For 6 weeks, I stayed with some of my closest friends in their London flat. During my tenure there, I began seeing the same people time and again. In particular, Hussein. Most nights, he arrived in the evening and left in the morning, working the night shift at the front desk at the entrance to the apartment complex. I introduced myself early on and each time I saw him, I began to stop to chat for longer and longer periods of time. I taught him about essential oils and America. He taught me about Somalia and some basic words from the Somali language that I would later use to greet him with.

It was a regular occurrence that most nights I saw him, we’d chat, even to the extent that my flatmates would head on upstairs, knowing I’d be chatting for a while. Hussein was simply one of the kindest men and a blessing to my days.

He is also a man who, long ago, left his home country (Somalia) because of the danger there and came to England, where he married and started a new family of his own since the birth of his daughter 9 months ago. It’s safe to say that we ended up talking about most topics over the course of my time in London and his perspectives, and listening ear, were rich to me.

So when I finally left London, when Hussein dropped me off at the bus station (which he volunteered to do of his own accord, of course), he wasn’t some random security officer at my friends’ flat, he was—quite simply—my friend.

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