On my walk to work this morning I saw a young man on office attire sitting on some steps near the Arts Centre, back from the path a little. Quite still, leant forward, elbows on knees, face lowered and trailing tears. Not more than ten metres away the endless throng of morning pedestrians surged along the path, throwing occasional glances at him but continuing on, detached.
I walked over, put down my backpack, knelt in front of him and gently asked if he was ok. He raised his eyes to me, and blinked. I touched the top of his hand gently and ask again, “Are you ok? Is there anything I can help you with? Can I get you some water?”
He blinked again. “No… no. I’m fine,” he croaked, putting his hand on mine and giving it a gentle squeeze. “Thank you. Thank you for asking”.
“Are you sure? I can sit here a while if you like.”
He shook his head slowly and smiled a little, dismissively, I thought. “Thank you. I’m ok.”
I nod. “I hope everything is ok.” I give his hand a squeeze, pick up my bag and continue my walk. I turned back to see him looking after me, hundreds of anonymous faces hurrying around me, past him. A heartbeat’s time before I disappear into that crowd.
I hope he’ll be ok.