Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So last night as I returned from the drug store, and headed back up to my floor, I mistakenly pressed the fifth floor instead of the sixth. I did not notice it right away, but as soon as I stepped off the elevator, I realized I made a mistake and I proceeded to get back on, when a woman got my attention.

She was standing by her apartment door with her laundry by her side, and she explained to me that she was locked out. She had gone to put a load in, came back up, and realized that her keys, wallet and cellphone were all in her apartment--and it was 9:30pm. I told her I would call the landlord and the emergency number, but I only had the landlord's number on my person, and he didn't pick up, so I left a message. I told the lady to sit tight, while I went to find that emergency number for her.

I went up to my apartment and looked for that emergency number with my wife, called it and left a message, but I delayed a little bit before I went back down to update this woman. I told my wife I wanted to help her out, but I did not want to invite her in our home because we had a newborn, and we both agreed that was the smart thing to do. At the same time I kept thinking that if my wife was locked out, I'd want someone to help her--still I didn't want her in my damn house. So I went back down, told the woman I left a message on the emergency number, and I explained that if someone called me back, I'd come back down to let her know. And yes I felt bad about it, but I didn't look back, you can never look back.

I went back up to my apartment, talked to the wife, felt bad about not doing more, and then I went back down to the fifth floor, and asked the lady if she wanted to use my phone to call a friend. She responded by saying she didn't know any one's number by heart. I said ok, introduced myself (her name is Yuko which makes her Japanese. Who needs Wikipedia when Google can save the day), and then I went back to my apartment again--but not before explaining to her that I would let her in my spot, if I didn't have a newborn baby living with me. She understood and said congrats, and I felt even more guilty. Still, I did not go back down for another hour because I was enjoying an adult beverage and tending to young Nyles. But when I did go back down, she was still waiting for my trifling ass building people to respond to the emergency call.

Yuko said she was going to head out of the building and try to visit a couple friends unannounced, hoping they would let her in. Since I knew she wouldn't be able to get back in the building once she left out, and I knew my wife had a key as well, I gave Yuko my key and my phone number. I told her if she couldn't find anyone to stay with, she could use my key, come back in, and spend the night with us, since Nyles would be asleep. She said I was sweet, and then she headed out. I hoped to God she didn't call back to sleep here, and in paranoia I kept checking my phone over and over, but she didn't call.

This evening when I got home there was a note from Yuko, and she thanked me (and my wife, but more me) for my kindness, and she told me that she found a friend to stay with last night, and this morning she tracked down the landlord who let her in. Of course all day I was bitching to my wife that she had not called to a) update me and b) make arrangements to give me my damn key. So her note made me a)feel stupid, b)calm down, and c) feel good about the good deed I had done.

Now I know at least one person is reading this saying, "So the f**k what, you did what you're supposed to do", and that is 100% right, but not the point. The point is, I went way out my comfort zone to help someone (which I rarely do) and it worked out--and I am happy about it. Maybe I'll hit the lottery soon as a result.

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