No loaves but plenty of fish

I left for Almería after work. The morning had been long, but my errands were more important than my lunch. The errands went so smoothly that an hour after arriving in Almería, I was on board the bus again.

But so was someone else.

Due to our prior acquaintance, David and I greeted each other, he with an excited “God bless you!” and me with a polite, please-don’t-try-to-talk-to-me smile. Fortunately, the seat beside me was occupied, as was the seat across the aisle.

But we hadn’t even made it out of the city when suddenly a dripping bag of fresh fish came from an arm reaching over my shoulder. I was astonished. My seatmate was astonished. The two passengers across the aisle were astonished. One seat ahead, a teenager looked at me and rolled her eyes.

“This is a gift from God!” David told me gleefully. He opened the bag wider so I could have a look at just how good God was.

Fat fish decorated with twigs of rosemary stared up at me.

“Thank you.” I tied up the leaky plastic bag and continued to smile even as fishy juices dribbled over my groceries.

At home, I messaged my friend, asking her to teach me how to prepare fresh fish. She willingly adjusted her schedule and came to the rescue. We prepared the sardines together: she taught and I absorbed her instructions with naive horror.

Then I prepared American snacks and we sat to eat, study, and talk about our unique immigrant experiences.

David was right after all; the fish were a gift from God.

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