The Blue Knight

Jillian - Byron Center, Michigan
Entered on January 24, 2009

It was nearing the end of the school day, and I was hungry. I had collected from my jeans, along with some scattered lint, the exact change I would need for my favorite candy bar – the 3 Musketeers. I was helplessly drawn to the machine as its beacon of the giant, illuminated M&M package flirted with my senses. I carefully inserted my coins into the slot next to the blinking lights and that funny picture of the dollar that everyone seems to rip off.

But what was this?

This machine, the one I considered my escape, the pleasure in a horrible day, this machine wouldn’t count the change I had given it! I couldn’t get any of the Musketeers, let alone three.

I was enraged.

I whirled around to storm into Algebra: tardy. Empty handed. But there was someone there, calm as could be, and he was holding out a dollar: a welcoming sign of hope.

Who was this curious man offering me happiness after a dreadful day: perhaps the very happiness he himself had planned to enjoy?

Mystified, I accepted his offering.

“What should I call you?” I asked.

His response was both shocking and unforgettable.

“Blue.”

Blue? What did that even mean? I couldn’t help but chuckle as I expressed my gratitude.

“Thank you, Blue.”

I believe that strangers can make the smallest gestures that, more often than not, make a world of difference even in a day of hell. My hero was Sir Austin Bekken, the Blue Knight, and we have been friends ever since that fateful day, ever since he held out that dollar bill, ever since he gave me that smile at a time it seemed no one else would.