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Oddly Perfect April 25, 2011

Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
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Saturday evening, after attending a brilliant performance at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, I found myself in need of gas. The little yellow light gleamed suddenly into the otherwise shadowed dashboard and was accompanied by the sound of a bell, just in case I am blind. I glanced around Main street, so cliche I know for don’t most tales such as this oft occur on Main street? There were no gas stations immediately visible but soon I saw the tale-tell blue, red, and white logo of Chevron. I groaned and muttered to myself, “not Chevron”. They are the highest gas prices around and who knows whether or not it really cleans your engine while you drive?

I decided to drive on, in search of cheaper fuel, but then my dashboard binged at me again. With a heavy sigh I hit my blinker — a nearly unnecessary gesture on a late-night empty road — and moved to the turn lane. It was beginning to storm as I pulled in. After moving up beside a pump, I stepped out of my car to the tune of ‘take me home again’ and the sideways splash of rain drops. Yay, I thought, rain. Then I looked at the price per gallon denoted on the pump, $3.86, and sighed heavily again as I slid my debit card in the machine. I stood in the sideways rain, waiting for approval, for several minutes before I went inside to ask if something was wrong with the pump machine.

A male hispanic customer about my age stood at the counter with a gallon of milk in his left hand and a debit card in his right hand poised above the credit card machine. The clerk behind the counter was apologetically explaining that the system was down and, with it, all the machines. The customer set the milk down on the counter and ran his free hand through his dark hair and then scrubbed his face. Obviously frustrated. It was late and, maybe because I am a mother, I immediately assumed the milk was absolutely necessary. Why else would a man brave the weather elements at nearly midnight in order to procure some? Wait–the machines are down?

I glanced through the window with little visibility of my car past all the decals slathered all over the store windows, and looked at the useless pump. I need gas. Then I remembered.

My aunt Barbara paid for the parking, which I had expected to do, and so I still had a $20 bill in my wallet. I never walk around with cash on me so it was oddly perfect that it worked out the way it did. Was it coincidental that my aunt paid for parking, thereby leaving me with the $20 I would need to buy gas with at a gas station whose system was down? A gas station I almost didn’t stop at? I don’t really believe in coincidences. I believe things happen for a reason. As I was thinking all of this, the customer picked up the gallon of milk and moved to the back of the store to return it. I moved to the counter and told the clerk, “I need $10 on pump 6 and that guys milk.”

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Comments»

1. trailertrashdeluxe - May 3, 2011

This is a great story. I assume the young man accepted the milk?

2. sarahsfate - May 3, 2011

🙂 He hesitated. I couldn’t tell if he was wondering if I was making a joke or if he was seriously considering not taking a handout. Some people can’t, or won’t, take anything from someone else. In the end he asked if I was certain and, when I said yes, he said thank you and left the store with milk in hand.


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