The lights are so bright, people lively, cars honking each other yet I seem to be trapped down memory lane. I spotted a red car seated at the side of the road. "George used to drive a similar one," a sad smile accompanied the words. I still am bothered by his death, guilt looming greater than I care to bear. I missed him dearly, even more so now knowing that when we meet again it will be in the dirt where he and my mother were lain to rest. I know I'm being daft but he always gave the best advice, the warmest hugs and I would give everything to have him back here with me after the eventful days of past. I thought about mother too though those memories were tainted by the woman lost to her insecurities.
The chatter in my mind skipped one train of thought to another unwilling to let the emptiness claim me. My evening stroll was rudely interrupted when a hobbling creature decided plant itself in front of me.
"Hey thar girly. Loogin fer a good time?"
The drunk seemed to be addressing me. I simply made to step around him. "whoa thar! You def or somthin? I asked if you wana gooood time," he said with a druken slur as he held firm onto my arm. "No! I want none of that. Please Sir unhand me," I spoke trying to keep the unease out of my voice. Either he didn't hear me or simply did not care to for he leaned in closer than I would have liked letting his revolting stench mix with my breath. I panicked. My free arm shot out to defend me socking him right between his eyes. The motion took him off guard. The easing of his grip allowed me to wrench my arm back, I ran down the path not daring to see if he followed. I ran till my breath came out hurried. Paranoia urged me to keep pace though I knew I had out run him or he chose not to chase for there was no hurried footsteps in the background, so I slowed into a quick gait. As my body was trying to return to it's normal physiological state I was still alert looking over my shoulder wondering if a new threat would manifest from the shadows.
"Damn. Last week with the purse snatching now the drunk, what eventful thing would cross me next. Where even am I? "
Not two seconds before I uttered the words I tripped up on something, aiming to keep my face off the gravel I let my arms bear that burden. "Ouch! What-" my words cut short when the reason I was sitting on gravel was a man, an unconscious man, dripping blood down the side of his head pushed up against a brick wall in a dimly lit street. I felt the panic from earlier stir. "God I hope he breathes," dread seeping into every word. Reaching out I held my hand against his nose hoping there would be life.
"Yes! He is alive. Praise the heavens." This did little to edge away my present concerns.
Poor man. How does one end up here with a wound such as that? Help, I needed help. Looking around brought me a sinking feeling. The street was dead. Nothing but drunks shuffling in the dark and a few vagrants littering the sidewalks. Curses! No one even dared look my way, all seeing eyes simply kept to themselves. A groan to my side had me assessing the unlucky bastard forgotten on the road side. I willed myself to aid him. I lightly tapped his cheeks, "Sir! Please wake Sir! If you are able I'd like you to stand for me." A garbled sound came from within him. "Do you remember anything? Can you stand?" I questioned. It would seem garbles and groans are the only things in his vocabulary right now. Apprehension cluttering in my belly spoke of unrest this night if I were to leave him be.
I shook him lightly seeing as he was starting to come to. I raised his arm resting it on my small frame hoping my body would not collapse under his weight. He was quite a large mass, partially unconscious added to that. This is going to be hell! "Come now, stand," I coaxed, while I assured with," I'll bear most of your weight. You need only rest against me. " The giant man did as told to only fall back to his familiar spot this time along with me. Sigh. Groan. "Oh forgive me. Did you get hurt?" I could swear he was frowning when I dropped him if he didn't looked so dazed. "Help! Help! This man needs-," my distressed plea was cut off with his attempt at speech. "What? What is it? " I worriedly questioned. This is terrible he is too large for me to support. "Stay. I will bring help," I assured a man who looked like he passed out again.
Anyone— someone—look my way. I tried persuading any stranger I met to come back with me, they refused deeming me mad. Fatigue set in. Frightened, I beg God to save that man. "Can't have people dying," a choked sob left me. I was losing hope when a tap on my shoulder seemed to be my reprieve.
"Please kind Sir take care not to injure him further. He has a wound that is bleeding," I worried. "I see it. Nasty thing, guy is going to have one hell of headache when he wakes," he cringed, then questioned, "You a friend of the lad or something?" "Um..I actually trip-found him lying here, you see, in that state," I answered honestly. " Just found him eh?" he smiled,"I don't see why anyone would help a stranger, a large man no less however if what you told me was true, you are a kind woman." I did not feel particularly kind. I just wanted to help him for my own selfish reasons : having no control over your mother's death then having heard your previous caretaker passed away without your knowledge, one would try to stop death at all costs even if it was a stranger's. He needn't know of that though so I just gave him a smile. The stranger with the long beard seemed to know his way around the area so I didn't worry him much with directions as I rattled off my address.
The bearded stranger manoeuvered the man out the back seat into the house. The bearded gentleman was rather apprehensive about leaving a stranger on my couch alone with me making me promise I would send the guy packing the moment he was able to move. I hadn't thought much about all the concerns really. So I promised then thanked him profusely for all he had done.The kind man only smiled saying, "It was my pleasure to aid a lady in distress. You take care of yourself and that fellow. His wound does not seem too bad he shouldn't need too much care. Call me should you need any help; be safe."
I chose some towels wetting it in water to clean him. The bleeding had stopped, what remained was dried blood stuck to his face. The gentleman was right the wound wasn't bad, flesh wound at best, though there is a slight swelling. Will he be fine on the couch or should I drop him off at a hospital? Then say what when they question me, I don't know him.Worse.. What if they think I did it? Would they lock me up? Staring at the burly man another set of alarming thoughts came over me. Might he steal from me? A ruffian mayhap, it would explain why I found him that way. If so that doesn't not board well for my safety. Immediately vacating the area I rushed to the safety of the bedroom, barricading myself within. Emotionally, physically and mentally frazzled that's where I stayed.