I’d seen her often. Sitting idly. By the side of the road. She had a mysterious aura. She wasn’t dressed poshly but neither was she a beggar. She never said a word. Her eyes spoke of her pain. The neighbours had advised me to stay away. No one told me why. No one seemed to know why.
I felt for her, compassion I like to think. I approached her one night, asked her where her home was, where her family was, where her husband was. She looked up at ‘husband’. I knew I’d struck a chord.
I was so wrong.
The smoulder in her eyes made me back away. She picked up a rock. She bared her teeth at me. Her forehead wrinkled. Her stance became offensive. My hands raised, palms facing her, I assured her I was just trying to help. An incoming car, headlights on, honked loudly. Distracted, I looked at it, only to hear her running away in the dark alley behind.
The rock lay on the road. She never meant to hurt me. She only wanted to save herself.
From what, I wonder. From whom, I wonder. Why, I wonder.