There they were, in plain sight — my car keys laying on the driver’s seat and cell phone plugged into the charger. In the midst of holiday shopping, with several more stops to go, I wanted to get home before heavy traffic stole more time. Oh well.
The biting cold stung my uncovered ears and head — my hat lay on the passenger seat too. Walking back into the dollar store, I asked the cashier if I could use the phone because I locked my keys in the car. The skinny, high-school looking girl asked her manager if I could use the phone. I dialed home. Busy. Now what?
Reading my anxiety over tieing up the store’s phone and her time, the girl’s colossal black olive eyes looked up at me, “Do you have Triple A?” she asked.
“No. No, I don’t.” I didn’t tell her I gave it up years ago when the price kept increasing and they appeared more interested in selling travel plans than providing road side assistance. Instead, I’d obtained the same service through my car insurance but alas, that information was also in my locked car. Sigh.
“Well, I do. You can use mine,” she said while reaching for her purse under the checkout stand.
“I don’t want to get you in trouble.”
“It’s okay. I’ve been through this. I know what it’s like,” she smiled, her teeth jutting from sunken cheekbones confined by strands of fine hair barely warming her bony shoulders. Pulling out her AAA card, she showed me the account number and phone number to call. I felt surprised and relieved all at once.
Someone finally responded at Triple AAA and after I provided the required information, told me they would arrive in 45 minutes to an hour. The young clerk told me to just sign her name when the serviceman arrived but that I should wait inside the warm store. I don’t know if I was more stunned by her blind trust in me or her thoughtfulness in today’s self-involved world.
“Thank you. Thank you for your kindness. I so appreciate it,” I said. She waved off my offer of a $20 bill even though she most likely earns a $7.25 minimum wage. I insisted, “Please. You’ve been so generous in helping me.” Her wide smile reappeared, and I walked away thinking…
Isn’t life interesting how our needs are met?
via Daily Prompt: Meager
Featured image: unsplash-logoMitchel Lensink
Original image (modified) of girl:unsplash-logoAlexander Mils