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I failed at being a hero today
i had my chance today, i could have helped a poor east
european girl who doesn't know any english on the right
train. but i blew it. i met her the first time when she
ran up to me and tugged on my jacket (me being half-deaf
usually precipitates this greeting). she then blows me away
by asking in broken (very, very broken) german, if this is
the train she wants. i have no idea what she's asking and
just shrug, i notice that i've seen her a on the train every
day and i recognized her at first because of what she wore
and i thought, "she's not american, five bucks says she's
not american." so i owe myself five bucks. anyhow, she's a
really nice girl and i can say this because i have spoken 5
words with her. 3 in german and 2 in english. i remember
her grateful expression as i understood what she wanted and
helped her find the train.
well there the two of us were. see its always weird with
us, we acknowledge each other but we never speak, i tihnk
this is because she was (and is) tremendously embarrassed
that she can't speak english. i really felt badly for her
when i didn't understand her at first, the pain in her eyes
was just sick for something so stupid. anyhow, she usually
smiles and we do the thing that black people do, which is
nod our heads in recognition. so there we are running
towards the train, 5 mins. till it leaves. then came a huge
conundrum, the computer showing the tracks was out and
everyone was running pell-mell back and forth yelling at
conductors to find out where htey should go. the two of us
split and i remember seeing her cautiously jog through a car
on one of the tracks. i went into the one further down and
realized it was the wrong one. i ran out to find our car 10
tracks down, the one that we had initially wanted was
already gone so this one wasn't leaving for another 7 mins.
i raced down there when i hit the brakes.
"wait, is she still in that other car? damn when does it
leave? shit that's going in the exact opposite direction!"
i skid to a stop and hightail it back, looking at my watch,
i look into all of the windows of the train i think she's on
but can't see her. with 5 mins left i rush into the car and
go thorugh the aisles (there are two floors of the car). i
notice that the car is starting to move.
"oh sweet jesus, i look down and it's 5:25." i run out to
the conductor and tell then i make one of those weird
decisions. i step out onto the platform as it starts
rolling, sot he conductor gets pissed as all hell as someone
dares overstep the safety boundary. as he comes to admonish
me i tell him,
"theres a girl on there who shouldn't be on there!"
he gave me the weirdest look in the world and said,
"you should take better care of your girl then."
ouch. i didn't have any chance to even say anything witty in
reply. he was whisked away by the train and i stood there,
freezing fucking cold and feeling completely dejected. that
poor girl was going the opposite direction....and sigh. i
looked down at my watch......2 mins.
i raced onto my train and went through every corridor on
there, my heart jumping at eveyr white beanie and red coat
hoping it was her.
no such movie ending. well fuck.