DP: Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you’ve ever received.
Surprisingly, on reading the challenge, my thoughts flew all the way back to Junior High, when I became a target for the really cool kids in Drama Class. As I recall, I had transgressed because one or two had fluffed their lines in front of an audience and later tried to blame me for it. I had a photographic memory at the time (the true sin) and not only denied the accusation, but proved him wrong by reciting it as it had gone and the actual script word perfect. Whew! They went to war and it hurt my feelings. I retreated to the girl’s bathroom to cry in private – never let them see you weak – and, at some point, a very tall girl named Sue (I think?) came in and was washing her hands. She saw my face with the tears streaking down and said, carefully looking at me in the mirror rather than face on, “What’s the matter, Hunt?” I swiped my face, gulped back the revealing tears and told her, feeling both hurt and shamefaced that they had gotten to me. She listened in silence, washing her hands and I finished in a shaking voice. Sue and I had gone to school for many years, and while we recognized one another, we never hung out, so no one was more surprised than me, when Sue slowly and firmly turned off the faucets, dried her hands on a paper towel, and stood up straight and tall. “That is just wrong. You stay here, Huntie. I’m going to take care of this.” And, she hit the bathroom door with a solid hand, flinging it into the back wall. I knew for a fact Sue wasn’t one of the cool gang, so what could she do? I didn’t care. I was so stunned someone had taken arms up in my defense that I obediently stayed in the bathroom.
I think in the interim between Sue’s exit and return, some of my friends got word and came into the bathroom. “Hunt, you okay? What is going on? Sue is outside the drama room and she has confronted Eric and the others. She is chewing them out something fierce!” I blinked in astonishment and sniffed back the incipient still flowing tears.
The bathroom door opened and Sue poked her head in. “Okay, Huntie. Wash your face – don’t give ’em any advantage. Come on out. Eric wants to apologize to you.” I stared at her, stunned. I did what she said and followed her outside, my friends trailing around me in solidarity. Eric and his gang in the same formation. Sue came to a halt, crossed her arms in a very intimidating stance and stared down at Eric – he was a bit short and she was a bit tall. Using every inch of height, Sue said, “Alright, Eric. Let’s hear it.” And, he stumbled out an apology and, in my memory, Sue’s hand raised up and she beckoned him to pick it up. “I’m not hearing a genuine apology, Eric. I want a genuine apology and a guarantee you will not hurt Hunt’s feelings again, especially since it was your fault that the lines got messed up.” Eric tried again, manfully. Sue glanced at me. “Hunt, that do it for you?” “Yes.” Sue put her hands on her hips, “Okay,” She said slowly. “We’re done here. Don’t let me hear about this again, Eric.” She touched me on the shoulder and walked away, as did everybody else. I stared in awe as Sue walked away like it was no big deal what she had done for me.
Thank you, Sue, where ever you are.