He was leaning heavily on the wall when I first saw him. It was New Years' Eve, so I assumed he had just had a bit too much. "You alright? Too much to drink?" I asked. "Yeah.
Yeah, something like that," he said. I turned to follow my sister, who was by then pretty far ahead of me. But as I turned away, I saw him double over, clearly in pain.
I ran over to where he was, suddenly worried. "Are you sure you're okay?" I asked. He nodded. Then he let out a sharp cry. "Alright, that's it. You are not fine.
Come on, we need to get you to a hospital." He shook his head. "No. There's no time." My sister appeared at my side. "Come on, Linda," she said impatiently. Then she saw him.
"What's wrong with him?" "I-I think he's dying." He looked up at me. "Linda. All my life, I have been lonely. My death will be the same. Go, and let me die in peace.
" "No," I said, taking his hand in my own. "No. You should not have to die alone. Amanda, go ahead, I'll catch up with you." My sister ran on ahead.
The man looked up at me, and I could see the thanks in his eyes. Then he was gone, just like that.
He died with a smile on his face, though, and I knew that I truly had helped by not making him spend his final moments alone.
As I caught up with her, tears streaming down my cheeks, Amanda asked, "How did he die?" "I don't know," I replied. "I don't even know his name."