The man comes into the store and heads for the ice machine. He doesn't say a word. He has on overalls and a cap. He glances my way and doesn't say anything. I sense that there is something wrong and that I should keep quiet. His eyes are very bright and he walks to the wall and would appear to be studying the merchandise. I would normally ask if I could help him find something, but still, I feel that I should simply wait.
I checked him in for the weekend a few hours before this visit to the store. He has his grandchildren with him and they are excited to jump in the pool. He is repeat customer and one of those good campers that I don't remember so much. I recognize him when he comes, but only exchange the mundane niceties about weather and such. Just a nice man who takes his grandchildren camping.
He seems to be composing himself as he approaches the counter with a couple bags of ice and a package of swim goggles for the kids. I tell him the total and he tells me that they will be leaving a day early and not staying all weekend. He goes on to say that after everything that has happened he just can't stay here, he is too upset. Thinking that something is amiss on my end, I , of course, ask what happened. I always need to know if there is something that can be fixed by us.
He blinks rapidly as he tells me that he accidentally killed his little dog. I feel that awful stab to my heart as I blink back my own tears. I lay my hand on top of his as he lays the money on the counter and tell him how sorry I am. Drew walks in as he tells me that he was going to back up his truck and did not see his beloved pet under the tire and ran over her. I have my hand over my mouth and Drew is now blinking back his tears. I gave him a refund. He didn't ask for one and I don't think he expected even the gesture that came with it. He is staying this one night for the grandchildren, but he is heart broken over the little chihuahua that had been his little pet for twelve years.
It certainly puts a different perspective on my petty little grievances of today.