DK ' 2000

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- January 29 -

Written by: Jesicka
Last Updated: 1.19.98
Word Count:

I had many things planned for that 29th of January. By the end of the day, however, all that I had planned went wrong. It seemed as though I had accomplished nothing. But on that same day, something incredible had happened.

I was up at eight-o clock that day because I had to make it to downtown Manhattan by nine thirty to help out at my college with some volunteer paperwork. Since my car was at the shop, I would have to make my commute by train today.

I was happy to have arrived ten minutes early. I entered the guidance
office and greeted Mrs. Henly, the college 2nd year counselor. She directed me to towering piles of paper. "Start from the top and work your way down.  You know what to do, right?" With that she left me there in the back of the guidance office. I started working quickly as possible to catch my eleven fifteen LIRR train to Huntington, Long Island. Well, guess what. All that rushing was a big mistake. As I finished writing up the second to last sheet of paper, I realized my big mistake. I wrote in pen when I should have written in number two pencils. Just then, Mrs. Henley came in. "Oh, are you done already?" She smiled sweetly. I spilled my bad news to her. Then, she swore. I never saw her swear before. I felt terrible. I never felt this bad before. I just kept looking down to the floor while she lectured me. And to think I was proud of myself for being the only one to volunteer.

This incident did not prevent me from continuing on with the day, though. I left Cooper Union at promptly ten thirty two to Penn Station and caught my eleven fifteen train to Huntington. At Huntington I went to The Digitec Building to my job interview. I was very nervous and hoped that my attire was decent for that kind of building. Luckily, I was not late for my twelve thirty seven appointment with Mr. Mac. (They like to be very specific when it comes to time)

Mr. Mac was a very stern-looking, tall man. He seemed to be impressed with the way I expressed myself during the interview. Everything seemed to be going well until, well, Kenny paged me. (Kenny is the guy I was seeing since high school). I had forgotten to turn off the alarm of my pager. It would have been okay if my alarm was an ordinary one. But it unfortunately is not. As the pages kept coming in, my pager played a recording of clips of Kenny's idea of music, heavy metal. Yes, there is a lot of swearing in it, especially the "F" word. Mr. Mac was stunned. He looked very offended at first, but the pages wouldn't stop. I tried to turn off my pager, but the button was pushed far in and I couldn't turn the alarm off. He looked at me and said, "You seem to think this is a joke or something! Well, all I can say about that is, this meeting is dismissed..." More pager music
played, as Mr. Mac's face grew angrier. I finally took the batteries out of my pager. He didn't notice. . "It was nice meeting you." With that he
stood up, straightened his clothes, and left the room. I sat there and
thought. Hasn't he heard of musical beeper alarms? He's got to get out
more. "Another failure." I thought to myself. It looked to me that it was
going to be the worst day of the week so far.

Losing the only chance to land on my dream-job was not enough, however, to stop my engine. After leaving the Digitec Building, I called Kenny collect on purpose from a nearby pay phone and lectured him on how he knew I was at my dream-job interview and how he should not have paged me. He said sorry and all that crap and we hung up since it was a collect call. Then I ran to the LIRR Station to catch the two twenty one train back to the city. In the city I had to go to my house first, change, then go to my church in Bayside, Queens for College Student Youth Fellowship Meeting. First I went home, and
changed. Afterward, I arrived at Grand Central at three forty and took the seven train into Queens. At around six o clock, I arrived at the door of The Korean Evangelical Baptist Church of New York and went inside. I waited till seven o clock but nobody showed up. Then I got a page from one of my church friends. I called her and she told me that the meeting had been cancelled the night before and they couldn't reach me to let me know. She said they were really sorry. I hung up with her. I was disappointed and very angry at the same time. "Why isn't anything going right for me today?" I felt like strangling myself.

I came back home in the upper west side of Manhattan by taking the seven train and transferring to the one train. I was really tired by then and decided to go to the nearby Dunkin' Donuts to have a cup of coffee. I realized that it was really late when I stepped out of my apartment and noticed there were no people on the streets. That night I sat at that Dunkin' Donuts drinking my coffee alone and thought about how that day was such a bad day and how I had accomplished nothing. I thought of how everything went wrong and not as I planned. I took the last sip of my coffee and headed back home. I was walking down my block soon and had almost reached home when a man crossed my path. He asked me the directions of Dunkin' Donuts so I gladly pointed him to the right way. 'He probably had a bad day like me and wants some coffee.' I thought to myself. He seemed confused when I told him all the turns he had to make to get to Dunkin' Donuts, so I decided to walk him there. It wasn't very far. While we walked, we had a conversation. We told eachother about our day and introduced ourselves. I even had another coffee that night at the Dunkin' Donuts, except this time I had a companion. A long time had passed since we
had finished our coffees, and I had already learned a lot about my
companion. I told him we should be going to our homes now and he agreed. 
He thanked me for joining him and we parted there at the Dunkin' Donuts. When I reached my house, all I wanted to do was sleep. So I did. I still thought that I had not accomplished anything that day.

Two years had passed since that terrible day, the 29th of January. I
decided to get some coffee at the Dunkin' Donuts near my house. At the same place on that same date, I saw that man I had talked to two years ago.  Strangely enough, he remembered me. We asked each other how we had been, and I said I've been better and he said he's been very good. Then when I was about to say good bye and leave, he told me something that I will never forget. He said, that night when I first met him, the 29th of January two years ago, he had been planning to kill himself after drinking his last cup of coffee. He told me that obviously, that was not what he had done. He said he didn't kill himself that night after he thought of me and how there were nice people left in the world. He thanked me for being kind enough to help a stranger who was in need. He said he just wanted to thank me for that with all his heart and for his wife and child, because if he had killed himself that night, he would have never met his wife. "You did more than just walk me to Dunkin' Donuts and talk to me that night. You saved my life." His words touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Right then
and there I realized that I had accomplished much more than I had planned to accomplish on that 29th of January two years ago.

Copyright DK, 2000.  All rights reserved.

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