Now and then, it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy; many people lose the small joy in the hope of big happiness; be cheerful, relax and appreciate what you have, you will end up having more, if you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never ever have enough!

         I heaved a sigh of relief when I baded my wife and six years old daughter good bye as they will be spending the weekend in my brother's house, I was so happy when their boarded vehicle went out from sight, at least, I will be having a blissful weekend free from my wife's incessant nagging. well, it's not her fault, "who wouldn't want a better life", i shrugged. my problems are all piled up like mountain Kilimanjaro, from providing one excuse or the other to avoid my landlord's hot side Everytime due to my expired rent, to the embarrassing calls I received from Mrs. Ogechi, my daughter's headmistress for not paying my daughter's school fees which is long over due. Ye! I almost forgot the loan I collected from Mr. Okafor to buy a new engine for my car, sorry motor, yet the jalopy is still faulty. "I deserved more!" I said to myself, after working so hard to secure a first class degree from the University, the only reward I could get afterward is to secure a job as a chemistry teacher in a private school where it's monthly salary is barely enough for feeding my family, but my friend, chukwudi, who managed to come out as a third class graduate has already secured a job in an oil firm whose monthly pay is times ten of mine,  "chai! This life nor balance', indeed, I deserve more"! I exclaimed again.

          I was lost in deep thought as I walked down the road, not until the thunder struck before I realized myself, the sky was thick with storm, so I hurried home. I opened the main door to my house and closed it carefully, that door needs repair but I haven't bothered to fix it, if you shut it from the inside without sticking a paper in it, some one would have to open it from the outside or else you would remain trapped inside. Because I was alone, I was careful to put a piece of paper in it before closing it and because I had no plans of going to bed immediately, I didn't bother to lock it with a key. 

       I was watching the BBC news when the lights went off, soon the rain began to hit the roof like pebbles thrown in hundreds from the sky. I went into the bedroom and sleep found me in no time. It was the shrill cry of a baby that woke me up later. The rain had stopped, darkness still envelopes the sky, it was past one O'clock in the night, I began to wonder what was wrong with the child that was crying, her voice tore miserably into the silence of the dark and made me feel uncomfortable.

        I was still wondering why the baby was crying and disturbing the entire neighborhood when I began to hear the sound of my front door opening, I wanted to scream but intuitively decided against that,the cry of the child continue to waft into my ears and I suddenly began to tremble. I hadn't seen a thief in real life before but I have heard stories where they maim or kill people just to get what they want.

    What if the thief had a weapon; I thought miserably as I quietly docked behind my bedroom door. When the intruder began to tip toe into the kitchen, I put my eyes through the tiny opening between the door and it's frame, I heaved a sigh of relief when I saw that he was not armed, the light from his small phone led him into the kitchen, I wanted to scream now but something held me still; perhaps, it was the fear of the unknown, I was paranoid now like never before. 

        I was still wondering what to do next when the burglar came out of the kitchen carrying a black polythene bag, the cry of the child continue to waft into my ears and I felt creepy. Suddenly I heard him begin to hit the door and it struck me that he had just jammed the door without using the piece of paper, certainly, he was trapped. I could hear him curse under his breath, just then the lights came back on. when he walked back to the kitchen and I saw that he was harmless, I came out of my hiding place.

    "Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house?" I thundered feigning courage, the fear in his eyes was palpable.

"I..I..I, please sir!" His knees dropped, his head was bowed buried in shame, He could only stutter. "You had better start talking before I shoot you dead right now".

        He jammed his palms and began to cry. "sir, my name is Timothy, I am not a thief, I have not stolen anything from anyone in my life, but if you could put your ears down right now, you'd hear the cry of a child that's my only daughter, she's a year and two months old, we have not eaten since yesterday morning. My wife bought akara thirty naira and that's was all she has eaten since. I'm a taxi driver and I haven't worked since because I sold the battery of my car to feed my family during the Corona virus movement restrictions. I heard from a friend that you people left the house and won't be back till Monday. i couldn't stand the cry of the child anymore, so I had to burgle your house to fetch her some food from here, I had become a thief if only for tonight, at least where there is life, there is hope, I thank God for sustaining my life. He was crying as he spoke.

       I took the black polythene bag from him and my heart dropped when I saw the things h had stolen from the kitchen; in it, three pack of noodles, half loaf of bread and some milk powder. My wallet which had about seven thousand naira was lying conspicuously on the chair, pointing at the wallet, I echoed; "why didn't you take the money or didn't you see it?" "I did", he replied with his head still bowed. It was the first thing I saw when I entered but I have no need of it, I came here to get something for my daughter to eat not to steal money". 

      A tear fell off my eye; I held his hands and told him to get up, you are not a thief my brother, you are just a father whoose love for his child is without blemish, from the way you speak I'm certain that you are learned but for the situation of the country, you would not have become a taxi driver. Just call your wife to come here with the child so she could open the door for us from outside.

        Before she arrived, I had prepared beverage for the child and I let him cook some noodles for himself and his wife.

      It was my turn to cry when the woman was feeding the child who was dragging the bread from her mother as if all her life depended on it, she wolfed the bread down at the speed of light and as soon as she had her feel, she crept into the hand of her father and immediately fell asleep and the parent had time to eat their Noddles. When they were through, I gave them the whole money in my wallet to stuck their house with food.

      When they were gone, I fell into deep thoughts, "so people wished to be like me and I'm ain't grateful in where I am" I said to my self.  I'm lucky! I'm privileged! I don't deserve anymore better, I'm contented in where I am. after saying these words I broke down in tears and cried till morning.

"He is the richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature, and luxury is artificial poverty". 

A man is happy as long he chooses to be happy. Little be it or much, contentment is what I crave.


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