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Old Man Comes to Store with Grocery List for Wife, Cashier Later Learns He Doesn’t Have a Wife at All — Story of the Day

Monica Otayza
May 27, 2022
06:20 A.M.
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A grocery store cashier decides to check on an old man who frequently buys groceries for his wife when he doesn't show up one week. She discovers that he doesn't have a wife to buy groceries for at all.

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Emma enjoys her job as a grocery store clerk. She's been working in the same store for years, and she knows all of her regular customers.

Every week, an old man named Roger would come to the store to buy groceries. He would have an extensive list of things to buy, including the ingredients needed to make chicken pot pie.

"You must really love your chicken pot pie, Roger!" Emma commented once after she helped him pick out the ingredients for the nth time.

Emma worked at a grocery store and knew all of her regular customers by heart. | Source: Pexels

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"Oh, yes I do, Emma. You see, my wife Laura makes the most delicious chicken pot pie in town," he replied.

Emma smiled, finding it sweet that Roger would indulge himself in his wife's delicious home-cooked specialty every week. What Emma found strange, however, was that she's never met Roger's wife as she never came by to the store with him.

What made Emma even more curious was that Roger lived just a street away from the grocery store, and yet she's never seen Roger's wife enter or leave the house in all the years that she's worked there.

Nonetheless, she brushed the thought aside and bagged Roger's groceries once they finished gathering them. "See you next week," she said as she handed the bags.

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Emma enjoys her job as a cashier. | Source: Pexels

"See you next week, Emma!" Roger replied like he always did every single week.

However, the next week came, and Roger did not come by the shop like he always did on a Saturday afternoon. Emma thought this was weird. He never missed a grocery shopping session before.

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She waited another day, and still, Roger did not arrive. She grew concerned, especially since Roger did say "see you next week" when they last saw each other.

After Emma finished her shift, she decided to check on Roger. As his house was nearby, it was easy for her to walk there.

Emma noticed that Roger did not show up one weekend, so she decided to visit him after her shift. | Source: Pexels

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When she arrived, she rang the doorbell, but nobody came to the door. "Roger?" she called out.

Emma paused for a moment, but no one came to the door. She was about to turn and leave when she suddenly heard a large cough coming from inside the house.

Emma took her chance and twisted the doorknob. It was unlocked. She let herself in and called out for Roger again. "Roger? Are you here? It's me, Emma, from the grocery store," she said.

"Emma," she heard Roger say from a room. The sound sent shivers down her spine, but she decided to walk toward the room.

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Emma let herself in after she noticed the door was unlocked. | Source: Pexels

She saw Roger lying on the couch, looking weak and pale. "Roger! Are you alright? Where is your wife?" Emma asked.

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Slowly, Roger turned his head towards a table in the same room, and Emma followed his gaze. There, she saw an urn with the photo of Roger's wife right beside it.

"I'm so sorry to hear that your wife had passed away, Roger. I grew worried when you didn't show up this weekend, so I wanted to check on you," she told him.

Roger revealed that his wife had died a couple of years ago. | Source: Pexels

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Emma helped Roger up so he could sit down. "Thank you," he told her weakly. He was suffering from a fever and looked as if he hadn't eaten a proper meal in days.

Emma gave him some medicine and told him to wait in the living room while she cooked something for him to eat. She walked towards the kitchen, where she was surprised to find cans of peas and carrots on the counter.

"I don't understand…" she said to herself. "All the ingredients are unused. Has his wife been dead for a while now?" she thought.

She opened the freezer to get some chicken breasts and an unbaked pie crust. She decided to cook Roger a chicken pot pie, hoping it would make him feel better.

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Emma decided to make chicken pot pie for Roger. | Source: Pexels

Once she was done cooking, she took the pie to him in the living room. "I know it's probably not as good as your wife's chicken pot pie, but I hope it makes you feel better," she told him.

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Roger smiled at her. "Thank you, Emma," he said, digging in. "I haven’t had chicken pot pie in over four years.”

That statement answered Emma's lingering questions. Roger's wife had been dead for a while now, and yet he continued to buy ingredients for her chicken pot pie. But why?

Emma shrugged off her thoughts once more and was happy to see Roger's energy slowly getting better. She waited for him to finish his food before deciding to ask him a question.

"I hope you don’t mind me asking, Roger, but why would you buy ingredients for chicken pot pie every week and stack it in the kitchen? Do you cook it yourself?”

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Roger had a hard time coping with the loss of his wife. | Source: Pexels

Roger shook his head. “To be honest, Emma, I’ve been living in a fantasy where I think my wife Lara is coming back. So I prepare all the ingredients for chicken pot pie every week for when she returns.”

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Emma was saddened by what Roger said, as she knew he was still mourning the loss of his wife. She didn’t know what to say, so she glanced at Roger’s wife’s photo again. “She’s beautiful,” she said.

Roger smiled. “She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. I miss her every day. But you’re right, Emma. Maybe it’s time to snap out of my fantasy world and face the reality that she isn’t coming back.”

“She will always be with you, Roger. She might not be with you physically, but she will always be in your heart,” Emma assured him.

Roger thinks his wife is the most beautiful person on earth. | Source: Pexels

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Roger nodded. “Thank you for making me realize that, Emma. Thank you, too, for checking up on me. I’ve been feeling ill for days now, and if you hadn’t come in to check on me, I don’t know how much longer I would have lived,” he admitted.

Emma promised Roger that she would always come by to help him. She found out that Roger would cook himself simple meals every day, but he could never get himself to make the chicken pot pie that his wife Lara used to make.

Knowing this, Emma made sure to cook him a variety of healthy meals every week, which he could reheat whenever he pleased. He started to become a lot healthier because of this, and he rarely got sick ever since Emma promised to take care of him.

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Emma promised to take care of Roger. | Source: Pexels

Emma looked forward to spending time with Roger, seeing him as a father figure in her life. They became close friends, and Roger appreciated how Emma looked after him.

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“You are the daughter I never had, Emma. Thank you for taking care of me,” Roger told Emma one day while they were eating dinner.

“Thank you for being my second dad, Roger. I enjoy spending time with you,” she replied.

What can we learn from this story?

  • When you’re in the position to help someone, do it. You never know whose life you can save. Emma was not obligated to check on Roger, but she still did. She decided to visit him one day after work after he didn’t show up like he usually did, and it ended up saving his life.
  • Everybody copes with loss differently. Roger struggled to accept that his wife was no longer alive. He coped by buying ingredients for the chicken pot pie she used to make him, conditioning himself to believe that she would one day come back. While other people might find this weird, Emma respected Roger’s coping mechanism and helped him through his grieving process by being there for him and taking care of him.
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If you liked this story, you might like this one about an old man who was banned from his granddaughter's wedding after his kids found out he worked as a janitor.

This account is inspired by our reader's story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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