How the Texas sun, a friendly ride and a $20 bill lifted me up


Relocating to Texas was a bigger deal than I bargained for.

My heart brought me here, twice. The first time it was for a relationship. The second time it was to leave a relationship and come home.

But coming home is harder when you come alone. And when you feel broke(en).

Back then, I had a good job but the lawyer and the move back were costly. And there was some debt that had built up on the cards. So I picked up a weekend job that helped me make some headway for these accounts.

I didn’t realize until I was driving the wrong way down a one way street at midnight that I was reaching my limit to cope. I wouldn’t have realized I was going the wrong way because there was no traffic at that hour. But the police did.

I lost it. I started spilling all the raw details of my life and the officer listened, gave me a warning and told me to be careful getting home.

That’s just the backstory.

At the end of the shift at my weekday job, a colleague said he was going to the outlet stores in San Marcos to buy a wedding gift for a mutual friend.

Would I like to go? Would I? Yes, I would like to go somewhere with someone and not have to drive and not have to be so responsible for everything every minute.

So we headed south as the sun was going down and the sunset was magnificent. The weather was starting to turn and I had put on a jacket I hadn’t worn since winter. I was a little worried about dinner, like I didn’t want to be a burden, you know?

My hands started getting colder so I stuffed them into the pockets. I felt some paper in the right one and pulled it out. Imagine my surprise when I found a $20 bill! Immediately I offered to pay for dinner, feeling richer than anyone should on a short trip with the sun setting in Texas.



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