A stranger reinforced my faith in my fellow man.
Yesterday, I ran out of gas. This was not a surprise as my tank had been working dangerously below empty for two days already. I had overextended myself and was in the red on my checking account, just trying to make it to Friday when my paycheck would be deposited.
However, yesterday after work, I had to pre-pump the gas pedal a lot to get the car to start and in the few moments while I was waiting to pull out in traffic it started to stall. I decided I had to bite the bullet and drove to the 7-11 a block away. As I pulled next to the pump I realized if my ATM card didn't work, I probably wouldn't be able to start my car up again. I knew I had a negative balance but I was hoping (ridiculously hoping, right?) that I could get $5-10 out. Of course, my card was declined at the pump and then declined inside. As I'm telling my story about practically driving on fumes, the guy behind me waiting to buy cigarettes asks "Are you out of gas?" The second after I say yes, he holds out the $20 bill he was about to give the cashier. After I say, "Really?" about three times and stare at him he hands the money straight to the cashier and says to put the entire $20 on my pump. All I can do is stare at his profile incredulously and say "Thank you, thank you so much."
It's not until after I pumped the gas and sat in my car that I realized how I had NO backup plan, no other credit card, and no cash. Without this guy I would have ended up crying in my car for a while. I would have been able to get people to push my car away from the pump, leave it there, and walk the 2.5 miles home but I would first have to beat myself up about it. This has got to stop, I SO need a new job.
So thank you, mystery guy*!! I will pay it forward in your honor.
* Most distractingly, he was also quite cute. ; )