Not a Stranger Danger

I don’t like strangers. I like strangers. It depends on a lot of things. This time, I’m going to write about how you’re not always in danger around a stranger.

Strangers are humans, too. So they can be our friend. Even our friends were once strangers to us, too, anyway. Yesterday, I had another weird meeting with a stranger. Maybe for the stranger it wasn’t weird but for me it is.

Crying while walking on the street is normal for me. Unfortunately, this person did not notice I was about to cry before he approached me. He was, I suppose, in desperate need. He needs to go home but he’s short on money. He had a little problem with his ATM and he’s only got two pesos left. He needs 28 more pesos to get home. As he was trying to explain to me his problem, he looked like he was about to cry. He wasn’t able to cry, though. My eyes gave in before he can cry. I was trying my best not to cry. It’s just that there’s already enough water in both my eyes to let down one tear each. When the first one came rolling down, he noticed because I wiped it. He asked if I was okay. I said yes, I’m okay. Then he tried to explain again. The second tear just had to go. He noticed it again and asked is I was crying. I shook my head “no” and told him to just proceed with what he’s saying. He asked again if I’m okay. He asked me with quite a concern so I kind of gave in like how people on TV and movies cry when they’re not okay and someone finally notices they are not and asks them then they cry. I was like that. Only, instead of saying yes, I was just looking at him, trying to hold back my tears though you can actually start filming me already because of the reaction on my face. He wanted me to tell him what it is that’s making me cry. He insisted and of course I was uncomfortable. Why would I tell a stranger how I feel? Why would I trouble him? My friends might already be on their way to the mall where we’ll meet. I’m usually the most and only punctual friend. I don’t want to come late with puffy eyes. So I talked to the stranger to get it over with. I gave him an idea of what I’m going through and even though I really didn’t want to talk, I appreciate that he’s really trying to help. I haven’t even given him the 28 pesos and this person wants me to smile again and tells me I’ll be okay and that what I’m going through is normal and will be over soon. He didn’t get what I mean exactly but just the fact that he wastes time on a pathetic girl like me is, well, overwhelming. There was a point in our conversation where one of my friends was already calling me and I was in a dilemma. Shall I answer? Even with the tears in my eyes and his heartfelt words? I just let him talk. He made me smile and laugh a few times. I found out he’s in the marketing industry while I’m in advertising. He asked me my name and I told him my nickname (my real name will just cause more talk) and he told me his, well, I don’t know if it’s also just his nickname or if it’s his first name. He gave me a hug and shook my hand. I gave him his 28 pesos. I kind of felt like I bought kindness for 28 pesos. He thanked me. I said thank you, you helped me more than I helped you. We said goodbye again and we went our ways.

Crying while walking on the street is normal for me. What was different yesterday was there was somebody who will not let me just keep crying on the street and it was a stranger. I’m the type of person who finds it hard to make friends and I’m never the one to approach a person first. I don’t get comfortable with people after a meeting or two. I take more than enough time. Talking to a stranger is uncomfortable and weird for me. What’s worse is I’m telling him one of my problems. But sometimes, there’s just no one available at the actual moment. Maybe this person is sent. Or maybe life just knows how to have fun. Whatever happened, I’m okay that it happened. I can’t say I’m glad because I still think and feel weird about it. Maybe because it was really surprising. I let a stranger hug me. It wasn’t so bad. We can all use a hug sometimes. And I learned one thing from him. He said if I really don’t want to tell my problems to anybody, I can go spill it at the wind. Why not? The wind can’t complain or at least I won’t be hearing its judgement. I could use that advice.

I don’t think I can do the same for other people. I mean, I can’t do what that stranger did to me for other strangers. I just hope if you’re reading this and you’re not socially awkward like me, you’d try to do what that stranger did for me. You can do it in your own way. It’ll probably feel good. By the way, don’t we all need each other?

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The Girl with the Red Sneakers

What bright yellow dress

You are wearing this morning.

It shows no sign of stress

Though it’s the other way you are facing.


You look so classy,

Your watch told me so.

And your bag doesn’t look heavy

Just ready to go.


It was your shoes that caught my eye,

That I had to look twice.

Weren’t those shoes worn by

The girl I bid goodbye?