"Hey, watch where you're going!"
My shopping cart had crashed into the man's cart ahead of me in the
checkout line. "I'm so sorry," I said. "I guess I was in another world."
"Well, fly back down to earth. You almost ran over my foot."
"I said I was sorry."
He mumbled something nasty under his breath and put his purchases
on the conveyor belt. Idly, I noted charcoal briquettes, steak, peppers,
onions, tomatoes. Back in the parking lot, I dumped my paper bags on the
back seat, opened the driver's side door and, deep in thought, smacked
it into the passenger side door of the car next to mine. The driver
looked across at me, his eyes afire. Whoops. Mr. Cookout Man again. "Oh,
no," he yelled. "My brand new car!"
As he jumped out to assess the damage, I looked at his door. I had
indeed made a dent. A deep one. "Darn it, lady, look what you did! What
is it with you? Why are you haunting me today?"
"I'm sorry. So so sorry. Please, let me pay for the damage." And
just like that, I started to cry. Loudly and wetly.
"Hey, don't cry. Please, stop. I didn't mean to yell. Please."
Stupidly, I couldn't stop crying. For the past month it had been
building up. Day by day, misery by misery. "I can't take any more," I
wailed. "My boyfriend left me. For my best friend. Yesterday I almost lost my job. And now, now this."
"Hey, forget about paying me. It's only a car, after all. Look, I was just about to go home and cook up a steak kebob on the barbecue. Why
don't you follow me in your car and join me for dinner. Okay? Just stop
And just like that, I nodded yes, followed him to his house, ate
his food, and got to know the sweetest, dearest man I had ever met. When we had finished eating, I mustered up all the courage I had and asked him, "Tell me, do you believe in God?"
"Absolutely," he said. "And I believe He looked down at us today in
that supermarket and saw me in my foul mood and you in your sad thoughts and said, 'I think those two should meet.' And here we are."
"Yes," I said, laughing for the first time in ages. "Yes, here we are!"
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