Alex-Ramirez

Learning to make lemonade: from sour to sweet


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In the middle of the street, my mood changed. I no longer cared about my call or what my friend thought. He told me about his two-year-old daughter he’d never met. He told me how he had spent his day at the library.

“I’m a nobody,” he sobbed. “I stood there all day, and you’re the first person who even looked at me.”

He apologized for crying, for imposing on our night. And then I turned to him and with surprising boldness I told him, “I don’t think you need to apologize to me.”

I immediately realized that this man owed me nothing. Taking the time to get to know him was not inconveniencing me at all. In fact, it was a privilege. I told him he could cry all he needed and to order whatever he wanted. He ordered a drink and a donut. We exchanged a few words. I was sad to leave him.

I’d like to think that years from now, I’ll still remember him. I imagine I’ll forget why I was there or even that my friend was in town, but I will   remember him.

I will remember the relief in his voice when I told him we’d be back. I’ll remember the pain in his eyes when he told me he was a “nobody.” But most importantly, I will remember how sweet my lemonade tasted that day.



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