Student - October 8, 2009

God's blessings

Twilight falls on Platform 2 in Arnhem Station. Standing on my left is a commuter with a laptop bag; on my right is a woman in a pink jogging suit. She shouts something out. Curious, I sneak closer.

The woman looks old; the bags under her eyes are really gigantic. Even her white gym shoes cannot do their part to make her look sportive whatsoever. Oops, I've crept a little too close for comfort again. She has spotted me.
'Do you have a euro for me?' she asks, pulling a helpless face with her eyes and the bags underneath. 'My mother lies on her death bed and I have to be in Doetinchem.' Her face is full of green, red and blue patches; the smell of alcohol drifts to my nose. 'I don't have any money with me', I lie and walk away. Pink jogging pants decides to follow.
Why does my curiosity always get the better of me, I mutter to myself. I should have known what (not) to do after my encounter with a drunken hairy man who blamed 'the woman' for his misery. Alas! Pink jogging suit slips in front of me and begins her plea. She is alone, so perhaps I don't have to be so frightened.
'I've been raped, I've been abused and nobody in the world will help me.' The woman pads up her story by referring to each and every blue patch on her face. 'Sorry, I really don't have anything. I'm a student', I reply, stammering. 'Perhaps the day care centre or the Salvation Army can do something?' The woman looks me right in the eye. 'No. Nobody wants to help me. Nobody. But you at least would. Therefore you'll still receive God's blessings. You're a good person.'
Flabbergasted, I board my train. I see pink jogging pants drifting aimlessly across the platform. As the train leaves, I open my wallet.  In it, there are not one, but three euros. What a good person I am.

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