The tired ex-teacher edged closer in a long line to the counter at Kmart supermarket.
Her left leg was hurt because of too much stress, and she hoped she had taken all of her pills that the doctor gave her for the day: the ones for her high blood pressure, dizziness and the host of other ailments of the old that she unluckily suffered. “Thank goodness, I retired years ago,” she thought to herself. “I don’t have the energy to teach kids these days.”
Just behind her, people in line to the counter were waiting for their turn to pay. She spotted a young man with two children and a young pregnant wife. The teacher couldn’t miss the tattoos on his arms and neck. “He has been to prison,” she thought.
His audacious face together with the dusty T-shirt and baggy pants emboldened her theory. “He must a member of an infamous gang.”
Despite that, seeing his wife and children, the teacher tried to let the man go ahead of her.
“You can go first,” she offered tenderly and stepped back to let them pass.
“No, you go first,” he said.
“No, you have more people with you,” said the teacher.
“We should respect our elders,” the man insisted. And with that, he gestured with a sweeping motion indicating the way for the woman.
A brief smile flickered on her lips as she hobbled in front of him. She decided she couldn’t let the moment go, and she turned back to him, “Who taught you your good manners?”
“You did Mrs. Simpson, in third grade. You don’t remember me?”
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