It was a beautiful bright sunny day in June when I was driving a scooter around and feeling sulky. It had been a tough time for me at work, at life, at everything. Or so it seemed from my eyes at that time. I'd been holding on the clutches in my chest for far too long and that day seemed to pop the peak of it. In that beautiful day, I couldn't think of anything but feeling defeated, cheated, lost, all those hollow ambiance.
I was thinking about how I would deal with all of this. About how it all seemed so unfair. I admit the ultimate question, why me? passed my mind a few times. But I erased that thought immediately because I believe, only the ones who strong enough to carry the weight would be tested with such trouble. I cheered myself a bit, but still that resent feeling filled my lungs.
I was somewhere around Jimbaran bay when my eyes caught that little boy walking. He was carrying a big basket in his head that was too big for his tiny body, that housed some traditional food. He couldn't be more than seven. I knew I had to stop. I pulled over and called him. He looked at me and I saw a slight of hope in his eyes. I looked at his basket and noticed it's still full at almost dusk. He didn't seem to make any money from selling food yet.
I wanted to give him some money and just send him home where he can be safe when I realised I didn't bring my bag with me, and my wallet was in that bag. I reached to my shorts pocket and there were some money. I pretended to try to decide with myself what food I want to take. Finally I took a banana and asked him how much it was. It's only a cent. A cent.
I handed him all the money I had in my pocket and then his brown eyes looked up at me in a way that I couldn't describe. "I don't have any change", he said ,"Do you want to take some more food from me?". I told him he didn't need to give me any change. He looked at me, in disbelief and a bit confused. "But...," he tried to find words but I told him I only want a banana and that's all I had in my pocket. I told him he could take the change. He tried to refuse a few more time, but I insisted. He gave up.
For a few more minutes, he stood there beside me while I was eating the banana and we chatted after he thanked me for the hundredth time. I asked him whether he's in school or not ("No. I quit because I have to help my mother), where's his home (pretty far from that area), was he always walking around that area (he goes as far as his feet could take him). I looked in his eyes. This kid, in such a young age already had a big responsibility that he shouldn't have taken. He had a hard life but he still had that goofy face and smiling eyes. I felt ashamed.
I felt ashamed that I was so selfish drowning in my problem thinking about how unfair the things had been played out on me. Think about unfair, this kid should knew it better than me. But he didn't complaint. We talked for 15 minutes and I could already tell that he's a polite, nice kid. He answered my questions in a matter-of-factly way, didn't even try to get my sympathy or self-pity himself.
He lived by every cent of banana and some other food he sold, while I still could afford coffee at Starbucks. He worried about what he could provide to his mother and baby brothers the next day. Would he sell enough bananas to buy some rice for his family, while I still could afford to go eat at a restaurant. I got warmth chill in my heart. For his ugly truth, and for the sympathy I felt for him.
The fifteen minutes I spent with him sent me home with a lot of thoughts in my mind. I think about how I almost always feel I earn everything that I own because I work hard, and that I have every right to spend my money the way I want it. That kid made me think I need to share more. That in what I earn, there's a portion for him. I can't quite explain it, but it's just feel so right.
I also knew then by heart, that there is the ugly truth, the brutal honesty about this life. That life is unfair yet it's just. I don't know how to put it in words to make sense, but I felt it that day. Maybe bad things happen to some of us and not to others. It might seems not fair, but it must be just if we could see the big pictures. Why some things are taken from us, and why some things are given to us. Until this day, the goofy face and the smiling eyes of that kid still linger in my mind. I will never forget.