Need a Ride?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Kindness of Strangers.”

Earlier this year I was living in Princeton, New Jersey. It was the end of January and my birthday. I had managed to eat through most of my food supply, so a trip to the grocery store was sorely needed. The only problem was that there was snow everywhere and the temperature was somewhere between 5-10 degrees. As a native Southern Californian the whole concept of snow and winter was still foreign to me. The other problem was that I didn’t own a car, which meant I had to walk, and take a bus to get there. Usually I wouldn’t mind this, but it was cold, I would be holding groceries, and I was improperly dressed. Although most of the winter clothes I was wearing were borrowed from my cousins, I still hadn’t completely grasped the concept of how to appropriately dress for freezing temperatures. In this case I had underestimated what I would need.

I got to the store easily enough. The problem came when I went to leave the store. With a backpack full of groceries plus three extra bags, I was heavy laden. I also didn’t have gloves. I had almost reached the bus stop and my hands were already numb. Then I saw the construction work happening directly in front of the bus stop. The next bus stop was 3/4 of a mile away. I was already cold and the groceries were getting heavy. Since I had no other option I began to trudge back across the parking lot. I had almost reached the other side when a car pulls up alongside me. The window rolls down and a middle-aged woman asks me, “Do you need a ride?”

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