LESSONS FROM A NIGERIAN PRINCE: DO THEY RUN TO YOU?

“No,” she said, and then shut the door in my face.

I offered her some money so I could move into my room a few weeks earlier.

“No, you can’t,” she said.

Ok.

So, I slept on a floor behind a couch in the living room for a few weeks. I slept horrible. The guys I lived with smoked a bunch of weed in basement. The other roomate was high on perkiest most nights. She liked to take them down with scotch.

Are you allowed to mix alcohol and perkiest, I asked her?

“No. But I love it,” she said.

Ok.

And the girl who occupied my room fought with her boyfriend. He was an alcoholic and stealing beer from the guys smoking the weed.

Don’t you mind that this guy is stealing alcohol from you, I asked the guys.

“No, it’s not worth the fight,” they told me.

OK.

Anyway, after several bad nights of sleep, my immunity system couldn’t keep up. I got sick. Some awful flu infection thing.

The next day was my first day at law school. I thought I could “tough it out.” I parked my car in the CUNY law school parking lot, and went in for the orientation. I did did the absolute bare minimum required, and then walked back to my car desperate to drive the 10 minutes home and sleep for the rest of the day.

But my car was blocked in by a car behind and a fence in front.

I wanted to cry. I felt so sick. I just wanted to sleep. Even crying felt like too much energy.

But there was a small space where I thought I could finagle to possibly, just possibly get my car out. It was a long shot, but worth it. I was shaking and with a high fever at this point. It was hot outside. I was so cold inside.

So I reversed. Then almost hit the car behind me. Then forward brushing against the fence. Backward, almost hitting the car, forward. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

For the next 10 minutes.

Then it happened.

I saw a tall, strong, handsome man running towards me.

The closer he got, I realized he had a security guard outfit on.

He was sprinting at this point.

I was sure I’d hit a car. I was sure that I would have some price to pay. Some penalty. Not a great way to start my law school career.

Then he arrived.

But he did not speak to me.

He just smiled. The most cheerful and beautiful smile I’ve ever seen.

And then started to direct me. He had an idea of how I could maneuver the car in a way that I hadn’t thought of.

For the next 15 minutes, he guided my every move. 15 minutes later, I was out. Driving home.

I slept for the next 24 hours. My fever broke, and as the delusion subsided, I remembered this man and what he did for me.

His name, I came to find out was Kabiyesi. He was a Nigerian prince that won the lottery to come live in the US. He was a security guard at the law school.

We became friends. And to this day, he is the single kindest man I have ever met. He adopts children and builds schools for the blind in Nigeria.

Yesterday, I had lunch with him in the middle of Flushing, Queens.

“Can you come to Flushing, my friend Fred asked me.”

Kabiyesi will be there for lunch.

I said yes, and went.

We hugged. We laughed. We broke rice.

“I must go home now,” he said.

And he left.

And I smiled a grateful smile because the only reason I was able to watch this man walk away from me in 2019, was because he ran to me in 2009.

See you in 2029, Prince.

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