August 12, 1996
This week, we have a true story written by Li Sheng Yang, from the Toronto area. Li Sheng is a newcomer to Canada, and she has recently been involved in literacy with the Independent Studies Program.
There is a small thing I will never forget. One day in last fall, I went to Sheppard Avenue E., and Kingston Rd., for applying for a job. When I was back, I felt I should take another way for saving time, so I asked a woman waiting for a bus how to get Kennedy subway station. She said kindly, " Take the bus No.first, change to another on Meadowvale Road. That one is going to the subway." Then she told me she was going somewhere the same way and to show me.
She had a little girl with her and a box on the ground. After everyone, she held her box getting on the bus. It is a heavy box. When we should get off, she especially came to me from the front and reminded me. She also told me "Don't forget to take a transfer." I was so grateful for her concern. I just felt warm in heart as a newcomer.
Suddenly I remembered that box. It was too late, she had already gotten off. When we were getting on another bus my introvert temperament made me hesitate. Only a minute, what was I thinking? I regretted very much I didn't do what I really wanted to do.
I took a seat near her, and did not want to lose the last chance. I thought at least, I could help her to get off. In fact, I was ready to see her home if she allowed me.
The closer to the station the more crowded. She put her box down on the floor and stood up to make room for others. When I found she was ready to leave, I stood up at once. "You go to Kennedy station, sit down. Six more bus stops", she said. I had no idea again if I insisted to see her home would she and passenger misunderstand me. She is a good person. She was gone. I look out of the window. She was carrying that box with difficulty. Unfortunately, nobody got off there and helped her.
My heart was full with regret and pity. If my English was not so poor, temperament was not so bad. I would have told to her what I wanted. I wouldn't have worries regarding my mistake if my expression wasn't unclear, isn't it?
[The story is an excerpt from Insights, p.30, and was reprinted with permission from Frontier College]