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Stop and Smell the Coffee

by Michele Fleming  
2/23/2012 / Short Stories

Dani sat straight up in bed when she heard the rumbling of the garbage truck as it turned onto her street. She looked at the clock and panic washed over her.

"Oh no, my alarm didn't go off!" Jumping out of bed, she made a mad dash for the bathroom in hopes of salvaging what was left of her morning. Sliding to a halt, she reached to turn the shower on, disrobed and jumped in even before the water had had time to heat up.

She couldn't be late for this appointment! It was probably the most important appointment since starting her career and she was furious with herself starting the day off like this.

Miraculously, she was ready and out the door in thirty minutes flat! Racing to the car, she decided she would have just enough time to run in the coffee shop for a quick jolt of java. After purchasing her steaming cup of heaven, she lowered herself onto the bench out front to mix in her creamer.

Seated beside her was an elderly woman and out of the corner of her eye, Dani began to study her. Judging by her wrinkled and weathered features, she appeared to be in her late seventies. Her clothing, while dated, gave evidence to a rather comfortable life. She watched as the woman took out a worn monogrammed handkerchief and wiped at a stray tear. Her heart broke into a million pieces for this dejected soul and she wondered what troubled her.

Dani heard the woman sniffle and clear her throat.

"How are you today?" the woman asked with a voice as weathered as her features.

"I am well. "

"My name is, Martha." She announced as she fidgeted with her hankie.

"I'm, Dani." An awkward silence hung in the air for a moment. "I couldn't help but notice that you seem to be upset about something."

"I was hoping to make it to my grandson David's party. He just opened his first law practice and his parents are throwing him a huge shindig at the country club. It's supposed to start in fifteen minutes." Martha brushed another tear from her face.

"So, why aren't you going?"

"The bus was already pulling away when I rounded the corner."

Dani 's heart began to fill with compassion for the older woman. She sat staring across the street and as her insides twisted with emotion, she pondered what to do. She desperately needed to make this appointment, but she found herself with an overwhelming need to help this poor woman. Dani did the only thing she could think of. She closed her eyes and asked the Lord for guidance.

In the midst of the prayer, her cell phone buzzed alerting her to a new text message. She opened her phone and read.

(Need to reschedule meeting! Please call as soon as you can.)

"Wow . . . that was quick!" Dani said aloud, amazed at how fast the Lord could work.

"What was quick, dear?"

"Oh, it's nothing. Why don't I give you a lift?"


"Sure, I would be happy to."

The ride to the country club took only a few minutes. Dani helped Martha out of the car and walked her up to the door where she planned to say her goodbyes.

"You must come in for a moment." Martha insisted while tugging on her arm.

"Only for a minute." Dani agreed reluctantly.

As Dani entered the dining room with Martha at her side, she ran smack-dab into the most breath-taking man she had ever seen. When their eyes met, fireworks erupted inside her and she was sure every nerve in her body felt the singe. Several moments passed before they reluctantly gave up their hold on one another.

"Hello, I'm . . . David." He stuttered.

"I'm Dani . . . I'm here with your grandmother, Martha." She managed to tell him while taking a wobbly step backward.

David gave her a puzzled look.

"Martha died three years ago." He announced as he motioned to a picture of his grandmother that was on display.

Dani began to scan the crowd looking for Martha, but something in the pit of her stomach told her that she wouldn't find her. Feeling a little dizzy, she grabbed for a nearby table and David reached for her.

"Are you alright?"

Dani looked into his gorgeous eyes.

"Do you believe in angels?"

David smiled and the fireworks started all over again.

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