Sam’s Shower

Marcella - Hudsonville, Michigan
Entered on January 26, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in random acts of kindness. Some people do things just to be kind, with no reward, and that’s when you know it’s genuine.

We had just gotten back from the camp’s “comedy fire” and every camperette decided to take a shower, including me. I needed to wash my hair because of my asthma. After attending a fire and not showering, the smell of smoke embedded in my hair could provoke an asthma attack. The scent would lurk around in the night like a villain. My lungs had already begun to constrict, causing a sweep of panic.

The line had gotten shorter, but there was no way I’d be able to wash my hair . I was doomed. The director came in the bathroom to remind us about our five minutes until lights out. Groans buzzed about the girls. I needed thirty seconds to wash my hair. That was all.

I envied the girl in front of me. Her curly, clean-looking hair didn’t need showering, but my smoke infested locks did! She turned around once another shower became available. Her name tag had read “Sam” in a fancy font. She would have pretty handwriting. She with her perfect hair and perfect name tag would also get the shower. “You can have it,” Sam said, nodding towards the empty stall. I replied with a fake “No. That’s OK,” but she saw past it. “Really, I’ll just wash my hair in the sink. It’s fine.” Sam laughed at my million thank you’s, but I had never felt more grateful.

When showering, I washed away the smell of smoke and my bitterness towards Sam. I believe that with her kind gesture, she showed me that people are full of surprises. I now do what I can to help out others, even if it’s as simple as letting someone cut in line to use the bathroom (or in my case, take a shower). I believe it is our duty as human beings to deliver the subtle surprises that brighten each other’s lives.