She walked through that same street she walks every day. The same houses, same trees, same lights, she paid no attention to them, it was all the same. She worked two blocks from the main avenue, and lived about 6 blocks away on the other side. When she gets to the main avenue, she thought, she would check her balance at the bank. She didn`t notice the man walking to the opposite direction, wearing jeans and striped shirt. Every time she noticed someone suspicious walking towards her, she would cross the street and pretend being interested on something on the other side. She was terrified of muggers. And who would have guessed that this middle-class looking man would be about to rob her? He approached her next to a tree, showed the knife in his pocket, and demanded for her purse.
– Oh my God! – her heart beating as fast as it can – Please, my kid`s medicine is in it. Look, I`ll give you my money…
– Ok! Ok! Just give me your wallet. – He thought for a second and decided he needed to sound more frightening – And your mobile, pass me the mobile!
– OK, here! – terrified, she took the huge cell phone out of her purse, making it look a lot lighter. The artifact was probably several years old.
– And that`s all you have? – he asked while he took the 50 bucks out of her wallet.
– Yes, yes, it is! I swear!
It`s hard to tell if it was because of Josiane`s expression of fear, or because of the giant dinosaur cell phone, or because of the kid`s medicine, but something on the crime scene touched Vanderlei`s heart. He was already looking to the sides to see if there was anyone watching them and run away when he turned back to Josiane, scaring her out again, and started to explain himself.
– Look, I`m sorry…
Josiane`s eyes were wide open, but she was less scared now and more curious.
– I am ill, you know, I got AIDS. The medicines are so expensive and I end up in the hospital every week, I had no other way out. I hope you understand.
– But… – she was getting emotional – Have you looked for help? You know, government help? There are some projects that help people in your conditions.
– It`s all bullshit! They help a couple of people and say they are doing their part, throw commercials on TV and make all that noise, all lies! You see, Ma`m… I`m sorry, what`s your name?
– It`s Bruna – she didn`t think long to answer, than realized he had her wallet with her ID in it – Josiane, I`m sorry, it`s the habit.
– I understand, we can`t trust people now a days.
Jo was feeling comfortable already.
– Yeah, especially when they rob you! – she laughed, he joined her.
– How rude of me! Taking your wallet with all your documents, it`s so much work to get new ones and you`ve got kids to take care of. Here, take it back.
He took the money and gave her back her wallet.
– Oh, wow! Thank you!
– You can have this back too.
He gave her back her mobile. He didn`t notice her expression of dislike, the phone was covered by insurance.
– Well – said Jo – can you walk me to the main avenue then? It`s only one block ahead.
He stared at her, suspicious.
– Oh, no! – she hurried to explain herself – I won`t even go to the police, I just want to avoid any more trouble. It`s getting dark now, what if someone else try to mug me and I don`t have any money left? What would they do to me? Would you believe me if I said: hey, sorry, I don`t have any money, some other mugger took it 5 minutes ago, maybe he`s a friend of yours. He would stab me for the disrespect.
Vanderlei laughed, but took a step back.
– Sorry Josiane, I hope you understand. I also have a son, we are waiting for the exams. Let`s hope he doesn`t have the virus.
– Oh, yeah, let`s hope so. Good luck! And Good luck on your treatment.
– Thank you.
They walked away, like 2 old friends that met on the street.
As soon as Jo got home she started to tell her sister what happened.
– Jesus, Jo! You got robbed?
– Yeah, he had a knife and took my money!
– You must call the police! – but Jo already had her phone in hands.
– I have a more important call to make… Hello! Yeah, I`d like to cancel my cell phone`s insurance. You want to know why? I`ll tell you why! Because the mugger gave it back, that`s why!