It’s 8p.m. and I’m tidying up my workdesk to leave for home. At the entrance, a boy beckons to me. Alfa is already turning off the lights in preparation to putting off the generator.
I wonder what it is this boy wants because he doesn’t speak out, only beckons on me to come closer. At close range, I see he is quite a man, standing at about the same 5.9ft as I. He is not in a hurry to speak. Can he not see the pharmacy is closing down for the day? Can he not see I am on my way out?
He speaks pidgin English and takes his time to explain that he has worked all day, yet has not a kobo to show for it. He says he is hungry, will trek a long distance home, but stresses most importantly that my N50 would work wonders for him.
He remains at the door, not budging, insisting on me giving him something, but nothing in me is sympathetic towards him. I am not tempted to dip my hand into my wallet and bring out something. As a matter of fact, I am irked that he stands, imposing at the entrance.
Earlier in the day, Alfa had spoken to me about unlocking the second entrance just in case there was a need for us to escape. He didn’t trust the vicinity. I didn’t either, and agreed that he should, although I added, “but we won’t be robbed.”
I don’t know what Alfa is still doing at the far end of the store, why he hasn’t made his way to the front. “Comot first,” I say to the beggar, “go meet that Alfa. He go give you something.”
He leaves the entrance and boldly walks in to meet Alfa. Alfa is the last person I know who would give that young man something.