I began seeing her every morning as I drank my coffee and ate my roll before going into work.
She sat alone since customers avoided her because she looks homeless. Her sad brown eyes stares out the glass windows not making eye contact with others. As customers come in and out with their hot beverages and something to eat, I sip my coffee and continue to write as I usually do every morning.
Is she hungry? Did she have something to eat this morning? When was the last time she had a meal? These and many other questions I ask myself as the next sip of coffee warms my belly. At first I too, like many others, avoided eye contact with her until I felt guilt. Guilt for behaving like every other person who walked in and out without acknowledging her.
Today I got to the coffee shop earlier than usual and I had time for one more cup of coffee. As I searched through my purse for money I see I have just enough for two cups of coffee. Sometimes I wrestle with my decisions since I don’t want to insult anyone and after doing so I get up, look the woman in the eyes and asked, “Would you like a cup of coffee?”
She smiled a bit surprised and said, “Thank you yes, that would be nice.”
I am now at the counter and ask for two cups of coffee. When I tell the cashier that I didn’t know how the brown-eyed woman takes her coffee, she responds with a sneer, “Don’t get her anything. Don’t bother with her.” Wow, I was very disappointed at her comment since I always thought the cashier was a nice kind woman. I mean, she memorized how I liked my coffee and often told her coworker how to make it. I asked for the two cups again, and after paying I handed one cup to the brown-eyed woman and went back to my table.
She thanked me again, told me her money was stolen and that she appreciated my gesture and would pay me back. I responded, “It’s always good to give to others because some day you’ll receive it back tenfold.”
She agreed, “I know. I’m a giver and I strongly believe that.”
With a lump in my throat and teary eyes, I looked down and continued to write.
Before leaving, the brown-eyed woman cleared and cleaned the table where she was sitting. She put on her fake designer sunglasses and went over to the shopping cart she had left by the coffee shop door.
My thoughts were on her all through the day and I hoped she would find others kind enough to treat her nice.
I saw the brown-eyed woman a week later at the coffee shop. She was sitting alone staring out the glass windows with her sunglasses on top of her head. As I wait my turn in line, I search for my money when I hear someone say, “Excuse me,” I didn’t know I was the one being addressed.
“Excuse me,” says the brown-eyed woman as I turn towards the voice, “May I buy you a coffee?” she asked me.
Talk about being taken off guard, “Thank you but it’s ok you don’t have to buy me a coffee,” I replied.
She smiled and said, “I told you I would buy you a cup of coffee to pay you back for your kindness.”
“That’s very kind of you, but when I bought you the coffee I didn’t want you to repay me. Thank you for the kind offer.”
The woman made my day.
Others heard our conversation and I noticed a few smiles and yes a few confused stares. As I enjoyed my cup of coffee and the kind gesture from the brown-eyed woman, I decided I needed to share the story on my blog.
Perhaps I wanted to memorialize my experience or the thought of sharing how good I felt with others was something I needed to do. Either way, a person should be respected and acknowledged regardless of how they look. They could look homeless, dirty, sad or even confused. You’ll never know whose life you’ll change with a small gesture of kindness. And we’ll never know when we’ll be on the other end expecting someone to help us out.
Life is all about treating others how we wish to be treated.
Life is good,