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Best Short Story
The Cab Ride Part 2

The Cab Ride Part 1 | 2

 

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
"I don't have any family left." She continued.
"The doctor says I don't have much time left."
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
"What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

We drove through the city for the next two hours. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she would ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would stare into the darkness, saying nothing.

At the first hint of the sun creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and they watched her every move. They must have been expecting her.

(Read Related : Sweet Story)

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
"How much do I owe you?" She asked, reaching into her purse.
"Nothing." I said.
"You have to make a living." She answered.
"There are other passengers." I responded.
I bent and gave her a hug almost without thinking. She held onto me tightly.
"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy." She said.
"Thank you."
I squeezed her hand and then walked into the dim morning light. The door shut behind me. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

(Read Related : Meaningful Poems)

I didn't pick up any more passengers during that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take her as a passenger, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. However, great moments often catch us unaware - beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

People May Not Remember Exactly What You Did, Or What You Said, But They Will Always Remember How You Made Them Feel.

By Kent Nerburn

The Cab Ride Part 1 | 2

 

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