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No Trouble

The elderly lady with the bleeding nose got on the bus at the same stop as I did, but she wasn’t waiting there when it arrived. She came tottering unsteadily across the carpark, one arm raised, just as we were taking off.

“I am sorry to have kept you waiting, Driver,” she told him in a voice that was clearly used to being listened to. “I was running to catch you and I had a fall.”

Her grammar was perfect and her diction crisp. Her vowels were well-rounded and she sounded every consonant and dipthong. She stood swaying in the doorway of the bus and fumbled in her handbag for her electronic bus-pass. Eventually she tagged on and wove her way to one of the priority seats near the front. She sighed, eyes wide, and looked around. She saw my concerned smile as I leaned towards her.

“Are you OK, Ma’am?”

As she nodded, a drop of blood fell onto her white blouse.

“Oh!”

She touched her nose and saw more blood on her fingers. She frowned.

“I think it’s just a scratch,” I reassured her. “Do you have a mirror and a handkerchief?”

She ruffled in her handbag again until she found what she needed, and dabbed her nose.

“I fell,” she explained.

“Oh dear, are you allright?”

“As you said: it’s just a scratch. I have had worse.”

She stemmed the flow of blood and tucked the hanky under her cuff. She put away her mirror, folder her handbag on her lap and sat her hands on top. She sighed.

“Thank you, young man,” she said, and I thought: I like this lady, short-sighted though she is!

The bus jolted on for a few more stops. My New Best Friend leaned towards me.

“Would you please tell me when we get to Robinson Reserve?” she asked. I blanched. The closest stop to Robinson reserve was where she had boarded the bus, now way back over two steep hills.

“Oh dear!” she cried, when I told her we had passed it. She hit the button to ring the bell and the bus lurched to a sudden stop.

“I will have to walk back,” she said, and stood unsteadily. She scrambled out. I saw her through the bus window, loking forlornly up the first hill.

I had a lot to do: sort out a credit card account, pick up some documents, post others. I couldn’t spare the half-hour it would take to walk her back. And if I missed the next bus, I wouldn’t be in town before my bank was closed. I twisted around to watch her as the bus took off from the stop, and saw her slump onto the bench in flustered confusion.

I sprang up and asked the driver to stop. He sighed.

“Sorry, mate. I can’t let her walk all that way alone,” I explained.

“Good on you, mate,” he said, and opened the door.

I walked back the 100 metres to the stop. The lady looked up at me, bewildered.

“I thought you might like some company on your way back,” I told her. “It’s quite a walk.”

“That is very kind of you,” she said. “But I would not want to put you to any trouble.”

“Oh, it’s no trouble at all,” I lied.

amberdextrous amberdextrous 51-55, M 10 Responses Mar 7, 2010

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you are a kind person to have done such a wonderful thing.

Wonderful story. Kindness given is rewarded. Not always immediately but it feels good to be "nice". To be cruel is so exhausting!!

Before you mentioned it in one of your comments, I already knew your own business would be taken care of in spite of your taking time out - perilously - to help this lady. God is never outdone in generosity. We can all afford, on occasions, to be quite reckless. Thank you for a wonderful and inspiring anecdote, told with your characteristic skill and flair.

Thank You for your kind comments, Friends. It's nice to know my actions -as well as my story- are appreciated.

What a sweetheart you are!! You write beautifully too. I could picture her so vividly and felt a pang in my own gut when you described how lost she looked. I think these acts of kindness that cause us annoying inconvenience rather than heroic disregard for our own peril, are much harder to share in that they are so undramatic. It is easy to react to help in a dramatic situation because there is so little thought and so much adrenaline. This is such a beautiful story ... thank you for sharing it with us!

dex dex dexl. i gotta say its hard to be a saint in the city... way to go you did the right thing, i can tell whem my eyes well up with tears;<br />
there aint no pity in the naked city but some of us find mercy.<br />
luv ya

Actually Amberdextrous, I thought you conveyed it quite well. I also would like to say I admire you for the kindness you showed.

Thank You Amy and WIB. I had an entertaining half hour's chat with the lady -a former English teacher- and got the next bus to town. My bank was still open, so I managed to get the other business sorted too.<br />
<br />
Re-reading my story, I realise I have not conveyed the sense of shame that I had felt as the bus took off, leaving her at the bus stop. It was this feeling that compelled me to stop the bus and help her.

good for you amberdextrous - sometimes you just have to do the right thing

im sure she appreciated that:) that was very good