Free Hugs - Fiction

Published on Sep 17, 2020

“I LOVE YOU, MICHAEL!”, she screamed at the top of her voice.

Emily loved doing everything over the top. Her writing, her declarations of emotions, all of it! Her philosophy was to live life fully and with as much color as possible.

Michael’s head whipped around, hearing his voice LOUDLY! He beamed widely at Emily, his girlfriend of three years. He loved her energetic and earnest nature. She was so sincere. He never had to worry about her playing mind games with him. Even after these years he was so appreciative and knew he was lucky to have nabbed a rare woman like her.

The high school senior jogged over to his girlfriend, darting between soccer players practicing on the field.

He finished in a final sprint, and, when he reached her, lifted her up and twirled her around! They laughed and couldn’t stop smiling at each other.

They were on a mission today. Emily picked up the sign laying on the ground. It said, “FREE HUGS - DON’T BE SHY!” and had hearts and flowers painted around the letters. They were going downtown to give out free hugs to strangers. They heard about other people doing this and how much of a positive impact it had on so many lives.

They took off in Michael’s car, heading to the Country Club Plaza, an upscale shopping area in Kansas City, Missouri.

They arrived and soon found a corner to begin their ‘SPREAD THE LOVE’ campaign.

Emily still had on her cheerleading outfit as she had come from practice before meeting up with Michael. Inspiration struck her! She did cheers, jumping into the air, doing splits, and looking very ecstatic and energetic. Yelled “LOVE IS CONTAGIOUS! FREE HUGS - DON’T BE SHY!”.

Almost immediately a maybe 60-year-old woman approached them. She looked unsure and sad. However, Emily had this amazing talent of being able to put ANYONE at ease!

She asked the woman her name and other details to break the ice. Soon they bonded, and the woman was spilling the details of her recent tragedy, losing her husband of 40 years. Emily opened her arms, and the woman walked into them, bursting into tears. She just hugged her for a while, standing quietly and letting her cry.

Michael was so proud of Emily and her incredible empathetic nature. She made him want to be a better man. No, a better human.

Ten minutes later the woman pulled away and wipe her tears, smiling at Emily with so much gratitude. Emily gave the woman her email address, in case she wanted to meet up for coffee or needed a friend.

By then a crowd had formed, and Michael had already given out a few hugs himself. They had a line forming!

The couple felt like they mattered and were making a positive effect on their community. It would be a long evening, but one full of compassion and hope. They wouldn’t want to spend their Friday night any other way.