"Hi, my name is Hector. I'm interested in the amplifier?"
His voice went up at the end and he had a thick accent. Hector was pronounced Heck - Tor, like two separate words. Eeenterested had a double e sound at the beginning.
"Do you still have it?"
"Yes, I do." I was selling my old Kenwood stereo amplifier on Craigslist. I had just put the ad up a few hours ago and Hector was the first person to call.
"Uh, I'm actually just heading out to dinner. Where are you?"
"I am near Topanga Canyon in the Valley and I am going home to Lancaster."
"Oh, so you will pass right by me." Not exactly, but close. I could tell he wanted to pick up the amp on his way.
"Yes, if I can come by in a few minutes on my way that would be good."
I knew on a Friday it was going to take a lot longer than a few minutes in the middle of rush hour to get from the most western part of the valley all the way to Santa Clarita.
"I'll tell you what, Hector, I am going to leave the amplifier outside my door for you, OK? Just put the $20 under the door mat, OK?"
"Does that work for you?" I asked.
There was a long pause like he was thinking it over or maybe we had gotten disconnected?
"Thank you." he said. "I will leave you the money. I promise."
"I know, I trust you." I said.
"Can you text me your address?"
We hung up and I texted him my address. I put the amplifier on my porch next to a couple of Sparkletts water bottles I had yet to bring in, grabbed my keys, and headed out to dinner.
About thirty minutes into dinner my phone rang. I excused myself from the table and went outside.
"Hi, this is Hector. I think I am here in your neighborhood but I can't find your house."
"What street are you on?" I asked. People always made a left instead of a right when they entered my town-home complex so I figured he was probably one street over. Sure enough, he was.
"OK, Hector just go back out and make a right, and when you get to my street, go all the way to the end."
I stayed on the phone as he drove, naming each street on his way. He eventually got to mine. "OK, I found it." I could hear the relief in his voice.
"Great!' I said. I was ready to hang up and go inside to finish my dinner.
"Thank you." Hector said. He sounded closer to the phone now. "Thank you for trusting me."
"You're welcome, Hector. I do trust you."
"You don't know me; I have an accent and you trust me. You're a wonderful person."
I didn't know what to say. I think I told him thank you and enjoy the amp, drive safe, or something like that. I went back inside and finished my dinner with tears in my eyes. I knew there would be $20 under my doormat when I got home. There was.
We had both trusted each other. Given each other the benefit of the doubt. Believed that given the opportunity the other person would do the right thing.
This is how I want to live my life:
-Copyright Hope A. Horner, 2016
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