I was walking in the park like every other day. The wind was making the lines of trees dance and I put up my hand to feel the breeze. But the wind parted around my outstretched fingers and I pulled it back, the smile falling off my face. Continuing to walk on the windy gravel path I stared with rapt attention as my pristine sneakers repelled the dust swirling like fog in the air.
"Hey," I had been concentrating so much on my shoes that I hadn't noticed two guys approaching me. The one that had spoken was standing too close for comfort. I reflexively jerked backwards, and triped by an immovable tree root I fell on my butt with a jarring impact.
"Oh, sorry," he held out a hand to help me up, "I didn't mean to scare you."
I stared at his hand that was outstretched towards me.
"Are you going to let me help you up?"
"No thank you. I prefer it down here." my voice was quiet as I beheld him above me with eyes filled with fear.
"C'mon, let me help you up." he reached for my hand but I cringed away.
"No, please don't."
The guy's friend stepped forward and dragged the pushy guy backwards, "I'm sorry. Carter, here, seems determined to press his chivalry on everyone he meets."
I nodded, still shaken. He had nearly touched my hand! "Okay. Well, have a nice day."
The two boys walked away but before they were out of earshot the Carter guy opened his mouth again, "What do you think her problem was?"
"You have no idea. So don't judge."
Warmth blossomed inside of me at that defence. It was true, he didn't know my name or my problems and I didn't know his.