Abby is frozen in her tracks. Surely this had to be some kind of joke, right? She knew she took a risk letting a felon work at her restaurant, but what she had just been told on the phone, changed everything.
He was here not even an hour ago, and she can still feel his warm breath and eerie presence. As if he was still standing right behind her. Little did she know who this man really was, and what he was capable of.
Abby Smith had worked at her small Scandinavian restaurant for 5 years. She had put all her effort, time, and money into achieving her dream to own her own restaurant.
But this restauranteur had no idea what was coming to her when a homeless man walked into her restaurant one cold Monday morning.
Abby had worked in the hospitality and food industry for 10 years. She was no stranger to long, grueling hours, cliquey co-workers, and rude customers. That’s why when she opened her own business she knew it was for the best.
Throughout her decade-long career, Abby thought she had seen it all. But she never knew what was in store for her one Monday morning.
Abby woke up at 5:00 am on the dot. It was another Monday morning, and another day at the restaurant.
She rubbed her tired eyes and got showered. She thought it was just going to be another ordinary day. But she was so wrong.
Abby arrived at work ready to start a busy day. She wiped down the surfaces, got the food ready, and opened up the front ready to start the day.
Then suddenly, a homeless man appeared and he walked into the restaurant. Abby couldn’t imagine how this meeting would turn out.
“Excuse me,” the homeless man said. His voice quiet, “I’m Ricky, do you have any spare change?” Abby looked at the homeless man and saw sadness in his eyes. “Do you not have a job?” Abby bluntly asked. Ricky was taken back by what she said.
“No I don’t,” he replied, avoiding eye contact with Abby. “I have a lot of felonies so nobody wants to hire me.” Despite this revelation, Abby replied something unimaginable.
For a while now, Abby had seen the homeless man, Ricky lingering outside and throughout the neighborhood. She never saw him get into any trouble though, it seemed he kept himself to himself.
So when Ricky came into Abby’s restaurant and asked her for some change, not even Ricky could have expected her answer.
Abby knew she could use some helping hands in her restaurant, so she offered Ricky a job! His face and eyes lit up, like a child at Christmas.
She offered him to work the entire day washing dishes and tidying up. Ricky got to work straight away and for lunch, Abby made him a sandwich. But when she handed it to him, he snatched it from her hands, and as quick as a cheetah, he darted out the restaurant.
Abby’s heart dropped as soon as she saw Ricky run out the door so she chased after him. But Around the corner, she saw he had given the sandwich to another homeless person.
He soon made his back to the restaurant and Abby’s heart warmed at his kind gesture. But she had no idea what was coming.
Throughout the day Abby tried to get as much information as she could about Ricky and his life and past.
He told her he was from Porto Rico, but apart from that he was quiet and seemed hesitant to open up. What was he hiding?
With the restaurant not bringing in enough money, Abby knew she couldn’t keep Ricky on permanently. Times were hard, and Abby was struggling to get by as it is.
So, at the end of the day, Abby said goodbye to Ricky. She thought it would be the last time she would see him. But she was wrong.
However the day after – and for the following two weeks – Ricky appeared at the restaurant, ready to start his shift.
Like clockwork he appeared at the door, his smile beaming through the glass. Abby finally paid him, but what he did next left her lost for words.
You see, as soon as Ricky received his pay, he went and brought a sandwich from Abby’s restaurant and of course, she gave him a staff discount! She bid him farewell and began to close up for the day.
She considered keeping him on permanent, making cuts somewhere in the businesses. But then just as Ricky left, Abby received a phone call that changed everything.
Abby was closing up what seemed like a never-ending day when her phone rang. She picked it up but she didn’t recognize the number.
With hesitation, she answered the call. She had no idea what was coming.
“Do you know Ricky?” a deep, stern voice asked. Abby’s heart quickened, who was this person calling? “It’s the police,” the voice said. “We have some information about him that we think you ought to know.”
With fear in her stomach, she asked the police to tell her everything they knew about Ricky. But she couldn’t have expected the answer. Not in a million years.
The police claimed that they had encountered Ricky numerous times out and about in the town, so they decided to do a little research.
They found that Ricky was from Porter Rico, and he came to the USA in hopes of becoming an actor. However, he soon ran out to money and became homeless. But what the police said next left Abby feeling sick to her stomach.
“Bring him in tomorrow,” they said. “Make sure he’s at your restaurant; we want to see him.” The police officer demanded.
An uneasy feeling crept up Abby’s spine. Why did they want to see him? Was he in trouble? With hesitation, she agreed. But she had no idea what the police were up to.
The following day Abby arrived at work feeling uncertain about what was ahead. Like clockwork, Ricky appeared at the front door.
As soon as she saw him, Abby wanted to tell him about the police, but her gut told her not to. She was going to wish she had told him.
As soon as Ricky arrived at the restaurant he had a smile slapped on his face. He started to clean down the sides, but then his smile turned upside down as soon as he saw two police officers walk in the door.
Their eyes were looking straight at Ricky.
Ricky quickly tried to leave the restaurant but the two police officers stopped him. They weren’t having any of it.
“Don’t worry,” they said, blocking the exit. But Ricky had every right to be worried when it came to police officers.
You see, four years ago, after failing to make it as an actor and burning through whatever cash he had left, Ricky ended up being homeless.
He was well aware that cops could sometimes be the bad guys so he made sure to stay far away from them as possible. But Ricky had no idea what these two police officers were going to do to him.
“Come with us now,” they said while leading Ricky outside and into their cop car. Meanwhile, Abby looked out the window feeling sick to her stomach watching Ricky get forced into the car.
What had she done? Had she made a huge mistake? In a couple of hours, all would be revealed. And it would leave Abby dropping to her knees.
Two hours passed and Abby was on the edge of her seat, waiting to hear back from Ricky or the police officers. Thankfully it had been a busy morning, but it was soon the afternoon and she still hadn’t heard anything.
Then as the clock struck 4:30 pm, Abby saw somebody walk in the door, and she was lost for words.
You see, Ricky walked into the restaurant but he looked completely different! The cops had taken Ricky to a hair salon and paid for a haircut for him. They also kitted him out in new clothes.
But the police officer’s acts of kindness didn’t end there.
The cops had even managed to get in touch with Ricky’s mom, who was back in Puerto Rico! The two reunited over video chat for the first time in four years!
Ricky was so thankful to the cops, and to Abby for helping him out when he needed it so badly.