This may sound like I am trying to make myself sound like a human being, and - to a certain extent - that's true, but it's much more of a heartwarming story for me.
There is a young woman, ex or not so ex junkie, Big Issue seller here, and she only has one arm. She's very pretty, in a Gormenghast sort of way, but that's not why I like her. I just like her, that's all, but she has a haunted look in her eyes.
I know she had a child a couple of years ago, and I know that child has been taken away from her.
Last night I was walking down the street, and I saw her standing there with tears streaming down her face. I hate seeing anyone cry, let alone adults or female adults, so I asked her what was wrong.
Some bastard had stolen all her clothes apart from the ones she stood in, stolen her iPad which she had for Christmas, and hit her.
I gave her £20 and she gave me a hug in return. Her tears dried up.
I got home and told H.I. and we both hoped she would not just rush off and spend it on smack. That was a real risk I took by giving her money, and I hope she would only spend half of it on drugs.
This morning, I bumped into her again and asked her if she was feeling better. She was dressed in a completely different outfit and actually looked quite glamourous. She said she had bought it all from a charity shop, but the boots were new and only cost £10. She had spent the entire sum I gave her on clothes. She said she felt much better today, and gave me another hug.
I was so bloody relieved and glad that I gave her a few quid - imagine how I would feel if I hadn't, through some understandable suspicion? My faith in human nature was restored this morning, together with my shaky faith in my own judgment.
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