*Peep, peep, peep!*
The chaos and dissonance exhaled from the vehicles around him was shrouding his bony, malnourished body. Slowly wiping the sweat glistening on his forehead against the roughness of his tiny palm, he wearily eyed the cars around him.
“Uncle, Uncle!” His dirty fists knocked the shiny window of the black Corolla, in a futile attempt to sell the packet of tissue paper that was his means of keeping the wolf away from the door.
“Remove your filthy hands from my car!” The suited gentleman barked at the little soul that stood under the scorching sun, a pair of torn shoes holding his fragile feet.
Scared yet gain by what was now a regular greeting by different faces, he scurried towards another car, hoping for the impossible.
Passing by a blue Alto, he dared to peek inside. A girl his age was merrily licking the ice-cream cone that had been haunting his dreams since the last two nights.
Trying to ignore the advertisement of that same ice-cream on the billboard standing arrogantly on the island that gave him refuge from the heavy traffic flow that resumed with the green light of the signal, he concentrated on selling his merchandise.
He was a brave boy. He would try to forget the smile of contentment on that little girl’s face.
Dragging his feet towards another car with shaded windows, he tried to make his presence obvious, reminding his little self that may be, he mattered.
He did matter. Of course, he did.
The bespectacled, bearded driver dramatically lowered his window. Leering forward, he puffed the tobacco into his face, blackening it with disgust, contempt and abuse.
Coughing with pain and panic, he struggled to manoeuvre himself away from this human pollutant, ignoring the jeers of those like him.
There were just so many scars an angel could live with.
Wiping away innocent tears that first poured out from his heart, he wondered where God was with His magic. What magic could heal his wounds? Wipe away his tears? Drive away his hunger? Clothe him in a clean shirt? Send him to a school?
His frightened, tired arms hugged himself; he tried to cage his innocent hatred for the world, his undying fright, his unseen childhood. He did not know what it was to live. He was merely breathing in the intoxicant leftovers of his fellow beings.
Large, brown eyes that were lined with unmasked compassion surprised him.
The stranger patted his forehead. Handing him a thousand rupee note, he took the packets of tissue paper from his burdened hands. He patted his forehead again.
“Son, don’t ever stoop down to begging.” The stranger was kind. But why?
“You didn’t need these,” he uttered. Incredulity and apprehension gushed from his voice.
“The ‘Edhi Home’ is on the right side of the next signal. They are waiting for you. Go, son. Everything will be fine.” The stranger was an angel. But why?
“Everything will be fine?” his innocence questioned.
“Everything will be fine.”
And his little heart started beating again as his senses awoke to the scent of hope, security and happiness.
He was going to live like a child.