I knew the risks, and I was fully aware of what I was doing, but the mother in me just could not leave two kids out in the rain. And there is this thing with COVID-19. In my mind, at that time, almost three months ago, on the streets of New York City, I was battling with leaving them alone or taking them with me. You know the answer to it now, I am assuming. Yes, I brought with me two teenage boys who could either hurt me or care for me. I just asked guidance from the Almighty since I told him that I wanted to help the boys. I was so sure that they needed me.
When I offered them a place to stay for the night, the thinner and frail-looking boy readily accepted. The bigger one did say that they were black and punks. I just said that I am willing to lend them a hand, and since a pandemic is about to take over the world, they could either do bad acts towards me or be a good human being. As I walked, the thinner boy came to my side and said, “Thank you, Miss.” The bigger boy followed.
It was not the best move to make. And what I did will not apply to everyone. Maybe I was looking for trouble by picking up two strangers on the streets. But it was fate, I believe, because when I saw those boys, my heart cringed. God did tell me to feed them and help them, and so I did. I cannot just leave two kids scraping for food in the garbage bin, all wet with rain, and one of them trembling since it was too cold. They had no appropriate clothing either.
Anyway, when we got home, I offered a spare bedroom. I also showed them the washroom and the kitchen. “Whatever you find in the fridge and the pantry, you can eat them. If you can cook, then do it. Just please clean up afterward, okay? There are clothes inside the cabinets. Feel free to use them. Good night!” I said. “Good night, Miss,” said Teddy, the thinner boy. The bigger boy’s name was Andrew.
The next day, I woke up extra early so that I could prepare breakfast for the boys. When I went out, they were already up. Andrew was making coffee while Teddy was checking the fridge. “I’m sorry, Miss.” He closed it and went beside Andrew. “Uhm, Miss. Do you want coffee?” Andrew asked me. “I smiled and said, yes. “Black, one teaspoon brown sugar, please.” I sat down on the couch and put on my Spotify tunes. They went by me and gave me the mug.
Andrew didn’t waste time. “Miss, thank you so much for giving us a place to sleep. We appreciate it. After this coffee, we will be out of your hair.” I just smiled. Andrew nudged Teddy, who said, “Thank you, Miss.” I knew they were hungry because Teddy was checking the fridge for food, and so I said, “Have breakfast first before you leave.”
I cooked eggs and ham, and boy, they were famished. It also seemed that they liked my taste in music, and they told me that. Before our food was obliterated, I asked them if they had a place to stay. Teddy said that they were both eighteen and that their parents literally kicked them out. I gathered that their fathers were alcoholic or always high. And their moms had smaller kids to take care of. Teddy and Andrew were cousins and had been out in the streets for a few weeks. I know the rules. When you’re eighteen, you can leave the house. But throw out your kid? I cannot do that. I will never do that.
Again, the mother in me spoke. “Where are you two gonna go? You cannot wander the streets and eat from garbage, you know.” Andrew said something about how they will manage. I said, “I am going to work right now, and I know that you guys know about COVID-19. You can stay here, and we can talk more about it later. Let me help you guys.”
I said that to them last March. It is June now, and the boys are still living with me. Andrew has this online work thing. He is really good at digital art. Teddy knows how to bake, and well, during the pandemic lockdown, he made this “Teddy Bread” as he called it, and we sold it online too. They may look like thugs, but man, they were far from it.
Again, I am not saying that you all follow what I did. I was just lucky that these boys were good-natured, who just needed a little help. And really, if you saw what I saw by that garbage bin, you would also help them.