Before I tell this story, you all have to promise not to judge me.
In order for this story to make sense, I should explain that my job works closely with travel. I won’t say where to protect my job and my privacy, but I work with people traveling all the time and I get to meet a lot of really cool people
There was one evening though, that a young Chinese woman came in with a man here from Louisiana. She had four suitcases and she was trying to get my attention. Since I was pretty much done working for the night, I went over to see if I could help her.
She told me that she had to get to Kansas City as quickly as possible and needed to know if she could buy a ticket that night. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to help her that evening. I told her the next time we had anything going out would be early the next morning, but I didn’t have the ability to sell it to her. I told her to go online and look there, but her computer was pretty wonky and wasn’t working. She had been in the United States for less than a day, and she was scared.
I found out that the man that she was with was hosting her here in Shreveport, and he was a little on the creepy side, if I do say so myself. He was polite enough, but the way she was acting and the way he was talking poorly about her to her face and to me, a total stranger, tipped me off a little bit. I tried to ignore my instincts, but there really wasn’t much to be done. He kept telling her to get in his car, she kept refusing. She even turned me and pulled me away from him, mouthing something to me, something I couldn’t quite figure out.
She eventually made him angry enough that he stormed off. She went into a different part of the building and said she was going to sleep there until she could buy a ticket in the morning. I went back to finish up paperwork at my job, but my stomach kept nagging me. I knew something was up, and if I had been her, I would have been terrified. Once I had clocked out, I saw her in a different part of the building with her laptop out, trying to get ahold of her friend. When I sat down next to her, she started crying, telling me how scared she was.
This made me feel really rotten. She was mouthing, “Help me,” when I was telling her to go back with the person hosting her. Apparently he had a gun on every wall of the house, he had a history of mail order brides and being divorced from them, and she was just, overall, realizing that staying with him was a bad idea so she told him she had to go to the airport to see her friend in Kansas City.
She told me quite a bit about herself, and the more I talked to her, the more I liked her. However, after an hour of sitting with her, Alex was asking me where I was. I told her I had to go and every time I tried to leave, she would grab my hand and ask me if I could stay just a few minutes more. After another hour, I was able to go home, but not until she had given me a flannel toilet seat cover with penguins on it. She said it was to keep my butt warm in the winter.
As I was starting the drive home, I called Alex and told him the entire situation. I mentioned that I had offered to bring her home with me and let her stay the night, and she had declined. Alex then asked me if I had insisted.
No, I hadn’t really. And the farther I got away from my work, the guiltier I felt. I thought that if I was in a strange place, where I hardly spoke the language, I would be terrified. I would be unable to function well, and I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about her well-being. I knew she was scared, and I was scared for her.
I turned the car around and drove back and found her trying to ask people to help her buy a ticket. I came upon her and told her to come home with me. I told her my husband was okay with it and I didn’t feel comfortable leaving her alone. After ten minutes of bickering with her a bit, she reluctantly agreed and put her stuff in my car. The farther from my work we were, the more bubbly she became. I think that I had earned her trust enough for her to trust me. We got to my house and I told her I had two dogs and my house wasn’t super clean, to which she exclaimed it was much cleaner than the guy’s house that she had stayed at for one day.
She gave us some awesome Chinese medicinal patches for muscle relaxing, a keychain for Alex with Panda’s on it, and a shell necklace. She gave us these things because she said she was so grateful for us helping her.
She noticed that we had Chinese art throughout the house and commented that she never thought that the Chinese culture really picked up in the States. She cried when thanking Alex for letting her stay with us, and Alex and I told her that we expect the same if we ever visit China, to which she agreed heartily.
We talked for a while, getting to know each other, and the next morning I woke her up to get a cab to get to the airport and fly to Kansas City.
A few days later she texted me, telling me she made it there safely and was staying with her friend, and that we should skype soon.
So that’s my good deed of the month.
Have you ever helped a stranger in need? Do you think I was being risky letting a stranger stay in my home? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!