...when she actually just needed a ride. I didn’t ask her name. I didn’t ask where she was going with a big ass aasics bookbag. She looked like she came fresh from practice.
“Can I use your phone?”
I’m not gonna lie, I was a second from walking away from her. Living in a city like Chicago will have you thinking everyone is out to kill you. It sucks because some Chicagoans have a hospitable nature to them, making it hard to distinguish the friendly from the fake.
Still, I couldn’t just leave my sister on the side of the road. I couldn’t help but feel like she needed me, anyway, as she wandered down east 55th. She couldn’t have been older than 15.
“My phone is broken and I don’t see my dad,” she said. “I think I got off at the wrong stop.”
Yup. Just a youngin’. She’s lucky I wasn’t in a rush to roast the produce I was lugging around. I was almost in the clear, too--that point where you walk past someone far enough so you can pretend you can’t hear them. But she caught me with that puppy-dog face and soft voice.
“Uum. I’ll call him for you and put him on speaker. What’s his number?”
After she confirmed with her father over the phone, I asked if she was good, then walked away. I still had to make dinner and this produce wasn’t going to cook itself. But, something in my spirit wouldn’t let me walk in the house. Maybe it was because I actually cared about the girl’s well-being. What if, I thought, something happened to her as soon as I turned the corner? What if she was attacked? I would want someone to make sure I was okay, even if I didn’t know them. Why was I so quick to dismiss this young lady on the street?
I was a block away from the front gate when I turned around. When I got back to the spot she was gone.
I hope she made it home safe and sound.