Just us 2... and the world dissolves
There's something absolutely magical and beautiful about sharing something with someone you don't know. And I don't mean sharing a pen or a pencil, or something of that sort. I'm talking about sharing something intimate like an umbrella.
Now I've got you thinking -- an umbrella? What so intimate about an umbrella. Well, I never thought an umbrella to be intimate but until yesterday, something made me change my mind.
I was at a T-junction along the road on the way back when it started to pour. I plucked out my umbrella from my bag and carelessly sheltered myself, trying hard to stay dry and fight the gusty winds. Behind me there was this punkish looking kid in uniform, pierced and tattooed, nothing like me at all. She was skinny, short, slightly hunched with yellow-orange rings around her eyes (probably due to too much smoking).
Standing beside her, we were worlds apart. I had just finished work, so was dressed in smart casual, my fair pinned neatly behind my ears (or so I would like to think so). I looked at her scramble to find her umbrella but to no avail.
I don't know what came over me but I was compelled to reach out to her -- to almost "prod" her back to the reality -- or the "normal" life. I walked a couple of steps, stood beside her, silent and managed to shelter her with my umbrella. She looked up at me, gave a shy smile, nodded, as if to acknowledge, and looked down. There we both stood, total opposites, no one saying anything --silence--.
I didn't dare to looks at her, and likewise, it seemed we knew we had nothing common to share, save for cursing the rain beating mercilessly down our backs.
2 different people - 2 walks of life. She was she, I was I. We waited in slight awkwardness for the green man to indicate that it was safe for us to proceed across the road. The green man flashed and it was almost as if i was willed by God, I draped my hands around her shoulder and pulled her close.
I could feel her frail shoulders quivering as I held her by my side, walking with her across the road to the shelter. As I walked, I continued to pull her closer, as if to say "come nearer, keep out of the rain...". My hands struggling to hold her in and keep her out of the rain. Then it all felt comfortable, like she was my younger sister I wanted to protect. For a second, I could feel her lean close to me, as if to accept my embrace. The weight of her body leaning against me, our steps in unison as we walked forward in small strides.
2 girls drenched in the rain, with nothing to talk about, nothing in common, save for a moment where there was this mutual need for comfort under the pouring rain.
Just as quick as I had put my arms around her, we reached the sheltered walkway and we parted company. She never looked up to thank me, neither did I attempt to look in her eyes. I really have no idea why I didn't have the guts to look at her. It's puzzling. I wish I did.
But thinking back, whereever she is, I hope she's safe. And warm. It's funny how seemlessly trivial and dumb stuff can evoke such strong feelings in me. The fuzzy feeling about altruism, , or the caring for someone else, other that ourselves, expecting nothing in return.
Or maybe I'm just emo... but we could have been friends...