Elderly Woman on Bus Admits Sad Reason Why She's Going to the Cinema Alone


On Mandy Gould’s commute to a doctor’s appointment, she had no idea that she would be sent a huge reminder. A reminder in the form of an elderly woman.

The bus seemed to stop at every single red light which only added to her growing anxiety leading up to the appointment.

The elderly woman sat down next to her, dressed to the nines with her long, lace gloves being the highlight of her attire.

As soon as she sat down, she looked at Gould and kindly asked, “Excuse me dear, I’m looking for a cinema. Can you tell me if this bus is heading towards a cinema in Camden? I don’t mind which one.”

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Gould gladly told her that yes, in fact, she could get off at a particular stop and there would be a cinema nearby. Then the women responded with a few sentences that haunted Gould for hours:

“It’s my 75th birthday today you see. And I can’t bear spending it alone in the four empty walls of my home. I don’t even care what I see. I’m just going for the noise really.”

Gould’s heart dropped. For the reminder of her commute, Gould gladly chatted about her birthday and other things.

As she reflected back on the conversations Gould said, “The small talk that I would usually take for granted had made her afternoon.” She wished the woman a happy birthday and rushed off to her doctor’s appointment.

As she sat in the waiting room, she began to feel guilty for not accompanying the woman to the cinema. To not only recognize her loneliness, but to do something about it.

Meeting the woman on the bus served as a wake-up call for Gould. She began to think about all of the men and women who experience loneliness much like the woman she met on the bus.

Many of whom do not choose to be lonely. Gould now volunteers with Age UK, a non-profit that sets up regular phone calls with those who need companionship.

She still regrets not going to the cinema with the woman, but she’s extremely thankful that she is now aware of the problem.

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She wrote, “Since my emotional commute, I’ve looked into ways to help. Because, yes, we’ll never eradicate the problem but with hours seemingly wasted scrolling on social networks, there appears to be a way we can all help. If we want to make the time for something, we can. And will. It’s simple.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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