Why didn’t he ask sooner?

When I lived in Saudi Arabia, we all lived in a compound, a sort of apartment building within the walls of the university where we taught. The new compound they built was nice – we each had our own place, not sharing with a roommate like we had before. We had a pool, quality furniture and appliances, and lots of light beaming through the windows.

One weekend, I was out walking the halls when I found a friend wondering around as well. I said hey, and we got to talking.

Turns out, he had locked himself out of his apartment. Since it was the weekend, the Saudi landlords, the gentlemen running the school and the compound, weren’t on site to open his place back up. Turns out, my friend had locked himself out the night before and ended up spending the previous night sleeping in the hallway.

I was like, “Dude.”

He asked if I had anything he could eat.

“I don’t know what I have – tomorrow’s grocery day – but come on. We can find something.”

I brought him back to my place. I really didn’t have much going on foodwise. I had some apples and some oatmeal, what I’d eaten for breakfast that day.

“Do you like oatmeal?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll try it.”

I made him oatmeal with cinnamon, brown sugar, and apples. I may have poured some cream over it – I can’t remember now.

He loved it. “This is amazing,” he said.

It wasn’t, really. It was just oatmeal. He was just hungry.

I couldn’t believe he spent the night sleeping in the hallway. There were probably 20-30 teachers who lived in our building alone. We all knew each other. We all had extra couches. We all had food, even if it was just oatmeal.

Why didn’t he ask sooner?

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