South Africa—I’ve been using the same cell phone for over four years now. A Motorola V360v to be exact. It’s not the greatest cell phone on the planet but it gets me going. Surprisingly over the past weekend some teenage boy had the nerve to come to my house with a group of people saying he had sold me the phone.
Around noon on Saturday I was sitting at home reading a book titled “My Traitor’s Heart” by a South African author named Riaan Milan. Quite an interesting book I must add. It talks about the history of apartheid in South Africa, in a not so boring way. Anyhow, as I was going through the pages of the book I suddenly heard a noise outside on the street that sounded like a bunch of people arguing.
I looked through my window and saw the people. It looked as if some guy was beating someone up and more people came out and followed to watch. But I couldn’t quite get what the fuss was about. Fascinated by the book I ignored the crowd and carried on with my reading. It was probably none of my business I thought to myself.
But I soon found out I was wrong. The noise outside had something to do with me indeed. As I sat on my sofa I heard the noise level outside going up. I looked through the window of my house again. I was shocked to discover that the people had entered my gate and were just a few steps from my door. Immediately I placed the book on the sofa and went outside to find out why they had entered my home.
As I got closer to the people, I could see that some angry guy was beating someone up. The person being beaten was some teenage boy who lives three houses away from me. This troubled teenager boy is a well known thief in the community and has been in and out of jail ever since both his parents passed away. The angry guy had grabbed the boy by his trousers and beat him up.
I asked what the fuss was about and why they had entered my home. The angry guy said that the teenage boy and his friends broke into his house and stole some cash and two cell phones, and that the boy said he sold one of the cell phones to me. I was so shocked by this that I thought this must have been some kind of a prank at first. But it wasn’t. The guy was serious as hell.
Calmly, I explained to the guy that there must have been some kind of mistake because I didn’t buy any cell phones recently.
I know how some people make a career out of stealing things from other people and that is way I will never buy anything from anyone. I know the pain of losing something because, like this guy I have also cried in the past because some people stole my cell phone…twice. If I want something I go straight to the shops. The very idea of being accused of buying anything from a thief makes my blood boil.
But I maintained my cool and continued to deny the allegations. I stepped a little closer to the teenage boy, looked him straight in the eyes and asked him why on earth he was saying that he sold me the phone. But he just looked at me and said nothing. I was getting angry by the second and I asked him if he had been smoking marijuana or something.
A day before all this I remembered that one of his friends came to my house and asked to borrow my cell phone charger to charge his Motorola V360. And of course I said no because I didn’t trust him, so he asked me to charge his cell phone at my house instead. He later came and took it. I never saw him again. Was it because his friend and I had the same kind of cell phone that led him to say that he sold me the cell phone, I asked myself.
The fact that this boy was accusing me of buying a cell phone from any of them didn’t make sense to me. I quickly went back inside my house and came out with my cell phone, and after four years of having the phone, I was glad I still had its receipt. I showed it to the guy and thankfully that convinced him that I didn’t have his cell phone. He turned his focus to the boy again and demanded he tell him where he had sold his cell phones.
Being afraid of getting a lash again the boy said he would finally show the guy where he sold the phones. Finally, they got out of my yard and away they went. Later that day, I heard that they found the two cell phones with some guy. After embarrassing me in front of my community I think the least the guy could have done was to deliver the good news to me. But I guess I can let it go because it wasn’t his fault. He was just searching for what was rightfully his.