To The Woman Who Gave Me Ice Cream 7 Years Ago, I Love You And I Hope You're Doing Well

By A Friend • December 4, 2023

I think about this story sometimes and it always makes me smile so I thought I’d share it here in the hopes that others will also enjoy it.

About 7-ish years ago, I (~16f at the time) was working an unpaid internship at an aquarium. It was amazing because I adored the ocean and still do. At the time though I wanted to be a marine biologist, so it was extra special for me.

The other teens working there were nice, we were all there because we wanted to be (with a few exceptions). I don’t remember having any problems with coworkers at the time and was just enjoying getting to talk about my favorite things for a portion of the day.

Eventually “Shark Week” rolled around, I was stoked because I love sharks. I think they’re fascinating creatures and swimming with sharks is still on my bucket list. Apparently everyone else wanted to work shark week too as the schedule filled up fast. (I remember there being some flexibility in scheduling and how we had a fair amount of say in when we were working)

I had one shift during shark week. I was dropped off at the aquarium in the morning, ready to infodump about sharks for the next few hours. I went to my station with a coworker… and then I started feeling sick.

I started swaying a bit, I felt warm, then my stomach started churning and I got tunnel vision. Apparently my face was super pale and my coworker noticed me about to fall over. She was able to walk me to one of the employees only doors before having to go back to her station. I made my way slowly to the office and explained the situation, I needed to go home.

I wanted to cry. That was my only shift during shark week and I had to miss it. And on top of that, I had to take the bus home. Normally I didn’t mind taking the bus home, but my bus stop was up a very steep city hill. It’s quite a climb even if you aren’t sick. But I still managed to do it.

Now, on that walk, there’s a cupcake shop before I reach my stop. My mom would give me some money to buy myself a treat after work usually so I went there frequently (not to mention they have the best cupcakes so it was always worth it). Well they also have homemade ice cream there. And considering it was a hot summer day and I felt sick, I decided to stop in.

I walk up to the counter and ask for a tiny cup of vanilla ice cream. Just something cold to cool off an hopefully calm my stomach down. The woman behind the counter did the usual customer service “How’s your day?” And, I feel a little bad because I’m sure she wasn’t expecting this, I almost broke down crying. I went on about how I had to go home because I wasn’t well enough to work and that I would end up missing shark week because of it.

She looked sad and very kindly asked if I wanted some sprinkles on my ice cream. I said sure.

As I reached for my wallet, I asked if I needed to go around the corner of the counter to pay at the register. I’d been there multiple times so I knew how it worked but I wanted to make sure as I hadn’t bought ice cream there before.

Before I could even pull out my wallet, the woman held up her hand and told me that it was on her. Sh handed me my ice cream and told me to feel better. I might’ve actually started crying then, I’m not sure, but I did thank her about a million times before going to my bus.

My memory isn’t the best, I don’t remember much about her and I don’t know if I’d recognize her if we met again, but I‘ll never forget her kindness. She made my horrible day just a little bit better. She didn’t have to, but she did. I hope life has been kind to her.


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