And I said, “Thank you…” with a Smile (Pt 1)

This week has been all about inspiring change, making a difference, and being the person you were born to be through your work. In honor of this theme, I am going to take the next three Tuesdays to share with you a short story I wrote a couple of years back. As we go along, I look forward to your comments as you await the ending of this three-part series. Enjoy!

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And I said, “Thank you…” with a smile (Part One)

It had been a very long day at the office, one I would just as soon forget.  I knew times were tough, but I wasn’t expecting to lose my job.  The reality that I would be facing the unemployment ranks in the morning was still sinking in.

“Why,” I wondered, “does life have to be so unfair sometimes?”

The bitter wind took my breath away as I headed for my car.  A bout of wet snow the past several days had caked my car in a combination of dried muck and road salt.  “I’ll get it washed this weekend,” I thought, “but right now I just want to get home.” 

As I hurried across the parking lot in the growing darkness, avoiding the occasional patch of ice, I noticed a figure in the distance who seemed to be crouched over the hood of my car.  “What the heck?!” I muttered as I picked up my pace to investigate this unwelcome surprise.  As I approached, I watched the tall thin man turn to face me.

My first instinct was to take a defensive posture in case this stranger dared to confront me.  But my aggressive stance melted the moment the light of the overhead lamppost  illuminated his face.  Before me was not a man with ill intent, but a man with the most peaceful, friendly blue eyes, that seemed to burn a hole right through to my heart.

“Hello,” he said.  “Rather cold out tonight.”

“Yes,” was all I replied, still entranced by something I saw in his face.  There was a story  behind those blue pools that danced in the light.  His face was well-worn, probably from years of exposure to sun and wind.  He was dressed in layers of tattered, but clean old clothes, barely enough to fight off the cold for even a short period of time.  Beside him was his pack.  I guessed it contained the sum of his possessions.  And in his hands he held a rag and a spray bottle with a remnant of blue liquid.

“Thought your windshield needed a bit of cleaning,” he said, interrupting my thoughts, “so you could clearly find your way tonight.”

“Uh, thanks,” I managed, while thinking, if he only knew.

“Rough day?” he asked.

“You could say that,” I answered, wondering if I had given something away in my face.  But even as the words came out I felt a twinge of guilt thinking that my life was hard compared to his.  What did I have to complain about?  Sure I had lost my job today, but at least I had a warm place to lay my head tonight.

What about this man?

(Stay tuned for Part 2 next week)




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4 Comments

  1. Posted December 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Ooh….this writing thing must be catching! 😉
    Beautifully written Shannon…engaging too – great job!

    • Posted December 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, Grant! This was a fun piece to write. I hope you will check in next week for Part 2. It just gets better. 🙂 Shannon

      • Posted December 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I can tell this piece meant something to you by the way it was written…and I expect great things in Part 2 also!

        • Posted December 14, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink | Reply

          Thank you, Grant! It was just an idea that came to me, and I had to get it out. I had visions of a book, that may come to fruition one day. 🙂 Thank you for reading, Part 3 will tell it all next week.

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] week I shared Part One of  this 3-part short story about the difference that one person can make in the life of another. […]

  2. […] marks the final installment of this 3-part story. I hope you enjoyed Part One, and Part Two. Finally, we discover the purpose of our kind stranger, and the impact he leaves […]

  3. […] marks the final installment of this 3-part story. I hope you enjoyed Part One, and Part Two. Finally, we discover the purpose of our kind stranger, and the impact he leaves […]

  4. […] week I shared Part One of  this 3-part short story about the difference that one person can make in the life of another. […]

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