Thursday, May 5, 2011

On Helen

I was cashiering that day. An older couple came through my line. As they placed their items on the turntable for me to ring them up, the man barked orders at his wife. He was so impatient with her. Then, he turned to me and struck up a friendly conversation like nothing had happened. He asked about my day, how school was going--just the usual small talk. But intermittently, he would turn to his wife and growl at her some more. She was loading the bagged groceries back into the cart. "Helen, be helpful," he snapped. Helen wasn't even fazed by his harsh tone. I kept my friendly smile on, but deep inside, I hurt for Helen. What could possibly drive this older, hardly gentle gentleman to treat his wife with so much disrespect? I don't know Helen, but she deserves to be treated better than that.

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