Twenty years ago, Kent drove a cab for a living. One time Kent arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building with a single light in a ground floor window.
Many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But he had seen impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. So he walked to the door and knocked.
"Just a minute", answered an elderly voice.
He could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before him. She was wearing a dress and a hat, like somebody out of a 1980s movies. By her side was a small suitcase.
"Would you carry my bag to the car?" she said. He took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist woman. She took his arm and they walked slowly toward the cab. She kept thanking him for his kindness.
"It's nothing", he told her ."I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."
"Oh you are such a good boy," she said. When they got in the cab, she give him an address, then asked, "Could you drive through Downtown?"
"It's not the shortest way," he answered quickly.
" Oh, I don't mind!" she said. "I am in no hurry."
"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."
He quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?'' he asked.
For the next two hours, they drove through the city. She showed him the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. They drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newly married. She had him pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
As the first sight of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said ,"I am tired.Let's go now."
They drove in silence to the address she had given.
It was a low building, with a driveway that passed under a veranda. Two people came out to the cab as soon as they pulled up. They seemed caring and kind, watching her. They must have been expecting her. Kent opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
"How much do I owe you? " she asked, reaching into her purse.
"Nothing" he said.
"You have to make your living," she answered.
"There are other passengers."
Almost without thinking, he bent and gave her a hug. She held on to him tightly.
"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."