Kent drove a cab for a living. Tonight he was responding to a call from a quiet part of town. When he arrived at 2:30 am, the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. So he walked to the door and knocked.
“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice.
Kent could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80’s stood before him. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. Kent took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took his arm and they walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking him for his kindness.
“It’s nothing,” Kent told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”
“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When they got in the cab, she gave him an address then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”
“It’s not the shortest way,” Kent answered.
“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”
Kent looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”
[ To Be Continued … ]