Pay It Forward

This really didn’t start today, it started a little over a year ago (and I don’t believe it will end today either).

I was getting on the bus to go to work, and all I had was a $20 bill. Now the drivers are supposed to be able to give you change for a $20, but it was early in the route and early in the morning, so the man had no cash. He told me to ask the other passengers (there were about 3 other people on the bus at that point) but no one had change of a $20.

At the next stop, a few people got on, still no change, but one woman took out her wallet and gave me $3.00 so I could get to work. I thanked her profusely but never saw her again to repay her the $3.00. I promised myself I would someday help someone else in a similar situation

Fast forward to a few months ago, waiting for the bus to go home. I’m in line behind a woman I’ve seen often on this bus and we start to chat. She didn’t have time to buy a ticket, and she’s got a $20. At rush-hour on the way home the drivers get pissed off if 1) you give them money & 2) you give them money but don’t have exact change (or close to it). Well, I had no change for a $20, but I did have $3.00 — you get the idea. I told her, don’t worry about paying me back, it’s only $3, just do the same for someone else some day. And I explained the incident above.

Then about a week ago I lost my wallet on the bus. I have never, ever lost my wallet in all my #%@ years! Of course I totally freaked out (but it’s important to note, I did *not* have a cigarette). I cancelled the things that needed canceling and then called the bus company’s lost and found — no luck there. I knew I had to have lost it on the bus because my monthly bus pass is in a sleeve that’s attached to my wallet. I had to show it to the driver in order to get on the bus in the first place. I also clearly remember doing that and having the wallet in my hands. I thought I put it away in my bag, as I normally would, but apparently not.

I wavered back and forth between the following thoughts: ‘If a fellow commuter finds it, they’ll hold the wallet for me and get it back to me somehow’ & ‘I’ll never see *that* wallet again, or any of the money in it.’

Today, as I was taking a seat on the bus, the guy that was sitting across from me the night I lost my wallet came walking down the aisle. In his right hand he had — my wallet! It blew my mind. Every item, every last penny, was still in it, even my April bus pass (though I had already purchased another one, unfortunately). As I was thanking him, I looked up and there across the aisle, taking her seat & saying hi, was the woman to whom I’d given the $3.

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