I needed to make a stop by my apartment late one morning last week and headed out on foot from work. There's a section of the sidewalk that's been torn up for construction and replaced temporarily by gravel.
This has never bothered me since I always wear comfortable walking shoes, but a young lady ahead of me wearing high heels was struggling terribly to keep her footing. Sure enough, just as I went to walk around her, she slipped and began to fall face-first into traffic. Reacting out of instinct alone, I reached around, grabbed her by the waist and stood her back up until she regained her footing.
She stood there for a second, breathing hard saying only, "Thank you" between gasps.
"No problem," I said. "However, you probably shouldn't wear heels when walking through gavel."
She started turning around slowly; "Yeah, I think I broke my left heel there, I don't know…" Her sentence trailed off as she finally saw me. "It's you."
"Me?" I responded puzzled.
"Yeah, you, that Warlock guy."
I drew a sigh, "Yes, that would be me."
A look of anger washed over her face, she huffed out loud and tore her shoes off from her feet, throwing them in her purse. "Listen, just don't you ever touch me again, alright?"
I was taken back and couldn't respond right away, "I was just trying to help, I didn't want you to fall into traffic."
She took a couple of steps up the side walk and repeated, "Don't you ever, ever touch me again," with a slow drawl and exaggerated finger pointing to accent her point.
Realizing that I couldn't win this particular argument, I just shrugged my shoulder, tipped an imaginary hat and walked on.
It wasn't until lunch the same day that the issue resurfaced. I was eating at one of the local cafes, enjoying a light sandwich and a newspaper when a very large and athletic gentleman sat down in the empty chair across from me.
He wasn't long on words, after making eye contact he said, "You, me, outside, now," and ended his threat with a low growl.
I calmly turned the page of the newspaper over, "Might I ask why?"
"My girlfriend over there," he motioned to the far side of the restaurant where the girl I had rescued was sitting, "tells me that you grabbed her."
"Her," I said, "She fell and I caught her. If I hadn't been there she could have fallen face first into traffic. You should be thanking me rather than threatening me."
Without a word he got up and went back over to his girlfriend, after a brief conversation he came back, as mad as ever. "She says she doesn't know what you're talking about. Now she's a good woman, she's never lied to me, so why should I believe you over her."
"Check her shoes," I said. He responded with an unintelligible question, "Her shoes, ask to see her shoes," I repeated
Sure enough, he went back over to her, asked her and she held up one of her feet. Apparently, sometime after her fall she had switched into green sandals. Satisfied he came back over to me. "They look fine to me."
"No, the shoes in her bag."
"What shoes in her bag?"
"The white shoes with a very tall black stiletto heels. They're nice shoes though they don't go with that dress. However, you'll find that the heel on the left shoe is broken."
A look of awe washed over his face, "I bought her those shoes last week. They were a present."
"She was obviously going to wear them to your lunch date to impress you, that is until the left heel broke. Since they really don't match her dress she probably brought those sandals to slide on after lunch. But why don't you go and check her bag and find out for yourself."
He got up and backed away from the table as if to avoid eye contact. But this time it was terror in his eyes, not anger. When he got to his table he motioned to see in the bag, his girlfriend hesitantly complied.
"We need to step outside, we need to have a talk."
With that he stormed out of the café, leaving his girlfriend to try and pack everything up and scramble to meet him. But she didn't even look at me as she walked by my table; she just let out a loud groan and stomped her way noisily to the door.