It was a grocery call...something most cab drivers hate.
I pulled up in front of Food City...and an old woman sat on the bench...a cart with ten bags of groceries. oh joy...
The Old Woman was Cambodian...I think. She had to be at least 80 years old...a hunched back and missing most of her teeth.
After loading here bags in the trunk...and helping her get in the taxi...I crawled behind the wheel.
She could not speak much English...but had her address on a card that someone had typed out for her. I understood...that is where she wanted to go.
It was quite a job trying to find her apartment. A lot of pointing of fingers and her saying..."no...no...no..."but I finally got her to the little run down apartment she called home.
I carried her bags up the two flights of stairs to the second floor apartment. She unlocked the door...it was very dark inside her apartment..no lights on.
She turned and paid me the $7.00 it costs to take her home in the cab.
Then she said, "SRP want more money!"
The Old Woman was living in an apartment with no electricity.
Oh Hell...I handed her the money back...and told her to have a good night.
I'd returned to the cab and started to drive off...and I noticed two thugs leaning over her bags that were still sitting outside the door of her apartment.
Grabbing my flashlight...I quietly made my way up the stairs behind the two thugs.
In a loud angry voice...I told them to leave her stuff alone...and explained I'd be stopping back by from time to time to check on the old woman.
She sat sobbing inside the door. Told me thank you as I carried her bags in and set them on the counter in her kitchen.
Then I gave her my flashlight...and left. It was an LED flashlight and would last about 400 hours. At least she would have light for a few days.
Yep...I'm an old softy...
I lose more flashlights than anybody I know.