A Friend in Deed

By Paulette Menard
Taunton, Massachusetts, USA

A Friend in Deed

I was planning a move out of the state I lived in. In the course of getting things together and notifying creditors and others of my new address I went to the bank where my car is financed. I made the payment for that month and asked to fill out a change of address form with them. The form was supplied and filled in correctly and I thought that was that.

A few weeks later I received a notice from the bank that, because I was moving out of their business area and because they had no affiliates in the state where I was moving, they wanted two months worth of payments as added security for my car. I was not prepared for this, and all my money was tied up at the time.

I called the bank and talked to a department head. According to the banking laws of my state, which they quoted chapter and verse, it was within their right to get the extra payments. I called my lawyer and he said they were right. In fact, had I moved without notifying them, they could have repossessed the car for taking their property across a state line permanently without their knowledge.

I have a friend from the Internet named Bill. We’ve never met in person and live about 1,000 miles apart. We have kept in touch both online and through phone calls for over five years. We call each other occasionally, especially when we just need a friendly ear to listen. Shortly after I learned about the banking problem we ran into each other online. In the course of our conversation I mentioned the problem with the bank. I just needed a friendly ear to vent to. After catching up on each others’ lives, we said goodbye and started our day.

Imagine my surprise when the next day I received an overnight letter from Bill with all the money to make the two payments and a note. The note read “A Friend Helping A Friend In Time Of Stress.” It contained no question asking when he would be repaid. I immediately called to ask why he had sent the money. I explained that I hadn’t been asking for money — I was just sharing my problem with a friend.

He replied, “If a friend can’t help a friend in time of need, then how can you say you’re a friend? Please just accept the money, make your payments and get yourself moved. If you must, pay me back whenever you can.”

There are friends indeed and then there are friends “in deed”. I know which one my friend is.

Originally published as HeroicStories #247 on Oct 25, 2001

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