Short Stories


I was walking down the road. Nothing unusual in that but I was depressed. I had just made one of the worst decisions in my life.

Go to college, or not?

That had been the issue and I had decided to stay in the sixth form. But it wasn’t what I expected. The lessons where not simulating and interesting. I’d taken history and I thought it would be great. It was the Tudors for crying out loud. Except that all the teacher did was read from a textbook.

It was an A-level. I was fairly certain I was capable of reading the book. Every fact came from this slim volume. It was boring me to tears.

But I’d already swapped from another subject so I’d already used my ‘free-pass’. There was no going back unless I dropped out. And I didn’t want to do that. That would be like admitting that something was too hard.

And it was too hard. With the boring format of the lessons, none of the facts were sticking. Instead, I could feel them dribble out one ear…

So, one day, having realised I was failing, I walked down the high street totally inside my own depressing thoughts. And all I can assume is that it showed on my face.

A guy suddenly stopped directly in front of me. He was much taller than me. He crouched a little so he could look into my down-turned face.

“Smile,” he said. “It isn’t that bad.”

And then he was gone. I turned but the crowds had swallowed him. But you know what? I smiled. And continued to for the rest of the day.

This post was inspired by the daily prompt – the kindness of strangers. And yes, I did fail history but went on to do an archaeology degree which I really enjoyed. Although I steered away from the Tudors…

19 thoughts on “Smile!

  1. I’m going to take the time to read as many of the “prompts” today as possible, I’m certain my conclusion will be that it’s not the big things that enrich our lives, but the many small ones.

  2. Sometimes what we think is ‘the end of the world’ leads us on to bigger and better things, like with you. And what a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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