It all began on a cold Sunday morning; the moment I met my neighbor’s relative from America. I had never heard of the land before but to my uttermost amazement, I discovered that not all places spoke the same languages I spoke.
She was short and pretty and different. I couldn’t quite describe why she seemed so peculiar but her walk, and the way she expressed herself provoked my curiosity.
“Sasa?” I said hoping to spark a conversation.
She looked at me oddly then went back inside.
“How rude” I thought. She couldn’t even respond to a general greeting.
My neighbor Kat revealed that she couldn’t speak any other language except English.
“What? Why?” my mind tried to recall stuff I had learned from school. What country spoke only English?
“What’s her name?” I asked
“Nicole. She goes by Nicky though and she’s a bit quiet”
As the days went by, I discovered that I quite liked what I heard about it and I decided to go to America one day.
Break time at school was always a high point in the day because it was the only time that we could freely be ourselves and let loose. It was also the perfect time for me to show everyone what I brought for my break. I unpacked my sandwich and waited for everyone to notice the new spread between my bread.
After a few minutes, I couldn’t wait anymore!
“Guess what I’m eating?” I asked everyone.
The group of five girls turned to look at my bread.
“It’s peanut butter!!!” I said excitedly. “This is what they eat in America,” I explained in response to their curious gazes.
“How do you know?” Hannah asked in disbelief.
I went on to share the details of all that I knew about America with slight interruptions for questions and answers.
I couldn’t believe it! All eyes were glued on me as though I was the most interesting person in the world. I knew that this had definitely upped my popularity.
“We should go to America!” I said as though the idea had just popped into my head.
“We can’t go. We need money and tickets and we don’t have that,” said Jolie. She was slightly annoyed to see I had all the attention.
“We can save our money and get the tickets,” I said feeling provoked.
Jolie was the self-made leader of the group. She thought she could control what everyone did but I wasn’t having it. This was my moment and she wasn’t ruining it.
“Oh yeah? Then who’s going to keep the money? And how much do we need to save anyway? I say this is stupid!” Jolie continued undaunted.
“Shula can keep the money because she’s quiet and we trust her,” Hannah broke in as though to ease the tension.
“When we are in America then we’ll see who’s stupid” I cried.
The girls seemed surprised to see me stand against Jolie. Not a lot of people argued with Jolie without facing dire consequences. Well I didn’t care. I had connections that she didn’t and therefore was more interesting than her for the moment.
“I don’t have money now but I might get some for Christmas” Shula said, accepting my proposal.
“We can all give when we get some” I reasonably responded.
The other girls except Jolie joined the agreement and we made a pact to go to America someday. To seal the deal, I gave a hundred dollar bill that my uncle had given me during the weekend he came to visit.
A broken vase was only a big deal if it was your mom’s favorite vase and also happened to hold the flowers that were placed in the middle of the table. My sister and I had been fighting again like we always did. This time we knew we’d both be in trouble because there was evidence.
We tried to put our little minds together to determine how to fix the problem but after a few minutes, we decided to ask the housemaid for help. She laughed at our attempts and foreshadowed our doom.
“Just wait until mom comes home,” she said a little too happily.“You’ll both be crying by the end of the night.”
We decided to ask Kat for help. “Can’t you just replace it? Find another vase and switch it out. If your mom asks, tell her you wanted to do something different.”
It was the most perfect solution to our problem. The only problem was that we didn’t have another vase in the house.
“Can’t you just borrow money from your housemaid to buy a new vase? “ Kat responded immediately.
“No. she’s mean. But…” I said slowly fading off.
It was too perfect I just couldn’t believe how easy it was. I could borrow back my money from the pact then pay it back later!
I decided to pay Shula a visit since she lived a few minutes from me. When I got at her place, she seemed surprised and a little nervous to see me. But then she welcomed me in we went to her room.
“Shula, I need the money I gave you. I’m going to use some of it then I’ll give the rest and keep adding on to it later.” I said
She averted her gaze and moved to the door. “I gave the money to Jolie,” she said.
A cold feeling spread all over me once I heard Jolie’s name.
“Why would you give Jolie the money? I trusted you!” I cried.
Shula started tearing up and her voice shook as she fought to explain that Jolie had gotten mean and almost got in a physical fight with her for the money.
“I had no choice I swear.” Shula begged. ”I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
I couldn’t speak. My breath came in short bursts and I grabbed hold of the bed railing to steady myself. I hated how naïve and simple minded I was. But most of all, I hated how much I trusted people. I walked out, vaguely aware of Shula’s voice pleading and begging for me to understand.
I didn’t want to go to America anymore.
I wrote this story to encourage anyone with a dream that seems impossible. All things are possible with God. Sometimes our resources might be limited but all we need is child-like faith in a great big God who can make all things – even impossible things – work for us. Don’t be discouraged by the Jolie’s of this world but know that if you guard your dream, it will manifest and embrace you right back. Blessings.