One Tuesday night in 2008, I was late getting home from work. I wasn’t in the mood to make dinner and I didn’t want pizza. The closest fast food place was KFC. I didn’t particularly enjoy their chicken because I always had a grease overload within minutes. At the time, I didn’t really care because I had to feed my teenage boys.
Since it was a “Toonie” Tuesday, and the store was packed. I stood in line trying to decide what I wished to order. I really wanted to have lasagna which a chicken joint doesn’t have. Disappointed with my options, I decided to hum under my breath. Whenever I hum or sing, it always calms my nerves.
As I was humming, I unconsciously was swaying left to right, it is a self smoothing method and oh boy, does it work. I was the fifth person in a line out of 10. I was approached by a man in a suit. He was about 6 feet tall and his suit was bagging on him. He didn’t say anything, he just held out a $20 bill.
I stopped humming and swaying and I stared at his hand with the bill. The other customers began to watch us. I push the man’s hand away from me. “Sir, what are you doing?” I finally asked him.
He still didn’t say anything but he showed me the $20 bill again. I asked him if he wanted me to order something for him. No response. I told him I didn’t need the $20, as I showed him my wallet full of $20s too. Still, he didn’t respond. One customer in the line said, “just take the money, if you don’t I will.”
The man turned towards that customer with a frown on his face. He just wouldn’t leave me alone. I reluctantly took the $20. Once the money was in my hand the man walked away. He didn’t say one word throughout the whole experience. I was not sure what to do. I never had someone out of the blue hand me money for no reason at all. I was playing many different scenarios in my mind and I thought he wanted something more from me.
It was finally my turn to order and the cashier asked if I was okay. She asked if I wanted to call the police. ‘Call the police’ and what would I say, ‘officer, this strange man handed me $20 for no reason.’ I’m sure the officer would put me in handcuffs because I was wasting his time. Again, the other customers shared their opinions. I decided I would keep the money but only because he left.
As I was walking with my order towards the doors, I spotted him. He was sitting at the side with his head down. He didn’t even notice me. I walked over and put the $20 on the table in front of him. “Sir, I can’t take your money because I don’t feel comfortable doing so.”
He then looked up and shook his head in disapproval. I felt even worst. I was worried that he would follow me home. So, I sat down in the seat next to him and I watched him. I never saw him before and I wanted to know exactly what he looked like. He was an African-American man, about 50 years old. He had fine smile lines on his face and his eyes were very caring. He didn’t talk and it clearly didn’t faze him that I sat there. He stood up and walked out of the store leaving the money on the table.
I had no choice but to keep it. To this day, I still don’t understand what happened. I felt guilty for taking the money and I still wonder why he felt the urge to give it to me. Maybe he was moved by my humming and calmness. Maybe he was an abundance angel and I just didn’t know how to be grateful for the blessing that he gave me. So, right now, I am saying, “THANK YOU, MISTER FOR THE GIFT THAT YOU GAVE ME THAT DAY. THANK YOU, SIR FOR YOUR KINDNESS AND YOUR GENEROSITY!”