Wednesday, 6 February 2013

It was supposed to be a quiet night out.

It's gone midnight here in the UK and this is probably a ridiculous time to even consider writing anything on here. But I really cannot sleep without putting something down. Otherwise it's all going to get a bit mixed up in my head and I'll wake up tomorrow even more tired than I currently feel. I apologise for any grammatical errors there may be in the next few paragraphs. I'll clear it all up in the morning for you.

Tonight was supposed to be a relaxed evening at the bingo with some friends. That part went OK. Three of us came away with nothing (the other has a very lucky grandmother who won over a thousand pounds). I then made my way to the bus stop with one of the other girls who lives a couple of towns away. This is the bus I usually catch home from my parents if I've been to see them in an evening. It's very rare that it's late. So when we'd been stood for over 5 minutes after it's due time, I wondered whether a passenger had held it up at all. Coming from Nottingham nearly half past ten at night, it's pretty likely to happen. I've known it happen before. There's very little you can do about it when you're waiting, except hold your change ready and will it to turn up soon. There's also no point moaning to the driver when you get on. It holds up everyone else and doesn't make much of a difference, it probably makes it even more late. (I'm actually quoting my own mother here). My friend and I sat down and I balanced the two bags of shopping I'd just purchased in the supermarket between my feet. If you're not careful, one tight bend and your jar of pasta sauce will turn that bus into a something likened to a murder scene. Not that that's ever happened to me before, I swear.

When we'd sat down there didn't seem to be any problem with any of the passengers on the bus. The driver was extremely pleasant and didn't tut when I asked to go all the way to the end of the line in Mansfield. I've had that before. That irritates me. It's not been recently though. After about five minutes the telephone of the lady in front rang. She was sitting in the fold up seats of the wheelchair area. Her phone was ringing and she put it to her ear. However, she didn't seem capable of answering it. I contemplated whether she was just listening to her ringtones to pass the time. For a woman who looked to be in her forties, this seemed quite a strange thing to do. Then again it was the 3A and anyone from Nottingham and it's surrounding areas, knows that bus takes an age to get anywhere because it goes everywhere. Fair enough, play your ringtones. Even if they are the classic Nokia ringtone.

A few moments after that she seemed to fall asleep and dropped her phone. I hesitated about picking it up. She would either thank me, or think I was trying to steal it and scream blue murder. It's so hard to tell in these situations. I looked to my friend to try and figure out what she thought I should do. A shrug of the shoulders told me that it was up to me. I asked the friend to hold my handbag and watch my shopping. I then moved forward slowly, as not to startle the lady. I picked her phone and it's case up and placed them gently back into her hand. She awoke and smiled a 'thank you'. I then sat back in my seat and kept an eye on her as subtly as I could. Other people got on and also watched but also ignored her.

My friend got off at her stop and I moved back a seat to try and keep my shopping up together more. Another town on the lady was still looking as though she were asleep. The bus driver stopped in the next town and walked down the bus to see if he could wake her. He then asked me if I would be willing to stop on the bus at the end of the journey to be a witness when he tried to wake her up again. He was doing it more to protect his safety, which is quite right. And also for the ladies safety too. If he was to wake her up and she accused him of doing something which he didn't, who would be there to say otherwise. He seemed a nice enough chap and Trent Buses have ferried me around for most of my twenty three years so I felt I owed it to them. I also wanted to make sure the lady was alright anyway. God forbid if she had been my own mother, I'd have wanted someone to stay with her. I worry about that quite a bit. Don't tell her I said that though.

I stood up for the rest of the journey near to where the lady was sitting to make sure she didn't fall off her seat. The strange thing was, there wasn't a strong smell of booze around her and I noticed she might have had a wig in her hood. I then worried that she was extremely ill and needed urgent medical attention. As we'd passed the hospital already and there was no way I could carry her alone, I decided it would be best to call an ambulance. Once the bus had stopped safely at Mansfield Bus Station, I rang 999 and was put through to a paramedic operator. He was brilliant and guided me through what to do and what to check for. Within seconds a paramedic in  a car had turned up and he got onto the bus. At one point I was also on the phone to the ladies partner to inform him where we were and that help had been called. Two phones at the same time. At half past 11 at night. It's no wonder my brain didn't just melt then. The woman came to and I decided when her partner turned up that it might be best to leave. She was talking to the paramedic and he was doing all of his checks on her.

Walking home and seeing the ambulance with it's lights flashing, heading towards the bus station, it all sunk in a bit. What if that had been my own mother? Or anyone I'm close to for that fact? Would someone have stayed with her. Would they have thought to have called an ambulance. My mother has epilepsy. Sometimes her fits might appear, to someone who doesn't know her, that she is drunk. What if they thought she was drunk and refused to help her? This actually breaks my heart inside. Even if someone is drunk, you don't know why they've gotten into that state. They are still a human being. We all suffer at some point in our lives.

I hope the lady will get the help she needs and make a full and speedy recovery. To the bus driver, the paramedics and also the two fellow passengers who were ready to help put her into the recovery position had she not come round, thank you. You were all stars. I just rang 999. I've done it before and I'd do it again for anyone who needs it. You never know who they are.
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