BYSTANDER

BYSTANDER

A man                                                                                                                                                      walks home alone                                                                                                                                      & as he does so                                                                                                                                      he uses his mobile phone                                                                                                                      & talks to his wife                                                                                                                                  in general about life                                                                                                                               & the stress he’s endured at work

You see he’s being fired                                                                                                                         & as he explains the reasons for his dismissal                                                                               his mind buzzes with worry                                                                                                          about how he’s going to find the money                                                                                           to support his family

And as his wife retorts down the phone her reply                                                                              From the corner of his eye                                                                                                                    he sees a woman                                                                                                                                   on the other side of the road                                                                                                           Walking on the opposite direction                                                                                                 Her face full of tension                                                                                                                          as she is being followed by two men

The men look suspicious                                                                                                                  The woman notices them and conveys anguish

But he doesn’t intervene                                                                                                                     He pretends not to have seen                                                                                                          Neither the woman nor her stalkers

He just puts his head down                                                                                                          Walks quickly up the road                                                                                                                 and blocks from his mind                                                                                                                   the trouble he thinks will unfold

Two days later                                                                                                                                       Reads the local newspaper                                                                                                                   & sees that ‘that’ woman had been mugged                                                                                      & beaten                                                                                                                                                   & ended up in casualty

Then at that moment dawns the reality                                                                                        that he should have intervened                                                                                                        but declined                                                                                                                               Emotions and questions run through his mind

Feelings of                                                                                                                                         Guilt                                                                                                                                                      Anger                                                                                                                                             Sadness                                                                                                                                                   Despair                                                                                                                                                Why did I not do something                                                                                                                  when I was there?

Why did I just walk?                                                                                                                           Why did I ignore?                                                                                                                            Why, just why did I do nothing?

He feels disgust                                                                                                                                        & then loneliness                                                                                                                               Nothing he says or does                                                                                                                          Will help him get over this

As he realises that he should have done something there and then                                           As those who flee when they should support                                                                         become cowards instead of men

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