be safe.

For that time of the night, which was quite early, the train car was quite empty. I sat closer to the front of the car, with an empty seat between myself and the front wall of the car. At a stop, for a moment I wondered who would sit next to me on that seat. A big lady came and answered that question.

“STOP,” says the sign on the door between the train cars. “DO NOT OPEN,” in red, “Emergency Use Only.”

I started wondering why I’ve seen so many people go through those doors. Immediately, though, my wondering was shut down by someone going through that door. He was young and skinny, and he was wearing what looked like a big pair of amulets around his body. These big amulet-like cross-shoulders were full of ampoules as long as 10 cm each, arranged side-by-side from each other.

My first spontaneous thought identified them as ammo belts, though, and so I looked down – low enough to not see the man’s eyes, but high enough to keep an eye on the ampoules. Then I thought that they might contain some kind of chemicals, because they bear something inside that looked like liquid. The guy stopped next to me.

“Ma’am. Can I offer you some really nice scents?” I realised that the ampoules were perfume. Each of the ampoules had some kind of a label on it. I also realised the guy wasn’t talking to me.

“Thank you, I don’t need to buy anything,” the lady next to me answered, very firmly. I felt safe immediately. I was glad she was sitting next to me.

As the guy started to step away, the lady said, even more firmly, and a bit more loudly, “Be safe.”

I was dumbfounded. She was totally right: he might’ve had more to worry about his safety than I did about mine.

“I will. Thank you, ma’am,” they guy said, and left.