Two drunk teenagers start harassing an old lady on a bus until a homeless man steps in and stops them -- and it transforms his life.
Molly White walked up the steps into the bus with great difficulty and was grateful when she felt a strong hand under her elbow, helping her up. She turned her head to smile her thanks and cringed.
The hand cupping her elbow belonged to a tall thin scarecrow of a man, clearly homeless, and none too clean. Molly jerked her arm away from the man and said stiffly, "Thank you."
Molly White boarded the bus, never imagining she'd be insulted and humiliated | Source: Shutterstock.com
The man smiled sadly. He was used to disgust in people's faces, the rejection. But Tom Carter was still himself, no matter what. He watched as Molly White sat down, her bulk filling two seats.
There was something about her that reminded him of his mother. His mother would also have been disgusted to see him in this state. Tom walked to the back of the bus where he could sit on his own.
He leaned his head back and closed his eyes. He couldn't stop thinking about his little Daisy, and how she had clung to him. Two years ago, his wife Valery had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and her death had left their lives in shambles.
For 18 months, Tom had poured their savings into treatments for Valery, even borrowed money against their house, but it was all in vain. Valery died, and Tom had to sell their house to pay off the debts.
Molly never imagined she'd be subject to vicious abuse on a bus | Source: Pixabay
His boss lost patience with his constant absences as Valery's carer and fired him. From one day to the next, Tom had lost his home, his job, and with Valery dead, all he had left was his daughter Daisy.
After the house was sold, Tom had been forced to move with Daisy to a one-bedroom apartment in a decayed inner-city apartment building with graffiti on the walls, and the stench of human refuse in the hallways.
Don't judge people by their appearance.
When Child Services had come calling, the inevitable happened: they took Daisy away from him, and Tom could only see her by appointment at the group home. Soon, Tom was on the streets, and his only luxury was a bus ticket so he could see Daisy.
Tom was deep in his reverie when the sound of a loud voice made him open his eyes and sit up. "Looky here, driver!" said a teenager Tom could tell straight away was inebriated. "This here lady has to pay for TWO tickets!"
Tom lost everything after his wife died | Source: Unsplash
The teen was standing in front of Molly, swaying and grinning. His friend, equally young and drunk, swaggered over.
"That's right," he sneered. "You gotta pay EXTRA for the extra seat!" Molly cringed and clung to her purse, and the other passengers around her studiously looked away.
She could tell not one of them would move a finger to defend a fat old woman from these drunk teens, not even if they decided to rob her. The first teen leaned over and poked her on the chest.
"You need to MOVE, lady!" he said. "My friend and I want those seats."
Child Services had taken away his daughter Daisy | Source: Unsplash
Molly lifted her chin. "Young man, there are plenty of other seats empty!"
The second teen stepped forward. "Sure there are, but we want THOSE seats, and you're gonna give them to us!" The teen reached for her and MOlly could smell the alcohol in his breath.
He was about to grab onto her when a powerful voice intervened. "Get your hands off that lady, my friend, or you and I are going to tango!"
At the sound of that voice, the teen leaped back and turned around. Molly was stunned to see the homeless man who'd helped her onto the bus walking towards the teens.
Two drunk teens got on the bus and started picking on Molly | Source: Unsplash
The man looked a lot bigger, and he held his head high. "You two boys can go quietly, or I can help you off, but you're getting off the bus," he said calmly.
The teens looked at him and Molly saw a shadow of fear cross their faces. It was one thing to pick on a helpless old woman, it was another to tangle with the tall wiry man standing before them.
Tom's clothes might be ragged and worn, but he moved like a man who knew how to take care of himself. At that moment the bus stopped, and the two teens scurried down the steps, looking back fearfully over their shoulders at Tom.
Tom stepped towards Molly and asked gently, "Ma'am, did those boys hurt you? Do you need help?"
The teens were scared of Tom and got off the bus | Source: Pexels
Molly looked at Tom with tears in her eyes. "I'm alright," she said. "Thanks to you. Please, will you accompany me? Help me home?"
Tom nodded. "Of course, Ma'am. Anything I can do."
When they arrived at Molly's stop, Tom helped her down and walked her to her apartment building. Molly insisted that Tom come up and have a slice of apple pie and a cup of coffee.
Over the pie and coffee, Molly learned Tom's story and she frowned. "I wonder..." she said and fished out her cell phone. She started talking to someone, asking if a certain job was still available, then turned to Tom with a triumphant smile.
Molly got Tom a job on her son's farm | Source: Unsplash
"My son has a farm upstate, and his right-hand man just quit. He's looking for a hardworking man and I think you might be it!"
Tom was stunned! "But...I don't know anything about farming!"
"I told my son that, but I also told him you were strong and determined and that you could learn anything," Molly said. "And you have a mighty big incentive to make it. Am I wrong?"
Tom shook his head with tears in his eyes. "The job comes with a pretty little cottage and a good salary, insurance, and everything," Molly added. "I have a feeling that in a few months you'll have your Daisy back!"
A few months later Tom was reunited with his daughter | Source: Unsplash
And it all worked out just as Molly had predicted. Tom and Molly's son worked well together, and six months after he started working, Child Services gave Daisy back to her daddy and they started a new life.
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