It was early rush-hour on a drizzly day, when the streets of Manhattan most resemble Tokyo.
I was in step along with my fellow New Yorkers, right and left, crossing the grid like ants in a hurry.
This was when I witnessed a young boy of color, no more than 14, take a spill on the pavement.
I watched him bounce up, a brilliant save of face since, no one at any age, let alone his, wants to be seen on their butt with stars in their eyes.
In true commuter fashion, no one stopped, pretending no one saw, except for me, who unusually hesitated, not wanting to humiliate him further, even though tripping is a human blunder we’ve all made.
However, finding myself beside him breaking my own seal, softly asked, “Are you okay?”
He looked at me like I was an alien, or an old angel in a hoodie and a raincoat.
“I think so,” he said, in a way that told me he went to a good school.
“How are your hands?” I knew he hit them pretty hard since even I heard the sharp slap saluting the sidewalk.
He held them out, like a friendly pup, so I saw how red they were, commingling with the shade of his tender skin.
“Hey, ya know what I have?” I said, digging into my tote, “Shea Butter Cream.”
I gave his hands a good squirt they drank in like rainwater, before bidding him a gentle goodbye.
“Thanks a lot,” he said, smiling, recovering quickly as only a kid can.
My only regret was not just giving him the last of the tube.
Angel in training. 🙂