The rain was pouring down hard on that summer day. Driving my small car around town, I had already fishtailed once and nearly skidded into another car within a 10-minute interval. My mood resembled the stormy weather in many ways at this point, and I was almost ready to just return home and give up. However, desiring nothing more than absolution from hunger, I chose to risk Escherichia coli and buy food from Jack-in-the-Box.
My best friend and I, each with sour expressions on our respective faces, pulled through the drive through and ordered two Sourdough Jacks. Pulling forward to wait in line for the pick-up window, I repetitively tapped my brakes while pondering the expanse of emptiness in my dashboard where my stereo had been, only months before. Juliet remained silent.
Both Juliet and I were startled out of our rêveries by the loud sound of a car horn from behind us. I recall muttering "What the FUCK!?" as I turned to Juliet, and she turned to face back at the car behind us, its windows tinted, revealing nothing. As I sat there, stewing angrily over the incident, a tap at my window revealed a woman, in her late forties. As I rolled down the window, an apology was streaming from her lips.
"I'm so sorry for honking at you back there. I haven't had this car long and I didn't mean to hit the horn," she stated simply. The rain continued pouring down as she waited for a response, and her clean, yet work-worn clothing was soaking up the water quickly. I sat somewhat dumbfounded.
I'm not sure if I nodded, grunted an "it's okay", or shrugged off the incident with a faint smile, but upon receiving some kind of acknowledgment from me, the woman headed back to her vehicle. However, my mind was working too quickly, trying to understand the woman's motive in letting herself be soaked just to apologize for what could be considered the slightest of accidents.
"That was nice of her," said Juliet, simply, as I pulled the car forward to the pick-up window, and traded six one-dollar bills for two Sourdough Jacks, two cents, and a receipt. As I was handed the food, Juliet continued: "The rain is clearing up."
I finished mulling over the incident with the older woman and her genuine compassion and concluded the very same thing.