Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Yesterday, pedalling up to the

place where I park my transport, I came across an elderly woman leaning on the railing. There was clearly something wrong so I hastily locked my trike and asked if I could help?
She said she felt faint. It was scarcely surprising in the heat. I was only out because I absolutely had to be out.
Then I saw the tiny little white plaster patch on her arm and asked,
      "Have you had a fasting blood test this morning?"
      "Yes, I came over here to get something but I can't get myself inside."
It is a long walk from the place where the tests are done to the shopping centre and she had done it in the heat. She had not been totally foolish. There was a small water bottle in her bag but she needed more than that and we both knew it.
It was still early enough that there were not many people around. Certainly nobody had gone past us. I could leave her there and get help, try and help her inside, bring something out to her...my mind ran through the possibilities faster than I could type that.
Then, around the corner came a teenager, a boy. He was average height, skinny as the proverbial rake and untidy. He had slightly too long greasy hair, a rash of spots, and sported a variety of rings in places where you do not usually find rings.
He was not the obvious person to ask but I saw him hesitate as he too assessed the situation.
     "Can you help?" I asked now fearful the elderly woman was about to slide to the ground.
He gave me a look and then, with a small bow to the elderly woman, he said,
       "Madam, may I assist you inside?"
It was said with an air of cheeky gallantry. She looked startled but he almost carried her in, sat her on the nearest seat. It happens to be near a small place which sells coffee and crepes. They were getting ready for the day.
He went up to the girl setting things out and told her,
        "The lady there nearly fainted. She needs a drink."
Then he loped off in that peculiar teenage way and left us. The girl came over with a large glass half full of cold milk and said,
        "Please have this first and then  do you want coffee or something like that? It will take a moment to make it."
And then the girl looked at me and said,
        "I'll make sure she is all right."
I was sure she would, despite her nose ring and rather odd hair cut. They give me confidence in the next generation.


Sue Bursztynski said...

It's a definite lesson in not judging books by their covers. I remember travelling in NZ with my mother once, when there was a British couple on our bus. The man was someone my mother admitted she would have crossed a street to avoid, with piercings and colourful mohawk but when we stopped at youth hostels, he would do the cooking of an elaborate Asian meal and when we all had dinner together he admitted that he had first made a Chinese meal to impress his new girlfriend. "And it worked!" she said affectionately. A sweet couple.

jeanfromcornwall said...

The reverse of that is that some of the nastiest people look totally respectable. It delights me when an unlikely looking person turns out to be pure gold.
Aren't those fasting blood tests nasty? I remember having to see the doctor immediately after one and he apologised for keeping me from my well-earned doughnut.

catdownunder said...

I was once escorted around East London by "bovver" boys Sue - and they were the nicest possible teens!
Ha, last time Jean I wanted a "sticky bun" afterwards - something I almost never eat - and the bakery did not have any!

Anonymous said...

Most teenagers grow out of it, even if they look like the dregs of society before they get there, and the decent kid underneath doesn't need a lot of encouragement to show their true colours.
Unfortunately, Jean is spot on when she said the most respectable looking people can be the nastiest.