The Good Samaritan
This afternoon on our way back from lunch, my friend Laura and I were going around a bend in the road close to our offices, she works about 1/2 a block from me, but we never get the opportunity to spend time together anymore.
We start around the bend when we both notice a body laying in the grass just off the road. We looked at each other and made the decision to turn around and go check on him. I pulled a U-turn and floored it back to the area. By the time we got back there was another car parked nearby. Inside was a woman who had a frightened look on her face. Laura found the police spray I keep in the arm rest, handed it over and I took off. I first went to the car parked nearby and asked the woman if she knew the gentleman, “No, I keep asking if he’s okay but he’s not responding.”
My hands started shaking and I walked over to the body on the side of the road. “Sir?” I asked as I tapped his arm. “Sir? Sir?” I kept tapping, no response. The man looked to be 24-26 years old, wearing a nice pair of jeans and a button up plaid shirt along with a nice pair of sunglasses. “SIR!” I urged. My tapping his arm wasn’t working so I stood up and nudged him with my foot. “SIR! SIR!” Finally, his eyes opened.
He stared at me with eyes the color of the sky on a cloudless day that barely opened. Instantly I felt my body tense and go on full alert. My hands started shaking with the police spray in one hand, the ever handy crackberry in the other. “Sir? Are you okay?” I asked. Still staring daggers through me, he replied, “Yeaaaah. I’m fine.” “Oh. Okay!” I yelled as I hightailed it to my car. I told the frightened woman in the other car that he was okay, she said, “My phone is dead!” So I cried, “That’s alright! I’ll call it in!”
I ran to my car, slammed the door and looked at Laura, “He’s fine!” I peeled out and dialed 911. The operator asked where I was, I told her the name of the intersection as I sped down the street back to safety and away from his staring eyes. She told me to go back to the scene and wait for the ambulance and police to arrive. “Uh… No thanks.” “Ma’am, if he isn’t breathing, you can save his life, I need you to return to the scene and wait for the ambulance and police.”
I turned around again and drove back to the body. By the time I backed the car in behind a dumpster (a safe distance from those crazy eyes) another car had appeared with a young man and woman. They parked across the road and stared at the young man on the ground. I pulled my car next to them and explained that I was on the phone with 911 and an ambulance and police were on the way.
The 911 operator was urging me to go to the body and check his breathing. No no no no no no no no no, I kept thinking. I have OCD. I don’t touch people! What if the dude is on something and tries to attack me? My defenses are weakened. My leg is injured. I can’t defend myself right now if I have to. I looked at the gentleman that had pulled over and asked him to go with me to the body. I handed over my mace while the 911 operator gave implicit instructions as to what I needed to do.
“Ma’am. I need you to take his backpack off and get him to lay on his back.” I stared at the man on the ground, “He’s not moving now. I don’t know if he’s breathing.” I said. “Ma’am” the 911 operator went on, “Get him on his back! Tilt his head back and make sure he’s breathing. The paramedics are on their way. You’re doing a great job.” Crap. “Buddy. Buddy!” I called as I shook him, “Buddy, you have to wake up dude. I need to get you on your back.” My hands are shaking! DUDE! WAKE UP PLEASE! I DON’T WANT YOU TO BE DEAD!
His eyes opened again and stared at me as if he was staring at my soul. Thank God! “Buddy! I’m going to take your backpack off and turn you on your back, okay? I need to make sure you’re breathing okay. Dude. It’s okay, I’m just going to turn you on your back.” He kept staring at me. He stared hard enough that I wanted to scream ‘STOP STARING AT ME!” It was one of those looks that makes you feel like the devil himself was starting you down.
“Ma’am! You’re doing a great job! Get him on his back, the paramedics will be there soon! Has he come to? What’s the progress?” the 911 operator interrupted. “Buddy! I’m going to turn you on your back, okay?” He kept staring at me but didn’t respond. “He’s on his back!” I yelled into the crackberry. “Good. Good. Now I need you to take your fingers and feel for any foreign objects in his mouth, any food.” the 911 operator said.
Oh, no. No, no no no no no no! I can’t! Panick is setting in. I can’t touch him. I don’t touch anyone. Please God, don’t make me stick my fingers in his mouth! Please God! Just then, his mouth opened revealing absolutely nothing in his mouth. I saw his tonsils. Thank you Jesus. “There’s nothing in his mouth!” I said to the 911 operator. “Great. Tilt his head back and put your ear to his mouth. Listen for his breathing. Tell me if he’s still breathing.” she went on. “I KNOW he’s breathing! He staring at me! It’s labored… but it’s breath!” I hollered.
Those eyes bore into me as he coughed and turned to his side. “I need. Water.” I looked at the gentleman helping me, “Water!” he took off to his car to retrieve water. I held it out to the man on the ground as he continued staring at me. The bottle was to his lips when all I heard “NO WATER! DO NOT GIVE HIM ANYTHING!” I snatched the water from his hand and screamed, “Buddy! Why are you here? What happened to you?”
“I got hit. I got hit by a car.” he stammered. The paramedics arrived and I went crazy. “YOU GOT HIT BY A CAR? A CAR? WHEN?” “About 3 minutes ago.” the man replied. “Dude. I’ve been here for about 5 minutes WITH you and was here before that. You didn’t get hit by a car 3 minutes ago!” I screamed. “Maybe… it was 6 minutes ago then?” he smirked.
The paramedics were treating him and looking at his back where he said he’d been hit. There was no bruising, no redness, no signs of a car’s front end having impacted his back. The paramedic looks at the young man and asked, “Sir, have you had anything to drink today?” “Uh… yeah a little.” the young man replied. “How much is a little,” the paramedic went on. “Hah. Maybe a bottle?”
In the mix of everything, Laura took my car back her office because I had to stay and leave my statement with the police and she needed to get back to work. My boss came to retreive me and as we were pulling out a while later, I saw the young man was standing. I’m not sure if he was really hit by a car or what… but I do know that living in a college town is definitely more than I bargained for.