This morning as I was running the stairs shortly after six o'clock, a young woman, crying, hailed me from below as I was halfway up asking for help, so I came back down. (I was pretty much the only other person out.)
She was perhaps twenty-six, dressed nicely in a blue dress—from the night before—and said she didn’t know where she was. The knuckles on her left hand were cut open and bleeding. I asked her multiple times if she was okay and what I could do for her.
She gave me the name of a hotel, so I took her to it, as she kept repeating, between sobs, that she didn't know where she was. Eventually I asked, with a bit of a light touch, "You know you're in Boston, right?" which made her laugh and seemed to relax her a little. I asked what happened to her hand, but she didn't answer that question.
Her phone was gone—I have no idea what had gone down, where she had come from, how long she'd been out (I don't think it could have been that long, since it was in the upper twenties and she didn't seem to be in great pain from the cold)—and she kept crying.
I asked her if I could call anyone for her, or if she wanted to use my phone and call someone and if she had a room at this hotel that she could get into and if she was safe. She said no to questions one and two, and yes to the others. I must have asked her fifteen times if she was okay, if she there was anything she wanted me to do. Then she was apologizing for making me stop my workout, embarrassed, I think, but definitely shook up, almost dazed.
Not quite the same as the day on the stairs when I took a woman to a rehab facility and had her checked in—this woman today was more scared than anything—but as in life, you never know what will happen on the stairs.
I got her to her hotel, and turned around and went back to running the stairs.