Hello and welcome to a Writing Wednesday! Sorry that this wasn’t posted yesterday; i was really busy with my family. This is from the perspective of an innocent bystander who saw the fight in Mark I. It’s the same day, the same time, the same city, and the same place from a different character’s perspective where they share why they were on the subway that day.
I wake up an hour earlier than my alarm, at five thirty in the morning. I sigh and climb out of bed, standing to my full five feet and two inches. I decide to take the early subway and surprise Mrs. Emerson with a morning tea. I clean her house, and many others, for a living. I silently fold the corner of the sheet that i rumpled so not to wake up Harold, my husband. I walk to my bathroom, take a shower, and put on clothes for the day. After making sure that Cynthia and Elaine, our two little twin girls who are four, are still sound asleep in their room, i make my way downstairs and walk to the earlier subway.
The second i get to the middle cars of the subway, i hear cheers and claps and shouts of joy. I stand higher on my toes and peer over shoulders and heads to see what all the commotion is about. All i can see is a girl, maybe seventeen, walking way down the subway holding a little boy’s hand who looks like he has down syndrome. They’re walking away from a man in a suit who… no way. I recognize him. And i also realize what he just did.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I yell, walking right up to him. The commotion dies down and everyone is looking at me in confusion. The man turns around and looks at me. He recognizes me too. He recognizes me because i used to nanny his kid. His kid who he gave up to his own mother. His kid who had down syndrome. So why would he pick a fight with a girl whose brother has the same medical problem his abandoned child does?
I thought he would pick a fight but he just walks away. He clutches his briefcase tight to his chest and walks away. So, i do too. I walk to a car close to the front and bury my nose into a newspaper. Then i hear a loud noise and look up to see a girl with short, red hair toppling over onto an old woman who has a blind cane. Just then, the subway whizzes past and i realize the elderly woman almost walked off of the platform and into the path of the subway. They both stand and start talking. I smile to myself because things like this give me hope in humanity; the ‘hoodlum’ teenager with buzzed hair and her skateboard saved an elderly woman’s life.
I open Mrs. Emerson’s door and am shutting it when i hear a noise. She usually isn’t awake this early.
“Mrs. Emerson? Are you awake? I decided to come earlier today,” i call out.
“Julia? Is that you, dear?” I hear Mrs.Emerson’s elderly voice call from somewhere upstairs. She is in her late eighties and, despite my and her children best efforts, refuses to move into an assisted living home.
“Yes, Mrs. Sorry if i startled you-” I start but she interrupts me.
“Nonsense! I need your help!” She calls out. I pounce up the stairs when i realize i hear water running. This has happened many times before.
“Which bathroom, Mrs.?” I yell.
“The Master,” Mrs. Emerson says in a shaky voice. I sprint to the Master bedroom and through it to the bathroom. Mrs.Emerson is sitting in her nearly overflowing, with water and bubbles, bathtub, reaching for the faucet to turn it on. Only, the faucet handles are just out of reach. And so is her cane. I turn off the water and take her hand, glad the rest of her body is covered in bubbles.
“Thank you, Julia. Thank you,” she says. I’ve been cleaning Mrs. Emerson’s house everyday for twenty years now. She comes over every holiday, with her kids, because they love our Mexican cooking and our kids. She is like my mother, since my own is gone.
Then i think about something. If i hadn’t woken up an hour before my alarm, if i hadn’t decided to actually get up and take the early subway, and if i hadn’t seen the man i recognized and gotten on a car further up the subway, Mrs. Emerson would’ve flooded her house or worse, drowned. If none of this had happened, she wouldn’t be okay.
“Everything happens for a reason,” i say to myself. At least, i thought i did until she turns to me, smiles, and says,
“That it does.”
Thanks for reading and please like, comment any suggestions, feedback or questions and follow for weekly posts! Come back next Wednesday for the same day, the same time, the same city, and the same place from a different character’s perspective where they share their lives and why they were on the subway that day. Until next time,