The Kindness of Strangers

Today I witnessed something extraordinary.

As I stood idly waiting for the Red Cat bus on Outram Street in West Perth, I watched a man attempt to turn his car around in the middle of the road. It was quiet. I’d left work early for Matt’s birthday tea, and at three in the afternoon, there was hardly a soul about.

The elderly man seem to struggle under the pressure, with cars creeping up slowly from either direction. I saw it seconds before it happened.

As he accelerated backward into an innocently parked car, the collective drop of jaws on impact was almost palpable. I made a mental note of the license plate number as he clumsily pulled over to the side of the road.

The owner of the struck vehicle came ambling out of the physio clinic across the street. He stared straight at me and mouthed and pointed. With a curt nod and tight lips I indicated that it was indeed the old man who had hit his car.

Rather than lose his cool, this victim approached the culprit with an even temper. He opened the driver’s side door and said, “Mate, are you all right?”

The tense feeling lingered in the air, but the gentleman remained calm, and helped the older man to his feet. As the Cat approached to carry me on my way, I missed what followed.

I found the gesture very touching, and sympathized with both parties. What stayed with me the whole way home was the sense of prophesy. I had seen what was about to happen. The bizarre occurrence left me simultaneously queasy, and grateful for the overwhelming kindness of strangers.

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Author: emma a.

I'm Emma, a Minnesota girl getting back in touch with my creative side. Since graduating university in 2008 (the first time), I've been traveling and living abroad. Seven years ago I settled in Australia with my husband. I love running, reading, writing, knitting and pilates. I'm also a physiotherapy student and soon-to-be mother of a baby boy.

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