she calls

I gave a woman my phone number and helped her into a taxi before she sped off.

"The grocery store is two blocks and 16-steps away from my house," states 86-year old Irma. "After I fell I worry that I'll run out of food."
"Don't you have any friends or family who can drive you there?" I ask outside the emergency room where I work on weekends.
"No," she replies.

As a spry 28-year old, my weekly 12-block walk to and from the grocery store is no big problem but I know how heavy groceries can get when my list includes a gallon of milk, water, orange juice and detergent. Her voice quaked as she explained her grocery commute but it was the mentioning of the 16-steps that piqued my interest.

Each one of those steps, she explained, was a hurdle that stood in her way of getting food. "My hip hurts so bad I can't even take a bath...I haven't showered in the 14-days since my accident," she says with pity in her voice. She asks me medical questions about when she'll recover and why the doctors were so mean to her. "I don't know," I said, "but tomorrow will be better then today."

She fell asleep as I called her a taxi to take her home and when that taxi arrived I handed her a slip of paper with my phone number on it. "If you can't get to the grocery store call me and I'll pickup whatever you need," I said helping her into the taxi.

Unbeknownst to me Maria, a coworker whom I go with on occasion, was standing behind me waiting to go get some food. "Who was that?" asks Maria. "Your replacement," I say.


I gave a woman my phone number. I hope she calls.
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