Reddit user GrandOpening was a busy college freshman a few years ago, when a perfect storm of events left her pulling up at a gas station in the middle of the night, desperate for caffeine.
The user had a younger sister in her last year of high school and a mother who was doing an internship for medical coding, which required an hour-and-a-half drive each way. But her mother had nerve damage in her hip then, and couldn’t drive that far herself.
That left the user working in the morning, taking classes in the afternoon, before driving the mother to the hospital for her internship, where the daughter would stay in the nurse’s lounge and study—usually getting in a nap at the table as well.
But on this particular day she was just getting sleepier with each mile she drove, and finally could go no further.
“There was a Happy Store gas station ahead and I pulled in. I entered and a tall, young man with shoulder-length blond hair about my age was working at this wee hour. I told him that I just had to get some coffee to continue my trek,” she shared online.
But the gas station attendant said no.
“He insisted I needed sleep more than coffee,” she shared. She balked at the suggestion, telling the gas station employee that she was afraid to oversleep and be late for work, or even miss the shift altogether.
But the man insisted that it was fine—he would even wake them up in the morning, with enough time to get home and get ready before the shift.
It made sense.
“I knew he was right, so I resigned myself to trusting this stranger. I locked myself in my car and caught some zzz’s,” she wrote. Before she knew it, she’d dozed off. The next thing she remembered was a knocking on the window—and there stood the gas station guy. The sun had just come up, and there was plenty of time.
“I thanked him and started to put the key in the ignition. He insisted I must come inside and drink some of the cup of coffee he had prepared for me,” she wrote. He wanted to talk a bit and make sure I was fully awake and capable of driving before just sending me off onto the highway.
“It was a large cup of coffee with a packet of hot chocolate added. Something that I like as a treat sometimes. Something I had never spoken about with this stranger before he woke me while carrying this elixir of delight.”
They sat and chatted for about 20 minutes before they said their goodbyes and parted ways.
But then a few weeks later, she got another shock.
The reddit user had just received her paycheck and wanted to give this good Samaritan a tip to express her gratitude. She stopped back at that Happy Store but he wasn’t in, so she asked someone on duty about the man’s schedule so she could stop by during a time he was on duty.
“After describing him, the person on duty said he knew of no one that looked like that working there.”
“Good Samaritan or Angel? It was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. It also showed me how easy it is to make a huge impact on someone’s life.”