Let’s start with the facts:
My parents and youngest sister live in Sheffield.
By Monday morning the Midlands – where I live – was all but thawed of ice and snow, only a few discoloured remnants of obscene snowmen remained.
Sheffield however, like much of the North, was still flinching under a heavy gauntlet of snow. Not great travelling conditions by anybody’s standards.
On her way to work my sister slipped over on some ice in the middle of the main road and came crashing down heavily onto her back and hip.
And then lay there, gasping for breath, in dreadful pain, unable to move while the person walking directly behind her carried on walking as if nothing untoward had happened at all.
No offer of assistance, no polite enquiry as to her well-being, not even a jokey “ooh send us a postcard next time love.”
Just a kiss-my-arse cold shoulder and gone.
Thankfully a passer-by on the other side of the road crossed over and helped my sister up and walked her part of the way to work. She was very upset, very shaken and very much in pain.
5 days later she’s still in a lot of pain but is mostly hurt and confused as to why a fellow human being could just step over her and leave her – sprawled and helpless – in the middle of the High Street.
As indeed am I. Though I’m less hurt and confused about it as bloody furious.
How could anybody be this callous and uncaring? What does it cost to give someone a small helping hand – even a stranger?
I suppose I ought to be grateful that this person didn’t stick the boot in while she lay there and help himself to her purse and jewellery. Or just whip out his mobile phone and film her plight so he could shove it onto YouTube later and so boost his online kudos.
I know the chances of Mr Charming reading this are so slim as to be incalculable but if ever “what goes around comes around” needed to be a prayer and a curse it is today in my heart.
Back at yer, Mister. With nobs on.