Sometimes I can’t predict how a situation will unfold. You would think, given that I’m a writer with an overactive imagination, I would foresee all sorts of possibilities. I often do, but sometimes the one that becomes reality is completely unanticipated.
Last week, I was doing a little bargain shopping. After standing in line for a good 30 minutes, I checked out and was attempting to exit the store when I realized the exit door was blocked. A lady stood in the doorway with two big bags sitting on the ground and a little boy sitting on one of the bags. I could have gone around her, out the entrance door. But instead, I did what most compassionate human beings would do: I asked if she needed help.
“Oh that would be great, thank you so much! My car’s just over there.” She pointed toward the parking lot. Which is a quite appropriate place to keep a car.
I’ve been told I have a trustworthy face. That’s the best explanation I can find for what happened next.
“If you could just take him.” Taking her child’s hand, she passed him to me, then gathered up her bags and started walking.
I had expected her to hand me one of the bags, not her child. But I took his hand and we started walking. Slowly. He was only about a year and a half old, by my best guess, so this walking thing was still a bit new to him.
The woman, who I assume was his mother, was getting further and further away, about 20 feet ahead of us by the time I got the little guy off the sidewalk. I expected her to walk with us. Or at least glance back and make sure I wasn’t taking off with her child or letting him wander in front of cars.
My overactive imagination kicked into overdrive. What if she left me with the kid? What if the kid wasn’t really hers and I was aiding in a kidnapping? Yes, I do realize those are unlikely scenarios. But I’ve learned that the weirdness I attract has no limit.
The little guy and I eventually made it to the car where I handed him back to his mother. She thanked me and we went our separate ways. As I found my way to my own car, I pondered the number of odd and unusual circumstances that find me. There has to be a reason for it. This phenomenon seriously challenges statistical probability.
I blame the trustworthy face.