A poor taxi driver risks his family's wrath when he stops to rescue an old lady he found on the road. His reward? An old chest left in his back seat.
Henry Crawley was a poor cab driver who worked long hours and drove long circuits every day to provide for his family. He had a wife named Angel, and they had a daughter named Leslie. The girl was their only child, and she adored her father more than she did anything else.
Indeed, Henry was a good father who never returned home without buying his little angel a treat or toy. But he was like Santa — his job as a cab driver kept him away from his home and family for long hours.
The poor taxi driver parked his car in the driveway, and as he made to step out, he noticed an old wooden chest in the back seat. | Photo: Shutterstock
It was the topic of many fights he had gotten into with his wife, who understood why he was away so often but could not resist the urge to cry out for her husband's physical presence.
For her 16th birthday, Leslie had requested gifts from her father and mother, and since she uttered the words, Henry had doubled down on work. He wanted to be able to afford the golden pair of earrings his beloved daughter wanted.
On the day of her birthday, Henry walked out of the house determined to return on time with the earrings, but he still didn't have enough money to buy the accessories.
That day he conveyed as many passengers as he could find and as the time for the small cocktail party Leslie had been allowed to organize drew closer, Henry feared he wouldn't be able to make enough.
Henry walked out of the house determined to return on time with Leslie's earrings. | Photo: Pexels
That was when he met her.
She wore a brown trench coat over what looked like classic corporate clothes, and she carried a practical black bag she kept on her person even after she entered the taxi.
"Where to ma'am?" Henry asked.
The woman mentioned a distant town outside the city Henry usually plied, so he refused.
"I'm sorry but I can't go that far this time," he said.
"I'll make it worth your while," the woman said, appealing to his desire for money.
The woman mentioned a distant town | Photo: Pexels
It had the desired effect, and he quickly decided that whatever he made would make the cash he carried be just enough to buy his daughter the gold jewelry.
They agreed on a price, and he quickly set off, driving as fast as he could while maintaining a certain finesse to impress his mysterious passenger — the woman did not say another word for the duration of the journey. But she paid him his full fee and tipped him well before he drove off.
He got caught up in a heavy snowstorm that restricted mobility on his way back. Stubbornly, he decided he would press on anyway and continued driving even though he had to go at a snail's pace.
Henry was a good father who never returned home without buying his little angel a treat | Photo: Pexels
It was 4.:54 and his daughter's party started at 4.30.
"Nothing for it," he muttered as he fastened his eyes on the slippery road.
As time passed, he got closer to the city, but then he ran into an obstacle. It was an elderly woman sprawled out on one part of the road.
She was dressed in normal bedroom clothes, which told him she must be from the small town he had passed miles back. A quick look around revealed a small pink bicycle and an empty bag.
It seemed like she had been robbed and dumped in the middle of nowhere to die, but she was still breathing.
As time passed, he got closer to the city. | Photo: Pexels
He stopped his car to check on her, but then he remembered that his wife would be upset with him if he missed his daughter's sweet 16. The thought made him shudder and almost turn back. But he also knew that he could not leave the woman helpless after discovering her.
"I'd want someone to care for my wife or daughter should they end up in such a predicament," he said to himself as he lifted the woman and laid her in the back seat of his car.
She seemed to be in great shape for someone robbed, but Henry couldn't waste more time thinking about that. He kept the windows closed tightly, and he used his car heater to get some warmth circulating to thaw the freezing woman.
He stopped his car to check on her | Photo: Pexels
He was still about 60 miles from his city and home, but it was still impossible to drive fast because of the snow. It was 5.30 p.m. Her town was in the opposite direction to his city, and he could not drive as fast as he would on a normal day.
He wanted to drop the lady off at a hospital and move on, but he knew it would be unkind for her to wake up in a new location. Eventually, Henry decided to take the woman to her town, but he would call his wife to explain things to her ahead of time. As he predicted, she had nothing to say to him.
"I don't want to hear it this time Henry," she said even before he could defend himself.
"Let me explain what happened to me my love," he said, but she didn't have it.
"You had ample time to do whatever you had to and make it home for your daughter's party. That you're not here shows how far we have fallen on your ladder of priorities."
Henry decided to take the woman to her town | Photo: Pexels
"Your family should be at the top of that list but as usual I can see that you don't care," she told him before ending the call.
It made him sad, but his mind was made up; he would finish helping the stranger. He brought the woman to a hospital in her small town, and thanks to the small population of the place, the nurses quickly recognized the woman.
"That's Mabel!" the nurses told him. "She went missing just yesterday, where did you find her?"
Henry had to file paperwork and write some statements before he was allowed to leave; however, just as he was about to walk out of the hospital, he was accosted by a young couple.
They claimed to be related to the woman and told Henry that she had Alzheimer's disease, but they had no idea how she had gotten that far.
Henry brought the woman to a hospital in her small town | Photo: Pexels
"Thank you for returning her to us," the pair told Henry, and he made to leave immediately after, but he was discouraged by the still heavy fall of snow.
"Why don't you spend the night over at our home? We would be most certainly happy to have you," the couple offered, and Henry reluctantly agreed.
They left Mabel in the hospital to recover, and Henry followed the couple to their home. Later at night, he called his wife on their landline as his cell phone had died.
"You've finally done it now Henry," she told him. "Where will you say you are now?"
Later at night, Henry called his wife| Photo: Unsplash
"I'm not far from home; I got caught in a snowstorm," he said, but she interrupted him.
"Why are you whispering?" she wondered.
"I'm staying with a family I helped for the night," he said.
"You're with a woman aren't you?" she asked.
At that moment, Amelia, the wife of the man whose mother he rescued, entered the room and asked if he would like dinner. In a panic, Henry dropped the receiver and clicked on the loudspeaker.
"You've forsaken your daughter's birthday party for another woman?! I thought you were going to work harder to get her golden earrings? I'm a fool for trusting you," his wife said.
Amelia, the wife of the man whose mother he rescued, entered the room and asked if he would like dinner. | Photo: Pexels
It was an awkward moment, but Amelia smiled quietly and left the room to give him privacy again.
While he spoke to his wife, Amelia went to her room and grabbed a couple of things. Afterward, she wrote an appreciation letter and tucked it into a small chest.
The snowstorm spent itself overnight and by morning everywhere was calm. Left to Henry, he would have been on the road at the crack of dawn but Amelia wanted to feed him breakfast and he couldn't reject the hospitality.
While her husband, Tom, and Henry discussed some pancakes and tea, she slipped out with his key and got into his car, choosing to leave the little chest in the back seat.
Henry had no idea, worried as he was about his wife. He thanked the couple for their hospitality and quickly made his way home.
She wrote an appreciation letter right then. | Photo: Pexels
Upon his arrival, everywhere was quiet, and there was no sign that there had been a party the previous day. He parked the car in the driveway, and as he made to step out, he noticed a small wooden chest in the back seat. When he opened it, he saw gold earrings with diamond studs.
There was also a note which read, "I got them from my great-grandmother! Take this as a reward for keeping you from your family. Thank you for saving my mother." The letter warmed Henry's heart.
His daughter was very glad to see him, | Photo: Pexels
When he entered his house, his daughter was very glad to see him, and she ran into his arms happily. "I knew nothing terrible had happened to you," she said, squeezing him tightly.
"I'm sorry I couldn't make it to your party," he said by way of apology.
"But I did get you these," Henry said, showing off the earrings.
It shocked his daughter and his wife, who stood off to the side, sulking and waiting for her turn to get at her husband.
"You're the best dad in the world!" Leslie shouted before she took off to test her new jewelry against her favorite dresses.
Instead, he got a hug, a kiss, and a soft "I love you" from his wife | Photo:Unsplash
After she left, Henry faced his wife with sorrow in his eyes. "I'm sorry I was away for so long, I didn't plan to be," he said, expecting a flaming response.
Instead, he got a hug, a kiss, and a soft "I love you" from a woman who had just realized that her husband would do anything for his family.
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