The third “good morning”

Most mornings, I ride my bike or walk the dog along the mile or so between my house and the river. Often, I see familiar faces along the way–neighbors and others who are also up and out early. Two of these faces belong to young men, who initially ignored me as I passed by. Their demeanor was stiff and “bad,” as in, “too cool for you.” Even so, I greeted them like I do any other people I encounter on my morning jaunts, with an upbeat “Good morning” and a smile.
The first time I greeted them, the pair acted as if I was not there. Even so, I greeted them the same way on the second day, and one of them briefly met my eyes and mumbled “mornin'” back to me. On the third “good morning,” both of them smiled and returned my greeting, one of them with enthusiasm. Last time I saw them, they both young men smiled, and one hollered, “Hey, girl!”
This part of town is just a little brighter in the morning, thanks to the magic of the third “good morning.”

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