Today, I was walking back from my boyfriend’s house when I spotted 2 girls, a similar age to myself, squatted on the path, 1 of them crying. I felt concerned so I stopped to ask if they were okay. I mostly expected them to say the bog standard “Yeah, don’t worry everything’s fine thanks!” and for me to carry on my way home as normal (I didn’t ask with the pre-curser of not helping in the first place but to walk on and ignore this would have made me wish I had actually stopped to help). But instead, she began telling me that her parents had gone on holiday to Spain without her and she had just been left at home without any warning.
Obviously, this is a horrible thing to happen to anybody but this wasn’t the part that struck me as odd. Within the space of about 5 seconds, I had suddenly been sucked into somebody else’s personal life, a stranger who I had never seen before. And yet, she was telling me lots of details about her Dad, how he is open minded and level headed so she didn’t understand why he wouldn’t have told her about this holiday, aside from only just receiving a call from him to say they were just about to board the plane. How she was meant to be going on a cycling trip with him and how he works all of the time and how she never sees him. Part of me was moved about how open this girl was being with me. And then part of me was a little bit taken aback. Nonetheless, I too found myself sitting down with the two of them (after she had asked me too), in public, on the floor, offering my advice and support.The 3 of us were working out possible reasons as to why this had happened and came to the conclusion that it had all been a result of a lack of communication. We discussed the possibility of her ringing Samaritans and talking it through with them too. We discussed what she wanted to say to her parents. It was as if she saw me as an old friend! And it was as if she wasn’t even aware that she was sat on a public pathway, oblivious to walkers having to edge around us. I wasn’t even sure if the other girl who was sat with her actually knew her either! When she’d calmed down, I made my excuses and left.
As I let myself into my house, I was trying not to be weirded out by the whole experience… I had been way outside of my comfort zone but I hope experiences like this are the ones that help to restore faith in humanity 🙂