Crazy Can Sometimes Be Stupid, Sometimes Brave

by Ginger on July 11, 2013

in Day in the Life

By nature, I am not an adventurous person. I don’t do crazy things–I’m not a skydiving, bungee jumping, quit your job and travel around the world kind of person. I’m a practical person, to a fault, someone who thinks of the logistics and the whys and why nots before doing almost everything.

Almost.

I have done a few somewhat crazy things. I flew across the country by myself to try out for a summer performance group my freshman year of college. I spent a summer performing around the country living out of a bus. I got my bellybutton pierced on a whim. I quit my job and two weeks later moved to Conneticut to get a job in New York. I quit my job in New York and moved across the country to San Diego with no job lined up (for my husband or myself). I have even eaten sushi from a questionable deli! 😉 But beyond those things, most of my craziest moments have to do with silly outfits I wore for Halloween in college, or having a THIRD margarita when I have to get up and go to work the next morning.

Except for one thing. One thing I did, which I remain proud of, but which I also know could have been bad (which means I got lucky). I still think it was kind of crazy.

This was when we lived in Jersey City. I was walking back from the store in the middle of the day on a Sunday, and I cut through the parking lot of this sporting goods store to cut a few blocks off my walk. This parking lot was sort of tucked back away from the street, behind the store. There was an empty lot behind it, and an empty building on one side, so it was pretty hidden from view–plus it was Sunday, and the sporting goods store was closed. So, basically, an empty parking lot.

As I come into the parking lot, I see a pickup truck parked up ahead to my right. And I hear someone screaming something. I can’t figure out what it is right away, but since I have to walk past the truck to continue on my path, it gets louder and louder, until I can distinguish the words:

STAY AWAY FROM ME. GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME. STOP TOUCHING ME. GO AWAY. LEAVE ME ALONE.

Over, and over, and over. A woman’s voice. And a low male voice saying something as she’s screaming, too quietly for me to hear.

Now, along with not being adventurous, I’m also not brave. I’m not someone who likes to interrupt someone to ask a simple question, much less get involved in someone else’s business. And so this is what happened in my brain: “You don’t know what’s going on. But what if it’s something bad? But what if it’s not? Then you’ll look silly, but you’ll know. But I’m kinda scared. But…what happens if you leave? What happens if you hear something happened later? How do you walk away?”

This all took almost no time, and by the time I got to the last part, I was on the other side of the truck, where I could see a guy standing in the doorway of the pickup, while a woman tried to push him out of the way to get past him.

And so, the craziest thing I ever did, was I spoke up:

“HEY. SHE SAID TO LEAVE HER ALONE.”

I stayed about 25 feet from the truck. (This was before I had a cell phone all the time, or I would have called the cops then). But I spoke up. And when he heard me, he stepped away from the truck, and she jumped out.

They were a couple, having a fight. She didn’t run away from him, but she got out of the truck, and stopped screaming. He kept saying, “She’s just mad at me. She’s fine.” And I kept saying, “but she doesn’t SOUND fine. She sounds afraid.” And I kept asking her, “Are you ok? Do you need to come with me? Do you want me to call someone?” And she just shook her head.  I stayed there, rooted to that spot by that truck, for a good 15 minutes, talking to both of them. I told them I wasn’t going to leave until SHE told me to leave, and that I felt sure she was doing it because she felt safe. He didn’t argue with me, and said he wasn’t going to hurt her, so he would stay or leave or whatever she wanted him to do.

Eventually, she took the keys from him, and said she was fine, and that they were leaving. I asked her over and over if she was sure, but she insisted. And then she got behind the wheel and he got in the passenger side, and they drove off.

I still don’t know if I should have done something different, or if she was going to be in a bad situation later, or if she was screaming about something different, or…what. I like to hope that he wasn’t really a threat to her, that they were just having a bad fight. I don’t like to think he was otherwise, because then letting her drive off with him makes me more scared for what happened to her. But I hope that somehow, in that moment, I helped that woman. Even if it was just to give her room to breathe. I think about it now, and man, am I lucky that *I* didn’t end up in danger. The whole thing was all around the scariest, stupidest, craziest, bravest thing I’ve ever done.

***

Prompt from Bring Back the Words, Week 4.

Heather July 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Way better than an elephant, my friend. I love you so much, for being so brave, and for stepping in. I am glad you were both safe.

Jesabes July 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Wow, that’s a scary situation! I’m glad it turned out OK. Way to be brave!

oilandgarlic July 12, 2013 at 10:14 am

That was very brave. It’s important to step in and help.

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