9 March 2010

Night Angels

Ann was 25 years old and she was a young doctor. Ann was thin and short, with a fantastic sense of humour and kindness. She had green emerald eyes and a long and straight hair fire coloured. She was a beach lover, she loved the peace and the freedom of the sea, but she loved all the confusion of a big city too, all its lights, cars and shops.
Ann had a friend, Ayda, very active, with a contagious energy who used to do voluntary work in the city. Ayda departed every night in a van with more volunteers to the streets and distributed food, clothes and medical cares to the homeless.
One day Ayda invited Ann to go with her to the streets to experiment volunteer work, and Ann accepted immediately. On the following Friday, a very cold night, Ann joined Ayda and went on her first experience as a volunteer. Ann didn’t imagine how many people were waiting for them to ask for aid. In the places where, during the day, the expensive and famous shops functioned, at night those places became full of homeless people to protect themselves from the rain and the cold.
In the beginning of the night Ann started distributing food and sleeping-bags. Then Ann treated the small wounds of the homeless. The first homeless that was treated by Ann was Mr.Smith. He was in the streets for five years and he knew all the other homeless. Ann treated Mr. Smith and he started to open up, talking about his life. He was a learned person that went to the street when he got divorced. He told Ann that he still had hope to get out of the streets and to have a normal life. She talked to Mr. Stuart, another homeless whose son and wife had died in a car accident. With that disaster he started drinking and became an alcoholic. Mr Stuart was wearing an old wool sweater, very old and damaged jeans and overcoat. He had long beard and lots of pain wrinkles.
All the homeless talked about the disinterest people showed to them. After some months of help and gathering, Ann won the respect and admiration of lots of homeless, but she created a special affinity with Mr. Stuart. In one of the calmest nights Ann talked with Stuart about an institution that used to shelter and integrate homeless people in the society. She convinced him to go into a rehab programme.
Ann had applied to a medical specialization course in the USA and she received the notice that she had been chosen. She was very excited but she was sad too, to leave her family and friends.
When Ann finished her two-year course successfully, she came back to England.
One summer night, when Ann was watching a musical concert of a well known British band, she thought she knew a familiar face in the band. When the show ended a very handsome man, looking like an artist, approached her. At that moment Ann recognized the bearded and badly dressed Mr. Stuart. They embraced. He started crying and told Ann all about his new life since he had started his rehab programme. He told her that he had always loved music and that when he was young he used to play in garage bands and at that moment he was part of that band that had performed minutes before.
Actually Mr. Stuart has a job, he loves what he does, he has a house and he could rebuild his life but he still visits his old street mates. Ann still visits the homeless people too, besides being full of work, she can always find time to visit her friends in the streets with her best friend Ayda and now with Mr. Stuart too.
Romana, 1001

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