A Good Deed

A rather short story this time. 🙂

I came home from work one afternoon and found the neighbor’s young son sitting out by the driveway when I rode through the gate. He had his head resting on his chin and looked pretty sad to me as I rode past into the garage to park my bike. Kinda looked like he either had been crying or was about to when I sat down next to him and asked what was wrong.

He told me that neither of his parents were home and he couldn’t get in his house and he was worried that something had happened to both of them and quite a lot of other stuff that kinda just came pouring out. I wasn’t really sure how to handle this kind of thing, but I told him that being that they were both in the military they were probably just working late. He was pretty adamant they weren’t though since one of them was always home before him. Always!

I didn’t really have any toys like a ball or a frisbee or anything back then or I would have just tossed it around with him until one of them got home. I wish I’d thought of going up on his roof to get some of the toys which were likely back up there, but that never occurred to me.

However, when he mentioned that he couldn’t get into his house, it reminded me of something that I’d completely forgotten about, and I suddenly got up (surprised him a little, I think) and said, “Wait here. I’ll be right back.”

Amazingly for me, the thing I went looking for was still in the middle junk drawer in my kitchen, right where I put it over a year before. He was still sitting there when I came back with the third key the rental agency had given me when I first rented the place.

I said, “You know, a long time ago the agency gave me three keys, but I was never able to figure out what this one was for. I doesn’t fit either my front door or the back one, and it doesn’t fit the door to the storage area below the stairs either.”

He was looking up at me then with a hopeful look in his eyes when I went on. “Come on,” I told him as I led him back down the short path to his house. “Let’s just see if maybe this key might fit your front door.”

Damned if it didn’t. He got a big smile on his face when I gave him the key and asked if he’d be okay now. He said yeah, he would, and I told him that it was his key now and that needed to take good care of it.

It seems like that would be the end of the story, and to be honest I thought it was, but . . .

A couple nights later I was just lounging around, listening to some music and reading a book (I don’t remember which one) when there was a knock on my door. It was the neighbors and they were bearing gifts. Well, a gift. The wife (I believe I called her Mary in a previous story) had baked me an apple pie to thank me for being nice to their son earlier.

That was just so damned cool I was completely overwhelmed. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before or since. 🙂 🙂 To use an entirely overused and inaccurate saying – That was awesome!

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R. S. Leergaard

US Navy veteran and writer of stories. Blogger of things.

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