When strangers come up to you and ask you for a ride, your first instinct would be to drive away–fast. But, one woman is sharing her story that changed her life and inspired a new friendship.
Jennifer Pete shared her experience with “Love What Matters” about the time she was stopped by a high school student who was waiting at a bus stop.
I had just dropped my son off at his dad’s and it was a windows down kind of spring day in Atlanta. Driving down Memorial I slowed for a red light and standing at a MARTA bus stop was a young man. We made friendly eye contact and he quickly asked me a question: ‘Ma’am, would you like to be my chauffeur tomorrow for my girlfriend’s prom?’ I smiled because I liked his gutsy move and his charm and then proceeded to give him an auto-pilot answer. ‘No. I am sorry, but I have plans.’ I then proceeded to drive away in my Porsche Panamera. (The car, you know, being the reason he asked me.)
Anyone would have probably done the same, but, Pete couldn’t help herself. She found herself wondering why she said no, and, turned around and had a conversation with the boy.
His name, I learned, was Jonathan. The look on his face when I came back was wide-eyed and fantastic. We exchanged details and I agreed to pick him up at his mom’s the next day. As I drove away for the second time, I felt excited and open and super present.
Apparently, when Pete went to pick up Jonathan, he was nowhere near ready. But, she was welcomed into the house by Jonathan’s mother–who was sincerely grateful to Pete for agreeing to drive her son.
It felt ridiculously good to connect with this woman and help facilitate making his girlfriend’s prom one to remember. Once Jonathan was ready I took some pictures of him and his mom and quickly learned it was going to be quite a WHILE until his girlfriend was going to be ready.
Pete and Jonathan decided to go around the city and take photos at some pretty famous spots. Jonathan posed in his dapper suit all over town and Pete was more than happy to play photographer.
When they picked up Jonathan’s girlfriend, Pete said she looked absolutely beautiful. They took more photos and she got them on their way to their prom. She even agreed to do some fun things for their “entrance” up to the theatre.
We were headed to the Fox theatre as her high school had been chosen to have their prom held there. She asked if I could drop them off right out front of the theatre with my windows down blaring a Future song. ‘Yes, I can do that,’ I told her. She then asked if I could spin my wheels for the dramatic sound and smoke effect upon arrival. I didn’t feel overly comfortable trying that for the first time in my newish car on a crowded Peachtree Street. We compromised that I would rev the engine several times. All the while, Jonathan opening the door for her and she is waiving to the crowd who were seemingly awaiting her arrival. As I was about to pull away, Jonathan looked back with a gigantic smile on his face and mouthed, ‘Thank you.’
Pete said the entire experience taught her a lot about humanity and her decisions to brush things off too soon. She also shared it inspired an unlikely friendship between herself and Jonathan.
Jonathan has stayed in touch from time to time. He even called to invite me to his high school graduation that took place the next year. For me, I think we are all seeking connection in our lives. I know I am. By listening to my gut, it allowed me to solidly connect to my instincts, families I would have never met and a kid named Jonathan whose courage to ask the question led to an amazing adventure for both of us.
Seriously, how pure and amazing?!?