a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for August 26, 2012

a lump in the road

< by JHK >

At 10 p.m. on a Monday night, I laced up my running sneaks.

I left my building, dipped through an underpass, and steered south along Lake Michigan. The night thickened. For a two-mile stretch, the only light that guided me fell from the moon. I could see the dark shape of my feet, but not the path below.

A little unnerved, I picked up my pace and darted toward downtown. I was beginning to feel at ease, when out of the darkness, I glimpsed a lump in the road. A few steps later, it touched my toes: a big, thick wallet.

As I thumbed through the contents, a prickle of fear crawled up my spine. I found dollars, dollars, and more dollars — hundreds of dollars, in every president.

I suddenly realized that everything had changed. Before, I was only a defenseless young girl running alone, in the dark, in Chicago. Now, I was that plus hundreds of dollars. A veritable babe in the woods. Oh, NO.

I locked my fingers around that wallet and ran like the wind.

When I got home, I traced the owner — a Pedicab driver with a faulty back pocket. A few weeks later, I received this:

In the end, it was worth it to take that wallet and run. I could have left it and protected myself. Or, I could have taken it and kept it. No one would have known. But Michael’s note reaffirmed my belief that goodness is still valuable, and that (sorry mom!) running at night isn’t the worst thing after all.*


*It’s also not the best thing. Running in daylight strongly recommended.