Small Change

by Foster Trecost

Sometimes we want something, and this was one of those times. I wanted gum.

Life seemed okay, for the most part. I had a job, not the best job, but I was working, and plenty folks weren't. My apartment was small, but I had one. Life seemed okay…for the most part.

I ducked in a corner store and grabbed the first pack I saw, tossed it on the counter: ninety-seven cents. I gave him a buck.

Mostly okay. Not completely, but mostly. 

He handed over three cents, and I stared at them. Who needs three cents, what can three cents mean to anyone? It seems he sensed my thoughts, because he said, “Sometimes small change is just what you need.”

I put them in my pocket. When I got home, I lined them on a piece of paper, then rolled clear tape across all three. Below, I wrote the words, “Small Change.”

It's been hanging on my fridge ever since.