She was bent over, slowly inching out every step of the way. Her long, white cane held out in front like a beacon of distress as the madding crowd dashed past her from all directions. Yet no one stopped. People just parted and melded together again as though she were just a temporary blip in the tempo of London streets.
I touched her arm lightly so as not to alarm her.
“Hello, my name is Laura. Would you like any help?”
“Oh yes” she replied in a soft, cultured English “I’m going to catch the bus back home and I’ll need to cross the road somewhere”.
The idea of this old, blind lady attempting the double traffic crossing ahead filled me with awe and dread. Unlike pedestrian crossings, there is no auditory cue and the speed with which the sighted have to traverse it is akin to being in training for the 100 metre dash.
“It should be about here I think” she said “Only I’ve got confused because I use the railings as a guide but so many bikes are chained to them I lose count of where I am”.
She was actually further back than anticipated so we chatted as I guided her up to and over the traffic lights and waited with her until her bus arrived. She thanked me profusely and commented on how fortunate was our meeting.
What she does not know is that it was no accidental introduction as I’d seen her from my front room window and went down to offer assistance. Nor does she have any idea that at another time I’d held up the bus for her when the driver tried to pull away, just because she had not reached the stop in time.
Despite age and infirmity not only does this octogenarian travel by herself but she comes to attend classes in creative writing and is learning how to use voice recognition software for her stories. Is it sheer courage that impels her or blind faith in human nature to assist her? Probably both.
Written for the Daily Prompt: Random Act of Kindness: Tell us about the time when you performed a secret random act of kindness — where the recipient of your kindness never found out about your good deed. How did the deed go down?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us SECRET.