Penny on the Ground

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Issue V: Summer 2010

by Eun Jung Lee

Drinking a cup of iced coffee, I am thinking of my old friend I had almost forgotten, the one with the penny-on-the-ground story.
1990. I met a friend in the Pan Am School in Manhattan when I learned English. She had just come from California to New York to learn English, also. We became very good friends. We even went to the same church. She was a very good, beautiful Christian.

One year later, she and I decided to become roommates in Flushing, Queens. Unexpectedly, almost every night we had a fight with each other. There were no big problems. The problem was a tiny room. For example, when I wanted to watch TV, she was sleeping. When I was tired and wanted to sleep, she was watching TV. It was very noisy and bothered me. Her personality and mine were also very different. For example, I am rarely a cleaning-type woman, but she was a very neat-type woman. One evening she cleaned a whole room, flapping the blankets. It really bothered tired me.

Anyway, after fighting almost every day, I complained to her that I wanted to leave. But she wanted to move to a bigger apartment so that I would continue to live with her but with fewer complaints.

The next Saturday we looked at one nice, bigger apartment with the real estate agent. But, wow, the kitchen was so oily and dirty and needed cleaning. Outside of the apartment, I suggested something because I really didn’t want to live with her. “Jane, I have an idea! I will toss this penny. If the front is showing, I will move to live here with you. If the back is showing, I will go to another place by myself. OK?” She said, “OK.”

I prayed to God, “You decide, Lord”! Then I flew the penny to the sky. The penny landed with its back showing. God wanted me to separate from her. Then she was laughing, laughing, grabbing her belly.
So no way we would stay together. She stayed alone in the old place. I left and went to another house. After that, we became separated. I don’t know where she is now.

That was God’s decision with the penny on the ground.

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