In December of 2006, I moved away from my family and friends to Texas with my fiance. When we broke off the engagement in June 2007, I decided to keep my job and stay in town, even though I still had trouble making any lasting friends. My ex-fiance decided to let me use the car we shared (it was in his name) until I was able to buy my own car, hopefully in about a month.
However, three months later, the company I worked for cut the commission rates so effectively that my paychecks were half of what had been. I struggled to stay on top of my bills. Worst of all, I was still relying on my ex to drive me everywhere. He was understanding until one day I didn’t pick him up from work. He stopped talking to me and refused to drive me to work the next day.
I set off on the 5-mile trek to my workplace at 6 a.m. the following morning. An hour later I was almost there, but tired and unsure if I would make it (my asthma and heart condition were not advantageous in the situation).
Suddenly a car pulled over and a friendly woman on the passenger side asked if I needed a ride. Hot, tired, and looking forward to eight hours at work, I agreed to get in. She and her husband drove me to work, and when I got out, thanking them over and over, they told me just to pay it forward. I told them I’d never forget their kindness and went in to work.
Two young girls fresh out of high school, Ashley and Chelsey, saw my sweaty face when I went to the bathroom to freshen up and asked if I’d just been in the exercise room. I told them no, I’d walked from home because I didn’t have a car. I knew them because they sat a few desks over, but didn’t talk to them much.
At once, Ashley said it was unacceptable for me to walk to work and said she’d drive me to and from work from then on.
After I got home that day, I sat on my balcony contemplating the long walk to the grocery store and whether I had the strength for it. My neighbor, who shared the balcony, came outside and we started talking. He offered to take me to the grocery store that day, and every week until I had a car.
When I left for work that morning, I was unsure whether I’d be able to keep my job, and trying to decide whether to move back into my parents’ house. By the end of the day, I had met so many wonderful people I knew I didn’t need to move at all. I procured a car, and am now doing fine.
All that is thanks to one day where a group of people I barely knew all came together to help a disillusioned little me.