I’ve been told some pretty amazing stories but none has matched the one told to me as an adult by a shy 17-year-old boy in a Sydney fruit and vegetable market.
Several years ago, I was at my usual stand buying fruit and veg for the week ahead when the seller, a young man, approached me. This time, though, he stepped out from behind the pop up stand and without his box of daily specials.
He introduced himself fully and spoke slowly and deliberately:
- He was 16 turning 17 and studying at TAFE
- This was a part time job so he could support himself and his family who were based in (then) war torn Lebanon
- His next purchase was a car
He inched closer and said that he was a man “with prospects” and that he topped his TAFE class. What’s more, he’d make a “good boyfriend and, one day, provider” and I should keep that in mind.
His body language, facial expression and slight quiver in voice revealed his earnestness.
In his moment of truth, he was raw, vulnerable and authentic, thanks to telling a compelling story which touched me deeply.
It’s the best story I’ve ever been told because this young man put everything on the line; his words and their delivery immediately drew me in, in a way that I’ve not since experienced.
I’ll never forget his story even though it came to nothing and I never returned to that pop up stand.
- What’s the best story you’ve ever been told?