The sun beat down on his glistening forehead. Beads of sweat dripped down his lean, defined arms. He held onto the steel handle bars without an expression on his face. Effortlessly he pushed the lawn mower back and forth as he whistled his favourite tune. I couldn’t wait for him to finish the front lawn. This meant it was almost time for lunch.
As he sat down on the concrete step outside the kitchen door, I ran to get my crustless strawberry jam and peanut butter sandwich. With my pink plastic plate balancing on my knees, I would wait in anticipation for one of Lucky’s stories. He would usually share tales from his childhood spent in the rural farmlands in Zimbabwe. They were filled with adventure, mischief, bravery and sometimes sadness.
He had lost his younger brother after he dared him to jump into a shallow river. None of them knew how to swim. I would chew slowly on one bite of bread while he spoke. He often had to think of the right way to say something as English was not Lucky’s home language. The deeply etched lines on his face told their own story.
But something was different that day. He was unusually quiet. Once he had finished his lunch, he turned to me and thanked me for always listening to him. Later I watched him walk to the front gate with a small tog bag in hand. He stopped, turned back and gave me a gentle wave. That was the last time I ever saw Lucky.
I would later learn that he had retired back to his hometown. I still sat on the step I once shared with my storyteller. The smell of freshly cut grass and peanut butter still makes me smile. How lucky I was to have met Lucky.