An everything bagel was the vessel for the smile on my face

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I’m going to be completely transparent: I’ve never had an everything bagel—not until today at least. 

I spent most of my freshman year at the long table inside of the Starbucks across the street from my house; my friends and I would meet there almost every day after school. It was, at this point, almost natural for me to stop at Starbucks quite often. When my dad suggested that we stop at Starbucks, I instantly said yes.

I’ve almost completely memorized Starbucks’ menu, so if you asked me about most of the food items, I could tell you which was best and which was not worth the money. For some reason, I asked my dad what was on the menu like I had forgotten—I hadn’t forgotten—but something inside me needed for me to ask. When my dad brought up the everything bagel, I instantly wanted to try it.

I had tried things before such as the spinach, and feta wrap, and I wasn’t too fond of the consistency, so I was feeling a little less confident than I would if I had ordered something familiar like a cake pop.

When we pulled up the window, the lady that was working the drive-through told us that we had gotten the last everything bagel—I was thinking about how guilty I would feel if I didn’t enjoy it. When she handed us the white paper bag with the Starbucks mermaid on it, my mouth was watering.

While it was a small act of kindness, it made my day a little bit brighter.”

It smelled unlike anything I had tried before. The simple bagel with spices smelled like a whole bakery; they were so sweet and fresh. When I flipped the bag over to see the mermaid I noticed a note scribbled across the front in black Sharpie:

“Happy New Year!”

It’s only a couple of days into 2021, and it was such a relief when the clock struck twelve—I could officially let go of 2020—so the writing on my bag was like my bagel. It too was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I’ve never had a stranger write me a message like this before. While it was a small act of kindness, it made my day a little bit brighter.

To tell you the complete truth, I hadn’t eaten since noon because my stomach hurt so badly. My dad took me to Starbucks to eat something that would be light on my stomach since we didn’t have much at home. The simple little message scribbled across my bag slowly made all of the pain from the day become invisible to my wondering eyes. 

I’ve always heard that smiling at random strangers on the street brightens their day, and while I thought this was true, I have never experienced a kind act so obvious yet so little. 

Whoever wrote “Happy New Year” on my Starbucks bag, thank you—you really helped me through today.