As if today wasn’t “exciting” enough, I just broke up a domestic dispute.
I am at a hospital with my wife who is recovering from some surgery. I decided to wonder the halls around 10 pm, looking for a snack. There was this guy following a few feet behind a girl saying things like “What? What am I doing? I’m just walking”. The girl was visibly upset and was telling him to go away, over and over. I watched for a while, acting like I was playing on my phone. I was hoping to see a silly argument, but it was apparent that he was just harassing her.
I walked over and told him, “I think she’s made her self clear. You need to turn around now.” I was prepared for him to get angry and take it out on me, but he just seemed broken. His shoulders slumped and his voice changed.
“But she’s my wife.”
I could see the pain in his eyes. “I’ve been there man. Sometimes it’s better not to push too hard. She needs her space right now”.
He kept repeating, “but she’s my wife” and, “where am I supposed to go?”
“Somewhere else in the hospital. I don’t know what you guys are going through, but she doesn’t want to be around you right now.”
“She’s got my baby in her belly.” He looked down the hallway in the opposite direction, wrestling with something in his mind.
I kept him in still, chatting away to let the girl get some distance. I walked on, hoping that was enough. I didn’t think this was going turn ugly, but your never know.
As I rounded the corner, she reappeared looking for a way out of the building. He started to approach again, but I walked her to the nearest open exit. As we exited, he got closer. I let her leave (I think she was was looking for a place to smoke).
“I don’t know anything about you two, but you are doing nothing but harassing her right now. You could be nicest guy in the world, or you could be violent type. Right now you need to back off.”
There was an intense glare from him. You could see the rage building in his eyes. “Oh shit, here we go” I thought. I put one foot back, leaned back for balance, and prepared for him to go ape shit. Then something broke inside his eyes. His muscles loosen and he looked at his feet. He silently walk outside, but in the opposite direction of the girl.
I noticed a police car in a adjacent building, and walked over. It was a sheriff. I gave him a run down of what was going on and he pulled his car around to the girl. I had to walk half way around the hospital to find a door that was opened. I headed back to my wife’s room.
Did I help or hurt? It’s so hard to tell. My southern upbringing makes me defend the girl, but I wish I could help the guy. He wasn’t a clear asshole or jerk. Things are never that black or white. He didn’t need to be “taught a lesson”. She might have been the biggest bitch in the world. Or, considering where we are, there could be a huge decision that she has to make.
So many possibilities, so many outcomes. I just hope I made the right call.
Funny enough, as I was walking around trying to get back in the hospital, I thought of Joe Peacock’s stories. It made me laugh out loud as I thought, “What would Joe do?” It would have probably involved a Waffle House.