Bright Side
Bright Side

A Story Showing That Inside Every Dark Person There Is a Bright Side

All of us have met unpleasant people at least once in our lifetime. They spoil everyone’s mood, including ours, they ruin our plans, and do a lot of other bad things. But have you ever thought about why they are like this? Maybe there’s a reason behind their actions?

Bright Side would like to share an amazing story with you which was told by our reader Ksenia Veslinskaya. This story explains that if we were just a little more attentive to each other and then it’s possible to see that bad people aren’t really as bad as we think they are.

Not far from our house there’s an ice cream kiosk. Nothing extraordinary, just a grey wooden box. It just so happened that I had never bought anything there, but every day my son and I went for a walk we would pass it.

Maternity leave is a time where it seems that your observation skills are heightened. I suddenly noticed that all the customers that went this kiosk who bought ice cream returned confused and appalled instead of being happy, kind of like they saw a ghost in there.

Like, for example, I saw 2 happy school girls who ran to the kiosk, pushed their folded bill into the window and pointed at a strawberry ice cream with their fingers, then at vanilla, then again at strawberry... Well, they couldn’t choose. Suddenly, their expressions fell, they took the strawberry ice-cream and their change, and quickly left depressed with their eyes to the ground.

And another time, there was an elderly lady in a hat with a brooch in the shape of a red rose, she asked for an ice cream but soon left with the same sense of urgency dropping her ice cream into her bag, like she didn’t want to touch it. Her confused face was the same color as her brooch, and her eyes were wet with tears.

I was so curious that I somehow eventually dared to experience the beauty of this attraction by myself. I had nothing to lose, the ice cream wasn’t expensive, and, anyways, I would receive compensation for the mental damage in the form of ice cream.

— ’Good afternoon!’ I said.

I looked inside the semi-darkness of the kiosk and saw the outline of something or someone really big. They were silent, like a sleeping volcano.

— ’May I have vanilla ice cream please?’

The huge volcano woke up. They slowly exhaled a scary rustling reply out of their smoking lungs.

— ’Have you prepared chhhange?’

The volcano, in thick, grey overalls moved at me from the depths of the kiosk, and I felt chills run down my spine despite the warm weather outside.

— ’Pardon?’

Asking this question was risky, but you never know until you try, right?

— ’I said, have you prepared SHORT change? It’ll be $1.30. I’m taking a break soon and I’m not going to look for change for you.’

Terrible curses erupted from the bottom of the volcano, something about “brainless,” “stupid,” “useless,” and other words which can’t be printed.

— ’Yes, I have.’

I had a lot of coins, so I poured them into the counter and took my ice cream. The volcano hibernated again, mumbling something under her breath.

That was it, the big secret of the gray kiosk had been discovered. The feelings of humiliated customers could be understood. But I couldn’t just leave like this.

— ’You have a wonderful job!’ I said with all the joy possible.

— ’What?’ Her glance was so gloomy and hateful that it made me choke. But I wasn’t going to give up.

— ’I said, you have a wonderful job! I envy you. You bring people so much joy! Everyone loves ice cream, right? And you have a lot of it here!’ I said everything that came into my mind without thinking.

In the ominous silence, the volcano made some calculations in her mind. She was puzzled. Titanic mental efforts were written on her face.

— ’Really?’ the volcano eventually exhaled, and I heard a small seed of interest in her question.

— ’Of course! Your job is wonderful! You are also great at doing math in your head, without even needing a calculator!’ I decided to use my chance all the way to the end.

There was a long pause after that. The volcano stared at me with her dull deep-set eyes. I smiled sincerely and openly in return.

— ’I’ve been working for thirty years, why would I need those calculators? They’re no good.’

— ’Right,’ I agreed. ’Are you leaving for a break now? Let me and my son buy you some ice cream and let’s sit in the sun together. Here’s another $1.30, please.’

I poured more coins into the counter and looked at the volcano. She was thinking it over. The window slammed down in front of my face. I thought it was the end.

Suddenly the side door opened and the biggest volcano in the world approached me and my son — ice cream in one hand and a newspaper in the other.

— ’Let’s sit on that bench, it was painted recently.’

We were sitting on the bench, eating ice cream and chatting about everything, like that Mrs. Coles was very tired and needed a break, that she almost never saw her grandchildren she missed so much, that prices were rising, that customers were rude, that everyone had someone to be with, and that she only had a radio and a cat.

— ’But Mrs. Coles, how about all these people who come to you for ice cream every day? They don’t come for calories, they come for joy. They are yours and you are theirs too. One smile is enough to become their friend. It’s so simple and so great! Look, the sky and the sun are so beautiful, and the summer is coming...’

My son was running around and suddenly brought her some flowers. The face of Mrs. Coles lit up, her deep wrinkles even smoothed out. She was confused and flattered.

Her break was over, we said our goodbyes to each other reservedly, and went our own way.

Shortly after, an elderly couple approached the kiosk, they paid, took their ice cream and giggling carelessly like teenagers continued their walk.

Preview photo credit Ksenia Veslinskaya / Facebook
Illustrator Astkhik Rakimova for Bright Side
Bright Side/People/A Story Showing That Inside Every Dark Person There Is a Bright Side
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