A Meal Like No Other

No one really noticed the woman sitting at the corner table. I glanced at her as I was seated at the table in front of her tonight. She wore a gray t-shirt and had a glass of wine on her table. I thought she was waiting for someone to join her.

Mark and I sat at our table and laughed about something that happened earlier this evening. The table of three women next to us were celebrating a birthday. A party of four was being seated on the other side of the birthday women.

We ordered our food. The woman left the restaurant, leaving unnoticed.

Noel, our waiter, came over to our table.

“The woman behind you just paid for your meals.”

We looked at him, stunned.

“She just paid for everyone’s dinner in my station and left me the best tip I’ve ever had.”

Neither Mark nor I have ever had something like that happen to us. Our waiter said it had never happened to him either. I asked him why she did it.

“She said she just lost someone important to her and wanted to put something positive out in the world.”

My first thought was, the person she lost must have been a generous soul in order for her to think of others while grieving his or her loss.

As Noel spread the news to the table of women, they too, were stunned. They tried to attain her name and number in order to thank her. Noel said he had her information but she expressed her wished to remain anonymous and he was honoring her wish. He did tell them this woman “lived on Base.” (Kaneohe Marine Corps Base is 5-10 minutes away from the restaurant.)

To the woman who paid for dinners at Zia’s Cafe in Kailua Town tonight, we feel your loss and we will pay your generosity forward.

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