Sharon shivered as the rain soaked through her sweater. Her shoes sloshed with each step she took on that dark and chilly night. She’d never felt so alone or afraid, but as she topped the rise on the desolate stretch of road, relief flooded her body. There, at the bottom of the knoll, sat tiny restaurant, its windows emanating warm light.
Pleasant bells tinkled as Sharon opened the door to the little diner. Her wet shoes squeaked on the floor, but no one turned to stare. The booths and oilcloth covered tables were empty, as one would expect on Thanksgiving evening.
Sharon shook off as much water as she could before sliding into a booth near the lunch counter..
A waiter appeared at her elbow. “You look like you’ve had a long night.”
Sharon rubbed her hands together to warm them. “Yeah, I have a flat tire and couldn’t find a service station anywhere. Do you know someone who could help me? I don’t know how to put on a tire.” She sounded so sad and forlorn he couldn’t help but feel sorry for her.
“I tell you what. Why don’t you have some coffee and dry out, and I will see what I can do.”
“Oh, that is so nice of you.” Sharon smiled and stared at the man a moment too long, then quickly looked away, embarrassed. There was something about him; he caused a feeling of electricity that she just couldn’t shake. She had seen him before, but where? How? She’d never stepped foot in this diner before, or in this part of the county, for that matter.
Sharon sipped, then gulped, the steaming coffee he’d brought her and watched him as he walked through the pouring rain to change her tire. He’d thoughtfully placed a carafe on the table, and she refilled her cup a second and third time, before he returned, driving her car right up to the restaurant door.
“Well, it’s done,” he said, stomping the water from his galoshes. “Good news is you had a good, second-hand tire in the trunk, so you should be fine.”
“Thank you! How much do I owe you for fixing my tire?”
“Oh, no. This is Thanksgiving. You can say it’s my good deed for the day.” He beamed that great smile, again, and Sharon felt sure it made the room brighter. His blue eyes showed sensitivity she hadn’t seen in many men, lately.
“Do you live near here?” she asked. “You look so familiar to me.”
“I’ve lived here all my life. My parents died when I was only five, and I was adopted by a wonderful couple who’ve lived here forever.”
Sharon’s heart skipped a beat. No, it couldn’t be-could it? “Tell me; do you know the name of your biological parents?” She nearly choked on the words.
“Sure, they were John and Barbara Brown.” A bemused look crossed his face. “Did you know them?
“John! Your name is John, right?”
He nodded, grinning. “Yes, how did you know that?”
“Do you remember having an older sister?”
“Yes, but she died of cancer when she was twelve.”
“No, John. I am Sharon. I’m your sister!”
“But, how could that be?”
“I don’t know John, but someone lied to you. I am very much alive.”
John didn’t hesitate a moment. He scooped Sharon from her seat and hugged her.
Sharon thought her heart would burst with emotion. She took John’s hands, and they sat opposite each other, laughing, crying and talking for hours.
“And to think this started out to be a terrible night,” Sharon said.
“That turned out to be the best Thanksgiving ever!”