The first thing that came

The first thing that came to Pati’s mind was to approach the old man right away – what she would do or ask when she did didn’t cross her mind; some form of rashness took over, and she immediately made to cross the street towards him. As she waited impatiently for a chance to slip between the dashing vehicles, she heard a chilling scream that drew her attention to the very same man. From a distance, she could see people gathering around him, and immediately sprinted across the road, oblivious to the protesting horn of the screeching vehicles. By the time she got to the man, she could see three men practically sitting atop him, huffing and puffing as though they were manhandling a giant when clearly the poor man underneath was scrawnier than any one of them.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Pati yelled, squeezing her way forward towards the offending men, who stared at her blankly. “Don’t you have any shame? Three strong men acting so roughly towards a sick, old man.” “With all due respects, ma’am, this man was acting like…” “I don’t care what he did, all I know is that he looks thin and sick and you’re killing him with all your weight!” She pulled the men apart while a part of the crowd cheered, and others came forward to help her remove the offending men.

When everything was cleared out and Pati crouched down to have a better look at the now unconscious man, she thought she could see in his face the good-naturedness she once found in her father’s.


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