I was rushing back from the cafeteria--arms full of food and tummy full of grumbles--when he stopped me in the lobby.

"Miss? Excuse me, miss?"

I wheeled around, impatient, my apple nearly rolling out of my crooked arm.

"Yes?" I said, forcing a smile at the familiar face--one that keeps to himself, quietly knits or naps in the corner. "...Can I help you?"

"I was just wondering--did that other girl get the hat or did you?"

Puzzled, I thought for a moment.

"Oh!" I said, remembering his offer last Saturday of a simple, knitted stocking cap. "You mean this weekend? Nope, Suzie took it home."

"Okay," he said simply.

Then, after rummaging in his overstuffed and overworn backpack, "...well, here."

He thrust a bright orange hat in my direction, knitted just like Suzie's, with extra flaps to cover the ears.

"Thank you!" I said, embarrassing him with my enthusiasm. "Wow! That is so nice! I only wish I could be so crafty! How long does it take you to make one of these?"

"Just about an hour," he said. "It's no big deal."

"Well...thanks again!" I said, beaming.

I took two steps, then turned again.

"I'm sorry," I said apologetically. "I know I should know this, but what is your name, again?"

"Uhh...Joel," he said, startled.

"Hi, Joel. I'm Sara," I said. "It's really nice to meet you."

And it really, truly was.


Rebecca said...

The little things. A name, a favorite color. He made your day and I suspect, you made his.

R.W. Shipshape said...

Unexpected generosity rules.

nettierox said...

what a nice story!!! i wish i had a "joel" in my life!!!

lauren said...

So neat. I love those little unexpected moments. Thanks, Joel -- I feel like his warmth will spread as far as anyone who hears that story!

Sara said...

It was awesome. A great picture of giving...just to give. With nothing expected in return. I currently have it sitting front and center in my office as a daily reminder. :)