Encounters with the Unnoticed: Libby and Frank

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On a cold night, I found her …lying down there…alone. She could have been placed in a standing position, placed in a corner or even better a proper cupboard like any broom should be but she was just there. I didn’t know how to put it, it was like she was ignored to the point no one cared she was there. She had no use at all.  It was heartbreaking.

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Are you alright?” I slowly came towards her.

“Oh, good evening.” She said hesitantly and politely. “Yes, mam. I am quite alright. You have nothing to worry about, mam.”

I looked at her, unsure what to do. It’s like I want to do something but I didn’t know what it is.

“It’s just that…”

“Alone, mam?”

“Well…?” I said uncertainly.

“Lonely, mam? No worries, Frank’s here to keep me company. He always has.”

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And that’s when I noticed an orange trash bin.

“Hello there, mam.  A good evening to you.”

“Hello, Frank. A good evening to you too.” I gave a small nod.

“Don’t worry of Libby here. She is quite a talker despite how she looks.” He gave a snigger.

“HEY! That isn’t nice of you to speak of.” That was the first time I heard Libby talk informally and comfortably.

“Well, I only speak the truth.”

“Truth that hurts people’s feelings, it’s what you should say!” She retorted.

This gave me a laugh. And in that instant, I saw that Libby had some purpose. In some ways, she found another way to be useful. I gave a warm smile despite the continues freezing wind engulfing Sham Shui Po.

And as I drifted away, I could still hear them banter like there is no tomorrow.

How an unlikely couple. But I couldn’t help give a hearty smile.

Encounters with the Unnoticed: Mr. Patrick Peggsworth

ImageI’ve been standing and waiting for my train. This does not happen often…this long wait.

And so I grew impatient. Suddenly I kept fidgeting and out of nowhere I looked up. That’s when I noticed him.

“Hello!” He said. “It’s awfully nice someone has noticed me. Usually, these people only look at the ground or the tiny and flat boxes they always bring.”

“Oh, I see. I’m sorry that seems quite rude. Well from all of us, we are all sorry.”

“It’s quite alright, dear. What can I say, I am a fellow who’s overlooked. By the way the name is Peggsworth, Patrick Peggsworth.”

“Hi! Nice to meet you, Mr. Peggsworth.”

“Nooo! Call me Patrick.”

“Well then, it’s nice to me, Patrick.” Despite the tube in front of his mouth, he gave a delighted beam.

It was quite a pleasant chat. I didn’t even notice the train was in front of me until the doors opened.

We said our goodbyes. He gave another smile. Yet…it seemed quite different from the first one. The smile…it bothered me for some reason. It intrigued and haunted me for the rest of the trip. Then it hit me, that smile wasn’t just any kind of some… it was a lonely smile.

It dawned on me. No one will ever look up at Mr. Peggsworth… or I mean, Patrick ever again. Even I…most probably won’t ever remember to look up and just give a simple “hello!” or “how you doing, Patrick?” Because we are all consumed by our busy lives that we can’t even stop to appreciate the little things.

And yes, including the tiny, flat box we always bring and have our hands on, as said by the sweet old Mr. Patrick Peggsworth.