You should probably never stop to see what’s lying by the roadside. To do so, might relinquish all embodiment of personal safety and cause personal harm. I have a reason for this warning, as twelve long years ago I committed this act.
It was the premiere of my son’s acting career in the local playhouse, small, but it had a good reputation. Many first time, energetic playwrights offered their creations there. As I drove that evening, I noticed a lump on the side of the road. It was rather large and I thought it might be a deer or person hit by a car or something, so stopped to investigate. I did not seek out a body, but that is what I found.
The lump was breathing, I could determine that only by holding my hand on his chest. Suddenly bloody bubbles started dripping out of his mouth and I thought surely this person was about to die right in front of me. I started to reach for my cel phone to call 911 for help when he grabbed my arm. He opened his eyes and with a pleading look, shook his head no.
This was quite a setback, as my first instinct was to call for help. I had no medical training and it was a dark road with no street lights. Odds were stacked against his survival, but I pushed the 911 anyway and turned on the cel flashlight mode. He let go of my arm and seemed to drift off, bubbles stopped, but his moaning increased.
The 911 people arrived and loaded the lump into the ambulance. What really happened to him I don’t know to this day. The police questioned me, probably thinking I was the one who ran into him with my vehicle, but after my explanation, they let me go, as long as I stayed in the area in case of any further need to question me.
I called the hospital the next day to find the man had indeed been hit by someone when walking in the middle of the dark road. Apparently the driver panicked and fled. Neurotoxins were found in the victim’s bloodstream, explaining why he was wandering on the road in the first place.
I visited him a few days later in the hospital, where he was able to explain. He had become disorientated after his chemotherapy treatment. After a long time of cancer treatment, he was tired of it all. That’s why he didn’t want me to call for help. He had preferred to die right there on the pavement. He never tried to find the person responsible for hitting him, resigning himself to the “blessing in disguise” as he called it.
The man did survive and is still alive today. I feel I did a good deed.