A well-dressed boy goes door to door asking for money, but everyone slams the door in his face except one old man. After he learns about the boy's story and why he is begging, the old man realizes he needs to help the kid.
Charles lived a lonely life after his wife passed away. Unfortunately, he lost his son months after losing his wife in a car crash, so he had nobody in his life he could call a family.
He was a millionaire businessman in the past before taking voluntary retirement by selling his company to live a life away from chaos, primarily because he didn't see any sense in continuing after losing his only son. He had a large house all to himself and a lot of money, but he was lonely and very sad.
One morning, Charles was reading his newspaper in the living room when he heard his neighbor, Mrs. Francis, yelling at someone. He went to the front door and opened it to see what was going on, and he noticed a neatly dressed boy standing on Mrs. Francis's threshold.
"Please, ma'am," the boy begged. "I NEED the money. I am not lying."
Charles was reading the newspaper when he overheard his neighbor yelling at someone. | Source: Pexels
Mrs. Francis clenched her fists and glared at the boy. "Who are you trying to fool here little kid? You don't look like someone who needs to beg for a living! So I'm not giving you any money. Do you understand?"
"No, no, you don't understand," he said. "Please help me!"
"Listen, boy. I am not buying your story, okay?" Mr. Francis told him firmly. "I know that nowadays kids do all sorts of bad things, and I'm sure you're one of them, which is why you need the money. Go away and never come here again!" she yelled, slamming the door in his face.
Charles saw the boy's head drop and his face looked sad. He agreed with Mrs. Francis that the kid didn't appear to be in desperate need of money based on how nicely he was dressed, but Charles didn't want to judge the boy without knowing the whole story, so he called out to him.
"Hey there! Can I help you?" he asked from his doorstep.
Suddenly, the boy raised his head and grinned. He dashed up to Charles' door right away.
The boy grinned when Charles asked him if he needed help. | Source: Pexels
"Yes, sir! I'm going door to door asking for donations to pay for my mother's surgery. But your neighbor did not believe me. She thinks I'm skipping school to ask for money. I promise I will not waste it! Can you help me?" he asked sweetly.
"But she's not wrong about the school, dear," Charles stated emphatically, staring at the 8-year-old in his doorway. "Aren't you supposed to be in class at this hour? ... By the way, you can call me Charles."
"No, sir…I mean, Charles, it's our summer break."
"Oh, is it?" Charles paused for a brief while.
"You were merely acquaintances to me, but you stayed by my side as if you were family until the end."
The boy sighed. "I tried looking for work, but everyone says I'm too young to do any work. My mother needs surgery soon, so I started collecting money for her. I'm planning to give her the money on her birthday next week so that she can be happy and healthy soon."
The boy revealed his mother is sick. | Source: Pexels
"Oh dear," Charles laughed. "Well then, how about you work for me? What do you think?"
"Really?" The boy grinned. "Will you really hire me? Wow! So what do I have to do?" he asked excitedly.
"Oh, it's simple," Charles smiled. "All you have to do is help me a little around the house, get groceries for me, and you know, just be my friend for a while because this old man is alone. Is that okay? And in return, I will pay you …. What's your name, by the way?"
"I'm George," the boy replied, smiling. "And I accept the job offer, Charles! So, where should I start?"
"How about you bring me some groceries for the day, and we'll figure out the rest later?" Charles asked, smiling.
"Okay! Thank you, Charles! I'll be your best employee!" he grinned.
The boy helped Charles around the house. | Source: Pexels
From that day on, George came to Charles's house every day to help him. With time, Charles and George eventually became great friends, share stories about each other's lives over tea in the evenings.
When the week ended, Charles paid George's mother, Sharon, a visit to their house. He brought a cake and handed her a check to cover her entire operation. The woman, who was lying on a bed, couldn't stop crying after learning that her son had worked during the summer vacation to earn it.
"Thank you so much, Charles," she said, her eyes welling up. "But I don't think George helped you enough to deserve such a huge amount!"
"Oh, that's quite alright, Sharon," he replied with a smile. "Your son helped me a lot, and I think you totally deserve it. Please, I insist."
"Oh, thank you - thank you so much!" Sharon replied, tears streaming down her cheeks now.
That day, after Sharon sliced the cake, Charles spent some time at their house, during which Sharon disclosed she was a single mother who had only recently relocated to the town and didn't know anyone to ask for help.
Sharon injured her leg in an accident at her workplace. | Source: Pexels
She also told Charles that George was just three years old when his father abandoned them, so she solely took care of their needs by working in a factory. However, she was sacked after being involved in an accident there and injuring her legs. That's when she decided to relocate where the cost of living was significantly lower.
"Oh dear," sighed Charles. "That's awful. I hope things return to normal for you. And please let me know if there is anything I can do for you."
"You've done enough for us, Charles," Sharon said. "Thank you!"
The next day, Sharon went to the hospital and scheduled the surgery. While she was recovering, Charles and George paid her frequent visits and looked after her together.
When Sharon was discharged, she often dropped by the older man's house to help him so he wouldn't feel alone. For Charles, George and Sharon had become the family he had lost several years ago. So when he died, he left them everything he owned along with a note:
"You were merely acquaintances to me, but you stayed by my side as if you were family until the end. I will forever be indebted to you for that.
With love, Charles."
What can we learn from this story?
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