Based on True Events
Sometimes good guys don’t always get the glory. Sometimes gentlemen finish last. Batman at the end of The Dark Knight. Harrison Ford in The Fugitive (At the beginning, not the end. Because at the end he gets kudos from Tommy Lee Jones). Abraham Lincoln in the Senate race of 1858.
Now, Wade Bearden.
About a month and a half ago, my wife took our son to see her parents in Austin. I had previous commitments so I ended up staying home alone. Using the phrase “home alone” almost makes me want to call myself the adult version of Kevin McCallister. But thinking about it, that guy’s got to be pretty jacked up. Sure, he fought crooks and what not, but the traps he came up with were pretty demented. What kind of kid thinks of rigging an electrical converter to a sink? I wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin grew up to be the villain in those Saw movies.
Having the whole house to myself after my family left, I decided it might be fun to see a late-night movie. So I caught a showing. Alone at 10:30. On a Thursday. Because apparently I have no life.
The movie ended up being great and the guy I sat next to even let me share some of his popcorn. I probably should have asked him first, but we were strangers and that would have been weird. As I walked to my car after the film, I realized it was now close to one in the morning. Pausing to look at my watch, I heard two young girls slowly walking behind me. “Why are they out so late?” I thought. “What if some random guy is creeping around the parking garage right now?”
Slowing down my pace a bit, I figured the least I could do was keep watch over them until they reached their car. I’m a gentleman, right? I’d meander along, they’d walk past me and then get into their vehicle. All while I stood as a silent guardian. See, just like Batman (that joke is funny because Jim Gordon calls Batman “a silent guardian” in his closing monologue at the end of The Dark Knight).
As I shortened my steps, I realized the girls were also slowing down as well. I glanced back a few times without trying to be too obvious. Right about then, I heard their conversation turn to a whisper. I guess that’s hopeful. I mean the quieter they are, the hard it is for someone to sneak up without being heard.
Eventually, I had to stop so that they could walk past me. I wanted to be able to have them in my line of sight in case something happened. I like to think I did this pretty smooth. I paused to look down at my phone before they picked up the pace and raced by. They probably didn’t even know I was trying to help them.
The two girls were parked further down than me, so when I got to my car I just kind of stood there for a moment. One of the ladies turned and saw me looking at them. Before I could wave, she swiveled her head around and started whispering to her friend.
Usually, I’m pretty observant, but it wasn’t until that moment when I realized how creepy I must have looked. Not to mention the fact that I was wearing a hoodie in eighty degree weather. Movie theaters are usually pretty cold, alright.
Here, I was trying to protect these girls from some creep and I was probably turning them into prayer warriors. Sensing how odd the situation was, I decided to get back in my car, pull out of my parking spot, and drive off.
Then I thought, “But WHAT IF…?” I knew I couldn’t leave those girls in a dark parking garage alone at one in the morning. I had to do the right thing no matter how much it might scare the mess out of them.
Not knowing how else to react, I hit my car brakes and squealed to a stop. The sound of my abrupt halt echoed across the garage. Already making a scene, I decided to slowly follow behind the girls in my car. It was one of those “screw it” moments. I already looked like a creep, so why not give them some motivation to quickly get in their car? Then we could all go home.
They hopped in their vehicle and sped out of the garage. I waited for a minute or so before I drove off. There was no way I was going to get stuck behind them at a red light.
I’m not so sure what would have happened if I had decided not to see that Thursday night movie alone. Probably nothing, but at least I helped two people learn a valuable lesson. Weirdos come out at night.
I’ll probably never get a gold-bordered thank you note. The only thing I can hope for is a “barely escaped from a killer” tweet. But hey, sometimes gentlemen finish last. When I really think about it though, who cares if we do. I may not have been the hero they deserved, but I’m the hero they needed. Here’s to doing the right thing anyway.
You’re welcome world.
Wade’s Wisdom is a regular column by Wade Bearden. Here he shares his wisdom, knowledge, and intricate understanding of life to readers all over the world. Like this piece? You’ll probably enjoy these too: