[A continuation from Returning I]
And now he wants to return. But he had no money. No friends to help him. No place to stay.
He was a beaten man.
It took a lot of courage to come in. And even more courage to return home. Because there are some others who don't. Who lurk about in the dark corners of the glitzy city, too ashamed to return home with nothing. Too humiliated to admit defeat.
They contacted his family. But no one was willing to help. Or could help.
His sister was in Singapore, looking after their invalid mother.
"I no longer have a brother of that name! He took all of our savings to go to London. He said he was going to make some money. But we didn't hear anything from him until now."
"We have been struggling here ourselves. We get food from charity and our neighbours. And he expects us to help him? No he is not my brother anymore."
His wife and young children were in Malaysia.
"I am working three jobs to feed myself and my two young children. He went against our wishes. He abandoned us. He borrowed money from my siblings to go. He hasn't paid them back and now they are angry with me. How do you think we are going to send money to help him?"
SS and LJ sent him away. Told him to come back the following day while they try to work something out. LJ gave him £5. It wasn't much, but it was something. Money don't grow on trees in London.
I was very affected by the man. Dreams are important to me. And all these years living and moving from place to place, I knew how hard it was to follow one's dreams. I was disillusioned myself when I first arrived in London. The place was nothing like I imagined it to be.
London, despite its glamour and opportunities, can be a lonely and harsh place. Its a dog eat dog world out there. Everyone is scrounging for the same pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Until the rain stops and the rainbow disappears.
All that glitters is not gold.
And so I decided to give him my ticket home. A ticket, if I tried to get a refund, would be worth very little money. A ticket that meant less to me but would mean a whole world (or country in his case) of difference to him.
And so he was told that if there was a seat available on the flight the following evening, he would be flown home. Of course SS had to specifically tell him that the embassies do not give away free tickets home and it was a private arrangment between us.
I haven't heard from him since. I don't expect him to and I don't want anything in return. I believe that what comes around goes around, and I want to be sending out good deeds.
And in return, I have found even more kindness by mere strangers.
Pay it forward.