Dragged Back To The Store
The poor man had no idea what was going on. Just a day before, he had offered to carry a woman’s shopping for her. Now it seemed that he was in deep trouble. He had crossed the wrong people.
He had no idea that his seemingly good deed would have such repercussions.
He was used to being treated badly, but nothing like this had ever happened before.
Ready For The Accusations
The security guard had dragged him for two blocks back to the grocery store he had been to just the day before. He theorized what he had apparently done.
But once he got to the store, he saw the old woman from the previous day. He was ready for the accusations to come flying.
What had he apparently done wrong this time? But what she had to say to him shocked everyone.
More Than Met The Eye
The dirty and homeless man that was brought in front of the grocery store had a lot more going on than met the eye.
Everyone he normally crossed paths with judged him harshly, and that was just the start.
He noticed the store manager was standing next to the old woman. She must have lodged a complaint right after he helped her the previous day.
Opposite Of Charity
In his mind, he had only been helping out an elderly woman that needed it. He didn’t even ask for any money.
There was something about the old woman that made him want to help her for nothing in return.
But that wasn’t everything. It ran far deeper than he could have imagined. It all started with the woman calling him back to where it all began.
Trevor Phelps didn’t always use to be homeless. In fact, he was far from it before Hurricane Harvey came into his life and destroyed everything that he held dear.
The now 41-year-old man had nothing anymore. Everything was ripped away from him without any kind of warning.
The most tragic part of the story was only the beginning.
Losing His House
The Texan’s house was blown away when Hurricane Harvey ripped through his town.
He was at work at the time and had no idea what tragedy was taking place. He returned home to find that his house wasn’t there anymore.
He couldn’t believe that everything he had worked for was just gone. But that wasn’t the most heartbreaking thing.
The most tragic thing about losing his house was that, at the time, his wife was at home. After a two-day search of the wreckage, rescue workers found her underneath the rubble.
He wished he had someone to blame, but it was just a freak accident that no one could have predicted.
His life took a downward spiral and he soon found himself in a state beyond repair.
Losing His Job
To make matters worse, just a few months after struggling to find a new place to live, his boss fired him from his job. The excuse was that his work pace was slower than usual.
To anyone reasonable, Trevor losing his house and wife would be an understandable circumstance for anyone to be a little distracted at work.
From there, his life only got worse.
Without a job to pay rent, Trevor never managed to find a place to stay at. With no family, home, or job meant that he had lost everything.
It would take a while to get used to being homeless.
He wallowed in his despair for many years, drinking heavily and cursing his life for what it had become. But things would get better.
Turning His Life Around
After five years of being in the gutter full of sadness, Trevor decided to embrace God and try to turn his life around. He was still homeless, but his attitude had changed.
His outlook on life was good again, and he just wanted to show others kindness. He wouldn’t ask anyone else for charity.
He just wanted to be of help to those that needed it, and that’s where he met an elderly woman.
The Grocery Store
With the money he got from selling things people threw away, he would go to the local grocery store to pick up things that he desperately needed.
He would put on his best clothes and clean up as best he could.
He would then pick out the essentials like bread and water before heading back to the corner where he normally stayed.
On this particular day of shopping, Trevor saw an older lady getting her essentials as well.
She seemed to be getting enough for two full bags. This was quite a lot for an elderly woman to have loaded in her trolley.
By the end of his shopping and walking out of the grocery store, he saw the woman now carrying her groceries in her hands.
He could see that the woman was clearly struggling. He would have offered help if he didn’t think she was going to get to her car soon enough anyway. But something peculiar happened.
He watched the woman walk past the parking lot. She wasn’t going to a car.
She was walking home, but why would she do that? He knew that this was a chance to aid someone.
Lending A Hand
“Hello, ma’am. Can I help you with your groceries? I’d be happy to carry them for you.” He asked.
The woman looked at him with a curious expression and nodded her head. “Thank you, young man.”
“I’m afraid I have no money to give you,” she said. Trevor smiled, “Don’t worry, you remind me of my mother. I would never make her pay.”
Carrying Them Home
Trevor carried the groceries two blocks from the grocery store with a smile on his face.
He made small talk with the old woman, who was good company. He hadn’t properly spoken to someone in ages.
After arriving at her home, he dropped them off on her kitchen table. She offered a cup of coffee, but he kindly refused. He had no idea what consequences that would have.
Business As Usual
The rest of the day was business as usual. He walked to a spot he was staying at and got ready to pull out his essentials and eat. He was incredibly hungry but noticed something peculiar.
He looked into his shopping bag and noticed that it wasn’t his at all. It was the elderly woman’s.
Their bags must have been mixed up, and he hadn’t noticed at the time. He had to make things right, but he was so hungry.
Hunger He Couldn’t Ignore
The problem was the hunger that he couldn’t ignore. He was terribly hungry, and the only food was the bag that was the one that belonged to the woman.
He saw small chocolate cakes that looked like they were for a special occasion.
He didn’t have a choice. He was starving. He ate as little as possible while still satisfying his appetite. But he had no idea what would happen in the morning.
The next morning, Trevor was abruptly woken up. He felt someone watching him and had to make sure he knew what it was. He had to sleep lightly when on the streets.
When he looked around, he didn’t initially notice anyone nearby, but just a few moments later, an imposing man appeared in the alleyway.
“You need to come with me.” He barked before grabbing his arm.
What Had He Done?
“What did I do? Who are you?” He shakily said to the man leading him away. “You were at the grocery store yesterday, weren’t you?” The man said. Trevor nervously nodded his head.
He noticed a walkie-talkie and a uniform. The man looked like a security guard, one that worked at the grocery store.
He immediately knew what this was about. He was ready to be branded a thief.
Getting To The Grocery Store
Just two blocks later he was taken to the grocery store. The place wasn’t empty. There he could see the old woman waiting for him.
It must have been her that had asked for him to be brought there.
The security guard walked inside the store and he was left to speak with the woman alone. He wasn’t ready for what she would say.
He knew it was just a mistake, but would they believe them? It didn’t look good for him, offering to help an old lady and then her groceries disappearing.
He looked at the woman with a hurt expression. Did she really think he had done this on purpose?
He knew homeless people weren’t treated well, but this was absurd. He really did nothing wrong.
“I have your groceries here. You must have gotten them mixed up with mine.” The woman said. “I know, I realized last night, and I was so hungry. I’m sorry I ate some of your chocolate cakes.” he stuttered back at her.
Her expression changed as soon as she heard that he had eaten her groceries.
She looked at him, and what came out of her mouth brought him to tears.
“Oh, you poor thing! I hope you kept yourself fed. You remind me of my son, actually.” She assured him.
Tears welled up in his eyes. No one had shown him kindness in ages.
The comment about him looking like her son filled his heart with joy. “Where is your son? I hope he’s okay,” he told her.
“Don’t you have family, dear?” she redirected the question to him. That’s when he really cried.
He told her about all of his woes. The loss of his wife, the loss of his house, and the loss of his job. (rpmnwindiana.com)
The woman put her hand to her mouth to cover her shock. He could tell that she sympathized with him greatly. But what about her son?
“Now tell me, is your son okay?” He asked again. This time, she would avoid the question. But it wasn’t what he thought.
“I wish I could introduce you to him.” She said before looking at the ground.
Trevor’s heart sank. He could tell that something had happened to her son that wasn’t good. He wanted to find out more about the woman’s heartache. But the truth would make tears roll down his face.
Recognizing The Figure
Just as he relaxed from the stress he had felt on the way over, the old woman gestured to someone in the store.
He saw a familiar shape acknowledge her.
Trevor was met with confusion as he watched a man in uniform come out of the grocery store. Then he recognized the badge he had on.
The Security Officer
It was the security officer that had brought him to the place. “Sorry, I didn’t explain a lot. I’m in the dark myself. What’s going on?” The security officer said.
Trevor felt his muscles start to tense, he couldn’t help it.
He was used to torment and abuse, he still considered the fact that the woman might have lied about everything as a way to get him there.
Still No Reason
It was all starting to piece together, but the woman still hadn’t given him a reason why he was standing there in front of her.
It was her identity that he should have been worrying about.
She was an important woman whose ties ran deeper than he could ever have known. She wasn’t going to let him in on who she was just yet. That would be a surprise she saved for later.
Trevor had his suspicions. His heart went out for the woman if something really did happen to her son.
But why wasn’t she sharing it with him?
Another question plagued his mind. Why had she called him here if she wasn’t going to get him arrested? The truth would change his life forever.
She finally started explaining everything to him. “Well, I brought you here because of your kindness yesterday, not because of the misunderstanding with the grocery bags.”
Trevor raised an eyebrow. He hadn’t meant anything by it when he helped the woman.
It was part of his own way to redeem himself for the bad months when he was at his lowest.
Shedding A Little Light
“You helped a woman in need without knowing who she was. But now it’s time I tell you who I really am.”
She prepared to say more that would properly shed light on everything that was going on.
But Trevor would never be ready for what he was about to hear. It would rock his entire world and have him never looking back.
The Owner Of The Store
“My name is Marie, and I may not look like it, but I’m actually the owner of the grocery store.” She revealed it to Trevor.
His eyes went wide in shock, and he had nothing to say to her. He was just dumbfounded.
But that was only the start. Marie had more to tell Trevor, specifically why she had brought him back in the first place.
The Real Reason Behind It All
But that was only the start. Marie had more to tell Trevor, specifically why she had brought him back in the first place.
It would reveal a shocking truth that she didn’t tell many people.
It would answer all of Trevor’s questions and have him sympathizing with the old woman. But what was the truth?
A Good Person
“You see, I’m used to my son helping me carry my groceries home like he normally does.
That’s why I was so shocked when you decided to ask me for help without expecting anything in return.”
Trevor could see sadness in her eyes. He asked her where her son was and why he couldn’t help her. But he immediately regretted asking when he saw the look on her face.
“That’s why I wanted to see you again. I have a proposition for you, and I expect it’s one you’d really like to hear.” She told him.
But before she finished what she was saying he stopped her.
He had to know the truth. She blatantly avoided the question about her son and he would find out what was really going on.
“Please tell me where your son is. I told you about what happened to my family, so I’d like to know what happened to hers.” He pleaded with the woman.
She looked at him and sighed. “Alright, I think that’s fair. I’ll tell you a bit about my family then.”
She was about to give Trevor some insight on everything.
A Good Boy
“My son’s a good boy. He’s a lot like you actually. I think that you two would get along well.
If he was still here at least.” She said sadly. Trevor’s heart dropped. “Where is he? Please tell me.” He replied.
“He’s visiting his father a state over. He’s a child of separation and likes to visit his father every couple of months. But he’ll be back soon, don’t you worry.” She said with a wink.
Relief washed over Trevor, he now understood that she was sad because she missed her son, but he was thankful that it was only a temporary separation.
Now that the business of her son had been cleared up.
He asked her why she had called him to the parking lot. She would finally reveal exactly why he was brought there in the first place.
New Job, New Life
Marie didn’t say anything else but showed him a red waistcoat she was hiding behind her back.
It had the grocery store’s logo on it.
He examined the article of clothing before carefully taking it from the old woman. He looked at it and shook his head. What did this mean? Marie was about to change his life.
“I want to offer you a job helping the elderly and disabled with their shopping bags.
I think you’d get a lot out of it, and you’d even have a place to stay,” she said.
Trevor couldn’t believe it. He would finally have a purpose after months of feeling sorry for himself. Finally, his life would turn around and he’d be at peace. But this was only the beginning.
A Helping Hand
“You’ve told me you don’t have a place to stay,” Marie said, although her voice had a tinge of embarrassment.
“I don’t want to be reaching here or putting you in the spotlight.
You can refuse if you feel uncomfortable. You really can just take the job and nothing else.” She was about to change his life.
A Place To Stay
“But we have a room or two outback that we usually put excess stock in. If you’d like, you can take one of them.”
Marie wasn’t done there. “We can get you a few pieces of furniture from Ikea, maybe a few clothes from the mall?”
Trevor stepped back with tears in his eyes, he felt overwhelmed by the kindness the old woman was showing him.
Is It A Dream?
“Am I crossing the line?” the woman asked, her fingers flying to block her mouth. “I’m sorry,” she said. “No, no,” Trevor cut in.
The last thing he wanted was for the kind woman to think that he was offended.
He felt quite the opposite actually. He had to let her know how special she made him feel in that moment.
“You aren’t. It’s just that no one has shown me this type of kindness before. I don’t know what to say.
I don’t even know if it’s all happening or if this is a dream.”
Trevor broke down in front of Marie. Tears streamed down his face as she smiled at the woman. Marie did the unexpected, “You know, I hug my son when he cries” She said as she embraced the man.
Is It Too Much?
“Oh, it’s happening,” Marie smiled. “I know what it feels like to be at your lowest. Trust me.” She reached out for Trevor’s hand. Hers were soft and warm, the softest he’d ever held.
“What happened to you was not fair,” she said. “Today, we end that string of bad luck. I know I’m asking too much from you. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you.”
“So, why are you helping me?” Trevor cut in.
The Truth Of The World
“As I said, I know what it feels like to think you’re at the bottom,” Marie said. She told Trevor about her past.
Years before her son was born, she and her husband had made a few poor financial decisions that landed them on the streets.
“We never saw it coming. One minute you have everything, the world is good, and the next, it all turns on its head.”
She shared that they managed to stabilize again through hard work and perseverance. “A lot of people shunned us,” she said.
“That’s when we learned that few folks have genuinely good hearts. They are fewer nowadays,” she added with a sad smile, her eyes sightless as she remembered her past.
But was she really determined to help Trevor?
Too Huge Of An Undertaking
Trevor detailed all the issues he had with her. From several loans that had eventually overwhelmed him after the disasters of his life to his lack of day-to-day amenities.
He explained that helping him would be a huge undertaking.
He wanted Marie to really understand what helping him meant, it wouldn’t be an easy thing to do.
The Best Thing
He was not trying to spit at the woman’s offer. It was the best thing he’d heard since losing his wife and house.
He thought about all of the help that Marie was offering him and felt a tinge of guilt. Had he really moved on enough to deserve this?
He thought about it for a moment, teetering back and forth on the idea. But could he accept it?
Thinking It Over
Trevor thought about the street he usually slept in. He’d been there for a while, so much so that he didn’t mind the cold or the rains that much.
But he couldn’t deny that a warmer place would be ideal.
He was willing to take anything from a small apartment to a cave if need be—anything to keep away from the elements and prying eyes.
“I can see you are thinking about all of this,” Marie said. “It is a lot to take in, I know.” She pulled Trevor into the store.
“How about we have breakfast while we discuss each part in detail?” she asked.
“There are finer points to everything I’m offering, and I want you to know that it would make me happy knowing that you have a place to sleep at night and a job.”
Taking The Offer
In the end, Trevor accepted the woman’s offer. The first thing he did afterward was take a shower at the store.
He was excited about his new future at the grocery store. He imagined the satisfaction of helping customers who needed it.
But that wasn’t everything yet. There would be one more surprise for him that he never even saw coming.
Marie told him to come back in a day, she was going to clean up the storeroom for him. He didn’t even have to spend it on the street, she sponsored him a motel room for the night.
He had no idea people could be this kind. But there was still more.
He heard a knock on his door in the morning and opened it to find a man he had never seen before.
The man explained that he was Marie’s son who had just gotten back from out of state.
She had told him all about Trevor, and he wanted to do his part as well. Marie’s son drove him to the barbershop, where he had his first haircut in months.
Afterward, they drove to Target and bought some clothes to last him until his first paycheck. But that wasn’t half of it.
Marie joined them at Ikea, where she chose the furniture for his new place. Among the things she picked out were a bed, a table, and a sofa set.
She also insisted on visiting Home Depot for a few utensils, curtains, and beddings.
Throughout their journey weaving from shop to shop, she kept repeating something that would stick with Trevor forever.
Long Lost Days
“This takes me back,” Marie would say after every minute. She would be lost in thought as she compared two similar items, trying to pinpoint the superiority of the two.
“It has been a while since I returned looking for utensils or curtains.” She smiled up at her son.
“We used to do this with your dad back in the day.” So what happened to her husband?
A Familiar Feeling
Although she didn’t explain his whereabouts, Trevor could tell she’d lost him recently. How she spoke about him carried a sense of pain and loneliness that was still fresh.
He listened carefully to her words, resonating with them as he, too, lost the love of his life not too long ago.
But although he was grateful for everything Marie was doing for him, he couldn’t help but feel like he was using her.
“I’ll pay back everything,” he would say whenever Marie or her son dropped something into his cart. “Nonsense,” Marie would say with a chuckle.
“This is all on us, a welcome gift.” “Yeah,” her son joined in.
After spending the morning with him, Trevor learned that he was a really nice guy. They even liked the same football team!
The three finished shopping and returned to Trevor’s place behind the store.
Trevor and Marie’s son cleaned the place while Marie rushed home to make them lunch.
The two men set up everything, and by the time Marie called them, the once dusty storage room was a home set for a king! Trevor couldn’t be happier.
A New Family
Trevor joined Marie and her son for lunch that afternoon, starting a tradition that would last years. Out of kindness, he’d unwittingly changed his life.
He stayed at the store for a few months before applying for a different, better job and getting it. He even bought a new house! But he never left his family behind. Who would have thought all this would land him a mom and a brother?
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.