Today I found myself in a weird situation. I got off the train and was doubting to take the bus to work, but since it was sunny and movement is better, I decided to walk. I pass two traincrossings on the way to work. Today on one of them, I saw a boy, just standing there.
First I passed, but something didn’t feel right. I don’t know why, but my stomach felt really weird. So I stopped walking and looked back. He was still there. I assume he was around fourteen or something, but I’m bad in guessing ages, so maybe that was not right. But anyway, that’s not a place to stay and chill. I stayed there for a little while, to observe him. Maybe that’s freaky, I don’t know. It’s a busy crossing and every one else in the car, on the bike or on foot seemed to be in their own worlds, no one noticing the boy. He sat on the fence; with his legs on the railway side. Trains drive there on full speed. He seemed not good to me somehow. I also know there’s a mental health centre close, so I don’t know, but it seemed not really okay to me.
While doubting what to do, I tried to collect my guts and ask him if he was okay. I felt my heartrate going up. But I walked up to him and asked. He looked at me a bit distant, saying he was fine. I don’t know, what are you supposed to say in situations like this? Maybe I say the wrong things, maybe I ask the wrong questions. I don’t know. I asked if he was okay and if he needed help. He said that he was okay. I didn’t really believe him, so I also said something like that I felt bad because I saw him hanging around the railwaycrossing. He said again: no, there’s nothing. I said take good care of yourself, gave him a friendly slap on his shoulder and moved. He walked away a bit further, but still close around the railwaycrossing.
Still this terrible feeling in my stomach. I was standing there, tying to decide what to do. If he would try to jump in front of a train I would be able to stop him I guess, but that’s not a solution because I couldn’t stay all the time at that place. So I called the police and told them the story, and that I was not sure what to do. They said they send out a car. So I stayed there, just to make sure that he wouldn’t walk or stand on the crossing. And waiting for the police to talk to them. (I think the boy noticed that I was waiting, and he saw the police car coming, and then started to walk away from the railway.)
I spoke with the officers, telling them everything above. They said that they would go talk to him and check, and thanked me for the phonecall. I was late at work (but I called to say why so that was fine). But I felt superweird.It touched something inside of me I guess, because I had suicidal thoughts in the past – so I don’t know, something of his look or behaviour reminded me of that. At work – my work sucks with certain things, but with this they seem to be really nice- there were a few people ‘waiting’ for me, to check and talk because they heard why I was coming in late. Not that it solves anything, but it was still nice, to know that they were there.
I couldn’t really concentrate at work, and in the end I called the police back to see if they could give me any news or if the boy was allright. I wasn’t sure if they were allowed to give me any news, but they told me that the officers went to talk to him and decided he was not ‘in need of any urgent help’ so they didn’t take him.
I guess I did the right thing; I couldn’t have lived with myself if I wouldn’t have stopped and check, and hear in the news later that someone died because of jumping in front of a train there. I hope the boy isn’t angry on me now, and that he understands when it was a false alarm. But I guess it’s better that he is pissed off with me then when he would really be so bad and no one would have cared.
I still find it weird that in the time I observed, no one, seemed to notice. Or no one seemed to care. No one seemed to find it weird. I just wonder, about that.
I guess all I can do, is hope that he is okay. Like in, really okay.