Posts Tagged ‘stranger at the door’

I was going to blog about writing today, but a wierd thing happened to me at the beginning of the week and with it, mixed responses. It made me question whether my decision was right or wrong. Let me explain.

On Monday, I’d arranged to see a friend. As I neared her house, a police car drove up behind me, lights flashing and sirens wailing. I pulled my car to the kerb to let him pass and then continued on my way.

The police car stopped not far from my friends house. Passengers from two stationary buses had unborded and the police officer were talking to a young man.

I got to my friends front door, watched the police for a few minutes (as I’m nosey), then went inside.

An hour later there was a knock at the door. My friend was busy making lunch and asked if I would answer it. When I opened the door, a young man smiled, apologised for bothering me, and politely asked if I would telephone for an ambulance as he had chest pains. I recognised him immediately as the young gentlemen the police had removed from the bus some sixty minutes earlier, and I questioned him on this. He confirmed it had indeed been him and that he’d only been trying to get to the hospital.

The smell of alcohol was evident, and his demeanor suggested he’d had more than one drink. Nevertheless, I told him to wait where he was and I would telephone an ambulance.

After I shut the door, my friend asked who had knocked. I explained the situation to her and then telephoned the local police station. They asked several questions: How old was the gentleman? What was he wearing? My friends address? I explained the earlier bus situation and that I suspected the young man to be intoxicated, hence why I opted to phone the police and not an ambulance. The police said they’d send an officer and also contact the medical service.

I relayed this message to the young man, who still waited on the doorstep, and then shut the door again.

Outside was absolutely freezing and at this point I also considered taking out a blanket to keep him warm. My friend laughed at me and said she would have sent him on his way. But, her mum said she would have done the same as I.

Also, by now the man had drank another can of beer and now lay on the doorstep.

Less than ten minutes later a paramedic arrived. He parked a few houses down and my friend told me to go outside and get him – which I did. The paramedic checked the man, who was now unresponsive and to be honest, looked dead.

Eventually, the man opened his eyes. The paramedic worked wonders. Within two minutes we knew the guys name, age, and that he stayed in a shelter. He was only twenty-five. This revelation brought tears to my eyes. How could someone so young have already reached such a low?

The paramedic discussed the complaint of chest pains and explained that an ambulance was on it’s way but the young man couldn’t lie just to get a warm bed for the night.

Then the ambulance arrived and the man was propped up and helped into the back.

At this stage I went back indoors.

My friend thought I was totally nuts even entertaining this man in the first place, and my sister, who I later retold the story to, agreed. However, my mum and my friends mum said I’d acted correctly. My husband sat on the fence with his decision because he knows me and understood my conscious wouldn’t, regardless of this mans lifestyle, let me live with turning him away.

I am not a stupid person. I have worked for the police. I know how to deal with people, how to question people (well, apart from I when I am with Kristen Lamb and we visit Bonsai Gardens, but that is a whole other story), and under no circumstances would I have invited this person into the house.

So, my question to you is this. What would you have done? In today’s age, where people are attacked in the street and passersby don’t lift a finger to intervene, was I right? Would you have done the same? Or, was my friend and sister right? Should I have ignored him and closed the door?

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