The Long Story: between two dollars


I was out walking for lunch just like evreybody else. Going from there to here, I saw a man next to the sidewalk. He wasn’t clean and the shopping cart was overflowing with stuff. I stuck my hands in my pockets to walk by like evreybody else.

I felt the dollar I had with me between my fingers. A dirty little paper bill sitting in my pocket. I kept it there just like evreybody else.

As I approached I stuck my hand out and shook his hand. Looking him right in the eye I said, “My name is…, what’s yours?” He said, “…”

I smiled and I said, “here, like evreybody else it’s all I have.” He smiled and said, “Thank you. You know, I’m not homeless, I’m just kicked out.”

I chuckled and said, “I have an ex-wife, I know how that can happen. Tell me, are you worried about her?” He said, “Yes, I am,” as tears welled in his eyes.

Like evereybody else, I have a cellphone with me. I said, “Does she have a phone?” “Oh, yes,” he said. “So what’s her phone number,” I asked? He told me.

I called and said, “Look, you don’t know me, but someone is really worried about you and wants to know if you’re okay. Am I telling him the truth if I say you’re okay?”

The question hung in the air like a concrete balloon. And then I heard quiet sobbing. I could make out the, “no” when it was uttered, more by feel than sound.

“Look ma’am, I’m not calling to pry. I’ve said a lot of stupid things in my life. I’ve paid a high price for them too. I’m not saying you’ve done anything wrong, but there’s a man here who wants to know more than anything you’re okay. All I want to do is tell him the truth. But it sounds like he hurt you. And that’s a pretty big deal too. I don’t know either one of you, but I bet you both could work this out if he apologized for hurting you. Am I right?”

If I wasn’t a human being like evereybody else, I wouldn’t have understood the sound that came out next meant yes. But, I’d heard that sound before.

“Look, I can’t promise you he’s never going to hurt you again, but I can say he has something to say to you…”

There’s another sound that evreybody has heard. It’s the sound of a person pouring their heart out in anguish to ask for forgiveness from someone else they’ve wronged. That heartfelt desire to set everything back the way it was. To put a relationship back to having two hearts talking again. The next few minutes were like bathing in a river of honey.

The man hung up and handed me my phone back. His eyes had wet smiles in them.

As I turned to leave I heard, “Wait.” I stopped and turned around. There were two dollars in the mans hand. He put them in mine. He said, “I have more than this at home,” as he turned to leave.

My allergies started to act up, or maybe I was just happy about getting 100% return on my investment. Whatever it was, I had to get this written before I did anything else.

Evreybody is wrong, it’s amazing what 1$ will get you.

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The Long Story: between two dollars by Everett Vinzant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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