It was almost midnight.
Just ahead of us, a young man and woman got up from a nearby bench, and started walking in front of us.
The young man then moved in front of the girl and started yelling in her face.
She moved around him, and he followed, continuing to yell at her.
She continued walking toward another group of boys.
He got in her face again, still yelling.
I watched the whole time, wondering if I should intervene.
When I should intervene.
My friend started down the stairs to the car, and I just stood at the top watching. Wondering.
Finally, I walked over to the group - 4 young men/boys and this one young woman.
She replied yes.
"That's good. I wanted to check. Four boys and one girl, make me nervous, especially when one is being aggressive.
"Who are you calling a boy?" the yeller replied, now getting in my face.
"I am. I am a woman, and you are a boy," I replied.
Another of the boys said, "Madame, we are friends. Everything is okay."
"Are you sure? It's late at night, and I know what a group of boys can do to a girl."
"Yes, madame, it's okay. We are friends."
I turned to the girl and asked again if she was okay.
She, again, said yes.
I left them there, and went home.
This morning, I am still thinking about them.
Still thinking about the girl.
Is she okay?
Did she see me as an ally?
Or a nuisance?
Does she know enough about the world to understand my worry?
Do all of them know enough about the world to understand why I came over?
It takes courage to be an ally for others - to lend our voice in defense of others.
Perhaps, she didn't need me as her ally.
But at least I could sleep last night, knowing that I used my voice, rather than staying silent.
"Ally is not a noun. Allies are defined by their actions."
~Dr. Makini King
Have you been an ally to anyone lately? How so?
Originally posted on LinkedIn with comments.
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I am Theresa Destrebecq.