mercredi 13 novembre 2013

Je Demande Pardon

Today I took a bus from where Biot to Antibes where I will then take another bus to where I live in Cagnes-sur-mer. Luckily for me, the bus arrived early. I got in the bus, gave the bus driver, a
woman, 2 euros.

Between removing my gloves, arranging my wallet and picking up my ticket to validate it at the machine, I forgot my 1 euro change and she purposely didn't remind me. Guess she wanted to keep it for herself... I didn't realise I had forgotten la monnaie until I was in the next bus and wanted to pay le chauffeur.

Anyways, this incident brought me back in time. Some years back, while I was living in Nigeria, I worked for a company (Milex milk) for 10 days, during the International Trade Fair. My uncle was the manger in charge, and that's how I got the job. I worked along with my sister, cousin, and some other girls. We would be payed a certain amount (can't remember how much now) and we would also be paid some commission (depending on the quantity we sold). So the more we sell the more we earn. 
I used to say funny things to get people to buy from me, stuffs like: If you don't buy from me you'll break my heart, Don't leave me standing in the sun, Save me from heart break etc., and it worked, people would laugh and buy. 

One the last day, I was hoping to sell much more than the other days. The place was filled up with people who had not been able to come since day 1. Just towards the end of the day, I was out by the stand, dancing with friends to a loud music coming from another stand. There was this elderly man, who had passed earlier and promised to come back to buy from me. True to his words, he returned to buy from me.

I was happy to see him. He was one of the few who promised to come back and actually did. He bought a pack (can't remember how much it cost). He gave me 500 naira but I didn't have change, he then said I'll give you 500 again and you'll give 800... something like that. He actually mixed the whole thing up, that I didn't understand. I had a lot of money on me at that point and I knew i had to be careful. Then he said he had given me the 500 naira and I was like... No, not yet !. He too had several 500 naira notes, this got me all confused. I said to him, Let's go inside and let me count. If I have excess, I would give it back to you... I wasn't ready to lose a whole 500 naira.

He suddenly got angry, gave me back the milk sachet and walked away into the crowd... before I could say anything. J'ai pensé que the old man was trying to dupe me of 500 naira from me and a pack of milk. I didn't want to run into a debt. I had worked hard all week long in the scorching sun and had become so dark that I could not even recognize myself any longer when I looked in the mirror. All I wanted is to have some money for myself for christmas which was around the corner. I would never have forgiven him if he had succeeded.
Mais the joke was on me. At the close of the day, I had 500 naira surplus. I was shocked, I had been so sure the man wanted to cheat me. But it was I who had cheated him. The boss, my uncle, didn't even bother, he was like that's life. But me, I couldn't sleep, I remembered the man's face, his weary look, maybe he had just collected his pension. During this period, 500 naira is like 5000 naira today....

Would he ever forgive me? Will I ever see him again?Will God repay him for his loss. I almost died of a guilty conscience. Today I still feel same way. I wish I can make it up to him, I wish I can see him again, to pay him in 20 folds and to tell him how sorry I feel.

I still pray every time I remember this incident. I pray to God for forgiveness. I know he has and I hope this man has too.

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