I got a hug today

…from a total stranger. I was shocked. All I said to her was a “hello” (with a big smile), and she stopped in her tracks. That made me pause as well. Did I say something wrong? I saw her searching my eyes, wanting to know if I really meant well. I offered a smile and proceeded to be on my way.

From my view, it looked like she needed a kind word, scratch that, she needed kindness. She walked like the weight of the world was on her shoulders, back hunched and face long. I wonder what’s going on behind that pretty face.

Mind your business babe, I said to myself. I had a class, 3 meetings back to back, and 2 assignments that didn’t look very friendly, plus my backpack felt like I was going camping (could it really be only my laptop and 1 notebook in there?). I had my own troubles, I thought, and needed to be on the move.

She raised her hand, ever so slightly, if I wasn’t paying attention, I would have missed it. I stopped again, and asked her with a smile- “Did you say something?”

“No, not really. I just wanted to say thank you for saying hello. I really needed an assurance that I wasn’t totally alone. Your kindness reassured me that everything will be fine, so thank you, for being so kind!”

“You’re welcome,” I said. The strangest thing happened then, like old friends, we smiled in unison and stretched out our arms and hugged, bade our goodbyes and went on our way. For me, I had a skip in my steps, forgetting the heavy backpack for a minute, and telling myself those assignments can’t be that difficult.

I didn’t get her name, but her smile will stay with me!

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