A poor older man is unexpectedly rewarded for the kindness he showed to a stranger when he steps out of his house one morning and finds a brand new sports car instead of his old one.
80-year-old Gregory Smith stood on his front porch, dumbfounded. He pinched himself twice to ensure he wasn't dreaming and called out to his wife, Cynthia, as he stared at the contents of the envelope in his hand and then at the gleaming sports car in front of his house.
"Cynthia! Cynthia! Come here quickly!" he shouted, his hands trembling with anxiety at the sight of the new car and his old one gone.
"What's the matter with you, Gregory?" Cynthia emerged from inside, drying her hands on a towel and frowning. "I burnt the pancake because of you! If you don't know, we were down to our last packet of pancake mix! And you're just standing here? When are you planning on going to the grocery store?"
Gregory's old car was gone. | Source: Pexels
Gregory waved his hand dismissively. "Look at this, Cynthia," he said, showing her the envelope he had found on their front porch. "There were car keys inside the envelope and our old car is gone! Look over there," he added, pointing outdoors where he had parked his old car last night. "That's a brand new car! Who could have done this? What should I do now?"
"And there's no note inside or anything indicating who sent this?" Cynthia asked, confused.
"I already double-checked the envelope. There is none! What do we—"
Before Gregory could finish his sentence, the honk of a car cut him off. When he looked out of the front door, he saw his old car parked in front of his house and a man stepping out of it.
Gregory's eyes teared when he saw who the man was. "Oh my goodness! He kept his promise, Cynthia!" he said, turning to face her. Cynthia was smiling as if she knew this was going to happen.
Cynthia was the man's partner in crime in planning the surprise for Gregory. | Source: Pexels
The man gave Gregory a warm hug. "How have you been, Gregory? It's been some time, hasn't it?"
"Jack? Oh, I can't believe this...I'm quite good, dear. How are you? And please tell me you did not do this!" he cried, hugging him back.
"I had to, Gregory. After what you did for me…I mean, who shows such kindness these days? And you can't blame me for it completely. Mrs. Smith helped me carry out the plan…." he said, smiling.
"I clearly didn't take him seriously! But now that I see that shiny new car standing outside our door, I regret it."
"Honestly, I tried to refuse him, darling," Cynthia told Gregory. "But this boy wouldn't listen to me! And it was so hard to play along! I.m terrible at acting, aren't I?" she asked, scrunching her nose, and Jack laughed.
"I don't think so, Mrs. Smith!"
Gregory shook his head repeatedly. "So this old man was being played and he had no clue? Oh, what do I even say...."
Both Cynthia and Jack laughed. "Alright, alright, enough talking," Cynthia finally said. "Now, because Jack has come all the way here for us, we can't just let him go. Come in and join us for breakfast, Jack, and there is no need to go to the store, Gregory. We have groceries that will last at least a week...It was all part of the plan," she chuckled as she walked inside, Jack close behind her.
The man behind the new car was Jack. | Source: Pexels
As everyone sat at the dining table, Cynthia served breakfast and Jack began to recall his first encounter with Gregory. Cynthia knew bits and pieces of their story, but she wasn't aware of the entire episode.
"So three weeks ago, Mrs. Simpson," Jack began. "I met your husband at the airport. I was meant to fly the same flight as him to see my wife. She was in labor and I was very worried. In my anxiety, I didn't realize I got the date wrong on my ticket. It was for the next day. I only realized it while checking in.
"Because there were no more seats available that day, Gregory offered me his ticket and said, 'Boy, you NEED to be with your wife! Use my ticket and I'll use yours."
"Okay," Cynthia said slowly, nodding. "I know about the ticket swap. But what about the cars? I'm still wondering what this car exchange has to do with anything…."
Cynthia was eager to learn the whole story behind the car swap. | Source: Pexels
Gregory chuckled. "That's another interesting part…Before we went to the check-in, Jack and I had met in the waiting room. We were casually talking, honey, and I mentioned that we were still paying off loans, so we can't afford a new car, and how our old one is giving us problems... After we exchanged tickets, this boy said, 'Today we switched tickets; in a few weeks, we'll exchange cars, that's a promise!'
"I clearly didn't take him seriously! But now that I see that shiny new car parked outside our door, I regret telling him we wanted a new car. Before departing, he took my address, and look what he's done! We can't keep it, Jack. We value your intentions, but this is unnecessary, boy..."
Cynthia nodded. "Gregory is right. We won't be able to keep the car. I didn't think much when you met with me yesterday and told me about this whole surprise, but I regret saying yes. Please, this isn't necessary...."
Gregory couldn't help but smile as he talked about his encounter with Jack. | Source: Pexels
But Jack shook his head. "Trust me; it's nothing in return for what you did. Because of your husband, I got to be with my wife and baby. Please, I would feel bad if you turned down my present. I insist...."
Gregory and Cynthia couldn't say no to Jack. They accepted the car, but Jack's generosity did not end there. He was aware that after Gregory retired, he and Cynthia were struggling to pay off their loans, and as a result, they'd been unable to complete their house repairs.
So Jack took care of it for them. And one day, he came to visit them with his wife and baby daughter.
While they live in different cities, the Smiths feel like they've become a blended family with Jack. The young man checks on them every now and then and makes sure they don't miss out on anything, especially after learning the old couple didn't have any children of their own.
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