautiful by every standard, she was effervescent, the soul of the party...and she didn’t even look at me.
I’d met her a few times before so I knew her inability to ‘see’ me was deliberate. But the point of my story? It’s not every situation you are in, that will work the way you might want it to. And the fact that it does not work the way you want it, doesn’t mean you are at a disadvantage. Sometimes, some things are not meant to be, some friendships are not meant to take deep root or blossom, and like ships that pass in the night, we sail past each other, unaware of the interests we might share with this person or the levels the meeting might be taken to. As a young man in his early twenties, I would have mooned over this girl, but I know now, from experience, that things are never what they seem, and the world is full of beautiful people. What you must look out for are those with beautiful hearts.
How many people can you actually connect with? We must reach a point where we accept that what will be will be. It removes feelings of frustration, and of helplessness. Don’t waste your time trying to change what is cast in cement. If you give anything time, it will pan in your favour if it was meant to be.
As an aside, I sometimes meet with people who say they’re bored. I have never been able to figure that. How can you be bored with life? They’re too many things happening around you at any point in time. Everyone who goes by you has a story, has history, and you can see another world through the eyes of the man who walks past on the street. Pick up a good book and read, watch a seven-year old laugh down the road, sit and muse as rain falls and the air is filled with the smell of parched dust rising, but never say you’re bored.
Chance encounters. One night, years ago, as I drove home in the company of a friend, I took a detour down a deserted road and saw a man walking fast holding an object that looked like a machete in his hand. Just a bit further on was an old woman who must have been in her seventies. I slowed the car to match her pace and asked if she knew the man behind her. She said she didn’t, but that that the man had been calling out to her, yelling for her to drop the polythene bag she was carrying. The man had melted into the bushes nearby, the moment he saw my car slow down but I had a feeling he was tracking us in the bushes. I asked the old woman to get in but she hesitated. I could see she was half-crazed with fear and I asked her again, harshly this time, telling her I would leave her there if she didn’t get into the car. I knew I had endangered myself and my friend and I didn’t want to stay longer than necessary in that dark place. She got into the car and I accelerated away from there. In the vehicle, she told us she had decided to walk down that road because she knew that her son and his family whom she lived with would have been waiting for her to return. She had gone out of the state to stay with another son a couple of days before and upon her return to Lagos, had been unable to get a vehicle that would take her home so she had chosen to walk a few hundred metres. In the bag she had been carrying, was a new local broom she’d just purchased and three hundred naira. Not nearly enough to get yourself killed over but she had been so paralysed with fear that she hadn’t been thinking straight. The bag must have looked valuable to the man in pursuit. When I dropped her much further on, at a very busy bus-stop, she knelt by the road to show appreciation. I have not seen her since, four years on now, but her memory will stay with me forever. My eyes have met with those of nice-looking young women on trains, people I knew would connect with me with ease, laughing eyes, pleasant eyes, but we have gone past each other, not talking, realizing an age-old truth. You are not sent to everyone in the world, just a few.
The Whisperer has met with many females; it is his calling after all. There are really great people out in the world, unsung heroes, people who might never be known publicly, but these are the individuals that make the world such a great place to live in.
The next time you think you’ve missed the chance to be close to a lovely person, remember it is humanly impossible to be with everyone. Circumstances, inclinations; all may work against you being more than two people whose eyes lock in a crowded room. You must believe, however, that you are exactly where you are meant to be; and if the reverse is true, the change will come naturally, without you having to force the situation.
So, I remember my dream girl in the snazzy hat as I write, and I have a smile on my face for the beautiful moments I shared being in the same crowded room with her. And I understand that life has beautiful moments. And she was one of them.