By 7.30pm, the concert was done and parents and children were mingling. The children were hugging each other goodbye as this was the last day of the term.
And then it happened! The young man failing to control himself broke down and cried bitterly.
I tried not to fuss about it but I felt his pain and frustration. Why? Because school was ending and he would miss his friends and the learning experiences.
I could relate. Many years ago as a high schooler, I hated the holidays too. I was not as free or comfortable to cry but the holiday spelt loneliness perhaps because I was the youngest child, but also because mother worked so hard and left me home alone on many occasions.
Earlier today, we shared a long conversation with my old friend Sandy. She lives many miles from home. She detailed the lonely life one lives away from home. Everyone minds their own business.
Even individuals who share living space keep to their rooms. Sandy told me the loneliness brings actual depression and that many are on medication for it. Her weight skyrocketed to close to 100kgs because of the depression medication she was on.
She told me how the situation worsened during the four months of winter.
And she mentioned that when she was looking for a house, she specifically prayed for one near a road and a place where she would experience as much interaction with people as possible. She told me she had created a group where folks play volleyball, especially during the winter, although they have to pay a reasonable amount for it.
Then I remembered my boy and how much school and his friends mean to him. And I remembered my own days of high school. The world is a strange place. Many folks back home wish to migrate to what they see as the developed world. And those in the developed world lack the basic things which money cannot buy. My quick lesson here aside from valuing the overflow of social interactions I freely share with friends, family and even strangers is to reach out more.
To love more. To hug more, smile more. Sometimes all one needs is a smile from somebody. Or a helping hand, phone call and a genuine prayer.