when a woman finds herself free for the day
|It was a normal sunny day in Toronto and the sky was blue without a cloud in the sky. Trisha Benner went to open the door of the building where she worked and found it locked. She looked around for some kind of sign, possibly a written note somewhere to explain the problem, and then it hit her. The thought had slowly crept into her head that today... was... a holiday! She had forgotten!! She looked around and laughed to herself, as she walked over to a concrete bench nearby, mumbling under her breath that she had taken all morning to get ready for nothing. As she sagged in the hot sun wearing her dark office clothes, she thought, "I really need to get more organized, but mostly what do I want to do now?"
As she was about to decide what her next step was, a loud voice interrupted her thoughts abruptly. Following that, she heard more boisterous yelling and even profanity coming from directly behind her and it was so loud in the quiet sunny courtyard that it shocked her. Turning her head over her shoulder quickly while standing up, she saw the loud culprit was a man with glasses and a short stature waving his arms around in the air. Clearly he was quite exasperated and then he made one final brisk gesture and walked off.
What was going on? she wondered. As if that wasn't enough excitement for the day, then she heard something that made her breath stop. Oh no. Someone was crying, she thought horrified. She slowly walked over to the building that had a window full of pizza slices. As she approached, she noticed an elegant looking woman at a small checked table starting to genuinely wail into a napkin. A couple of customers gawked nearby. Trisha was embarrassed for the woman. She approached the woman cautiously and asked her if she was alright.
"Noooooo," the woman wailed, "I am NOT alright! My pizza cook just QUIT on me and I have no one to replace him!"
"Well, I wish I could help," Trisha said somewhat dismissively as she turned to walk away.
She realized there was no need to call the police or an ambulance and she was ready to go do something productive with her day. She had piled up laundry to do and she could go through and clean out her email account which was badly needing attention.
Out of nowhere, she heard, "Can you cook?"
Trisha stopped in her tracks.
"Well, I..... really.....," Now, what had she gotten herself into?
"It's very easy," the now smiling woman said, "everyone knows how to make a pizza."
Trisha was a competent woman, however she hadn't really wanted to help THAT much. She wasn't even dressed properly. She had really just wanted to do her civic duty because she thought she had witnessed a crime. That was commendable, she assured herself.
The woman started to cry again and Trisha knew that if the red nosed woman with the smeared makeup knew someone who could help her that she would have immediately gone to call them. Apparently, she had no one. Trisha sighed. She could just close the shop for the day couldn't she? she rationalized. Like most people, the sad woman had looked a lot better when she smiled even if her makeup was smeared.
And then a quiet thought came to her, what a weird coincidence that I ended up here ready for a day of work and as it turns out, someone needs my help. The customers applauded as Trisha acquiesced to spending the day making pizzas. Of course, it turned out to be so much fun for Trisha, and she also got to know her passionate new friend, Nancy. She was a very lively person with a great sense of humor and plenty of enthusiasm. I definitely witnessed her liveliness this morning. I saw it AND heard it, she thought with a smile as she drove home. She had walked by that building every day for years, and never stopped there. When an unexpected day off came, Trisha had done an unexpected thing, meeting a new friend turned out to be the order of the day.