She had a good story and I had literally just noticed that my schedule was open for a few hours and I was happy to have a little free time.
She rapped on my car window and was crying. Sobbing actually.
“Do you know where I can get find an ATM?”
“Get in the car.”
[Note to my spouse & children: yes this is dangerous but she had fun hair. And the crying.]
She was from Wilmington and in town to see her mother who had had a heart attack and she’d run out of gas and a guy had filled up her tank and wanted $46 in cash to pay for the gas and she’d left her 14 year old autistic brother named Jeffrey with him so she could run to a cash machine but she didn’t know where to find one and she was just in a production of 101 Dalmatians and she played Cruella deVille for a non-profit theatre company that supports autism research and her name was Nakia.
Nakia lied to me. She said all the right things:
- Jesus Christ is her Lord and Savior.
- She’s in college in Wilmington and the first in her family to go to college.
- She’s involved in her Methodist church.
It was about this time that I knew she was lying. Her story wasn’t lining up. But I got her some money and a water bottle and some cookies for Jeffrey and I dropped her off in a parking lot where she was going to pick up some fast food and walk to her car on the other side of McDonald’s.
Me: I can go through the drive through and take you to the car.
Nakia: Oh, you’ve done enough. I’m happy to walk and I need to use the bathroom inside.
Yep. The old “bathroom inside” trick. I prayed with her and gave her my business card that said “Reverend” on it and hugged her goodbye.
“God bless you,” she said.
I drove out of the driveway and went around the block and saw her leave with no food and I followed like a detective from a bad TV show.
And as she walked into an apartment parking lot behind a 7-11, I drove up and asked if she was ok. And she knew that I knew that she had lied to me.
Because Nakia lied to me, I may not believe the next stranger who asks me for help. Or maybe I will. Apparently I’m a sucker for crying ladies who look like Cruella.