I was feeling hungry.
On the front seat next to me, was a steaming hot microwave popcorn bag just waiting to be opened. I pulled into the gas station, and stepped out of my car, when a man approached me.
"Maam? Can you spare some money for my kids? We have car trouble and we're driving down to L.A. for the holidays and my kids are hungry."
I didn't have any cash, but I happily offered him my untouched bag of popcorn.
He leaned over and punched the bag out of my hand. The popcorn exploded in every direction.
"I asked for money!" he shouted as he rushed away disappearing behind cars.
I stood there for a moment. Shivering.
With him disappeared something else -- my trust.
I got back into my car and as I drove off, I felt sad and confused.
This man has made it difficult for me to want to help a stranger again in the future. It's hard to trust fire once it's burned you. I wonder if I will always remain skeptical. Will it always just linger there under the surface with me? Will I always second-guess someone with needs?
I laid in bed that night, thinking of him, still shivering from the cold.