Anita smiled as she sipped sweet hibiscus tea, feeling the afternoon's heat soften. She sat in her auntie’s backyard in Lagos, loving her visits to Nigeria from London where she now worked. Surrounded by mango trees swaying gently, Anita felt a comforting nostalgia wash over her.
Though she built a good business back in England training nurses, part of Anita's spirit lingered always under this sky that first lifted her in childhood. She touched the sun-warmed concrete and mulled her dual existence - thriving amid cold foreign rain while craving homeland warmth like this.
Her ambitious uncle scolded that Anita wasted prime earning years on long African visits. “Sentiment over sense!” he would grumble, reminding her the money flowed stronger in Europe. But deep down Anita sensed her identity rooted here no matter where branches spread.
Studying the ripe papayas glowing like orange suns overhead, intuition whispered almost audibly... Anita should remain in Nigeria this trip much longer than planned. That destiny held something important here for her now if she would just pause to listen.
The idea seemed illogical with her bustling career awaiting back home. But the gentle prodding in her spirit persisted as days passed, drowning out pragmatic thought. An invisible string tugged at her core when she considered booking her return plane ticket. Almost like muted warning flares sent up from soul to heart to stay put.
By weekend, her auntie, uncle and cousins traveled out to the village for a wedding. Anita volunteered to miss celebrations and watch their home instead. This felt oddly right though she loved attending lively parties.
Puttering around the empty house, Anita contemplated her pull towards staying. Each sweeping breeze and crowing rooster seemed to echo the strange summoning in her spirit. With every cup of tea and stroll around garden's living fence, her mind increasingly drifted from London’s plans.
Late afternoon arrived and Anita found herself rising purposefully to unlock the carved wooden gate. Compelled by forces unexplained, she began wandering her old neighborhood's familiar dusty streets alone. Vendors packing up market stalls smiled warmly at her familiar face as she passed.
Crossing the village square, she nodded respectfully to the Chief speaking with elders by the Lion Tree's shade. He returned a look of recognition mixed with lingering skepticism towards prodigal youth who fled for outside opportunities years ago.
Anita floating in purposeful trance almost missed the gentle cry from roadside that snapped her back to the present moment. Turning, she spotted a tiny barefoot girl no older than six gazing up desperately. Tears streaked the child's soot-smudged cheeks as she clutched empty food bowls.
Kneeling gently, Anita asked “Adanna, what is wrong?” Between heaving sobs, the little one explained her mother left days ago seeking work far away. Her father drank constantly with no money now for feeding them since the oil refinery closed last year. He had kicked Adanna outdoors that morning to beg all day, but she felt too scared and tired to manage in the unfamiliar market center across town.
The child’s sorrow and fear stirred Anita’s heart as she scooped the weeping girl into her arms. She carried Adanna’s skinny frame back towards home thinking only of how to care for this helpess little being.
Suddenly intuition’s call made piercing sense...this was the precious reason she stayed in Nigeria despite logical tickets back to London already purchased! No foreign ambition could fulfill like tending souls needing her here now. This small moment somehow mattered more than projects awaiting overseas.
Back home, Anita cooked up the last rice and stew leftovers to fill Adanna’s empty belly. As the girl finally slept safely under mosquito netting, Anita's mind raced comprehending she had almost missed the chance to serve this vulnerable child right before her eyes.
Destiny had guided with gentle persistence she almost ignored. How easily she might have booked return flights for next week and missed intervening to aid Adanna! She shuddered at the thought, newly awakened to neglected struggles threatening Nigeria’s young generation.
In morning light, Anita carried a revived Adanna to school registration then the health clinic seeking long-overdue immunizations. By afternoon, she traveled to plead work from Chief on behalf of Adanna’s father to stabilize home life.
In one short day, Adanna's story radically changed simply because Anita listened when intuition spoke softly.
Tonight rocking Adanna playfully on her lap, Anita smiled down at the giggly girl with deep sense of meaning. No prestigious London job ever filled her heart with such light. She would postpone return tickets indefinitely, choosing to nurture community right under her own roof instead.
For home sang its siren song once more to Anita now. And she knew beyond thought her place remained here answering intuition’s gentle call in Nigeria. No matter where her feet might wander in years ahead, this land always claimed her soul.