"But it was just here!" I shout frantically.

I fish around in my pockets, desperately patting at them to find my ticket.

"Please, sir, I put my train ticket in my pocket, I'm sure of it but it's not there anymore and I have to make this train. It's the last one to Chicago and my my whole family is there and it's the first time I'll have seen my brother in five years. He's been in Afghanistan and he re-enlisted, he ships out January 3rd and then I won't see him for another two years at least! Please let me get on this train." I beg the man at the boarding gate.

"I'm sorry ma'am but I can't let you on the train without a ticket. and you're holding up the line." The man says.

"Oh please can't you make an exception?" I plead desperately. "I have to get there today so I can pick up my mother from the airport."

"I'm sorry ma'am but you'll have to go buy another ticket." The man replies, unmoved by my predicament.

"But the train leaves in ten minutes! And there's no way I could afford a last minute priced ticket!" I cry.

"I'm very sorry about that ma'am, but there's nothing I can do." The man says.

"Oh no, oh no no no." I say, tears rising to my eyes.

I pick up my suitcase and start to move out of line regretfully.


I turn my head and see an old man waving at me.

"I found this on the ground outside a restroom, I didn't know what possessed me to pick it up but now I do. Take the ticket dear, I'm sure it's yours." The man insists.

"Oh thank you!" I exclaim then I fling my arms around the old man's neck before I can think whether or not he'd appreciate it.

"You're welcome dear. Everyone should be with their family during the holidays. My own daughter was in the military, and her husband. I know just how important it is to see them whenever you can, especially during Christmas." The man says.

"You must be an angel in disguise, I swear. Thank you, sir." I smile widely.

"Not an angel, just a very old man." He says smiling.

I help the man onto the train, giving the cold hearted man who refused to let me through a slightly triumphant grin.

"Where are you going in Chicago?" I ask the kind old man.

"Visiting my sister and her family." He replies.

"Well I wish you the merriest of Christmases," I decide. "You've given me the best gift I could ask for, a way to spend time with my family. God bless you sir."

"You too, young lady," the man smiles. "It's very rare young people are as grateful as you are, and thank you for helping me with my things."

"Absolutely, sir. Thank you." I return.

I shake the man's hand one final time before turning to find my seat a few cars down.

I've heard people talk about strangers doing kind things like this but I never thought it'd happen to me. Now that it has, I'm certain the Christmas Spirit is more real than I ever thought.

But most of all, boy am I glad that old man wasn't an Ebeneezer Scrooge!

December 04, 2019 13:56

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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