there was this time of my life where I was a door-to-door sales person trying to get people to sign up for charities for monthly donations. i’ve had people yell at me, interrogated, and every once in a while offered a glass of water. but the most memorable of them all that i really took to heart was about this child i met.
knocking on an empty house, when the car turns into the drive way. the family’s been outside shopping and carrying the items back with them. I try to give them my annoying sales pitch telling them about starving children around the world and hope they give me their credit card information.
it doesn’t work cuz i suck but as I move onto the next house, this maybe 10-13 (side note: sry, really not good with ages) year old girl came up to me and started talking to me. isn’t it funny how you get all cynical when an adult or someone else starts talking to you, you start asking yourself stuff like “why are they talking to me” and “what do they want”, but when a child does you don’t even think. it wasn’t a while and suddenly we’re sitting on the stairs of the front porch of the house talking.
she asks me questions like where I’m from and how old I am. being a numbnut in social interaction i stumble with conversation topics to talk about with a 13 year old. i feel more comfortable answering questions about my profile. i was 21 and i had to have a 13 year old girl take the lead. i hope i die alone.
i don’t really remember most of the conversation until the part where I ask her what grade she was and then she started talking about going into middle/high school (dont remember this detail either sry) and how her friends aren’t going to be together. she feels like they’re all changing and making other friends. then she also starts talking about how the other girls tease and make fun of her aka bullying but she doesn’t really use the word. she tells me she’s scared and asks me for advice and help.
now i think about it i think its kind of endearing and charming of her. its endearing because i know how hard it is to actually open up to anyone. not even teachers, counsellors or even my parents, although I think it’s more common to not talk to parents being the way it is. we’ve known each other for a short moment, but she already thinks she can trust me or maybe she’s just ridiculously naive, who knows. i also thought it was charming/flattering because she’s asking me for help for something so close and personal to her and I’m supposed to be a hero and save her or something.
it was just regret that i was and still am in no position to help anyone or even myself. i was lost myself. i flunked half of my subjects in high school. missed out on university and friends and i just gave up my dream of becoming a professional poker player for that tiny desperate hope that I can somehow turn my life around. instead i join some pyramid schemed company as a door-to-door salesman job because i was depressed and lost a bunch of money for the past few weeks. but i don’t tell her any of this.
my memory serves me a picture of greenish-eyed paired with suntanned skin looking up at me for an answer while i can’t find a response. so i be lame and let out one of those silly half sighs half chuckles. i could feel my heart squeeze a little. she was the one asking me for help, yet I’m the one feeling helpless.
an awkward silent moment passes. i tell her that i’m sorry i don’t know what to tell her. maybe it’ll get better when middle/high school gets over. i have to move onto the next house but at that time i wish i could’ve stay forever or even just a tiny bit longer. she says goodbye and i say goodbye too. as i walk out of the drive way and hope things turn out well for her, i look back and she’s still sitting there looking at me, she gives one last wave for the road.
its been 3 years now (24y.o.) since I write this, i don’t know why but this scene has been replaying quite a bit recently. the worst part is that even if I met her again this time of my life I still wouldn’t be able to give her an appropriate answer much less a perfect one. but i don’t know if it’s because of this encounter or i’m slightly more mature and grown up or both, but i always attempt to and remind myself to be more open and honest with people and myself nowadays and it has really improved the way things are/were. whereas i used to keep everything to myself. every once in a while I remember this exchange, I can only hope she’s happy in her life right now and found the help she’s wanted, because she’s given me one i didn’t know i needed.