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Image by Paul Castanie – Unsplash

I don’t know his name, so I call him posh boy. He serves me at the supermarket near where I work. I see him most days. He is young, about 22, perhaps, pale, with floppy blonde hair.

I noticed him because his clipped upper-class accent  stood out in this deprived working-class environment awash with newly arrived immigrants, phone shops, beggars and people with haggard hard or anxious faces.

When posh boy first started work, he was earnest, nervous with dark circles around his eyes. He looked so vulnerable!

He called me madam and politely asked if I wanted a receipt. I thought, ‘what are you doing here?. Surely you don’t belong. You speak like Prince William, Duke of Cambridge or Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. That accent tells me that you went to a good private school.”

My writer’s brain preferred to fill in the gap. Perhaps his parents fell on hard times? Or maybe they were divorced, and he had a struggling mother somewhere. So many holes!

As the months went by, he became more assured. He looked you more in the eyes. The dark circles disappeared, and his skin became a healthier colour. Less pale. ‘I want to know your story’, my mind screamed as I smiled at him.

I could imagine him now blending in and eating Jollof rice and dodo at the local African shop. Buying Ackee and salt fish at the Carribean. Or drinking ginger beer and washing it down with sweet plantain chips. I could imagine a lot of things but one thing I know is that at some point posh boy will leave as suddenly as he came.

Trust me; he does not belong there.

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2 years ago

I guess you should give posh boy a chance.
You may well be surprised at how he adapts to his new environment.
I will give him credit for taking that bold step of working in his new settings as it were.
I am sure if you struck up a conversation he would open up and tell you his story.
If he is made to feel welcome ,he may stay ,after all.