The other man was wearing his best clothes that day. His only pair of jeans that didn’t have a hole in them and a faded dark blue collared shirt with the top button missing. Sleeves rolled up to his elbows, exposing the sun baked skin beneath and hands stained by dirt; hands that have been worked far too hard for far too long. As he stepped out of the diner and down the steps he found himself staring at a man with a desperate look on his face making his way towards him.
The desperate man came to a stop a few feet before him, unsure of what to say until the other man spoke up first.
“Is there something I can help you with?”
The desperate man was taken aback by the sincerity in the other man’s voice.
“Y-yeah. I, uh, so I know that this is a longshot and whatnot but…” He hesitated, staring into the other man’s solid, yet comforting gaze.
“I don’t live here, I live a few hours north in Bakersfield, but I ran out of gas on my way back from visiting my mother. I have no money and no phone, is there any way I could use your phone or have some coins for a phone booth or..”
As he finished his sentence the other man wordlessly reached into the back pocket and pulled out a wallet that has seen many years. His calloused fingers ruffled through the paper thin stack of cash and brought out a singular twenty dollar bill. He placed it into the desperate man’s now outstretched hand.
“Get home safely.”
The desperate man stood there, mouth agape. A soft thank you escaped his lips as the other man tucked the slim stack of bills into his wallet and walked away, the faded blue shirt fluttering in the wind as he got into his truck and drove off.