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To Paraphrase Albus Dumbledore, Help Comes To Those Who Deserve It

, , , , , , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Appropriate-Regret50 | November 4, 2022

My bus was delayed by five hours at a long-distance terminal in bumf*** nowhere, rural Florida. I, a short, husky teenager, was dressed in a black button-up, a red tie, and black pants with my eyeliner and mascara from “The Rocky Horror Show” which I had attended before traveling, probably looking a bit worse for wear.

I was sitting for a decent while when I noticed that a lady in her late sixties or early seventies was trying to do something on a self-service kiosk and muttering to herself in Spanish. She seemed to be getting frustrated and was darting her eyes around for employees, but the place was packed with people due to the delays at around 3:00 am, so not many employees were around. Someone eventually did stop to try to help her, but I heard “No hablo Ingles,” causing the person to just look kind of puzzled and walk off.

I was in my third semester of Spanish at the time, so I slowly walked over to the lady.

Me: *In Spanish* “Excuse me. Do you need some help?”

She asked if I spoke Spanish, to which I replied that I was still learning but would do my best. She clapped her chest with a literal “Dios mio!” and we pleasantly worked through what she needed done and went our separate ways.

Someone had taken my seat, so I was just standing around for a minute or two when I got “The Tap” on my shoulder. I turned around to see a woman with an inordinate amount of luggage and a child in tow. The kid was nose-deep in a Nintendo DS and wasn’t really paying attention, but the woman looked me up and down with what appeared to be disgust before demanding:

Woman: “Get my luggage to wherever it has to go!”

I had no idea where that is, and I was honestly super exhausted.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t w—”

Woman: *Cutting me off* “Don’t you f*** with me. This place is going crazy, and every other employee is busy, so even an office guy or supervisor or whatever you are should be out here working with customers. I saw you help that other lady, so you can d*** well help me with my bags.”

I raised my hands and started to explain again that I didn’t know anything and didn’t work there, but she was not having it and started to raise her voice a bit. At that point, her child noticed her volume, looked up at me with what seemed like a mixture of confusion and embarrassment, and then tugged on the woman’s shirt.

Child: “Mom, I don’t think he—”

She turned quickly and gave him a “snit” — not even a “shush,” just that loud click/hiss noise that dog whisperer guy used on TV. Then, she started in on me being a “lazy, unprofessional snowflake” or whatever.

Just then, the elderly lady came up from the side of us, shaking her cane at the woman, and shouted in the best English she could muster:

Elderly Lady: “You leave my nephew alone! He’s a good boy!”

The rude woman turned to see this old lady with straight-up lightning in her eyes and the big bit of mahogany inches from her face, and then she just turned around and left with her kid. No apology, nothing.

Once she and her kid were a fair distance away, I thanked the older woman, and she just motioned for me to follow her.

We went outside to a bench by the entrance and she offered me a cigarette as she lit one up.

Me: “No, thank you.”

She then pulled a thermos out of her purse and offered me some coffee.

Me: “No, thank you.”

But she poured it anyway and commented about how the coffee here was so terrible. It turned out that she was visiting from Guatemala to see her son, who works with a company that imports, blends, and roasts Guatemalan coffee. We’re both coffee snobs, so we just sat and chatted about coffee, our families, and why on earth I was dressed like I was until her bus was called to board. Of course, I offered to help her with her luggage, but she said she only had one small bag and was fine with carrying it.

It was definitely an interesting capstone to a very interesting weekend.

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