On a late winter night, while returning home from a New Eve party, I saw a chivalrous masculine beggar, half-covered under snow with torn beige clothes, half face, and lips covered under long dusty hairs, blocking a clear few of his face.
Rolling eyes on him, I drove past him and coasted about 10 feet ahead, trying to pull break as far as possible without butting up against the long green tree. I stepped out of the car, trying to step-foot on a white-covered road, doing my best not to slip. Walking towards him, like a magnet attracting a piece of iron, I was still afraid. I reached him in less than five minutes; he was sitting like a sculpture, with no movements, leaning his head on his knees. It seemed that he was trying to keep himself warm; in fact, the weather was quite blue on that night.
I shove him to check whether he is alive or not. He fell on the white ground like a snow sculpture after a few pats on the shoulder. It was a scary moment; I thought he is a dead iceman, but fortunately, he was having a weak pulse, lub-dub rhythm. I grabbed him cross my shoulder, with a shaky frightened hand, trying hard to make it to the car and carry him to the nearest hospital. Finally, I reached the hospital to see that there was no doctor!
Shocked, I thought, “what is happening with me: first, an encounter with an almost dead man, then a hospital with no doctor?”
“Hey, Lara! What are you doing here at this time?”
A familiar voice uttered these words to my ears from backward. I remembered it was Maria’s voice, a nurse in that hospital, and my most irritating neighbor, let’s leave that topic for now.
“Help me with this man. He collapsed all of a sudden over the ground.” In a really frightened voice, I told her.
“Is he a thief or something?”
“You know, you have to call the police.”
“have you told your mom about this?”
“Or did you hit him by your car?”
Is she going to treat him or not, or just going to be a noisy aunty with a hell of a million questions?
I nodded, and said:
“I’ll do everything, please treat him first.”
After an hour of waiting, she told me
“You go home, he’s being admitted for a day or two.”
“He fainted due to dehydration. Maybe he hasn’t eaten anything for four days.”
“I verified his photo to the police station. He’s that missing child of the famous businessman whose story is all over the news for the past few days.”
She patted my back.
“You saved him today; now go home.”
She left the corridor, maybe to her dormitory. I stood there stunned like a statue for maybe a half an hour, thinking what would have happened to him if I haven’t stopped that moment, if I have chosen to carry on with my path rather than helping someone else.
I went back home.
x x x
The next day, I left home in a hurry to meet him before his parents take him back.
“Can I meet the patient in room no. 362?”
“Sorry! He was discharged and left a half an hour ago.”
Without meeting his savior, he left. I haven’t seen his face, too.
I thought; I hope our paths would cross again someday.