Have I ever told you the story of how Juliet and I met?, Gilbert asked me with a twinkle in his old eye.
Searching my brain I decided he hadn’t, and I told him so.
It began on a hot summer day, he said. My wife at the time, and I, were always at each others throats.. I had just about had it. We were constantly bickering, and going home felt like a prison sentence. She and I knew we were over, and we were looking for ways to escape the prison.
The wife needed something and I went to the mall an hour out of the way to get it. Then I proceeded to spend another two hours just walking around the mall.
When I made it to my car, it was about 2 in the afternoon. I opened the passenger door, and put the small bag inside. I noticed in the car across from me, a woman seemed to be in distress. It looked like she was trying to start her old Honda, but nothing was happening.
The Honda’s door was open, I imagined the temperature inside was miserable without the A/C. And I could just see a little blond head in a carseat in the back.
As I shut the passenger door, she appeared to give up, her head on the wheel. Now, I didn’t know if I could help her.. but I knew I had to try.
She jumped when I tapped on her window. I realized how uneasy I had just made her.
“I don’t suppose you have a pen?”
She smiled, a big addicting smile and let out a nervous laugh.
“What seems to be the issue?”
“I can’t get the key to turn.”
“May I try?”
Her nerves came back and she glanced in the back seat. She wiped the sweat off her brow with a sigh, then nodded and stepped out.
“I’m Gilbert by the way.”
It took me two tries, and the key turned and the engine started over.
She was shaking her head when I stepped out.
“I’ve been trying for twenty minutes. It took you less than one.”
“I have a way with the world.”
“I bet you do..” She checked the backseat. The child was sleeping, and she breathed a sign of relief.
“You have a lot on your mind, don’t you.”
“You could say that,” another addictive grin. “Nothing more pressing than how to repay you for your kindness.”
I gave her a card with my number written on the back, mentioning a cop of coffee in or near future.