Saturday, 24 October 2015

The Encounter

Sometimes, we run away from things as a way of protecting ourselves from having to deal with them. This suddenly dawned on me the day I met Jenny.
Talking about Jenny, she epitomizes the word friendship. She's the kind of girl who, even when you forget about your own existence, she is conscious of your existence.

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Cape Coast, on the outskirts of the university campus. I had come to the beach to relax and to reflect on a very tiring week.

I love music. You know, I believe that God in his infinite wisdom created music, and music is all around us. It's one place I've always found solace whenever I'm troubled. Of course, I had my favourite playlist on my phone with me that afternoon.

I sat under one of the numerous coconut trees along the beach and started to listen to my favourite genre of music (country music).

Whilst listening to the music and observing the vastness of the sea, and watching the waves roll up and down and then wondering about the greatness of God for this wonderful creation, I noticed a girl at the far right. She was about forty yards from where I was sitting.

 There was something unusual about her. "What could a girl so neatly dressed possibly be doing sitting in the bush?" I asked myself. Of course, I couldn't have known. For one thing, she was sitting far away from where I was, so I couldn't have asked why she was sitting in the bush. Besides, you can't just walk to a stranger and ask what she was doing sitting in the bush.

I kept watching her and wondering what in God's name she was doing there. Suddenly, she stood up and started to walk towards the water. "What is this girl up to?" Could it be that she wants to swim or she's just taking a walk? Eventually, she entered the water. And as she move further and further into the water, I was engulf with anxiety. Perhaps, having been an avid watcher of crime stories and drama, I noticed that her demeanor was consistent with that of a person who is likely to be suicidal, as usually described by psycho-analyst in such crime stories.

At that instance, all sort of thoughts joggled my mind. I still don't know how I got into the water. All I remembered was that I was in the water. Standing ten yards from her, "hey girl!" I shouted. "What a heck do you think you are doing?" I asked. "What do you care?" she replied. "Oh, no, I'm not about to commit suicide, if that's what you're worried about." "Oh yeah, so what are you up to," I asked with interest. For a while, I stood there and still looking at her. And as she turned her back and noticed me still standing behind her, she asked, "you aren't gonna leave me alone, are you?" "No, not until you get out of the water," I replied with a smile.

A few minutes passed before she finally agreed to come out of the water with me. At that very moment I realized the sort of person I was dealing with. I was so much astound with her responsiveness thereof, and though I was a stranger, she was virtually calm and receptive. My surprise was that, usually, in such situations, the average girl would have snubbed you and perhaps asked you to mind your own business. Jenny was different. As we walked back to the shore, we introduced ourselves. "It's Jenny, I mean my name is Jenny," she said. "What are you called?" she asked with a smile. Without any hesitation, I told her my name.

At the shore, we had a very meaningful conversation. It was, in fact, one of the most in-depth conversations I've had in a long time. We talked about a lot of stuff - about family, friendship, everything relationship, about education, life after school and about our plans for the future.
"So what are you doing here alone at the beach?" she asked. "You know, it's been a very tiring week and so I just came here to clear my head until I noticed something ominous about you, and that's when I decided to be nosy," I replied. "Maybe, you were being nosy, but am sure you were just genuinely concerned, and I'm glad you did. Besides, I really enjoyed talking to you," she said.

Jenny was a final year Economics student. She came to the beach that day because she needed an atmosphere that is peaceful, an environment that is friendly and conducive enough so that she could do a much deeper thinking.

Jenny's boyfriend dumped her after almost three years together, and barely four months after the demise of her mother. She was devastated, having lost the two most important people in her life. The passion with which she spoke about her ex-boyfriend tells how much she loved him. I could only imagine the pain she was going through. Her ability to keep a cool head and think of a better way out of the enormous challenge, demonstrated her maturity and strength. Having been in her presence for just a few hours, I could tell that she's really a genuine and honest person.

I took a look at my wrist watch and it was half past five. "No way," I shouted. "Is anything the matter?" she asked. "We've been talking for over four hours and it seems like just four minutes," I replied. Jenny noticed that I would want to leave any moment so she said to me, "don't go yet, let's talk some more."

Soon, it was exactly sunset. Jenny got up, and then she asked me to come with her. "Where are we going?" I asked, in a low toned voice. "Trust me," she whispered.

She brought me to this side of the beach where this lover's bench was located. The view of the setting sun was amazing. "Isn't this an amazing view to behold?" she asked. "I know right!" I replied. "I use to come here with him every Friday and Saturday around this time." "Who?" I asked. "My ex-boyfriend," she said in reply. While admiring the beauty of the setting sun, Jenny said something which really struck me. "Do you know something?" she asked. "No, unless you tell me," I replied. "My mother once told me something which I never understood until now." "And what might that be?" I asked. "She told me Life will not always be beautiful, it may get ugly. The storms of life may come. They always do. But even in those storms, in the loneliest of all, one thing is sure, you're really never alone." "How did she know that there will come such a time like this in my life?" she asked. "Your guess is as good as mine. I really have no idea how they do it. All I know is that, they always do," I said to her in reply.  There's one thing I can tell you for sure though, that we have something very powerful within us. That inherent thing called instinct; mothers especially don't play with it. So, I guess instinct and personal experience would be the best explanation. "May be you're right," she said in response. Before we could noticed, it was a quarter to eight and we both agreed it was late and the need to part ways.

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