Walking Alone

Earlier today I was driving home from a quick run to the grocery store when I spotted a neighbor of mine walking on the sidewalk, headed in the same direction. There was no place to pull over and traffic was heavy, so I didn’t have a way to ask her if she wanted a ride home.

I know she doesn’t have a car and I’ve seen her walking the other direction from our apartments from time to time, so I assumed on those occasions she likely made the mile-long trek to the store that’s located down that other road. I also know that store is much smaller and while it has all the basics, if there’s a specialty item you want, you have to go somewhere else.

It bothered me that I wasn’t able to stop and offer her a ride.  She’s always been nice to me, and there was another three miles left to our respective homes, three miles with some steep hills along the way.

I should note that there’s no transit system in our area, so taking a bus was not an option for her.

I was troubled enough that I headed back out, knowing the next leg of her journey would be through a residential area and I could easily pull over onto a side street and flag her down as she walked by.

I did just that, and to my surprise she turned down my offer of a ride. Whether it was pride, a desire to get some exercise, fear of COVID or something else, I don’t know. I didn’t push it, however. She had offered me some help when I was moving in a few months ago, and when I declined her offer she smiled and said, “I know better than to ask again. If someone tells me no, I believe them.”

So why did this still bother me? I’d done what I could and it wasn’t as if it was a terribly hot or windy day. In fact, it was quite a pleasant day for a walk, and while I wouldn’t relish a six-mile (or more) round trip walk, perhaps she did.

I didn’t see her the rest of the day. I hope she got home safely.

Photo credit:  © creaturart–stock.adobe.com

12 Replies to “Walking Alone”

  1. That’s odd. I have a neighbor who says things that are generational, similar to what she said to you. Thinking like my neighbor, since you couldn’t accept help from her, then it would be wrong in her mind to accept it from you. Just a thought.


    1. I appreciate the thought. It bothers me that she walked all that way–and the road is dangerous for walkers at some points–so any ideas about why she said no are appreciated!


  2. I’ve had moments like that. It sound like you did a very kind thing by flagging her down to offer her a ride. That’s all you can do.
    With Covid, I understand her reluctance. We are living through a tough time and it is very isolating. I’m glad it was a pleasant day to walk, though. I wonder what she’ll do when the weather gets very cold.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whatever her reasons, Belinda, I think she was most appreciative of your offer. I might have turned down the offer, too, if only for my pride–and Covid. I think it was great that you drove back to try to find her. You are a great neighbor.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a blog post coming up in the next two weeks or so about helping people who didn’t ask for help. Apparently, this is a codependent trait. I’m not saying you’re codependent…just saying this whole scenario reminded me of what I’ve been thinking about lately, and also her response to you was quite interesting. I think, on some level, that’s how we should all be. She asked if you needed help You said no. She won’t ask again lol

    Liked by 1 person

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