It was after work several weeks ago where a simple event warmed my heart with sentimental happy feelings. I was going on BART to go to a friend’s house when I saw a phone on the first row of seats. Right away I thought of my experiences with my clients losing things on public transit and the feelings of worry and responsibility in attempting to retrieve them. I’ve been on the other end and it is not fun.
There were some teenage girls chatting in the seats behind the one with the cellphone who saw me. I was on the phone at the time asking out loud what I should do and one of them told me to go check it into the lost and found.
I got off on the very next stop.
When I walked out of the BART train and was at the next station, I tried seeing if I could get a hold of anyone associated with the phone but the screen was locked. As I walked up the stairs, however, I noticed the words “Mommy” was on the screen. Mommy was calling! I answered the phone.
“Hi! I found the phone! You can pick it up at the BART station I’m at,” I said, maybe a little too enthusiastically.
The woman on the other end seemed surprised, confused, relieved, cautious. I walked up to the ticket booth where a man was sitting. He was over hearing me talk to the woman on the phone and told me that he needs to write down her name and that she will need to bring her ID when they come pick up the phone. The woman sounded very relieved saying that her daughter is only thirteen and was so upset about losing it. The man wrote her name down and was very indifferent about the situation. I told her the station and she said they will be there soon. We hung up and I gave the man in the ticket booth the phone. I couldn’t keep track how many times the woman said thank you and “you are an angel!”
Downstairs at the platform, I was waiting for the next outbound train. But then a thought occurred to me.
Soon the next outbound BART train arrived but I didn’t get on. I watched the people get off the train and go up the multiple stairwells to street level. I went up the stairs too and watched two curly long haired women, one taller, one shorter, walk up to the ticket booth.
It was them!
They stood there seemingly with crossed fingers, waiting for the man at the ticket booth to okay the ID card and to hopefully give them the phone. When he did I could see the weight from their shoulders lift. The daughter was holding her phone, looking at it reverently, as her mom put an arm around her daughter’s shoulders, an affectionate gratitude teased with forewarning.
They walked to the stairwell where I was standing and I went down with them. The next outbound BART train pulled up to the platform. I got on, they got on.
They sat right next to me. I wondered if I should say anything. The mom was going through the safety protocols to follow after losing a phone with her daughter. Maybe they would be happy to meet the person who found the phone, the “angel” as the mom had said. Or maybe that would ruin the story.
One stop later I get off the BART train and see them zoom pass me. I smiled as I walked to my friend’s house.