No one came when the taxi honked - but then he rang the doorbell, and something that he'll never forget happened
The life of a taxi driver in New York city is full of interesting and unusual experiences. In a city that never sleeps, yellow taxis travel the streets and transport people from one place to another.
One day, a taxi driver picked up an old woman who asked him to take her to an unusual address.
Even as a taxi driver who saw almost everything, it was the ride of his life, and an experience he had to share.
This is his story:
I got a call to get to a certain address. I honked when I got to the place like I always do, but no one came out of the house. I honked again, and still, no one came. I became a little impatient - this was my last trip that day, and I almost gave up and drove away. For some reason I decided to stay, and when I rang the doorbell, I heard an old, fragile voice say, 'One more minute please'.
It took some time for the door to open, and when it opened, a small old woman stood in the entrance. She was at least 90 years old, and she was holding a small suitcase in her hand.
The door was open and I could see inside the house. I was surprised. No one seems to have lived there for years. Sheets covered the furniture, and the walls were completely empty: no clocks, no pictures, nothing. The only thing I saw was a box with pictures and souvenirs in the corner of the room.
Finally, the old woman spoke and asked, 'Please, young man, can you carry the suitcase to the car?'
I took the suitcase and put it in the taxi. I went back to the door of the house, took the woman in her hand, and slowly accompanied her to the car. She thanked me for the help. I told her it was no hassle at all, and I said, 'I treat all my guests the way I would treat my mother'.
The woman smiled and said, 'Oh, you're so nice'.
She got into the taxi, gave me the address she wanted to go to and asked me to drive through the city center.
"This is not the fastest way", I advised her. "Actually, it's a big detour".
"It's fine with me", she replied. "I'm not in a hurry; I'm going to the hospice".
I got a little scared when I heard her say that, when I think to myself, "Hospice is a place people go to die in".
"I do not leave family behind", the woman said softly. "And the doctors said I didn't have much time left".
At this point, I turned off the meter and asked her, "Which way would you like me to go?".
We spent the two expressive hours driving around the city and passing through all sorts of different places. She showed me the hotel where she worked. She showed me the house where she and her passed away husband used to live when they were a young couple, and the dance studio she went to when she was a child.
On some streets, she asked me to drive very slowly, and she stared out the window like a curious child without saying a word. We drove all night until the old woman finally said, "I'm tired. We can drive to the destination now".
None of us spoke while I was driving to the address she gave me.
The hospice was smaller than I imagined. When we entered the parking lot, two nurses came out to receive us. They helped the woman sit in a wheelchair and I dragged her suitcase.
"How much do I owe you for the trip?" She asked me as she opened her purse.
"Nothing," I replied.
"But you have to make a living", she said.
I smiled and told her, "I will have more passengers".
Without thinking, I walked over to her and gave her a big hug and she hugged me back.
"You made an old woman very happy while she was taking her last steps. Thank you", she said as her eyes began to water.
I shook her hand and said goodbye.
Although my next shift had already begun, I found myself driving aimlessly around town. I did not want to see or talk to anyone. What would have happened if I had not taken this trip? What would happen if I gave up and drove away after the first honk?
When I think back on that night, I really think it was one of the most important things I did in my life. In our turbulent lives, we always focus on the big and impressive moments. Bigger, faster, forward. But I think it is precisely the quiet moments and small gestures that are considered. We need to take time to enjoy them. We need to be patient and wait a bit before we start honking. Maybe then we'll see what's really important.
This story touched us deeply, and really opened our eyes. We need to understand what is really important in life and enjoy all the small and wonderful moments. Because you never know when it will be too late.