'Excuse me?! Are you done? I need to make an urgent call.' I said to the woman standing in front of me. She was still holding the telephone receiver in her hand; although what seemed to be a conversation, had ended minutes ago. I looked at my watch and the time was running. 'I have to make the call', I screamed in my head. I thought of tapping her, but decided against it. I was almost ready to blow my top for I was getting impatient. I couldn't see the point of romancing the phone long after all the talking was done.
What he could not see, was my agony, my pain. What he could not see, were my eyes clouded with tears. What he could not see, was the storm that was surging through me. He just couldn't see. How could I blame him? The news that had fallen on my ears had shattered me. I was beyond thinking. I was numb. I was scared. And, at that moment, I was all alone. I must have fainted; for I remember seeing stars before my eyes and blacking out.
Before I knew it, this woman in front of me collapsed suddenly. I was confused. I didn't know how to help her. Should I even touch her? There were not too many people in sight. Those who were, didn't seem to care much for a lady swooning at a phone booth. She needs medical help I guessed. Thankfully, I always carry a bottle of water. I realized the lady had been crying and suffering too. Tears streaked her cheeks and her lips were colorless.
I was feeling cold and hot at the same time. It was like sitting in a tub of cold water while burning with fever. As I revived, this gentleman was holding me, trying to get me drink some water. 'Are you ok? Are you ok?' he was asking continually. I managed to utter that I was fine. But the state in which I was, couldn't even fool a blind man! I started crying at my misery. I was crying at my helplessness. Tears could hardly justify the angst in me.
She was hardly making any sense to me. She babbled like a child. I wonder if she was saying she is fine or otherwise. I waited for someone else to come by and extend a helping hand. People must have thought we were just lovers making up after a tiff. I was holding her close to me - more out of humanity than pity. I asked her what was so wrong. She finally decided to control her convulsions and talk. 'Its my younger brother... he.. he tried to kill himself. He had gulped down almost a bottle of sleeping pills. Neighbour had called to inform... my phone had no balance.... he is dying. He is dying!!!!' She let out another wail.
I don't know why I needed to burden him with my worries. After all, it was my brother who'd taken the extreme step. My brother was dying. Why should he bother? I found myself in new set of questions. I was supposed to reach the hospital. How was I going to do that? I was feeling nauseated. I was wiped out of my strength.
'Which hospital is it? I have a car... I can drop you there.' I couldn't believe my own ears! I said that? I was to make a really urgent call and here I was, offering a free ride to some unknown female!! I wanted to slap myself. What if she was a thug and this was her routine. Besides, it was not a busy hour. Victims like me were easy. However, I saw raw genuineness in her which moved me enough to help her.
Today, after 17 years, I still remember that man who helped me when I was helpless. Hadn't it been for him, I would have never been able to hold my little brother's hand while he was dying. I never got around to asking his name. I don't even remember thanking him during such tormenting situation. God bless the stranger who was kind enough to do all this for me.
Today, after 17 years, I still remember that woman who I thought was romancing the phone receiver. I never got around to making that important phone call. I lost some lifetime opportunities. But I still do not regret my decision of helping her out.