You don’t know me. You couldn’t have known that my train was delayed by nearly 40 minutes; you couldn’t have known that I sprinted through the airport to get to the check-in desk. You didn’t see the airline employees inform me that the plane had already departed, and you didn’t see me sink to the ground and break down. You didn’t hear them tell me I’d have to book a new ticket, as they wouldn’t change one for a missed flight — well over £100, split between my boyfriend and I to get me home, just gone.
You couldn’t possibly have known how lost, alone, and utterly devastated I felt in that moment.
You did see the airline employees leave, and you saw me stay. You walked over, you made conversation. You gave me a hug, and you asked if I was all right. You listened. That, in and of itself, was an extraordinary act of human kindness.
I didn’t realise what you were doing until you had almost done it — you asked me my name so casually, part of the chat’s ebb and flow.
“12:10 departure tomorrow morning with easyJet — is that all right?”
I cannot describe how unbelievably above and beyond it was for you to insist, or the sheer surge of gratitude I felt.
It is one of the single kindest things anyone has ever done for me, and you knew me for less than 10 minutes.
I asked you for bank details, a contact address — you told me the next time I saw a charity collection tin, to put £10 in and pay it forward. You told me you had a daughter, and you understood.
This is my first step in paying it forward. D and M, (names redacted for privacy), you are exactly the sort of person I want to become. I don’t know if all clouds have a silver lining, but tonight you were mine.
Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting me home.
I just want the world to know that somewhere, in between all the bad, there are people like you.
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