It was a beautiful summer morning when Leonard decided to go for a walk. He chose a less traveled road and began to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Soon he left the small town behind and was out on the open road. On the left side of the road were huge cornfields that stretched for miles and miles. On the right side of the road was a deep ditch where rainwater would drain. It was relatively dry, since there hadn’t been any rain in about a week. Beyond the ditch were more cornfields for about a mile, then, a forest abruptly started and went on to the horizon. All in all, Leonard was thoroughly enjoying his walk.
“Well, I haven’t enjoyed a walk like this in a long while,” Leonard said to himself happily. “I really should walk more often. Everyone knows it’s a good way to exercise.” He began whistling as he looked around at the sights.
Leonard had walked for several miles when he realized it was nearing afternoon. “I suppose I should turn back and head for home. I’m starving, and this road is empty for the next fifty miles.” He turned around and began walking back when he was grabbed roughly and thrown to the ground. His face smashed into the asphalt as a foot duck into his back.
“Alright, we can make this easy for you if you cooperate with us,” A raspy voice said as Leonard writhed on the ground with a foot digging into his back. He felt like his spine would snap if this guy didn’t get off of him.
“Yeah… sure, whatever you want,” Leonard replied as he gasped for breath. He was shocked that this was happening to him. He had always heard of it happening to other people; strangers, people he never heard of. But here he was on the ground with a foot in his back and his nose ground into the asphalt. A moment after he replied, he was pulled up violently and his arms were twisted behind his back. “Aargh!” Leonard cried out in pain. He was fairly certain his nose was broken as he felt the blood run down his face. A man quickly stepped in front of him and grabbed his shirt collar.
“Listen mister, if you want to live, give us all your money now and don’t tell no one about this, you hear?!” He said harshly as he tightened his grip on his collar, making Leonard choke slightly. The bandit holding Leonard’s collar had on a ski mask, so Leonard couldn’t make out any features. The one thing he did notice about the guy was that he had a large skull tattoo on his left arm with a snake wrapped around it, its fangs dripping blood.
Leonard felt the other two; at least, he though it was two people dig in his pockets pulling out anything he had in them. “Hey look, I’m sorry, I didn’t bring any money with me, OK guys? I… I don’t have anything I’d think you want…,” He stuttered in fear. The sun was beginning to beat down heavily on him.
The others brought their hands up empty to show Tattoo Guy Leonard was right. Tattoo Guy swore and motioned to the others. “Get rid of this nobody,” He said as he stood back to let them do their dirty work.
The next few minutes were a blur for Leonard. He had a vague realization that he was being thrown around; that he was being punched and slugged. His last memory was being thrown to the ground where he fell endlessly until he sank into murky blackness.
Leonard laid on the side of the road in the ditch for several hours. No one usually passed on the road he had been walking on, so help wasn’t likely. He faded in and out of consciousness every now and then. When he was conscious, the main thing he felt was pain, immense pain, all over his body. He was vaguely aware that he was lying on the ground, and that his left arm was lying in the wrong direction. Then he would sink back into unconsciousness.
On one of his trips into consciousness, he realized he needed to get help, no matter how slim his chances of survival were. He tried lifting his left arm, but the spears of pain throughout his shoulder told him that would be impossible. He switched to his right arm and found he could lift it without experiencing too much pain. He slowly brought it up until he found a dirt wall. He followed it with his fingers until he found the top. He began sliding his hand across the top. “Alright, now, if I can raise up the rest of my body,” Leonard thought as he tried to put some weight on his arm. But as he began to press down to lift himself up, he felt himself slipping out of consciousness. “No! I… I can’t…Got to… not now…”
About a third of his arm was now hanging over the side of the ditch onto the road. Any passerby would more than likely notice him, unless they were blind or not paying attention to the road. And it just so happened, someone was riding a bike down the road that day. He was a preacher, on his way to his congregation. “I’m going to be late if I don’t step on it!” He thought silently to himself as he began pedaling faster. “If I’m late, I’ll never hear the end of it and – Whoa! What in the world!” He braked to a stop as he noticed a man lying on the side of the road. He crossed lanes and pulled to a stop in front of the man in the ditch. The preacher looked him over. “Who in the world? I wonder what happened? Should I help him?” He thought to himself as he mulled over the predicament. “If I help him, I’ll definitely be late for my own sermon, and I can’t have that happen. Besides, I can’t carry him on my bike, and he looks dead anyway.” With that final thought, he quickly started up his bike and crossed over to the other side.
Leonard never noticed him, as he was still unconscious. He continued to lay there as the dusk began to settle.
A car came along about a half hour after the preacher left. The driver was a doctor, who was meandering slowly along enjoying the dusky setting. It was impossible for him not to notice the arm hanging over the ditch. He quickly braked to a stop and got out of the car. The doctor ran over to the man and checked for a pulse. “He seems to have a pulse, but I think he’s unconscious.” He said out loud as he took notice of his left arm, grotesquely twisted. “He won’t survive if doesn’t get medical attention here shortly.” He backed off and surveyed the situation more thoroughly. “I could take him in my car, but, that will mess up my new interior job. I suppose I could try to call an ambulance,” He said as he pulled out his cell phone and quickly dialed 9-1-1. He suddenly realized he was out of range and couldn’t call anyone. “Oh great, now what do I do!” He glanced at his watch and saw what time it was. “Aw, forget it; I got a date here soon anyway. I’m sure someone else will come and get him.” He shook his head as he got back in his car and drove away.
Leonard did not notice the doctor either. He was still unconscious as the sun slowly continued to set.
The sun had almost disappeared as headlights appeared ahead on the road ahead. They quickly stopped and a car door opened as a man quickly stepped out and crossed the road. Even in the darkening light it was clear to see that he was Arabian. He examined the man in the ditch and began to figure out a way to pull him out. “I got to get this poor man out of here! He’s obviously been here for awhile,” The Arabian said. He hastily, yet carefully pulled him out, trying not to open any old wounds. He gently placed the broken man in the back of his car and drove off immediately.
Leonard opened his eyes and looked around. He noticed white walls all around him. As he raised his head, he realized he was in a hospital room. His arm was in a cast and an IV was in his other arm. He had several bandages on his legs and one around his head. Everything came back to him slowly, up until waking up. “How… how did I get here?” He asked hoarsely. A man suddenly walked into the room.
“You doing okay?” He asked with an Arabian accent.
“Who are you?” Leonard replied as he slowly reached for a glass of water beside his bed.
The man crossed over to Leonard’s bed and handed him the glass. Leonard took it gratefully. “You probably don’t recognize me, but I’m Amir.” A doctor strutted in the room then and began looking Leonard over.
Amir turned to the doctor and said quietly, “If you need any more money, here’s my number. Call me if you need anything else.” With that, he strode quickly out the door.
The doctor turned to Leonard and began checking his pulse. “You know, that Muslim saved your life. Any longer out on the road and you would have been dead. I guess you owe him some thanks,” he said as he turned and headed out the door. He paused in the doorway and turned around with a thoughtful look. “You know, you would never expect a Muslim to help out a person for no reason. He’s paid all of your doctor bills, and trust me, you ran up some bill,” he laughed as he shook his head, “I guess it shows you who your real neighbor is, right?” He then walked out, leaving Leonard with his thoughts.