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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2020187-The-Test-of-Fortitude
by brom21
Rated: E · Other · Other · #2020187
A frustrated man struggles to find a parking place at the last minute.
Don was angry; very angry. Upon arriving at the ToysRus, he had been searching for a parking spot for what was now fifteen minutes with no luck. He gripped the steering wheel with red knuckles as he clenched his teeth jerking his head this way and that in hope of catching a parking place.

“Oh come on! This is ridiculous! Man, why did I decide to get the kids their gifts on Christmas Eve, I should have done it weeks ago. Now I’m playing the “find the parking spot” game with only two hours until closing time.”

Then he saw a handicap spot to his left. Don licked his lips weighing out the pros and cons of stealing a place from someone who might need it.

“Hmm…I could get a ticket and a real disabled person could show up.  Then again, what are the odds that some crippled person or someone with a bad back could show up on a day like this? Oh blast this situation! That’s it, that parking spot is mine.”

As he began to turn the steering wheel, he caught a glimpse of a security car driving behind him.

“AK! -of all the luck!”

Don drove forward slowly as he watched for pedestrians in the parking lot. Then he saw what appeared to be his salvation.  A white Mercedes began to back out of a parking spot on his left.

“Finally!” Don said.

When the car had fully pulled out, he let out a sigh of relief as he sat back with a smile and proceeded to park in the free spot. But right before he was about to take it, two motorcycles zoomed past him and screeched into Dons’ would-be parking space.

“Stupid young people! They knew I was about to go there and they stole it! There is no respect these days!”

Don banged his forehead on the wheel and grunted. He buried his face in his palms and shook his head from side to side.

“Oh what have I done to deserve this? I have to think of something. Hmm…” he voiced as he put his hand on his chin.

Next, Don got a devious idea. Once again he pondered whether to carry out his plan. “Now if I lie and say that I just had back surgery but I forgot my slip, it may just work. On the other hand, I really don’t want to do something so dishonest during Christmas.”

Don’s morals got the best of him as he rolled his eyes and drove on. Anxiousness gripped his chest as he looked at the car clock that showed an hour-and-fifteen minutes until 6pm-closing time.

“How am I going to do this?” he said. He then lifted his eyes in the direction of an empty car lot about fifty meters away to his right.

“Oh, there has got to be a better alternative.  It will take at least thirty minutes to get there and another getting back.”

As he spoke to himself, he saw two big water drops splash on his windshield. Don looked up through the glass and observed grey clouds gathering quite quickly.

“Oh, no,” Don whined. “Please don’t rain.” His hopes fell further as more rain began to fall. At his wits end he folded his hands and prayed. “Dear God, please help. Give me parking spot and I pray the lines will be not so long.”

Don was silent for a moment musing about his predicament.  “I’ll take one more look and then it’s in the rain for me.”

For the final time, Don scoured the rows of cars searching for a space. Then he saw a familiar face of a man standing at the store entrance smiling and greeting people. By the look of his lush, black trench coat, and shiny gold watch along with a gold ring, he was wealthy.  Besides that, Don knew him from somewhere.  Suddenly the man spotted Don in his car and waved to him as he ran in his direction calling out Dons’ name. 

“Don! Is that you? Long time no see!”

Then the man’s identity came to recollection. Don rubbed his eyes. “Lex?-I have not seen you since college. I see you’re doing well.”

“Yeah I’m the district manager of all the ToysRus stores on this part of the state. How about we talk inside, out of the rain?”

“I wish I could but I have not been able to find a parking spot for almost an hour.”

“Lex smiled as he talked. “Well why you didn’t say so. Just pull your car behind the store and I’ll open the gate to the employees’ parking spaces.”

Don quickly did so then followed Lex into the back door with a key. “And don’t worry about the store closing. I’ll instruct the manager to let you stay past hours.”

“You’ve saved my Christmas Lex. I’ll probably never be able to repay you. Hey, would you like to come to my house for Christmas if you don’t have any plans?”

“Sorry, I have to work during the holiday. Thanks anyway.” Lex extended his hand and Don took and shook it heartily.

“Here’s my number. We’ll hook up in the future. I have to go. Stay as long as you like.”

Don was overcome with relief and he looked down and whispered a few words. “Thanks God.”

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