He was driving slowly in a large jeep named Vence, seemingly guarding their town as if the life of the entire community depended on it. While they were a small force, in the city, they were close-knit and strong.

His phone rang, and he answered, saying, “God bless you, ummi.” He could hear his mother’s voice on the other end. She patted the empty seat next to him and said, “I’m doing well, ummi. What’s on your mind? I’d love to see you.”

She replied, “Where is Abba’s house? We didn’t see him on our way back. Tom, come over to Yafatim’s house. His hanif has brought Hadim and the privilege. Come, we’re waiting for you.”

He responded, “Ummi, I’m on my way.”

She said, “Hurry up.”

Tom hung up the phone and was about to continue driving when he noticed a woman walking on the roadside. Her shoes were broken, and her hijab was torn. Even though he could only see her back, it was clear she needed help. Tom couldn’t ignore such things.

He honked and tapped the car window to get her attention, but the woman didn’t turn around. When he tried again and remarked, “It’s not a beautiful day, is it?” he realized that she was deaf.

Tom stopped the car and got out to assist the girl, who appeared to be no more than 15 or 16 but seemed much older due to her hardships. He muttered to himself in frustration, thinking that she should have been wearing her hijab properly and not exposing herself to the sun.

However, as he approached her, he reconsidered his judgment, realizing that he was wrong to judge Nigerians who playfully interact with less fortunate people on the streets.

When the girl finally turned around, Tom noticed that she had a beautiful face with a few dark spots on her cheeks, but they didn’t detract from her overall beauty. She had a small frame and appeared to be quite young, with captivating eyes.

Tom continued to observe her, noting that she had a kind of foam gathering around her mouth, which indicated a medical condition. She looked frightened.

In a gentle tone, Tom asked, “What’s your name?” But when he saw how she was walking, he realized she wasn’t deaf; she was limping. He felt a pang of guilt for his earlier assumptions.

She replied, “Daurewa Yagi.”

Tom inquired further, “Why are you walking with broken shoes?”

She explained, “They broke after I left home.”

Tom then asked, “And your hijab? Why isn’t it properly worn?”

She responded, “My teacher told me not to wear it anymore; it’s dirty.”

Tom, feeling sympathetic, said, “Daurewa Yagi, why don’t you let someone look at your injuries?”

She replied, “I don’t want to burden anyone else.”

Tom insisted, “If you’d like, I can take you to get help. You shouldn’t be suffering alone.”

She hesitated but eventually agreed, “Okay, take me to where you think is best.”

As they continued to talk, Tom offered to help her financially, but she declined, explaining that her mother was blind, and they struggled to afford food. She revealed the hardships faced by the women in her neighborhood who were responsible for feeding their families. Her words struck a chord with Tom, and he decided to assist her.

He handed her some money from his card and promised to bring her additional supplies. Tom assured her, “Don’t worry; I’ll get you everything girls your age need.”

Daurewa Yagi thanked him and told him that her mother would be informed. Tom assured her, “I’ll keep everything between us. I’ll help you hide your clothes in the closet until you’re ready to use them, so no one will know.”

As Tom drove away, he couldn’t help but reflect on the surprising encounter he had just had. Despite living in a connected world, there were still places where people like Daurewa Yagi faced unimaginable hardships. Tom was determined to help her and make a difference in her life.

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