Sponsored Ads

Friday, 15 January 2016


Mr. Bob had lived in the Biola Housing Unit with his wife and 15 year old Juliet for many years. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew him and acknowledged him. One thing thrilled him about the neighboirhood; it was the tranquility and cordiality of the neighbours.  There was good level of interaction and sociability. 

Mr. Bob was the guy that fixed everything for people in the neighborhood ranging from cars, home appliances, doors, locks to furniture. He owned a garage by his house  and was quite a dexterous man. He liked it so.

Six months ago, there was an exception.  A new neighbour had moved in. Unfortunately, he was not like others who were friendly and approachable. Everyday, Mr. Bob watched him drive out in either his Range Rover Sports or his shiny Honda sedan. One needed no herbalist to pronounce him filthy rich, judging from the assets. Mr. Bob wondered why a man of his status would not build his own house but live in a confined housing unit as this. 

The new neighbour never said hi to anyone in the neighborhood. Mr. Bob also noticed he owned a daughter who looked probably a little older than his,  and a black Rottweiler. They never sat outside the house to interact like others. If they came outside, it was to drive out in their car. No one visited them except on Saturdays when a white van pulled up into their garage just to leave few minutes later.

The mean neighbour never asked Mr. Bob to fix his car or anything in his house, probably because he was mean and egotic like every other rich men Bob knew. On one occasion, Mr. Bob had summoned courage to approach the proud neighbor as he spotted him stepping out of his house but as he got closer, he had gotten into his SUV and sped off. This aggravated his dislike for the man and he pledged never to have anything to do with him.

It happened one noon that the mean neighbour's dog ran out of the house, barking in desperation. Anyone who understood dog language would know it was asking for help around. There was no one close by so the the dog barked around the neighbourhood, incidentally stopping at Mr. Bob's garage. If there was one thing Mr. Bob disliked, it was disturbance while working. He rolled out from beneath the vehicle to stare at the dog that was beckoning with each bark. He understood the language. Reluctantly, he left his work and followed the dog to its master's house. He had pledged not to visit that man again but he had a feeling something wasn't right.

When he got inside the house, he immediately discovered the emergency situation. The neighbour's daughter was having an asthma attack without any help in the house. Her mean father was probably at work. She was frantically trying to suck in air into her lungs. Her eyes widening in fear as she clung to the stairway balustrade for balance. Mr. Bob sprang into action. With the help of the dog, he located her room upstairs and her inhaler. In a matter of minutes, she was fully resuscitated. 

He stayed a little more with her to give her assurances that she was good. Soon, he heard the mean man's car pull up at the frontage. He wondered how he would feel coming to see him after he saved his daughter. 

For the first time,  Bob obtained a close-up look of the man. He did not really look mean but perturbed. He looked like someone who carried a weight. When the neighbour was made to find out what had occured, he was almost moved to tears by the fear of losing someone else that mattered to him. He appreciated Mr. Bob and told him he needed to show him something. Bob followed him upstairs to a bedroom. The bedroom looked more like a hospital room as it was full of medical electronics and a special bed. There was a frail and deteriorated figure that looked like what used to be a lady's. He was made to understand that she was the neighbor's wife, Dr. Mrs. Cleopatra Onuka. Her life was gradually being sucked out by AIDS. Mr. Bob looked around the room and saw a picture of what the medical practitioner used to look like. Indeed, she had been a beauty to behold. "It was an emergency. She was saving an accident victim on the road. She contracted it through a small cut on her hand." Mr. Onuka answered his unasked question. The white van he saw every weekend was an unmarked ambulance that brought the Doctor's supplements and other medical needs. Mr. Onuka was spending in tons to keep his wife longer. "Life is not always fair, I guess." He went on with a meleancholy tone. "People say I'm mean but life is meaner. I used to be happy. I used to have people around me but everyone, everything, all gone. Nobody wants to come and get infected with our virus. I had to change environment to save the shame and mockery because they called my wife a harlot. They mocked my angel because she saved a life!" His emotion was rising and Mr. Bob was bleeding inside to see a fellow man so distraught. "Lilian's the best gift I've got from her. Thank you for saving her."

Mr. Bob was encapsulated in dismay when he got back to his house. Almost everything he had assumed about Mr. Onuka was fallacious. He could not touch his work again as he realised he had failed to be a good neighbour because of clouded judgements. He was willing to show love to the Onukas at all times.

What have you learnt?

1 comment:

  1. I have learnt an incredible lot...
    Assumption is the lowest form of knowledge..


Thank you for reading and appreciating creativity.We hope to see you here again. Please feel free to drop your comments and suggestions as they are catalysts for improvement.