Margaret opened the oven and was dismayed at the look of the potatoes. She had left them in longer than she thought and they were burnt. She so wanted to make an impression on the friends who were coming to lunch in half and hour and she couldn’t even get baked potatoes right. ‘Never mind she though to herself. I’ll boil some, toss them in butter and that will do’.
Margaret was a fine cook. Normally baked potatoes were a snack. Not today. Why had she become so distracted? Maybe she had spent too much time next door with the neighbour and her new baby. Or maybe she had talked for half an hour on the phone to her cousin, or maybe it was because she woke up late – again.
She couldn’t second guess anything these days. Last week she had met up with an old school friend, Anna, in a cafe in a nearby shopping centre who told her a story and it was this story that she could not stop thinking about.
Anna had told her that right there in that very same centre only last week she had prevented an elderly gentleman from falling over. She had been watching him push his walker along a little unsteadily when she saw him tread on some plastic and start to lose his footing. Quick thinking on her part saved the day – and him. He was so grateful he took her for coffee and tried to give her something for helping him. Anna refused of course and as they parted he shoved something into her hand and it was a lotto ticket. She could see he wanted her to take it so she kindly accepted his generosity. The ticket won $450,00 in the next nights lotto and it was an unregistered ticket.
Anna said she scoured the centre for days looking for the old man, but never found him. She would sit on a seat for hours each day and look out for men with walkers, but to no avail. She was flabbergasted that from one kind act she had been given all this money, yet she felt she wanted to give it all the the gentleman, or at least share it. This experience weighed on her heavily and she did not know what to do. She told Margaret she was going to put the money in the bank and go about her life and keep looking for the man with the walker.
Over baked lamb and boiled potatoes Margaret recounted the story to her friends and their response was to say things like ‘Anna should keep it, after all he did give her the ticket!’ Except Geraldine, who as soon as Margaret had finished the story exclaimed, “That’s my father! He told me all about it. He didn’t know his lotto ticket had won all that money! He was so grateful to that woman who had stopped him from being badly hurt, he wanted to give her something as a thank you. Oh my goodness, that’s amazing”!
The others were mute. ‘I’m sorry’, they said, ‘Of course maybe they could share it’. One said, ‘I’m so sorry for rushing to an opinion, it’s not for me to say, its none of my business”.
And Margaret looked at Geraldine and said to her – ‘I will arrange it. I will ask Anna to be at the coffee shop next week. Do you think your father will come?”
‘Yes’, said Geraldine, ‘I’ll make sure of it!”