Words of Wisdom
by Hafsa Moosani
Evelyn sauntered through the busy streets of London with her dad by her side, observing everyone walking past. Someone jogging, someone carrying groceries, some people on their phones, some reading the paper, all involved in their own tasks; looking as though they didn’t have a single care in the world. They passed the city and entered a familiar part of town. “Why are we here again?” She asked, scrunching up her face. Her father led her to a building with a crumbled sign hanging above the door, barely legible, and knocked on the door. They waited for a while until the door was received by a woman who looked as if she was in her 50’s. “Ahh, Mr. Miller! Nice to see you again. And hello to you too Evelyn dear.” She smiled looking at Evelyn. “Good morning!” She replied politely. “ I just wanted to drop off some things.” Her dad continued, handing the woman a box he had been carrying from home. “Thank you, Mr. Miller, your gifts are greatly treasured.” She grinned. “Well, I better be off, got a busy day ahead. Take care of yourself and the kids!” He finished, taking Evelyn’s hand again.
“Why did you give that woman the box?” Evelyn asked later on the way. “I could have used those toys.”. “But you already have so many toys, Ev,” Her dad replied. “Maybe those toys could make those children happier than they could make you.”. “I don’t think so. Who are they, anyway?” She asked again. “They’re orphans.” Her dad returned without looking at her. “But you didn’t even know them,” She looked up puzzled. “So what? You should always help. You would want others to help you when you need it, wouldn’t you?” He answered. Evelyn thought about this for the rest of the night, contemplating the answer.
Evelyn saw herself standing in a corridor, looking at a door that stood ajar. She peered inside trying to see as much as she could but gave up and pushed it open. There were a bunch of kids sitting around in a circle, eyes focused on something placed in the middle. “Go on, open it.” A voice prodded beside her. Evelyn jumped, “I’m so sorry, I don’t know how I got here, I was just curious…” but her voice was interrupted by the woman’s voice speaking over her as if she hadn’t even heard her. It was the same woman from the orphanage, which made Evelyn put two and two together. The kids hurried forwards, tearing at the tape of the box with excited murmurs going all around. The toys went tumbling out everywhere and the smiles on the kids’ faces showed that they were thrilled to see that. They started chattering passionately with each other; exploring all the toys, examining every small detail, and sharing them amongst themselves, making Evelyn feel warmer inside.
The scene faded from her eyes as another appeared. This time she was in a garden she didn’t recognise. She scanned her surroundings and stopped at a young boy jumping up repeatedly, trying to grasp something from a tree. She watched his numerous attempts until he gave up and sat down under the tree looking tired and hungry. A man approached him and plucked an apple effortlessly, handing it to the boy. Pleasure and contentment filled the boy’s face as he thanked the man and went on his way skipping merrily. The man turned and walked towards Evelyn, startling her. “Do you see Evelyn? Helping someone may not change the world but it can change the world for that one person. The sun shines its rays on everyone and clouds rain down on everyone too. Neither of them ever become poor by giving, do you understand what I’m trying to say? It’s true that we can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone; Even you.”, and with that, the scene changed back into her bedroom. Evelyn scanned her room, looking around for a while, thinking about the dream she had just seen. Her dad was right; she had a lot of things that she didn’t need and giving them away wouldn’t be a loss. And that gave her an idea.
The next time Evelyn went with her father, she brought a few things along with her. She walked the streets as a completely different person, looking at everyone with a new attitude. She noticed a young man shake vigorously in his T-shirt; definitely not the best clothing at this time of the month. She approached him and lent him her coat. It was a little cramped but the young man gave her a smile full of gratitude which was enough to keep her warm for the rest of the way. “Your mum would be proud of you Ev,” her dad remarked “I am too.”. Evelyn grinned at the thought of her mother smiling down at her. She knocked on the door to the orphanage and was received by the same woman she’d seen in her dream. “Why don’t you give these things to the kids yourself? I’m sure they’d love a visitor.” She offered. Evelyn nodded and stepped inside, studying the same corridor she’d been through nights before, though she remembered it as though she had been here yesterday. She saw the children chattering and laughing amongst themselves and couldn’t help but smile. Soon she was conversing and chuckling along with everyone else, showing them everything she’d brought and they didn’t hold back on entertaining her either.
She walked out of the building, feeling pleased to have become friends with all those kids, and now leaving them was like leaving a piece of her heart behind. She had promised them she would be back soon and she couldn’t wait for it. Every now and then she would try and help as many people as she could, occasionally hearing the man’s words being replayed in her head.