He offered to help the old lady in picking up the groceries that had spilled out of her green bag all across the staircase when they bumped into each other this cold winter morning. The lady, who was new to the building complex, on the other hand, had a few foul words to speak of youngsters who have no respect whatsoever for the elderly, how a child may have played with the elevator to break it and how painful it was for her to walk up the two flights of stairs. He adjusted his shades while he picked up her groceries and listened to whatever the old lady chose to say and then, apologised again, with a smile. The lady finally smiled too and offered him a warm cuppa at her place. ‘May be, I’ll drop by after work, I am kind of running late‘, he replied politely, ‘what’s your unit number?‘
‘213, drop by when you are back in the evening, where do you work son?‘ the lady tried to make up for coming out as a rude person a few seconds earlier.
‘I sure will, oh, I work at the aged care center just two blocks from here, I am really grateful they let me continue even when I lost my eye sight last year in a road accident, I am lucky I have lived here all my life so I practically wasn’t impacted. Anyway, I’ll see you in the evening…. and really sorry again‘, he left hurriedly then cruising through the rest of the stairs, while the lady stood still, as darker memories came rushing back to her.
The person on the other end of phone had said, almost a year ago now on a cold winter morning similar to today, ‘I am really sorry Mrs Stevens, Mr Stevens was in a road accident this morning, I am afraid he couldn’t make it, His car ran over a traffic signal and hit a pedestrian…”she barely had heard anything more. She was informed by the police later that week that the pedestrian her late husband had hit was out of danger but has lost his eye sight. The pedestrian asked for complete privacy thereafter and any efforts that she made to get in touch went in vain.
I told him to uber that morning. The doctors had clearly asked him to refrain from driving, his eyesight was getting weaker everyday, reflexes getting slower and he couldn’t differentiate between the traffic signal colors….if only we didn’t become so stubborn with age….Mrs Stevens thought, as she slowly climbed up the stairs.