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Cassandra and Quark, Episode 3: A Not-So-Random Act of Kindness

“I don’t see why we can’t just ask Linda.” Yvette was beginning to sound frustrated. “I just asked you. It was no big deal.”


“But Yvette, we’ve been best friends since the third grade. Your mom wanted you to share the prize money with me and I knew my mom would be okay with it. We don’t know how Linda will feel about sharing the prize money. We’ve never met Linda’s family. We don’t know if they will let her accept a gift from people they don’t know.”


“I know. I know. I hate it when you’re right. So, are you going to ask that Quark character? And when can I meet him? What’s the big secret?”


Cassandra didn’t like keeping secrets from Yvette. She wasn’t sure how to introduce her best friend to a Quantum Jumping Frog who happened to live in the void. She didn’t think there were any social rules covering this situation.


“Yes. I can ask him. Maybe you can meet him soon.” Cassandra felt a pang of guilt. She would have to tell Yvette about Quark some day soon. How to introduce them was another question.


At that moment Linda sat down at their table. “You two warned me about Mr. Bunch. When he gets going about some battle that changed the course of history he doesn’t stop for the bell.” Linda looked at Cassandra and Yvette. “Is something wrong? You look worried.”


“No. it’s the usual Monday morning slump. Stayed up too late last night.” Cassandra felt another pang of guilt. She hated telling lies, even little white lies.


As soon as Cassandra got home from school, she changed into something comfortable and took a meditation cushion out to her favorite tree. She was meditating under this very tree when she first met Quark many years ago.


She settled on her cushion and slowed her breathing. She let go of the frustrations of the day. And just like that she was floating in the void. She looked up to see the grinning face of Quark.


“I am sensing something in the field.” Quark laughed. “Another bad day?”


“Not exactly.” Cassandra explained the problem to Quark. “So, how can we ask Linda to share the prize money without feeling uncomfortable? We want to go dress shopping soon.”


“I see your concerns.” Quark did a back flip. “Now, I have a question for you. How did you feel when Yvette asked if you wanted to share the prize money and use it to buy prom dresses?”


“I was happy.” Cassandra stopped and thought. “It’s more than that. I felt special. I felt like I was being given a gift for no reason.”


“Exactly! Do you think you could call that a random act of kindness?”


 “I thought random acts of kindness were small things. Like when I start dinner without being asked. Or when I bake cookies for Granny and it’s not her birthday. You know. Small things.”


“Of course, those are wonderful random acts of kindness, but it can be something big too.”


Cassandra floated for several minutes. Her eyes got big. “Oh,” she whispered. “This is how I can explain it to Linda.”


“There is another important point to acts of kindness.” Quark looked unusually stern. “Any act of kindness must be done without expectation.”


“What do you mean?”


“When you offer Linda part of the prize money, you can’t expect her to go shopping with you or even use the money for a prom dress. And you can’t use this gift to make you and Yvette feel more special or more spiritual than other people. Focus on Linda and how she feels.”


“Okay. Focus on Linda’s happiness and no strings attached.”


“Exactly. I think you’ve got it.” With that Quark blinked out leaving Cassandra alone in the void.


Cassandra couldn’t wait to talk to Yvette. They met up before school. She explained that the prize money was a gift. It was a random act of kindness. This was how they could explain it to Linda.


Yvette smiled and then she said, “But I thought a random act of kindness was little. Like paying for someone’s coffee when you don’t know them.”


“But they can be big too. Do you think this will work?”


Yvette grabbed Cassandra and gave her a big hug. “Let’s find out.”


They entered the school wearing huge grins.


Today when Linda slid into her seat at the lunch table, she looked at her two new friends. “Yesterday you looked unhappy and today you have goofy grins. What is going on?”


Yvette began by telling Linda about the prize money. Then she explained random acts of kindness. “We figured out that we had more than enough for prom.” Cassandra gave Yvette a gentle poke. “Well, Cassandra did. And anyway… we want to know if you would like to share the prize money with us? We are going to buy prom dresses.” Cassandra gave Yvette a stronger poke. “But you can use the money any way you want.”


Linda didn’t say anything for several long minutes. Tears glistened in her eyes. “I wanted to go to prom but I never imagined it could happen. I’ll have to ask my parents. If they say yes I want to go shopping and everything with you.”


The three were on their way to becoming best friends.



Stay tuned for the next episode of Cassandra and Quark, the Quantum Jumping Frog. 

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