Are you okay?

You ever have one of those days when everyone but you feels cold. You see people bundled up trying to avoid the searching fingers of the wind and for some reason, it just doesn’t affect you all that much. It was one of those days.

I was waiting for a friend who hadn’t shown up and I drifted outside to what looked like an incredible winter night. A light snow was settling. Not the muddy and sludgy kind, but a soft one. I walked around for a while till I decided to sit down on a nearby bench. With nothing to do and nobody to talk to, my mind went through the usual train of thoughts.

“Need to clean the room. Should probably call mom soon. I am NOT ready for this midterm season. This is nice weather. Should I pizza delivered tonight?” I’m not proud of them all, but they’re what I got. So, there I was just cruising those waves when I saw a girl walk by. I knew her from somewhere and waved, and she waved right back. We had a brief interaction. I was waiting for a friend and she was on her way to the gym. She left and I sat there, waiting for my friend who was in big trouble.

A couple minutes later, I noticed someone sitting down next to me. It was the girl from earlier. I had no clue why she was back but she said, “Hey, you doing okay?” I was, but I wasn’t sure why she asked. She went on, “I just saw you sitting all by yourself in cold weather on a bench and I guess I just wanted to make sure you were doing okay. Anything you wanna talk about?”

And she was right. I was exhibiting almost every sign of someone going through a rough patch who clearly needed someone to talk to. And there she was, doing the right thing. This had never occurred to me and I assured her I was fine, and I’d probably head inside to kick my friends butt over the phone. I was doing good. But what if I hadn’t been? And what if no one had stopped by?

We all go through the trials of life. Surviving the pressures of school, work, family, health and relationships. It is only to be expected that at some point one will need a shoulder to rely on. I could have been a student depressed by his grades, sad at being away from home and tired of life. And that girl could have just walked on without a second thought. Lucky for me, I wasn’t. And kind of her, she didn’t.

It doesn’t talk being a detective to notice people around you. And there’s a fair bunch who have no intention of talking about their losses and failures. But some of them do. A call for help isn’t always out loud, and so many go unheard. We’ve all heard stories about people taking that final leap. And if sitting down and just listening to someone could prevent something like that, is there really any reason not to?