As the signal turned green, I made my way to the nearest car with the stacks of newspaper tucked under my arm. I am what you would call a typical streer vendor. The kind at whom noone would bother a second glance and also an orphan.
It was well past midnight and extremely chilly but neverthless I had to earn my livelihood by selling newspapers. After half an hour of my unlucky attempts at selling newspapers I decided to head home. People wouldn't exactly call it a home especially those rich snobs who would probably baptize it as a health hazard. But to me its more or less definitely a home.
My home in actual is really a shack made up of bamboo sticks and other odds and ends. It is located on an ill-legal land as non of us who live there pay any rent. In short I am wild, young and free!
As I turned into an alleyway, I heard some dogs barking visciously. The place was obscured in darkness, not a single street lamp illuminated the alley. As I approached, I saw to my horror that an old lady was backed against a wall and two large hound dogs menacingly surrounded and barked at her.
One was even trying to get a nip at her! I instinctively reached for the pebbles that occupied the pavement and without thinking hurled them at the dogs. That seemed to do the trick and they ran away whimpering.
"Oh! That was so kind of you," the old lady said with the expression of utmost gratitude on her kind, wrinkled face.
"It was nothing really," I said shrugging casually.
"Where do you live? It's very late maybe I should accompany you to your house," I suggested.
I eyed her as she cleared wisps of grey hair with the back of her hand.
"I live two blocks away. The bus that I usually catch broke down and all the passengers were dropped on the main street," she explained.
"So would it be all right if I accompany you as it is very late?" I repeated.
"That would be so kind of you! Not many teenagers bother to help the old and it's really pleasant to see that the good people still exist." she said with a twinkle in her eye.
Atlast, we reached her home. I couldn't help but gasp out loud! It was literally something out of a postcard. More like a Cindrella's castle, large and airy with gleaming windows and a huge verandah. The old lady smiled at my reaction and broke the silence by saying,
"Ah yes! Quite luxurious but so unfortunate that I have noone to share it with." she added wistfully and with a downcast expression.
"But surely, you must have SOMEONE like children and grandchildren?"I asked with curiousity.
"They prefer to live on their own." she said sadly.
"OK then it was nice knowing you. I must be home now. Bye." I said abruptly and turned.
"Good gracious me!" the old lady exclaimed. "On your way? Certainly not! At least have a cup of tea, the least I can do to show you my gratitude....."
It seemed as if a lot of factors stoped me right there. Maybe it was because it wouldn't really matter if I was home or maybe the curiousity inside me was growing to take a peak inside the large fairytale house that I stopped.
As I stepped inside, every single object of the house held me mesmerized. The old lady bustled about the kitchen and started making coffee.
"Fancy a cuppa?" she asked with a smile.
She seemed a jolly sort.
"Yes please."I murmured and sat on the sofa.
I seemed to sink two inches deep! Over the cup of coffee and a tin of delicious biscuits, she asked all about me and was appalled at what I related.
"You live alone?" she asked in mere disbelief.
"Well yes, I mean there ARE other people on that land who reside with me." I said.
"You mean you have no one to care for you in this whole wide world?" the old lady asked incredulously.
To be honest, she seemed to be making a big deal out of it. I liked the attention, oddly enough. For a moment, I wished I was somehow related to her. What odd desires capture our hearts sometimes. I mean I barely knew this lady. But one thing was for sure, she was kind.
"Well....there is this really nice lady over there on the land. She mostly provides me with food." I said.
"That's it! I am adopting you!" she said with an air of finality in her voice.
"What?" I replied shocked to the very core of my body.
Could my wish come true so quickly!
It was hard to believe that this place could become my abode in exchange for nothing but a mere good deed. Neverthless it did and that old lady became my official guardian. She put a fullstop to my loneliness and I did to hers. She became a real mother I had never had. She signed me up in a near-by school and in real words made me a human. Being righteous certainly paid off.
How much better this world would be if it had more of these people living in it...