A woman walked for miles in the middle of a thunderstorm to save her husband, but when she arrived at the service station, the manager refused to help her.
It was a dark and stormy night… Tara Wilson stared out of the service station’s wide window at the pouring rain and sighed. Just then, a streak of lightning flashed across the sky and the sound of thunder split the night.
Night duty at a gas station wasn’t exactly the exciting job Tara had been dreaming of when she went to journalism school, but unfortunately, she’d had to leave college to support her ailing mother. What Tara didn’t know was that the dreary night was about to become a lot more exciting.
Even as Tara thought about her life, a frail figure was stumbling towards her in the dark, almost bent double against the force of the wind and the driving train. Tara was almost asleep when a gasping voice interrupted her reverie. “Please, oh please…”
Tara, who was seated behind the service station’s counter, jumped to her feet. In front of her, dripping equal portions of rain and mud was an older woman. Her clothes were plastered with oil, dirt, and mud, and dark streaks of makeup ran down her face.
“Ma’am?” Tara gasped. “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you come in!”
The woman took another stumbling step forward and held on to the counter with desperate hands. “Please,” she gasped again, “I need your help…”
“Oh I’ll just bet you do!” a harsh masculine voice interrupted. It was Tara’s boss, Mr. Anderson, the service station’s night manager who must have heard the woman enter from the back office where he spent his nights online on dubious sites.
Never deny a person in need of help.
“I’ve had enough of you derelicts walking in cadging hot food and coffee every time it rains.” Mr. Anderson snarled. “Get out!”
“Please,” the woman said in a calmer voice, and Tara noticed she had a sweet voice and an educated accent. “I need help, my phone is smashed…”
“Help?” sneered Mr. Anderson. “Did you drive here? Do you need gas? Or motor oil? Do you have money or a credit card?”
“No,” the woman said. “You don’t understand…”
“I understand you just fine.” the manager snarled. “Get out! No car and no money, you get nothing!”
The woman pressed her shaking hands together. “My husband and I had a car accident, he’s lying unconscious on the road…All I ask is that you make a phone call!”
Tara made up her mind and stepped forward. “Ma’am, I’ll call 911 for you,” she said. She picked up the receiver of the service station’s landline and dialed. She frowned and picked up her cell phone then shook her head.
“I’m sorry,” she told the woman. “But the storm probably took down the phone lines and the cell tower. Where did you crash?”
The woman’s lips were trembling. “My poor John, oh my poor John…”
Tara came around the counter and put her arm around the woman’s sopping-wet shoulders. “Come on, Ma’am, I’ll drive you to him. We’ll take him to the hospital.”
The manager was enraged. “You most certainly will not!” he screamed. “You walk out that door and you’re fired!”
Tara looked at Mr. Anderson and said quietly. “Go ahead, fire me. But I won’t leave a man dying by the roadside.”
“Thank you, my dear,” cried the woman. “My husband is an influential man, you won’t regret this.”
“No matter who your husband is, I won’t regret it, Ma’am,” said Tara as she settled the woman into her car and buckled her seat belt. “My mother always taught us to help whenever we could, no matter who it is.”
With the woman’s guidance, Tara found the scene of the accident. The car was completely destroyed, and by the side of the road and covered with a blanket was an older man.
“John,” the woman cried kneeling by his side, “I’m here, darling, I found help!” The man opened his eyes and tried to speak, but he was obviously too weak. Tara and the woman managed to get him into her car’s backseat, and they drove to the hospital through the pouring rain.
As soon as the hospital’s staff had the man in hand, Tara asked them to take a look at the woman too, who was shivering from shock and exhaustion, then she allowed herself to sink into one of the waiting room chairs.
A while later, a tall young doctor came over and asked if she had been the one who’d brought the older couple over. “Yes,” Tara said. “Are they alright?”
“Thanks to you!” said the doctor with a smile. “Mrs. Smythe told me what you did. Her husband had internal bleeding, and another half an hour would have been too late. We’re also treating Mrs. Smythe for shock and hypothermia.”
“Mrs. Smythe, that’s the lady’s name?” asked Tara. “And they are going to be alright?”
“Yes, you saved their lives,” said the doctor, casting Tara an admiring look. “You’re a hero!”
“No,” said Tara. “Mrs. Smythe is the hero. She walked five miles in the rain to get help for her husband, and she never gave up!”
As it turned out, Mr. Smythe was the owner of the local TV station, and his news team told the story of how Tara lost her job to save two lives. Mr. Anderson was mentioned by name, and his boss fired him for casting the company in a bad light.
When Mr. Smythe discovered that Tara was a semester away from her journalism major, he hired her as a junior reporter. She was earning a lot more than she had at the service station and doing what she loved.
Rumor has it that Tra has been dating a handsome young doctor she met in an emergency room one dark and stormy night, and he might be on the verge of popping the question…
What can we learn from this story?
Never deny a person in need of help. Mr. Anderson wanted to run Mrs. Smythe off because she was dirty and he thought she was poor and homeless and it ended up costing him his job.
Life rewards the kindest hearts. Tara risked her job to help Mrs. Smythe but got the job of her dreams and met a wonderful man.