Many Years ago I had a part-time job as a taxi driver in Lancashire, here is just one story from that time. Whether it's true or not enjoy the sentiment.
 
  I arrived at the address at six am a dark and cold winters morning and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute,' answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.  
 After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before
me. She was wearing a print dress and an overcoat with a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.
              
 By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The bungalow looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.      

 There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks on the sideboard or utensils on the kitchen counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
            
Would you carry my bag out to the Taxi?' she said. I took the suitcase to the car and then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm, and we walked slowly toward the vehicle.    
 She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing,' I told her I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'  'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through the center of the city?'

 'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly. 'Oh I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.'
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice.. 'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

 'What route would you like me to take?' I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as a sales girl.

We drove through the neighbourhood 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'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner . and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

 As the first hint of sun was rising 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 nurses came out to the taxi as soon as we pulled up. They were gentle and courteous, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.  
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.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. 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.  Behind me, a door shut.        
It was the sound of the closing of a life...

 I didn’t pick up any more passengers 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 the run, or had honked once, then driven
 away?

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.  But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


 Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might
 as well dance, (I write stories)

Views: 26

Comment by Jenny Itzcovitz on January 3, 2017 at 21:54

What a lovely story, thank you for sharing it :)

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