I met a girl in Baltimore. I had just got off the coach from Philadelphia and I caught a local bus into downtown. I was completely lost and without the confidence to use my tablet in public I really didn’t know what to do. The bus driver had given me a rough indication on where I needed to get off but from there I was clueless.
Sitting there panicking away to myself, I noticed a girl glancing at me from the other side of the bus. I didn’t think about it too much at the time with everything else that was going through my mind. I got off the bus at the stop I’d been told I needed and the girl soon followed. She asked me if I knew where I was going and I confided that I didn’t. She took the address I was staying at and told me that I needed another bus out of downtown and the stop was a couple of miles away. She said she could walk me there so I duly followed.
It turns out this girl had spent the last few years travelling and volunteering in Africa and South America. She’d returned a few weeks ago to resume her studies in Baltimore. She had noticed my backpack and the pained look on my face and it had reminded her of when she’d arrived somewhere new for the first time.
The whole walk she asked me about my trip, where I’d been, where I was going and listened throughout, enthralled about what I had to say. In truth, I was more interested in her tales as volunteer work in Africa is about as fascinating as it gets but she kept returning the focus to me.
We finally arrived at my destination and she asked me if I had any other questions to which I said no. She said goodbye, wished me luck and turned on her heels and walked back the way we’d come, to her house by the original bus stop. We didn’t even exchange names.
That’s the sort of kindness that is not common enough anymore but its also the sort of kindness that stays with you. “Look Up” reminded me of that event and how fortunate I was that the girl didn’t have her head buried in her IPhone and was able to notice me. Hopefully one day I can pass one the favour.