Simon was a selfish teenager who wouldn’t help anyone if there was no benefit for him. That’s how he met a blind older woman on the road. He helped her once, but he ignored her when they met again until she saved his life. Afterward, she shockingly rewarded him
“Young man, can you please help me cross the road?” Simon heard an older woman say. He looked up from his phone for a second and thought about ignoring her. But he noticed she had a walking stick, and upon seeing her eyes, he knew instantly she was blind and needed assistance. He usually wouldn’t do it at all, but this was different.
“I’ll give you a surprise when we cross the road,” the older woman continued, and Simon’s eyebrows went up.
“Alright. Let’s go,” he replied, wondering if the woman was going to give him some cash. He craved some burgers, and a crisp 20-dollar bill could come in handy right about now. Maybe it would be more money. So he offered his arm, and the woman grabbed it. It was slow, but they finally reached the other side.
“Ok, here we are,” he said excitedly, waiting for whatever surprise she offered. The older woman reached into her purse and rummaged around for a second. Finally, she produced a chocolate bar and gave it to Simon.
“There you go, young man. It’s my favorite chocolate. I hope you like it too,” the woman said, offering the treat. Simon couldn’t hide his disappointment, but he didn’t care because the woman couldn’t see his expression.
“Ugh… yeah, ok. Whatever,” he muttered, took the candy bar, and walked away from her. What a waste of time. I’m never doing that again, he thought as he went down the street
Simon was 15 years old and never had time for anyone but himself. He didn’t help his parents at their convenience store, and he didn’t care about much in life. The future of the world seemed too bleak to plan anything. He had no ambitions, and therefore, no goals. So he just tried to mind his own business and hoped others wouldn’t bother him. He knew that helping others was not his calling and would never bother to help the older woman if he ever saw her again.
Several days later…
Unlike most days for the jaded teenager, Simon was excited for today. His mother had promised to make him pot roast for dinner, which was his favorite food in the world. Usually, she didn’t have time because of the store, but she offered to cook some today for some reason. Finally! A reason to come home early, he thought.
His mother had asked him to bring a couple of bottles of Coke because they had run out at the store. That was fine because he loved drinking soda too, and the big supermarket was nearby on a random street in New Jersey.
After paying, he exited the store and almost stopped in his tracks. The blind old woman was right there, waiting by the stoplight. He decided to wait way back, so she wouldn’t ask him for help. The light was about to turn green for pedestrians, so he speeded forward and started walking.
Suddenly, he felt a strong hand pulling him back toward the sidewalk. Then he felt the swoosh of wind from his front. A car had just sped up in front of him. The vehicle would’ve struck him if the hand had not pulled him back.
Simon might be too cynical for the world, but he had to thank whoever saved him, so he turned and was shocked. The blind woman was still holding on to his jacket.
“Oh, ma’am. You saved me?” Simon asked in surprise.
“Young man. You always have to wait a bit before crossing the street because some of these cars don’t care about pedestrians,” she scolded him gently, letting go of his jacket.
“But how? I mean… how did you know?”
“I might be blind, young man. But my other senses are sharp. I can hear when cars hit the brakes, and this one didn’t. I also felt you when you walked past and heard your footsteps. I took a chance,” the older woman revealed and smiled at Simon.
Simon was fascinated by the explanation. He couldn’t believe it. Movies always said that people with such disabilities had heightened senses, but he didn’t think that was real. “So you’re saying that you have Spidey-senses,” Simon said humorously.
“Ah… well, yes. I guess you could say that. I used to read comic books before I lost my eyesight. I wish someone would read them to me so I know what Spiderman’s been up to in the last few decades,” the old woman replied, shocking him again.
“You like Spiderman? I love comic books too. My dad just gave me the two new issues. I could read them to you sometime,” Simon suggested and stopped for a second. Really? Was he going to read comic books to an old blind lady? But the idea didn’t repulse him.
That would be lovely. Write down my phone number and call me sometime. By the way, you can call me Mrs. Finnegan. And you must be Simon Higgins, right? I know your parents run the convenience store two blocks away,” she continued.
“Wow! You really can sense that too? That’s awesome. Yeah, I’ll call you, and we can meet tomorrow, Mrs. Finnegan,” the teenager said and wrote down the woman’s number on his smartphone.
After that day, Simon went to Mrs. Finnegan’s house twice a week and read her comic books. He also brought sci-fi and other kinds of books to read with her. It was more fun than he expected.
His parents were astonished when he told them what he was doing, but in a good way. Their son had changed entirely after being saved by Mrs. Finnegan. He started treating people differently.
Mrs. Finnegan didn’t have to grocery shop on her own ever again. She was like the grandmother he never had but way cooler with her Spidey-senses.
Sadly, Mrs. Finnegan died in her sleep unexpectedly a few months after she saved Simon at the crosswalk. To everyone’s surprise, she left everything she had to Simon, whom she started to consider like a grandson. The inheritance consisted of a considerable amount of money, her house, furniture, and some valuable items, including a pricey copy of The Amazing Spiderman from the ‘60s.
The old Simon would’ve spent the money and kept everything. But this Simon decided to donate the money to a charity for blind people. He only kept the woman’s walking stick as a memento and the old copy of that precious comic book that bonded them. Additionally, he decided to find something he loved and create goals for his future.
What can we learn from this story?
One encounter can change your life. Simon was a selfish, cynical teenager until a woman saved him. Afterward, he became a different person.
Teenagers can find mentors and people to look up to in the strangest places. Simon bonded with Mrs. Finnegan over their love for Spiderman, and he changed because of her.