It’s scary being in a new place where you know no one. People passed me without any concern, not bothering to glance at me, even when I tried to get their attention. “Bugger off,” one guy told me coldly. Most just shrugged me off without a word.
Finally I had enough. Taking a deep breath I screamed my highest piercing shriek. The people in my immediate vicinity stopped to stare. “There’s a man in that alleyway who needs an ambulance. Someone call 911,” I told them breathlessly.
“I’ll do it.” A guy said, stepping forward. Gradually the rest moved on. He walked with me back to the body.
“I got you help, Akki-chan. It’s going to be ok,” I told the man. He looked up at me, eyes befuddled with pain.
“Who’s Akki-chan?” He asked hoarsely, then coughed, wincing.
“You didn’t tell me your name so I bequeathed you one,” I told him.
“What kind of name is that?” he asked, but then began coughing again.
The one man who had stopped was speaking with the emergency operator. I could hear him murmuring things like ‘stabbed’ and ‘coughing’ along with the nearest streets. Finally he sighed and took the phone from his ear. “They’re on their way. How is he doing?”
“Not good, but he’s still alive,” I said. Akki-chan gave a little laugh at that then winced. “Thank you very much for stopping. I should have gone to a nearby store, but… I was too panicked and not thinking straight.”
“I understand,” the good samaritan said with a nod.
“Should I call you Sam or would you like to tell me your name?” The man, tall with an expensive hair cut and casual business suit, smiled at the question.
“My name is Nick. Why Sam?” he asked, leaning against a building.
“I was just thinking of the Good Samaritan. That’s all.”
“Oh. Well, I’m flattered. So how did you find him?”
“I’m Song. I was looking for an address and very lost when I heard him calling for help. Not sure what happened. All he’s said to me is, ‘help me,’ and what you heard.”
“He got lucky then,” Nick said. “Most people are too busy and would have ignored him.”
They stood in silence, waiting until the sirens approached, while Akki-chan breathed raggedly at their feet. Finally the ambulance appeared and Song waved her arms. They rolled a gurney down the alley and she watched as they checked the man over.
“Ok, well I need to get to work…” Nick said with a frown, yet he stood, watching alongside her.
“Can you help me with the address?” Song asked and he looked at it.
“Huh, weirdest address I’ve ever seen. If you can find the whole number then ask there.”
“I’ve already looked for it. The numbers skip and it doesn’t seem to exist,” Song said.
“Hmmm,” Nick said, fidding with his phone. “Ah, here’s a map,” he said a moment later. Studying it with him, she glanced up when an EMT approached them.
“Do either of you know the victim?” They shook their heads negatively. “The cops will be here soon. They will want a report,” he said and they looked at eachother.
“Your part shouldn’t take long,” Song said slowly and he nodded.
In the end the cops did not keep either of them very long, and then Nick was nice enough to help her find the address before rushing off. Standing in front of a practically unmarked building which did not impress her as anything other than a block of concrete, Song held her bags and frowned.
There was only one doorway to be found, and it was down the alleyway just a few blocks from where she had stood not long ago with a man bleeding from a gut knife wound. Squaring her shoulders, she walked up to it and knocked. Her future would begin now.