I was in the line to check out and there was a lady in front of me. She was buying bare necessities like soap, milk, bread, shampoo, tampons, etc. She didn’t have one luxury item or anything that she didn’t need. The cashier told her the total and the lady starts paying with pennies. She paid like two dollars in pennies and she had nickles. She was paying with coins and like two $1 bills. It looked like she had searched the couch cushions in order to buy these things.
After she had emptied her wallet, she was $2.17 short. The man was like “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but you’re a few dollars short.” And she teared up and politely said. “Sir, this is all the money I have for a week. I’m sorry for wasting your time. Is there anything I can take off so that I have enough?” And at that point, it was natural for me to step up. I said to the lady with a huge smile on my face, “Don’t worry about it! I’ll take care of it. Do you need help putting your bags in the basket?” (She was in a wheelchair so I didn’t want her to get up), and she quickly retorted “No, I don’t want your money. Thank you though.” And I said “No, really. I got it. It’s not a problem.” And she started bawling. She thanked me so many times. She was even like “If you give me your name, I will find a way to pay you back. I can send it to your school. I’ll pay you back I promise.” And I was like “Don’t worry about it! I’m happy to help.” And she stood up from her wheelchair, took a second to gain her balance and hugged me. This stranger hugged me.
$2.17 short and she was only buying the things she needed. I’m fortunate enough to have parents who can provide me with the things I need, and way more. I have a job and such, but my parents are able to buy me things, nice things, and I just save my money. Until today, I didn’t know the value of a dollar. $2.17 is so little to me, but to this lady, it meant the world. Two dollars. I don’t think you understand how much it meant to her. She was so appreciative for two dollars. I felt so bad because I’ve never had to go through that. I’ve never come short at the cash register, because my parents fill my bank account daily and give me cash when they aren’t close enough to a computer to transfer the money. And this lady was appreciative of two dollars. It really just blows my mind. I started crying because I felt horrible for all of the times my parents were under-appreciated and how much I take for granted.
“She said, that she would give me greatness, sta-tus, placement above the others my face would grace covers of the magazines of the hustlas, paper, the likes of which that I had never seen, her eyes glow green with the logo of our dreams, the purpose of our scene, the obscene obsession for the bling, she would be my queen, I could be her king, together, she would make me cool, and we will both rule, forever…”—Lupe Fiasco - The Coolest