When Someone Threw Coffee On My Face

Posted by Mia Tagano on Oct 23, 2017
7991 reads  
Tonight, I went to see a play by, and full with, women I consider fierce.

En route, a car seemed to purposely cut me off, almost causing me to hit it. I was a bit in shock and angry both. I turned my bright lights on him and I drove right behind him. At the next stop light, I pulled up beside him. He was angry, and seemed to shout profanities at me.

I rolled down my window and said, "Really? You're mad at me when YOU cut me off?!"

He retorted, "YES!" And then threw what I think was his coffee grande (with cream) in my face!

It covered my face, my car and my steering wheel. Thankfully, it was cold.

I didn't know what to do but I was angry and tired and not feeling 100%, so I followed behind him with my bright lights on.

I called 911 to report an assault by a taxi driver. A very nice and calm operator answered. She told me not to follow him since I could get hurt. I asked her what the procedure was, what would happen. She told me to give her the license plate number and type of car, and they would follow up.

Something in me re-thought the whole thing. I told the 911 operator that I changed my mind. I did not want the police involved after all. "I am fine," I told her before hanging up.

The car turned down an alley quickly, trying to lose me, but I followed persistently.

I had no plan.

The car pulled over to the right, a youngish man got out of his car. He didn't look so mean or scary actually -- more sad, really. I sensed I didn't have to worry and I wasn't afraid.

I pulled over to the left side ahead of him and got out of my car. I shouted at him, "Really?! You are going to throw your coffee on me?" He tried to reason with me as he was approaching.

"Stay back," I yelled out. "I won't hurt you," he replied. I could tell that he meant it. I started to sob. He was walking toward me, kindly.

"Please don't cry," he said. "I should not have thrown my ice coffee on you. You flipped me off and that made me angry. This is my second job today, I am just delivering pizzas -- that's what I do. I am in a rush, like everyone else."

"This is not who I am. I am not this guy," he added.

"I believe you," I said.

"And, I am not someone who flips people off usually. I am sorry," I say through my tears.

"It has been a hard day. I am not a bad guy," he says. "I am not a bad woman. I am sorry, too. This is not my way," I say. "It is not my way either," he says.

"Please wait here," he says as he goes back to his car to get a towel. He also brought a bottle of water. "Please drink," he says, "It will make you feel better." Then, he proceeded to clean my jacket and my car.

"This is not who I am," he repeats. "I have a son, I am working two jobs, I am just trying to do my best. I am not this person you think I am."

"I am not this person either," I say.

As if to start over, I ask, "My name is Mia. What is your name?" "Mohammed." "I am sorry this happened, Mohammed." "Me too," he says.

We both hugged, apologizing to each other. These are turbulent times for our world. "I don't want to add to the darkness," I tell him. "Me too," he says.

We hugged again. Both crying. "Keep your son safe," I say. "Thank you. You stay safe too."

One last time, we both apologized, hugged, shook hands and parted ways.

Posted by Mia Tagano | | permalink

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Comments (21)

  • Dustin Harber wrote ...

    Just wow, Mia! Thank you for sharing this amazing story. I'm so glad you were not only safe but you ended up connecting with this stranger, albeit in upsetting circumstances.

  • Nipun Mehta wrote ...

    That's a remarkable story, Mia! Thank you for your big heart, and embodying what the world needs today.

  • Carol Asher wrote ...

    Even though you so graciously explained this situation to me in person, I am crying as I read it in print. You are so brave to follow through for a conclusion. It might not have been a safe environment but I am sure glad that it was.

  • Nandini wrote ...

    Wow Mia! This is so moving. Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry cold coffee was thrown at you. It's moving you had the courage to see what would be possible anyway. Thank you for following him and making peace. Hugging you both.

  • Bradley Stoll wrote ...

    Just Wow! I love how you took us through your range of emotions, both you and Mohammed. And how, through anger, came some understanding and beauty<3. Your heart led right.

  • Michaele Premet-Rosen wrote ...

    Brought me to tears. Two beautiful souls connected in open-hearted sharing. ❤️❤️

  • Jane Fulkerson wrote ...

    Mia, I love this story and I wonder if you would post it on Kindspring? I'm sure our editors would feature it in an upcoming newsletter- it is so powerful and real. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Audrey Lin wrote ...

    Wow, Mia, what a powerful moment. Thank you so much for sharing it. Sending much gratitude.  

  • Sheetal Sanghvi wrote ...

    Had goosebumps reading this.. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

  • Tizz O'Toole wrote ...

    Mia by the time I finished this story I was crying like a baby. At first I was so worried for you. Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment of deep connection. ♥.

  • Samantha wrote ...

    That is the way conflict should end

  • Kristy wrote ...

    Wow Mia, true kindness and honesty between strangers destined to meet and make the world a different place. Thank you

  • Amanveer wrote ...

    This story shows how anger turned into a lovely connection and that too with a stranger . Thank You for sharing it

  • Navneet wrote ...

    “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”.

  • Swara Pandya wrote ...

    Mia, this is so beautiful. You didn't give up on that boy and he could also circle back with himself. Like we follow-up with friends and known people. Amazing.

  • Jason wrote ...

    Thank you. This is good.

  • Arvind Devalia wrote ...

    Wonderful story!

    Made my day :-)

    I am so glad you didn't continue with your call to the police.

    Love always wins :-)

  • Phaatu wrote ...

    Inherently...we are made from the same material,we are all very kind and loving at the core...it is the harsh circumstances that make people do the silly things they do...but when you are brave enough to scratch the surface...all humans are so compassionate and loving...Thank you Mia for standing brave and scratching that ugly layer off mohammed...You are a star Mia!

  • Preethi wrote ...

    What an experience! What a change of story because of the way you choose to respond rather than react. In that short moment of time, you choose to make right. It is really courage.

  • Usha wrote ...

    Amazing story of getting down so quickly from the place of anger by both sides. A huge lesson on apology.

  • Jayoti Bardhan wrote ...

    these are turbulent times for our world. "I don't want to add to the darkness"...so important to remember this.
    "This is not who I am"...profound thing to remember for ourselves and others...Forgiveness will come so easy with this.