Carrying a box loaded with vegetables, I inched toward the gate of Sunday School. A short skinny old lady was standing on the right side of the school gate. In front of her was a neat display of squashes, green peppers, onions, eggplants, and carrots, bright and colorful under the sunlight. Next to her was a sign made of cardboard, reading “Fresh Vegetables for Sale.”
I plodded toward the left side of the gate. The old lady noticed me and locked her eyes on me, which sent a slight chill down my spine. I unpacked vegetables on a plastic sheet. When I set up my sign, “Produce from My Mom’s Garden,” against the empty box, I peeked at the old lady, who was staring at me as if I were an intruder of her territory.
I was a newcomer, but I was not an intruder. It was not her territory; it was a public space. I did not want my courage to ooze away so I stared back.
Soon, it was time for parents to send their children to Sunday School. Some people glanced at my sign and kept on walking.
A middle-aged man came into focus. He paused between the old lady and me, scanning both stands. Then he strolled up to me, picking up two squashes. “Quite fresh and much cheaper than grocery stores,” he said in a voice of satisfaction.
His words caught the attention of two women passing by. They checked on my vegetables and bought several onions and carrots. More parents came to my stand, and soon all my produce was gone.
As I was ready to leave, I gazed at my rival, who only sold half of her produce.
I spotted the middle-aged man leaning against a black van. I headed to him, smiling gratefully, and whispered, “Thank you, dad!”