Whistling in tune to the latest Ed Sheeran song on his iPod, Darren skidded round a couple, who were taking their time to select some cheese, so he could grab some milk from the next shelf. “Watch it,” the male half of the couple said, shaking his head when he realised Darren was just a kid. “Kids,” he continued muttering. Darren said he was sorry but the man just glared at him. Darren picked up a carton of milk and quickly moved on. Clinking the coins that were rolling around in his pocket Darren detected that he had enough money for four pints of milk, two more than his mother had asked for but he knew it would be used and would save his mother a trip back the next day, so he went back and replaced the smaller carton with a larger one.
In the checkout queue Darren was tapping his foot in time to his music as he waited for the old girl in front to pay for her shopping it seemed he was again annoying the bloke he’d nearly ran into earlier. “Impatient little so and so,” he mumbled to his wife not too subtly as they stood behind him. Darren ignored him this time, not wanting to antagonise anyone but he refused to stop tapping his foot as he turned up his music another notch. The little old dear in front was still counting out her change and the couple behind moved to another aisle in the hope of being served quicker. “Hypocrite,” Darren thought as his iPod skipped to Jessie J.
Forgetting about the couple he moved up in the queue and handed over the money from his pocket to pay for the milk. Shoving the carton into his backpack he thanked the cashier, giving her a flirtatious wink as he took his change and sauntered off. Checking his watch he noticed that he had already used up fifteen of the twenty minutes his mother had given him to do the errand. Being just eleven Darren’s mother would not ordinarily send her son out on his own but she’d had no other choice, being ill with the flu, barely being able to function and having a screaming, thirsty, three year old, with no milk in the house. After Darren had offered she had reluctantly given in and let him go. Picking up speed he was almost floored when he tripped over his shoelace just outside the automatic doors of the supermarket. Groaning he bent down to tie them up, hearing his mother’s nagging voice in his head. As he looped the strings he was distracted by some shopping, tins and fruit, rolling around up ahead and he wondered who could have lost all of that and not have noticed. Standing up he now noticed a dropped carrier bag with a distinct hole in the bottom with more shopping lying in and around the bag.
Walking closer to the dropped load Darren now saw a woman, collapsed on the floor. He rushed to her side but not before seeing how people were looking but not stopping. As he started the basic first aid training he had been given at his Cubs group he found it difficult to comprehend that grown adults would continue to walk past like there was nothing they could do. Using his training he established that she was unconscious but breathing. A bang to the head as she had fallen had caused her to be knocked out. Ignoring the ignorant passers-by, he pulled out his mobile phone and called the emergency services. The operator asked him what service he required and he told them. As he waited he pulled his hat out of his pocket and used it to apply pressure to the wound the lady had received when she had fallen. Within seconds he was explaining to a man at the end of the phone what he thought had happened and what he thought was wrong. He sounded so grown up that no-one asked him his age and just told him he was doing a great job and paramedics would join him shortly. Hanging up he dropped his phone back into his pocket with his free hand, his other one still applying pressure to the cut on his patient’s head. His left leg had gone numb but he didn't dare move in fear of restarting the bleed that he seemed to currently have under control under his right hand.
Still no one had stopped to help or even offer assistance despite being nosy enough to slow down and take a good look. Yet he, a selfish little kid had stopped to care whilst the so called adults had walked on by.
The ambulance was finally pulling into the supermarket car park and Darren, who now had two dead legs, was grateful to see them. A young blonde got out of the driver’s seat whilst a slightly older red head got out of the back lugging a huge medical kit behind her. On seeing him crouching on the ground next to their patient both paramedics did a double take. Seeing their looks Darren just shrugged his shoulders and said, “No-one else would help her,” before looking away, afraid he would go red and embarrass himself. The women however were no longer worried about him and moved next to the woman lying on the ground. Firing questions at him as they worked he told them all he knew which wasn't actually that much. The wound, they said, was superficial and they hoped it wouldn't be long before she regained consciousness. “Keeping the pressure on that wound was clever stuff young man. Where’d you learn that?”
“Cubs,” he mumbled.
“Well young sir you showed maturity beyond your years today and looks like you saved the day along with it. This lady will be just fine. Now get yourself home and make sure you tell your parents how great you were today.” And that was it. He was dismissed. The professional had taken over and he was surplus to requirement. He picked up his backpack and broke into a run knowing his mother would now be really cross about how long he’d been.