He was just a small boy. Perhaps eleven years old. Our car was stopped at the traffic light, where he made his way to our open window. One hand was raised in supplication; the other led a middle-aged man. A blind man.
The boy was quiet with dark serious eyes. I reached down to the floor of the car and pulled up a small bag of kiat-kiat, satsuma-type oranges. They were the remains of a snack we had brought for our day’s outing. Leftovers.
I handed the bag to the small boy. “Oranges,” I said. And I smiled. At first he looked confused. Then he took the bag from my hand and turned to look for the sidewalk. Gently he guided the blind man through the traffic to the side of the road. There I watched as the boy raised the bag to his nose, inhaling. He then lifted it higher, to the nose of the blind man, so that he too could breathe in the sweet fragrance.
Oranges. Not just food. Food that no beggar would use money on. A luxury food.
I wished that we hadn’t eaten any.
The traffic light turned green. Our car began to edge through the intersection. I looked back one more time, and the eyes of the boy caught mine. His chin and eyebrows lifted in greeting. His face washed over in a smile. And I smiled. And I think God smiled.