Q. If you saw someone crying on a bench, would you approach him or her or would you ignore them?
answered by Shobha Pai, lives in Toronto, ON (2009-present)
It was snowing and I was passing by the park which was totally deserted in -14 deg. I saw someone on the park bench and it stunned me because nobody comes to park in winter after oct till May. There were 15–30 cm of snow on the ground so, I was thinking how to reach closer to see whether it’s a girl, boy, man or a woman. I was worried as to how long the person was on the bench and how long did he or she plan to continue sitting there. I thought of calling 911 then decided against it. I shouted “ HELLO! Are you okay? No response because you cannot hear in winter and wind so no point in shouting.
I tried to get as close as possible and I saw 14–15 years old white girl sitting hunched in cold. I called her loudly and she turned. I waved and asked her to come closer so, she got up and came to talk to me. I could make out she was sad and hungry. I enquired whether she would love to go for a coffee and doughnut in Tim’s. She looked worried but I insisted that, she doesn’t need to pay. I have my wallet so, she agreed.
We walked faster because it was very cold and we had 10 minutes walk which seems like half an hour in winter. Luckily we both were appropriately dressed. We entered the Tim’s and not a soul on the road or Tim’s. I ordered my French vanilla and told her to go ahead and order whatever she wishes to eat. She ordered chicken wrap, donuts and a coffee.
We searched for a corner seat and settled down. We both finished our food and I asked her if she needs help in any way. She told me, she is being abused by her step father and showed me marks on her body. I was angry but smilingly, I took out all the information of her step father and address. I asked whether, she wanted to stay in my basement guest room for few days but she refused because of her schooling.
We parted ways. I told her not to worry, things will be fine soon. She smiled and looked very beautiful. Since I was a secretary cum treasurer in High school parents council, I knew few cops who gave workshop about gangs, etc. The guy had given me his visiting card so, I searched and called the guy. I told him everything. He took every detail and told me to forget about the talk and incident.
After about a month or so, I met the girl by accident. She didn’t seem to recognize me so I walked away. Then I felt someone calling and running towards me so, I turned around to see her standing in front of me. I smiled and asked if everything is all right? She asked me whether we met before. I told her about the incident in park. She was happy to see me. I asked her about her step father and she told me, he was arrested and she and her mom were happy together. We had a talk and I told her to focus on her university graduation. She told me she got A grade for the first time and she does weekend jobs. I gave her few employment agencies number and left. My daughter is just three years younger than her, so I felt a bonding with this child.
P.S Thanks for all the kind, humble upvotes and shares. I appreciate it. 👍🏻🇨🇦
source : Quora