Abby couldn’t believe it. This had to have been some kind of cruel joke. She thought she was giving someone a second chance letting him work at her restaurant. But then she got a phone call.
He had been at the restaurant not an hour ago and she still felt shivers after what she heard about him on the call. She had no idea who this man was or what he was capable of.
Cold Monday Morning
It had been five years since Abby Smith had started working at the small Scandinavian restaurant. She put everything into her work. She was always determined to achieve her dream of opening her very own restaurant, and here it was.
But Abby had no idea what was coming her way when a homeless man walked through the doors of her restaurant on a cold Monday morning.
Ten Long Years
Abby had been in the hospitality business for over ten years now. She had seen her fair share of long, grueling hours, cliquey coworkers, and rude customers. Because of this, she knew how important it was for her to open her very own restaurant.
Her career lasted for over a decade and at this point, she thought she had seen it all. But she never could have guessed what would happen one Monday morning.
After a nice weekend, it was time to wake up at 5:00 AM on a Monday morning and the start to a new week at the restaurant.
She rolled out of bed and showered. She hoped it would be a normal quiet Monday, she was very wrong.
Starting Her Day
She got to work and unlocked the doors. She cleaned off the counters and started preparing the food. Then she opened the doors and the restaurant.
She looked at the door as a homeless man walked in. She didn’t mind occasionally helping someone out in need. But things would be different today.
He spoke quietly as he said, “Excuse me, I’m Ricky, do you have any spare change?” When she looked up at him, she instantly noticed the sadness in his eyes. She asked bluntly, “Do you not have a job?” She could tell that Ricky was taken aback by her question.
He avoided eye contact, mumbling, “No I don’t. I have a lot of felonies so nobody wants to hire me.” She responded with something he never could have imagined.
Seen Him Around
Abby had noticed Ricky hanging around the neighborhood before. Whenever she spotted him, she never seemed to catch him in any kind of trouble. He was always keeping to himself.
On the day that he wandered into her restaurant and asked for some change, not even he could have expected her answer.
Giving Him A Job
Abby was in need of a few helping hands in the restaurant. That was why she decided to offer Ricky a job. When she did, his eyes lit up like a child at Christmas.
She assigned him the job of washing dishes and tidying up for the entire day. He got to work right away and when lunchtime came around, Abby made him a sandwich. But when she handed it to him, he snatched it and darted out of the restaurant.
Running After Him
Her heart dropped and her stomach twisted into a tight knot as she watched him run out of the door. She chased after him but when she came around a corner, she watched as he handed the sandwich to another homeless person.
He then made his way back to the restaurant which warmed Abby’s heart. She was impressed by his kind gesture. But little did she know what was coming her way.
As the day went on, Abby did everything she could to get some information on Ricky and his past life.
He had told her he grew up in Puerto Rico, but apart from that he was quiet and seemed hesitant to open up. She wondered why that was. Was he hiding something?
Times Were Hard
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.
Keeps Coming Back
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.
His First Splurge
You see, as soon as Ricky received his pay, he went and bought 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 permanently, making cuts somewhere in the businesses. But then just as Ricky left, Abby received a phone call that changed everything.
An Unknown Number
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.
We Have Something To Tell You
“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 should 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.
His Troubled Past
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 out that Ricky was from Puerto Rico, and he came to the USA in hopes of becoming an actor. However, he soon ran out of money and became homeless. But what the police said next left Abby feeling sick to her stomach.
We Want To See Him
“Bring him in tomorrow. 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 Next Day
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.
Waiting For Him
As soon as Ricky arrived at the restaurant he had a smile on his face. He started to clean down the tables, 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.
Reason To Worry
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.
An Unfortunate Time
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
“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.
Waiting For Him
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.
A clean-shaven man with nice clothes walked in and beamed at her. She couldn’t place his face at first, but she’d know that smile anywhere.
It was Ricky, 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 their acts of kindness didn’t end there.
A Little Help
The officers decided that all Ricky needed was a helping hand. He was a good man who just needed a little help to get out of his rut.
The officers began looking for a decent job for Ricky and even helped with the paperwork to get him into a rental home in a nice neighborhood. But that wasn’t all.
The officers rallied the community to help, and soon people from all over were donating clothes, food, furniture, and other vital supplies to help get him started.
As soon as the housing application went through, Ricky Would have a real roof over his head and a real bed to sleep in. Ricky couldn’t believe it. “I’m in shock, I think,” he said. “This has actually restored my faith in humanity.”
A Hand Up
Even if it was a “hand up not a handout”, and even if they said, “he had already done most of the hard work getting his life together by looking for a job”, the gesture was still enough to bring Ricky to tears.
Life had been so hard, and people had been so cold in the past, he had nearly lost all hope in humanity.
Turning His Life Around
Four years of living on the streets had been rough for Ricky. But this new city was a new start, and he would do everything he could to pull himself out of homelessness.
The kindness of strangers had been overwhelming. But would it be enough for him to finally have a new start?
The Importance Of Community
Officer Brandson and his family had been saving all the donated items in their garage while they waited for Ricky’s housing application to go through.
“Now it’s up to him,” Officer Brandford said, “this is a starting point for him. It’s all about being a part of the community.”
Finding His Family
Officer Brandford 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 officers, and to Abby for helping him out when he needed it so badly. He had a home, a caring community, authority figures who really cared, and the helping hands that would finally let him have the future he dreamed of.