I remember one time I was walking on the street when I meet a decent looking man. He smiled at me and I took it that he must need something, so when he beckon that I stop before him (‘cause I was headed his direction too), I did not hesitate. It was daylight that time and gauging by his looks, danger was out of the question. The first thoughts that came into my mind is that maybe he’d be asking for directions since considering the city as one of the popular tourist spots, sure it was often that we as locals, meet one or two who asks for directions.
However, it was not what as I presume. Instead of asking directions, he began mumbling words indistinctly. At first, I could not grasp what he was saying but soon, as soon as he brought out something from his pocket, I pay more attentively.
It was a small teardrop pearl, clear and surely not one of those cheap and counterfeit stones one could easily find in the flea market. He said it was from a banana heart (banana blossoms )which, in their place, was believed to be something to bring luck.
I couldn’t help but furrow in confusion, having to have had not understood what he meant. Thus he went on explaining that taking out a ‘magic’ pearl from the banana heart was a miracle already. He further explained that the same pearl had aided in treating lots of ailments his people have had in his hometown.
I cut his tirade and ask immediately why he’s showing it to me. With that, I saw him smile rather maliciously and did not hesitate that he wants to trade it for anything. He repeatedly insist that he felt a certain aura I have which is why despite his perplexity to entrust such a valuable gemstone to a stranger, he believes that it was and should be rightfully mine.
I don’t believe in such fables and fairly on said aura or anything but on a side note- it might not be too harmful to try. Hence, I asked for the price and he said that my phone could make up for the bargain.
Instantly, as the phone I was carrying that time which he saw was my sister’s, I declined his offer explaining my reason. Yet, still, he was persistent. He further attempted to be a bit considerate of my situation hence he said that a considerable amount could do the deal. Technically, I was not a self sufficient student hence all the stretching and possible economization of my limited allowance is a must to do. With that being said, I again told him about my situation.
That time, I could see irritation on his eyes, as if implying that I was not only disappointing but severely impossible. Traditionally based, one could easily be seduced by such claims provided that both laziness and luck is more endemic than hardworking and wisdom. However, I did not expect him to be lenient and more considerate on his response.
Before parting, he said that it wasn’t much of a loss that he cannot give that gem to me ‘cause honestly speaking- I wouldn’t be needing it as much as other people do.
I asked why and he smiled saying ‘ you are strong enough on your own.. and I sensed that first.’
It was a very vague statement but years and years later- I would argue no more. Despite all the troubles that had crossed me after that encounter, I was so uncertain of myself but even at grave degrees of despair and depression- I did not die and that alone was the proof of his claims.