To the untrained eye she was a pack rat on the move. Determination in her eyes, she pulled a regulation-sized carry-on bag, while precariously balancing a worn step stool on top. She had two duffel bags slung over her shoulders while simultaneously carrying a ten-foot long broom and a grocery bag filled with soy sauce, raspberry jam, and an odd assortment of soda cans. One could only imagine where she was coming from, where she was going to, or what she was planning on having for dinner.
She had trekked across countless unfamiliar city blocks, conquered numerous flights of stairs, mastered public transportation and earned more than a handful of odd looks.
She was at the last flight of stairs before the home stretch. The process was this: unload the step stool, place the plastic bag of unlikely groceries on top, lean the broom against the wall. Grab the rolling bag, carry it to the top of the stairs, unload the duffel bags along with the rolling bag. Go back for the step stool, the grocery bag, and the broom. Reload and march on. It was almost patentable.
At the bottom of the stairs, she was interrupted by a friendly voice. “Do you need a hand with that?” This was followed by a moment of silence.
About eight distinct thoughts flew through her head. The leading matter of concern was, “Would he run off with my step stool? Would it matter? What would he even do with a step stool anyway? Was it worth the risk?” They were blocking the stairs and a crowd was piling up.
“Yes, please, that would be great. Thank you so much!” He grabbed the step stool and the rolling bag and helped her up the stairs and across the street. He asked her if she needed further help getting to where she was going. She declined. She was close to home and he was already a big help. “Thank you again!” He bid her goodbye and went on his way, leaving the step stool behind.