October 17, 2021
After Ben’s colleague, Steve, sacrificed his life saving his daughter, the man decided to look after Steve's widow, Victoria, and their 4-year-old son, Aiden. Victoria flatly refused his help, although the family was struggling to make ends meet. But Ben didn’t give up.
Steve Miles was one of the bravest police officers in the New York crime department, and over the years, the man had received several accolades for his bravery. His wife, Victoria, had always feared him being in such a dangerous job, believing it would cost him his life and leave her alone. Unfortunately, her worst nightmare came true one fateful day.
When Ben’s daughter Charlotte was 6 months old, some people barged into his home and tried to abduct the young kid. Ben and Steve were at Ben’s house for lunch that afternoon, and one of the goons shot Steve when he tried to stop them. The man bled and died even before he made it to the hospital.
Steve worked in the New York Police Department | Photo: Shutterstock
After Steve’s death, Victoria and their son, Aiden, were provided with some benefits as a part of the survivors' beneficiary plan, but life in New York was far more expensive than the plan could cover, and Victoria had a growing child and her sick mother to look after.
Having left her job as an accountant a few years back and struggling through the trauma of losing her husband, Victoria struggled to find a job for several months and eventually ended up as a waitress at a restaurant. Sadly, the job wasn’t paying her well, and she barely made ends meet every month.
One day when Ben and his colleagues were returning from work, they stopped by a small restaurant for lunch. “Good afternoon, sir,” the waitress greeted them. “What would you like to have?”
As Ben looked up from the menu, he couldn’t believe his eyes. “Victoria?” he exclaimed, taken aback.
Victoria started working at a small restaurant to support her family | Photo: Unsplash
“Oh, Ben,” Victoria confessed shyly, “it’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”
“Yeah, I didn’t know we’d meet again like this. Is everything fine at home?” he inquired, worried. From Victoria’s tired eyes, thin body, and dark circles covering most of her face, Ben could guess something wasn’t right with her.
“Everything’s fine, Ben,” Victoria replied. “Anyway, what would you like to order?”
When Ben and his friends finished ordering, he excused himself and went to talk to Victoria. He asked her if she needed help financially, but Victoria refused, claiming she didn’t want favors or to be portrayed in the pitiful light.
“I can look after my family, Ben,” she stated emphatically. “I’m not blaming you or anyone else for what occurred. I don’t need anyone’s favors; I am strong enough to support my family.”
Victoria refused to take help from Ben | Photo: Unsplash
Ben didn’t try to persuade Victoria any further because he knew she would never agree to accept favors. But based on her dire state, he could tell she’d been overworking herself and probably struggling financially as well.
So that weekend, he and the other cops paid a visit to her house while she was away on duty. But what they discovered at her home had them in tears.
The house was disorganized and appeared to have not been cleaned in months. There was a small bed in the living room corner where Victoria’s mother lay, with a saline tube attached to her arm. Aiden was playing with puzzle pieces on the filthy floor, and the boy looked like he hadn’t washed in a while.
At this point, Ben knew he had to help them, and he came up with a plan to do so. He called Victoria right away. “Hi, Victoria. If you don’t mind, could you please look after Charlotte after your shift? Melinda and I need to be somewhere, so could you please do us this favor?”
Ben asked Victoria if she could look after his daughter, Charlotte | Photo: Pexels
“Surely, Ben,” Victoria replied. “I’ll be done by 7 p.m. Is that alright?”
“That’d be perfect, Victoria. I'll drop off Charlotte at your place. Thanks!” Ben said and hung up.
But when Victoria returned from work that night, she found Ben and the other cops at her home. Melinda was present too.
“Sorry for bothering you, Victoria,” Melinda said. “We were supposed to meet at a nearby restaurant, but some urgent work came up, and I had to cancel it. Do you mind if we have dinner here? I can help you with the cooking.”
Victoria agreed, and that evening, while she and Melinda were busy cooking, the cops cleaned her house.
While Victoria was busy cooking food for everyone, the cops cleaned her house | Photo: Unsplash
Ben and Melinda did this every weekend and every weekend after that. Sometimes, Melinda would make an excuse that she needed Victoria to look after Charlotte, and when Victoria did, she would help Victoria with chores and clean her house.
Moreover, during the weekdays, Ben and his friends would occasionally stop by the restaurant where she worked and leave huge tips.
With their help, Victoria’s condition gradually improved. She started stressing herself less at work and she soon received a promotion due to the considerable tips she received. Even at home, she had Melinda and the other officers who would frequently drop by her house and assist her with house chores.
One Sunday, when Victoria and Melinda were busy cooking lunch for them, Aiden came running towards Ben. “Are you one of our relatives, officer?” he inquired in a soft voice.
Melinda often dropped by Victoria's house and helped her with the chores | Photo: Pexels
“Not really, Aiden,” Ben replied, lifting the boy in his arms. “But I am like a family to you guys.”
“Then what about the officers who help mom and granny?” Aiden inquired anxiously.
“Well, I will tell you a secret, Aiden,” Ben said. “But do you promise to keep it?”
“Yes, I will,” Aiden said quietly. “You can trust me. I know some of my friends’ secrets.”
“All right, Aiden,” Ben continued. “The secret is that other officers and I are assisting your mother in preserving her dignity. But if we told her that, she’d be upset. You don’t want to see her upset, do you?”
“Dignity?” Aiden had a puzzled look. “What is that?”
Ben couldn't stop smiling at Aiden's innocence | Photo: Unsplash
“Well, you know when you grow up, there’ll be times when your friends won’t take help from you because they’ll feel embarrassed, so when that happens, you’ll have to come up with a smart idea to help them out.”
“Oh, I see. So what will you get in return if you keep her dignity? When I do something good, mom gives me chocolate cookies,” Aiden said. “Will you get it too?”
Ben burst out laughing. “Not at all, Aiden. In some cases, you will be able to talk to a beautiful friend like you.”
“Wow, that’s cool, Uncle Ben. By the way, since you shared a secret, let me share one too. You know, last week I took some cookies from the kitchen and didn’t tell mom about them. Don’t tell her.”
“Okay, I won’t,” Ben promised Aiden. “But don’t do it again, okay?” Aiden smiled and nodded.
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