Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Bus Tickets

He is a young lad - he is maybe fourteen. He walks up to me and quietly asks if I would be kind enough to trade his two bus tickets for a loonie, "They are worth two dollars, you know."
Yes, I know.

I let him down for a second when I tell him that I don't need the tickets. "But wait," I say and encourage him with a smile. "I think I have a loonie that you can have." I search my wallet well aware that he can see that I have a couple of bills. I find three quarters, a dime and a penny. I place them in his slender hand.

"Here, you should have the tickets," he repeats.

"No, I really don't need them. What are you up to?" I ask cautiously, "Do you have a home to go to?"

"I'm just wandering around killing time before my curfew."

"Can't you go home before your curfew?"

"No, it's a shelter. I can't get in before ten."

As I write this, I've been home safe and comfortable for over two hours. He has just been allowed into the shelter.

He's about to walk away and I say, "Wait", and I give him five dollars. It seems such a pittance, but then I remember when five dollars was a fortune to me - it wasn't that that long ago.

We look at each other for a few seconds - he has gentle intelligent eyes shaded by a lock of blond hair.

He tries to give me the tickets a third time.

"I'll make you a deal," I tell him. He looks at me suspiciously. "Keep the tickets, and instead, one day when you are doing well, and I have a good feeling you will do well one day, I want you to pass on the favour to someone else, OK?"

He hesitates only a second, "I will."

I think that he believes me that I believe in him. And, I do.

As he walks away he shares his faith with me, "God Bless."

(In memory of Steven (Cactus) Beriault)


Anonymous said...

You have a good heart Woodsy.

Anonymous said...

I can’t think of a lot of people who would have taken the time to get to know this boy as much as you did. I’ll bet he asked many people before you who just brushed him off.

Woodsy said...

Zoom, you would know about having a good heart... thanks.

XUP, you are right. I saw one person ignore him, and another shoo him off with the wave of a hand... I bet you would have been kind to him too.

Anonymous said...

I am just reading your blog today as I catch up on some of my sister's favorites...this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your kindness.

Woodsy said...

Deb, thank you for reading. I hope by writing these short stories, that people will realize that it's OK to take a minute and talk to a stranger who might be in need...