“Take a penny,” he said.


I stopped by a corner store to buy a drink. No one was behind me at check out. The cashier looked bored to death, a little on the lanky side. He scanned my drink and the total popped up on the monitor, an amount less than a dollar. I handed him a larger bill.

“Take a penny,” he said.

So I did. I took a penny from the pile of change sitting on the counter and put it straight into the pocket of my teal wallet. I thought, Why did he tell me to take a penny? After a brief moment the cashier looked up from the register.

“Oh, I meant for me,” he said.

He gave me a half smile.

Oh. I rushed to get out of there, fumbling and apologizing all over the place and straight up dashed out of the store. He had a good laugh– at least I made his work day more memorable was what I kept telling myself. The next time I walked into the store, his face brightened with recognition. I quickly dodged into the aisles and luckily got his co-worker at check out.



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