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  • Coming back from work at night, I hardly even noticed people in the streets or the cars parked along the way. But I heard something odd when walking past a small garden. I looked inside and right behind the bushes, an old woman shouted and held fast to a woman's arm. She screamed 'Let me out! Let me go! You're not my daughter, you're no one! Why do you treat me so?'.

    The woman who tried to pick her up from the floor was her daughter. Although relatively young, she had also been ill recently and thus has no strength to help her fallen mother. A young lady stood by with a frightened look that confessed she hadn't witnessed anything similar in her life. Few do. Few understand what happens when one gets old.

    I'm very young, but I've seen lives fade away. I wonder how it would be like if one never witnessed a single death, or even heard about it. Would one be afraid at all? I tried to lift her so she wouldn't hurt her head, but she wouldn't let me. At once she hit my back and scratched my arms.

    'I don't deserve this kind of treatment. It's outrageous', the poor woman said quietly. I approached and tried to hold her so the other women could help her get on her feet. But they were too scared and the lady started shouting again. 'Don't touch me, don't touch me, I said!', she said while I still held her. 'Am I not a Christian woman? Have I not been a good mother?'. It almost felt unreal, or even fake, like a scene from a melodrama. But those scenes first spring up somewhere in the middle of San José; it's only later that they get to film them.

    'Call the police! I don't deserve this! Where are my daughters? Aren't they good for anything?'. The younger woman hurriedly called an ambulance, but they said they could not take her until she calmed down. Her daughter cried and tried to help me, but she was too scared. She trembled and tried to look away while holding a few pills in the palm of her hand. I tried to lift her from the floor one last time, but this time she buried her nails too deep in my wrist and I had to put her down. I started bleeding, but I stayed there anyway, trying to calm her down.

    But mostly, I remained there so her daughter wouldn't fall apart. Two elderly women trying to hold on to life with the meager means they had. A broken window, ruined flowers and narrow doorways was all I could see. She fell to the ground once more and hurt her knees. It was getting harder to control her. She threw the flowerpots to the ground and kept screaming. 'Why won't anyone listen to me?'.

    Eventually, some policemen were alerted and helped the woman.

    If she ever recognizes her daughter again, I hope she knows how much she has helped her for the past few years. I'll stop by tomorrow to see if they're faring any better. In the end, it doesn't really matter whether she remembers anything; I just hope she's feeling well.
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