The parking ticket amount had accumulated so much interest she knew she would never be able to afford it.
Her heart was pounding in her chest as she stood in front of the judge, who appeared to be disinterested in her justifications. However, the second her daughter uttered those two words, the entire courtroom fell silent.
Maranda Kent had an exceptionally busy morning. She cooked a great breakfast for her family before running some errands. She managed to do this on top of dealing with her crying toddler.
The afternoon proved to be even crazier. Her eldest daughter had been invited to numerous birthday parties over the coming weeks, and that Saturday was one of them. Her daughter had been invited to a party on the other side of town. Maranda knew she had to speed across town to make it in time.
Usually, it’s quite a struggle to locate the party, but luckily one house had a bunch of bright balloons tied to the mailbox.
However, once Maranda assessed the parking situation, her stomach turned. The house was located on one of the busiest streets in town, and to make matters worse, there were no parking spaces available near the house. The only available spot was located in a very undesirable spot.
Her Only Option
The parking spot was right on the sidewalk. Maranda did not have the time to look for another parking spot. It would take almost all afternoon!
Maranda took a deep breath before pulling onto the sidewalk. She knew it was illegal to park there, but she had no other choice. They were only planning on staying at the party for a few hours, so she hoped that all would be fine. However, she was terribly mistaken.
As she walked to her car, she spotted the yellow parking ticket under her windshield wiper. When she examined it closer, her jaw dropped. The ticket was $100! This would have been fine if Maranda had been in a better financial position, but she was not.
For her, this was too much money. She could not afford this. She took a risk, and now she had to pay the price. However, the situation was about to get worse.
Between A Rock And A Hard Place
As Maranda could not pay the initial $100, the fine increased to a staggering $300. She couldn’t believe it!
She was now in a much worse situation. The only way out was to approach the court. She made an appointment and received the 8 am slot. She ensured to get her children ready, and luckily she arrived just on time. Maranda was unaware that her daughters would have a major impact on the final decision.
Maranda sat in the courtroom, patiently waiting for her turn. She felt sick to her stomach but tried to keep her composure.
Her youngest daughter could not sit still at all, while her eldest daughter looked uncomfortable. When her name was called, she pleaded with her daughters to sit quietly while she was busy with the judge. From what she’s heard, the judge was a fair man, so perhaps he would cut her some slack?
The Stoic Judge
“Ms. Kent, I see here you’re here because of a parking violation?”
Maranda quietly whispered “yes” and began explaining the circumstances around her parking violation. The judge kept a neutral expression, but Maranda was sure this wasn’t the first sob story he had heard that day. Out of nowhere, the judge asked a peculiar question. “Those are your daughters? Would the oldest like to approach the bench?”
Approaching The Bench
Maranda gave the judge a confused look. Why did he want her daughter to approach the bench?
Her daughter walked slowly toward the judge. Holding the microphone up to her tiny mouth, he motioned for her to stand beside him.“So, what do you think we should do about your mother? She broke the law. Should she pay?”
Her daughter nodded her head, “no.”
The judge continued to ask the girl strange questions, like what her favorite subjects were in school, if she liked her birthday cake, and what she wanted to become. Eventually, he told her this, Well, how about we give you 4 choices? First, she could pay the full $300. Second, she could pay the original $100. Third, we could bump it down to $50. Or, we could reduce it to zero. What do you think?”
The moment her daughter muttered $50, the entire courtroom giggled with amusement. Maranda had just been railroaded by her own kid ... but then again, in a very fair way.
But when her daughter reached down and held her tummy, the judge asked what was wrong. The two words she would say would change everything.
“I’m hungry.” And when he asked why her little girl explained that they had to leave early for court and had no time to eat.
It was then the judge said something Maranda would never forget. “Well, how about instead of the $50, she takes you girl’s out for breakfast? Hmm? Which would you like?” Her daughter immediately said, “Breakfast!”
A Fair Ending
Another wave of amused chuckles rolled across the courtroom.
The judge smiled, his expression finally turning warm. “Okay, breakfast it is.” Maranda felt the weight of the day melt from her shoulders. And with that, their case was over. She was ready to fulfill her promise, and she knew exactly where.
Keeping Her Promise
There was a 1950’s diner in town that served all-day breakfasts with portion sizes that were a challenge even for a grown adult.
As she sipped at a steaming cup of coffee and watched her two girls scarf down pancakes like the world was ending, she couldn’t help but smile.
A Good Man
The judge was a truly good man.
He had seen her struggle and come to a fair decision. The breakfast bill had been just under $35, so her “fine” was not only far more manageable, but she got to spend a wonderful meal with her kids. It was a much-needed spark in the faith of humanity. And one that wasn’t a sole occurrence…