I pull into the drive-thru at Starbucks to get my usual grande hot white chocolate mocha with no whip. I do a mental calculation of my near future expenses, and rationalise the temporary enjoyment of my favourite drink.
The barista says,”The customer in front of you paid for your order! Would you like to pay all or a portion of the customer behind you?”
Wow! All, of course.
I am the 32nd customer to pay it forward. Yes indeed, that kind gesture makes me feel, even if just for a moment, that the world isn’t so bad off after all.
Lucas was always placed first. He gazed from the front of the finish line at the last portion of the obstacle course on the playground. Its intricate design and tremendous height sparked his curiosity.
Protecting her patchwork skirt from the ground, Josefina ran toward the finish line. She had earned her badge of honor, burning both of her elbows on the candy cane twister slide.
Derek came running behind Josefina, his upper lip scrunched up toward his nose and squinting eyes. His legs were ashy from roughing it across the chain-link bridge.
Shannon’s on edge. Those big wigs are in town. Since the e-mail reminder about company dress, she’s kept her eyes peeled for shorts, flip flops, and beanies. The break room smells of supreme pizza. This is one of the few times the minions get free lunch. While carrying drinks across the room, Shannon spots the chief financial officer, and awkwardly places the bottles on the tablecloth. “Would you like a drink, sir… uh… Mr. Palmer?” It’s his favourite, but Shannon shook it a bit too much. It was like a prankster shoved mentos into diet coke and sealed it shut.
Rubbed sage saturates her salt lamp. Rose quartz sits on her altar. Shuffling the deck, she glances at me, then gently lays the deck on the reading cloth. Twice I cut the deck. As the cards appear, she tells me I had a past life with Langston Hughes. Confused, I nod, to hear her say that I will meet a man in New York City and develop a relationship with him. Oh, to be a black femme in search of fifteen minutes of truth. Were there better uses for my twenty five dollars? Maybe. But this time I’m not fooled.
It’s a chilly Saturday morning, and LaShae arrives at the university to find her name on Dr. White’s list. That was well-deserved after acing her senior level public speaking course. She soaks in the scholastic vibes when Barb waltzes into the foyer. Barb wants LaShae to be her runner. She shows LaShae the breakfast table decked down with donuts and decaf. So she thinks she’s found herself the help… LaShae abandons post. Four hours later, four centuries of giving it the old college try fails once more. Barb was chained by fury, and LaShae enjoyed and judged some lively debates.