Based on a true story. What would you do if in Wendy’s position?


The doorbell rang, in what Wendy judged to be a curious tone. The pharmacy she practiced at was closed for the evening, and having offered to finish up a few miscellaneous tasks she sent every other employee home. Walking to the front of the building she opened the door to greet a man of average looks and dress. “Can I help you?” She asked.


“Excuse me?”

“Light?” He held up a cigarette.

“I’m sorry, I don’t smoke.”


“I don’t have one,”

The man looked up and down Wendy’s short stature and what it was clothed in. “Is this a pharmacy?”

“We’re not open to the public.” Wendy droned.

“I need a lighter.” The man insisted.

“I can’t help you with that.” Wendy pressed.

“Can I come in?” Standing on his toes the visitor peered over Wendy’s shoulder, definitely curious.

“No, this is a private pharmacy. We don’t welcome walk-ins.” Wendy closed the door an inch.

“Yeah, but I just need a -” The door shut on the man’s words; Wendy couldn’t find it within herself to humor trivial matters this late in the day. The doorbell rang again. Sighing, she opened the door. “Do you have a Band-Aid?” The same man greeted her with a different question.

“Yes,” Wendy said.

The man perked up. “Can I have one?” Taking a step forward he tried to walk past her. Wendy widened her stance to block his way. “No, you cannot have one. Nor can you buy one. This is a private pharmacy. We do not accept walk-ins. We are in fact closed for the day. Have a good night.” She moved to shut the door in the man’s face once more.

The man grabbed the edge of the door. “I need some needles.”

“You probably do.” Wendy reasoned.

“It’s for my grandma,” the man quickly added. “She’s diabetic.”

“What size needle does she use?” The man looked away, unable to answer. Because he had no answer. Such a situation Wendy knew existed and had lived through before. “One minute.” Shutting the door she walked to the back of the pharmacy where boxes of insulin needles waited to be used. Taking down a box of the kind the man needed she walked back to the door. He was still there, antsy as ever. Wordlessly she handed him the needles.

“Thank you,” the man said just before she closed the door for good. Whichever was the lesser of two evils Wendy did not know, but she knew she did not sleep any easier at night because of all the good deeds she did and she did not sleep any less for all the questionable ones. Giving an addict free needles fell somewhere in-between. Returning to her desk Wendy went back to business as usual and hoped in the back of her mind that if grandma did exist, she would see at least one of the needles she needed.  


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