A Brief and Unusual Obligation
It was a brief interaction. He was in need of help but unwilling to accept it and clearly prone to impulse. Me, just a woman out for a morning jog, not expecting to have the fate of another life placed into my hands before I’d even had my morning shower.
I had noticed him as I approached the part of the footpath that ran between a wooded reserve and a busy road. It was an unusual place for him to be; crouched down close to the footpath. It was before dawn and still dark, but he was so pale he was hard to miss.
As I approached he darted forward, across the footpath and on to the busy road. I lifted my hands to my face in horror. He was saved by an alert driver, quick to the brake pedal. He ran back off the road and to where he had been before, on the edge of the reserve and almost on the footpath.
I jogged up and stopped right next to him. We stared at each other – a silent stand off willing the other to leave or move so that the other party wasn’t left responsible for taking the first action. I thought, what do I do? He is clearly not capable to getting home by himself. But what do I do now? Do I ran to the house across the road? Where he was trying to go? But I dare not leave him alone.