It had not been a good trip. Two bad tires cost me a day and made me late to pick up my return load. I had waited two days for my trailer to be loaded and when a driver isn't driving, he isn't making any money. It was a cold wind that stung your face as I entered the diner. I hadn't eaten since breakfast and was planning to have dinner and then drive all night. Waiting to be seated, I spotted a pretty redhead running toward me and throw her arms around me. Looking up at me she held her arms up in that universal gesture of wanting to be held. I searched the room for a parent but saw none, so I picked her up. She came out of the ladies room with a worried look on her face but the red hair identified her as the parent I was looking for. I waved across the room and caught her eye. She ran to me and pried her daughter out of my arms. We were still discussing how fast a one year old can run if you blink your eyes, when the hostess waved us to go to our table. She had taken us to be a party of three and so I asked the ladies if they would like to share a table.
As soon as we sat, the older lady (about twenty) said that she had only come into the restaurant to use the rest room and had no money for food. Looking at the two redheads and four green eyes staring at me I could only offer to handle the check. It was easy to see how relieved the mother was.
As we ate, she explained that the man she had been living with had bought plane tickets so that they could vacation in Las Vegas. The first two days had been great, but then he had lost all his money and left them there on their own. She had begged a ride this far but was still a very long way from her mother's house in Jackson Mississippi Suddenly my problems became very small. I knew that I would never sleep again if I left them here.
There were several unscheduled stops for food and Pampers, but I delivered them to her mother's in two days. I think that by now, she probably has great grandchildren. I wonder how many of them have red hair.