I was a junior and taking driver’s ed after school. The half hour wait between when school ended and when driver’s ed began afforded me some time to do a little homework, so I sat myself on the floor near the gym and pulled out my books. Leaning against a vending machine, I munched on the mediocre candy bar purchased from some fundraising drive with my last dollar.

Towards the final bites of my candy bar, I began to realize just how thirsty chocolate can make you get. I turned my pockets inside out. I scraped the bottom of my purse. I turned my backpack upside down. I sighed and sat back down. No mon, no fun. Resfusing to drink the toilet water that came from the water fountains, I resigned myself to being thirsty and got back to my homework.

Only about a minute later, one of the basketball jocks came jogging out of the gym during a break from practice and ran right up to “my” vending machine. He put in his money and pushed his selection. Out popped two sodas. I did not know this kid, and this is New England, so it really stood out when, without a blink, he turned to me and said “You want one?”.

I gratefully accepted the can he held out to me. When I looked to see what it was I had been blessed with, the biggest, stupidest grin you can imagine made its way across my face. It was a Cherry Coke, my favorite at the time. I got goosebumps and uttered a simple Thank You that came from my toes, then tipped the can and drank up. God had given me a Coke. And a smile.