He was crossing the road, warm day, picking up some groceries.
He saw her. Though, she looked disheveled, unsure of her surroundings. Not going to lie, he thought she was one of the homeless wanting some change.
Unconscious biases can be tricky to dismantle, as he walked past she reached out to him, trying to flag him down.
In that moment, he stopped playing his music.
"Hi, can you help me take a picture?"
"Yes, a picture with my cake".
She started moving towards her belongings, among them a cake bought at the local grocery store.
"Sure, of course."
She gestured to give him the phone. He thought about the pandemic and how this person was an unknown... then he saw the words on the cake. It read... "Happy birthday"
"Yes I just want a picture with my cake, it's my birthday."
"It's your birthday? Wow, happy birthday!"
"Yes, can you please take a picture with me and the cake in it? Please make sure to get the words on the cake."
Fidgeting around with the phone, he took multiple pictures of her with the cake, making sure that she had copies in both portrait and landscape.
"Well, I did what I could." He hands her the phone back.
"Thank you so much."
"Happy birthday again!" He walks away smiling to her, then sighed.
If it wasn't for the current circumstances... would she have been standing alone in the street, asking a random stranger to take a photo of her with her cake?
Her name is Jenna.