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Beauty in My Life
by Shawna
May 3, 2015

Back in early April of 2005, I was 42 years old, working for a grocery store at UBC village. This was my first job in Canada. My main duty was a cashier. As a newcomer, my English was limited. I worked pretty hard. I had to keep the job; I had to earn money to feed my family. It was a very stressful time for me. I didn’t know whether or not I could survive in the new circumstances.

The sky was always hazy and gray. The only gift that a raining day brings was the rhythm of raindrops tapping on my umbrella.

I went to work by bus. As I waited for the bus, I reviewed the name and price of the dairy products, fruits, and vegetables; I reminded myself to make sure customers take their goods and cards with them before they left the store. I felt bad for the boy who left his bag of apples after paying for them. I got upset for a credit card, which was still sitting in a small box under the counter, that someone had forgotten during my previous Friday shift.

I finally got to the store and the owner, Cathy, walked toward me with a smile on her face. She told me not to be afraid if the police came and wanted to ask me any questions. She also told me not to worry, and that she would always be at my side and help me. I did appreciate her warm heart and support, even though I didn’t know what would happen to me.

It was about two o’clock that afternoon. Two policemen came in and asked me to go with them. I followed them, but I was feeling anxious, nervous, and confused. The two of them stopped outside the door. I followed them and we stood under the eaves. They started to question me.

     “What did you do last Sunday?” one policeman asked with a tone that sits between cold and professional.

     “I went to Delta to visit a friend last Sunday,” I answered timidly.

    “Did you go to Metrotown?” a policeman pumped.

     “I didn’t go to Metrotown,” I said decisively.

     “Did you find a credit card last Friday?”

    “Where did you place it later?”

    “Why did you put there?”

I remembered Cathy asked me similar questions before. I realized something might have happened with the credit card. I discovered a credit card at work; I didn’t know how to deal with it so I asked my co-worker, Cherry, a high school girl. She showed me a small box under the counter and let me put the card in the box.

     “We usually put it in here,” the girl said, “Who ever that lost it will be back to ask whether we have found a credit card or not, then we could return the card to them. Don’t worry.” The girl also promised to tell Cathy the next day when she gets to work in the morning.

      “Did you tell anybody else?” a policeman asked further.

     “Yes, I told Cathy this Monday,” I said.

     “Why didn’t you tell Cathy earlier?” The policeman looked at me suspiciously and asked.

     “I don’t work during the weekends,” I said.

     The policemen let me go back and went into the store to talk with Cathy. “No, you couldn’t take her away. She didn’t do that. Why don’t guys go and ask Cherry,” I heard Cathy say loudly and angrily.

     After the two policemen were gone, I asked Cathy what was happening to me.

     “The customer, who lost the credit card, accused you of stealing her credit card and using it. The two policemen wanted to take you to the police station and question you further. I don’t want them to suspect you; I don’t want you worry about it, so I didn’t tell you before.”

The weather was wet and dark. I closed the door of the store and walked to the bus stop. The rain and tears ran down my face, and a warm stream also flooded through my chest in the cold dark night. I did appreciate Cathy who not only offered me the job opportunity, but also protected me. The beauty of trust touched my heart in this strange land. I believed here would be my second home in the future.