Elizabeth and Hector

December 2015
Polaris Black

Elizabeth’s Side of the Story

Elizabeth had taken her grandfather to the surgeon for a post-op checkup. It had been a month since his broken hip had been surgically repaired and although he was still in a wheelchair, he was expected to make a full recovery. After his appointment, they grabbed a bite to eat and were now waiting in the lobby for the Paratransit Service to arrive to take them home. The weather was threatening and Elizabeth was hoping that they would be home before it began to rain.

When the van finally did arrive, the driver was apologetic. He rearranged the seats and enlisted the help of a personal care assistant to situate her grandfather with a minimum of discomfort. Once they began moving, the driver conversed with the other passengers in Spanish. Elizabeth didn’t understand a word and was lost in thought.

After all the other passengers had reached their destinations, it began to rain in earnest. There was a lot of traffic and the van was barely moving. Suddenly the driver opened his window and signaled the driver of another vehicle to pull along side the van. He spoke to the other driver in Spanish, counted out some bills then handed them to the other driver, and pointed in the opposite direction. When the transaction was complete, he made a phone call.

Elizabeth glanced at her dozing grandfather. She had no idea what just happened but she couldn’t get home fast enough. She wondered uneasily if she had just witnessed the driver doing something illegal.

Hector’s Side of the Story

Although he had gotten an early start, once Hector dropped his wife off at work and his daughter at school, he couldn’t catch a break. Traffic was bad and it was going to rain so as the day wore on, he became later and later. He was certifiably late for his last pickup and after he apologized, he was relieved to see that they weren’t annoyed and probably wouldn’t file a complaint with the Paratransit Service. Grateful, he took extra care in seating the older gentlemen and asked some of the able passengers to move so they wouldn’t disturb him.

Once on the road again, he continued to discuss scheduling conflicts with his regular passengers. They always requested him because he could customize his van and he always tried his best to accommodate them. By the time he dropped off his last regular, the schedule for the week had been finalized.

When it really started to rain, traffic slowed to a standstill. Suddenly he recognized an acquaintance of his who drove a livery cab. He called to him and indicated that he wanted him to pull the cab over to his van. When he was close enough, he explained that his wife was leaving work early to take their daughter to a piano lesson but he didn’t want them walking in this terrible downpour. He arranged to have them picked up, paid the fare, and indicated an alternate route to avoid the traffic. Then he called his wife to tell her where to wait for the cab.


“Always wear a helmet when biking, motorcycling, or jumping to conclusions.” Unknown quote