[Short Story] Some Mistakes are Lucky

man standing beside train

Photo by Trace Hudson on Pexels.com

Samuel ran towards the train station. He was hot and tired and felt very bad. I don’t want to miss my train. I want to go home and change my clothes and have a beer.

He looked at his watch. Two minutes before the train leaves. Can I make it in time?

He ran into the train station and looked at the departures board. Platform 7. He ran towards the stairs with the sign ‘Platforms 6 and 7’. At the top of the stairs he ran to the left. There was a train with open doors. He ran onto the train and found a seat.

He closed his eyes and thought about his day. Samuel had come into the city for a job interview. The interview had been very bad. He couldn’t answer the questions. He made mistakes. He knew he would not get the job.

I knew all the answers, but I was so nervous. It is six months since my uncle’s restaurant closed. I have almost no money. I must find a job soon.

 Samuel was very worried, but he was also very tired. He fell asleep.

“Ticket please!” The train conductor was shaking him. Samuel found his ticket and gave it to the train conductor. “This is a ticket for Trenton. This train is going to Bywater.”

“Oh, I got on the wrong train. I must get off at the next station.”

“This is an express train. It doesn’t stop until it gets to Bywater. When we get to Bywater, you must go to the ticket office and pay for this train trip. Then you must buy another ticket back to the city.”

The train conductor went away. What can I do? thought Samuel. I don’t have enough money to pay for the extra tickets.

 “Are you in trouble?” said a voice behind Samuel. Samuel turned around. A woman in the row behind him was talking to him.

“Are you in trouble?” the woman asked again.

Samuel was very shy and didn’t talk to people very much, but he was very tired and he felt very bad.

“I went to the city for a job interview today. When I got back to the station I caught the wrong train. Now I have no money to pay for the tickets. I don’t know what to do!”

The woman smiled. She was an older woman. Her clothes were very smart. Her face was kind. Samuel thought she looked like his grandmother. “It is easy to catch the wrong train. Was the job interview good?”

“No. It was very bad. I wanted the job very much. I was too nervous. I couldn’t talk well. I made mistakes.”

“You have to talk well for some jobs. It is very important if you want a job in a shop or at a TV station,” she said. “What kind of job do you want?”

“I am a chef. I trained for many years. My uncle had a restaurant. I worked in my uncle’s restaurant. My uncle said the restaurant would be mine when he retired. But he died and there was no money. The restaurant closed.”

“Where was the restaurant?” asked the woman.

“It was in Trenton. It was a fish restaurant.”

“Was it Seaways?”

“Yes.”

“I knew that restaurant. I knew your uncle. He was very good with food, but maybe he did not know about money.”

The woman asked Samuel many questions about fish and cooking. Samuel could answer all the questions because it was not a job interview, and the woman looked like his grandmother.

Then the woman said, “Do you want to live in the city?”

“No,” said Samuel. “I like small places better, but I must get a job.”

“I will pay for your train ticket,” said the woman.

“No!” said Samuel. “You cannot pay for my mistake!”

“Yes, I can. My husband opened two restaurants in Bywater. He was a very good chef, but a very bad talker. He died. Now I have no chef. I need a chef. I think you will be my new chef. Tonight you will stay at my house in Bywater. Tomorrow we will go to the restaurants. Your mistake is lucky for me.”

My mistake is lucky for me! thought Samuel.