" You're going into town aren't you, on your way to work. Mind if i walk with you? "
" Yeah sure, i don't mind." Why not ? I thought.
She joined me and we headed for town.
" I don't like to be out walking after dark" she told me as we walked.
Well why did you stay so long ? Women! I thought to myself, never mind.
" I know what you mean. I don't enjoy walking these backstreets in the dark myself."
" It's not safe and no-one will help you, nobody cares, i'm epileptic."
" I know, and there are those who would cut you for a handful of coins."
The small talk continued....
" It's not that people don't care so much, i think, as not knowing what to do. I certainly wouldn't look the other way but,,, it's scary." I told her.
"Yeah, i suppose".
As we walked along the High Street we could hear the siren of an emergency service sounding loud and clear.
" Oh great."
Suddenly she was afraid.
" Flashing lights."
" Okay, lets go down here until it's gone, i can wait with you, there's plenty of time."
We turned down a backstreet and waited as an ambulance screamed by with blue lights flashing.
"Yeah i think so".
And then as we got within a few meters of the bus stop it happened.
"I'm going to fit". She said, so matter of factly, i remember it so clearly now.
"No, i'm going to have a fit."
NO! You can't, not now, not here, shit! Why me? Argh!!
Well, fit she did and there was i soiling my boxers.
We got to a public bench and sat, she held my hand and started to shake.
" I need you to call an ambulance now."
Once again i was struck how calm, well no, not calm but organised as i proceeded to make a complete hash of things. This had obviously happened before.
I switched my mobile on, fumbled with holding the button down to "unlock keyboard" but i got there and dialed 999.
" Hello, this is the emergency service, fire ambulance or police?"
" Erm,,, yeah."
I was in shock, mumbling like a lunatic.
"Fire ambulance or police?"
The voice at the other end asked again patiently.
"Please hold while i put you through".
I can't remember what happened next only that i had got through telling the switchboard operator where we were then the line went dead. A second attempt saw an ambulance alerted i think but again, my fookin mobile. Now we were both shaking violently but she stayed calm, handed me her phone, 999 already dialed, and this time we scored. I was asked questions about the young woman's health which she answered with nods of yes and no, our location and this person would talk me through waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
The young woman, unable to speak kept pointing to a woman over the road who was standing outside a shop talking into her mobile phone. How did we ever live without those things? maybe she knew the woman with the mobile, i may never know and then maybe she'd just feel safer having a woman with her. Either way i would have to go and ask this woman, a complete stranger for help.
" I'm really sorry but there's woman over there going into an epileptic fit and i don't know what to do."
She looked up and dashed across to help, within a few minutes the stricken woman was lying on her side shaking and then, purely by chance, oh what joy, a nurse who was passing by took control of the situation. The nurse knelt down and made sure all that could be done was being done.
" I've called for an ambulance it's on it's way." I hoped.
" We need an ambulance now, this is a prolonged fit."
I heard her say as i stood some distance from her, waiting and hoping to flag down an ambulance sometime soon.
The nurse took out her phone, at least she would handle it better than i had.
I had let the bus that i usually catch go without me but i couldn't let the next one go.
" I'm sorry but i've got to catch the bus for work."
" Yes okay, thank you for help sir."
I turned and fled, caught my bus and went to work.
I do hope she's okay.