Over the last four years Francesca has been helping people with their cars. Behind the counter at Auto Zone, she has helped me find the right wiper blades for my cars, sold me coolant when I overheated, and even ran a diagnosis on my engine for me when it was running funny.
Although she has sold me parts, I never took the time to get to know her name. So when I saw her outside on her break, I just had to ask. And she told me it was Francesca. I suspect she wasn’t lying because her employee tag seemed to confirm it.
Not so obvious is the fact that this younger looking woman was older than I thought. She is mother of three, two girls and a boy like me but her son is the oldest at 26 years. But her daughters are 18 and 12.
She didn’t show me the ink, but told me her brother, who is a tattoo artist, created them as a memorial to their parents who had passed away. I would come to discover she loved zombies. When I asked her why, she told me, “Because it could happen one day.” I asked her if she really believed that a person could rise from the dead. And she said, “No doubt.” Boy, what a minister could do with that! Even though the door was open to proselytize the Christian faith – which has stories of zombie (Matthew 27:52) – I let it go.
Speaking of open doors, when I asked Francesca to tell me a story about herself… “you know, one that you’d never tell your kids but had no problem telling a total stranger.” She laughed and told me about a time in her 20’s she jumped out of a moving car! Again, I was intrigued and needed to know more. Here’s the gist, she was drunk, having an argument with her boyfriend, was a bit dramatic, and simply opened the door and rolled out. No broken bones, but lots of bruises and scrapes.
Thanks to that story, I have a better understanding why Francesca is so tough – or at least acts that way behind the counter at AutoZone. I have seen her in action. She takes no guff from the other employees. I suspect her home is no different. However, while enjoying her break (where she watches zombie shows) we laughed. She has a great smile, an easy-going personality, and had no problem helping me reach my goal. She might be number 3 of the people I met, but so far her story is numero uno.