Moral Dilemma - Short Story

‘Look Lilly, I really like this training set.’ Ricky pointed at the sport shop window. ‘For next birthday you can buy me something like that’ he added jokingly as the price was quite high.

Still Lilly knew he would really like to get something like that but he perfectly understood that money was not something that grows on trees.

Lilly and her nephew were just standing in front of a local sport shop selling goods specifically aimed at young football players. She promised him a pair of football shoes for his birthday but she preferred he picked something he really liked so they were on their trip through shops today. He had a rough idea of what he wanted but he hasn’t seen anything particularly awesome so far.

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They were chatting for a moment longer and suddenly they have noticed a man, most likely a drunkard, walking wobblingly for a second or two before falling to the ground. He was lying on the pavement and seemed unable to get up.

‘Lilly, look, the man has fallen, we need to help him’ Ricky’s voice was urging her to do something but she was still standing in the same spot unable to move herself. Her mind was thinking through millions scenarios rapidly.

‘What to do, what to do?’ she was wondering. ‘He is probably a drunkard and once he feels better he gets up without anybody’s help’ she thought. ‘He is heavy and I have a little boy with me so what if the man suddenly tries to attack Ricky?’ she was worried. ‘But he might be actually ill and may need an ambulance’. Worries about Ricky and the feeling that it’s safer to stay away were battling in her mind with an urge to help and seconds were passing by.

When she was thinking she noticed two men walking quickly towards them. One was young, in early twenties, sporty look. Another older, in mid-forties, looked more like a businessman in his smart suit. They were both deeply lost in the discussion they had when they have noticed the man lying on the pavement.

The older one haven’t spared the man another look but the younger kept looking and even turned his head when they were passing by. He was puzzled and actually worried. ‘Hey, this man there might need an ambulance’ he said to his colleague. ‘It’s probably a drunkard, leave it’ the older said without slowing down. ‘It doesn’t matter, he might have had broken something or could have had a brain concussion. We need to help him’ the younger man said with a determination while already going back to the lying man. The older had no choice as to join his friend.

Lilly felt huge relief as her battle could end without any action. She didn’t have to make a decision as someone else took over the burden. The younger man called the ambulance and helped the man to get up. This man, drunkard or not, was now in safe hands she thought and she urged Ricky to the shop.

When Ricky was trying on different shoes fussing about, she kept rethinking the situation that has just happened. She actually felt guilty. She felt ashamed of her behaviour. She wished she was like Ricky who seeing someone in need of help, just wanted to help and saw no reasons he shouldn’t.

She was really proud of her nephew and grateful for the young man. The media kept showing the world of violence when people were indifferent to others pain and misfortune yet she just could see with her very own eyes something completely opposite. Older people kept blaming the young generation for all the wrong things in the world but looking from the events, they actually should feel ashamed as she did. ‘Thanks God for the young people like this man and her nephew, the world is not lost yet’ she thought and somehow started to feel safer.

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Comments 15 comments

megni profile image

megni 5 years ago

You have it right. A good story and one showing up the best side of youth parents often overlook. Notice you too are a newcomer to Hubpages. Great site isn't it?


Ania L profile image

Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you @megni for stopping by and reading. Yes, an excellent site, I really enjoy being part of this community.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

I remember long ago when I was traveling with my two kids and we stopped at a rest stop along I-5. I and my daughter went into the women's rest room and saw a note, begging for help. It said a family was marooned with no money and not enough money to buy gas to get on their way. I told us how to get to their car to contribute. I was suspicious, but my daughter was saying we needed to help these people. I remembered my daughter's birth money was often in need, and because of her, we gave. Of course, I later found that this was a scam, as I had suspected and many people relied on the sympathy of others who would only come that way once. In fact, they came often to different rest stops, and they weren't the only ones. They almost always had crying babies with them and so on. Sometimes it is hard to know who's for real and who is just looking for an easy way to get cash.

Good story that brings this conflict many of us have to light.


Ania L profile image

Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you @WannaB. You are right that often such situations are created by people just using our good hearts. And it makes the conflict even bigger as because of such people you may decide to ignore one in real need. Tough isn't it?

On the other hand in theory we shouldn't be bothered with what happens next (if someone is cheating they will have to live with that) but only if what we do, is in line with our moral code. I know, it's idealistic and I don't follow it myself all the time but would be nice if I could.


Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

Not long after the doctors removed 3/4 of my father's pancrease, making him a diabetic, I went to the grocery store with him to get a few things for his fridge. I was one aisle over when I heard a woman screaming about a disgusting drunk falling on her. I knew immediately was having an insulin reaction as he was new to diabetes, and was having diffulty regulating his glucose levels. I quickly grabbed some sweets from the woman's cart and put it in my father's mouth. As my father recovered on the floor beside me, I chastised the woman quite harshly about her immediate assumption that my father was a disgusting drunk. He was neither. Sometimes there is only a matter of seconds between life and death. Please,try to do the right thing. Quickly.


Ania L profile image

Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you for sharing the story @Hubertsvoice. It shows how easily we, people, make assumptions and decide what is right or wrong based on them. Your dad was lucky having you so close.


Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

Some people like the one I talked about need to get over themselves, and realize that there are many people with real health issues.


Ania L profile image

Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

I'm sure the lady will think twice now before making an assumption that person behaving oddly in her appearance is simply drunk. I bet she will be more cautious and will consider the person being ill rather than drunk. And if not then there is no hope for her but as it often happens in life, she may suffer from similar bad treatment one day in the future.


Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

I'm not sure what ever happened to the woman. This happened around 30 years ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hi, Ania....LOVED THIS HUB! Such talent; Creativity and Ease in writing. Love your style. Voted up and away for YOU earned it. Love this type of story. I had one going on hubs, this makes me want to fire it back up. Im now a fan and follower. And YOU are Cordially Invited to check my hubs, that is, if you need a good laugh. Honest. You will see why. And I would relish the idea of you being a follower of mine also. Thanks and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Sincerely, Kenneth Avery/Hamilton, a rural town in northwest Alabama that resembles Mayberry, the sweet little town on the Andy Griffith Show. "Peace."


Ania L profile image

Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Kenneth :) Thank you so much for you very kind words and that you bothered yourself to stay to read. I definitely will check out your hubs.

Have a great Thanksgiving yourself!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Ania, I LOVED IT! You are a wonderful talent and I do recognize talent when I see and read it. I am planning on having a "Hub Reading Tour" in the next few days that will mean spending ONE DAY just reading the hubs of my followers, whom I cherish. And thank you, Ania, for reading my comedy hubs. And a Special Thanksgiving to YOU and YOURS. Your Distant Friend, KENNETH


Ania L profile image

Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you Kenneth, you made my day twice already with your kind and warm comments. Thank you so much!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Dear Ania . . .YOU, my friend, are very welcome. And YOU made MY day with your following me. I am very thankful and humbled. Keep your keyboard humming with these fantastic hubs. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. KENNETH


reader 4 years ago

wow! amazing story! well written!!! THANK YOU!

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