The gift of a smile


“14.32 please,” the night shift grocery clerk barely lifts her head as she reads the display. She doesn’t want to be there at midnight, and it shows. Her sagging shoulders, her long face, even her voice sounds distant.

The customer doesn’t care or doesn’t notice as he hands her a twenty and waits impatiently for change. She hands it to him and the guy walks off without saying a word. She sighs as the next customer has placed his few items on the conveyer belt.

She starts ringing in all the items.


“9.67 please,” the clerk says holding her hand out for the money. Suddenly her hand is grasped gently by two warm hands which surprises her. She looks up and a portly man in a beard smiles a huge smile at her. “I noticed you are looking down,” the man said in a soft voice. “I’m going to give you the gift of a smile, it’s not mine, but it’s mine only to pass on. You need it more than I do.”

She stares in silence, then slowly she smiles back.

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