A Seat With A View
Mary Johnson always picked a spot with a view when she visited the local restaurant. The 88-year-old loved eating nearby a window.
The highlight of her day was enjoying the specials in her own company, but one evening would change all that when the manager kicked her out. Once he found out who she was and why she was acting the way she was, he would soon regret his actions.
Mary was very active for her age. She loved to go out and visit her friends while staying in touch with her entire family.
But her favorite activity was to visit this neighborhood restaurant she had been frequenting for almost three decades with her husband. But when the woman received this news, she realized she could not keep her usual routine.
Mary didn’t always visit the restaurant alone. She and her husband had eaten at the place the first time it opened, and then they became regulars. It was also their 30th wedding anniversary venue, where they danced till late into the night.
Unfortunately, her husband took ill about a year later and passed away, leaving her alone. It was a terrible time for Mary. Gradually, she became a shadow of her once happy self. The old woman didn’t want any visitors or to go out and ate very little. Everyone was worried for her.
Mary was a regular at the restaurant, and all the staff loved her. They couldn’t wait for her to bless them with her big smile whenever she visited. She was a ray of sunshine and always had a kind word for her server.
Then one day, she came to the restaurant, visibly nervous. The old lady ate her meal in silence. When she was done, she stood up and left without paying. The staff attending to her wondered what must have happened. But her waiter was too late in following her to ask for the money. He wasn’t worried, though. He knew she was a regular and would return. Then he made a shocking discovery.
Mary was in a terrible state until one day when she received a letter. It was from the restaurant, and it said that their favorite customer had been conspicuously absent at their place, and they offered her a free meal. This was the encouragement she needed to help her get past her grief.
It wasn’t easy, but Mary took the bold step and had a meal at the same restaurant alone. It had been three months, and a lot had changed for Mary, but the restaurant stayed the same. It had a friendly atmosphere, and the kitchen’s aroma was always inviting. But something was off, and the staff soon realized what was wrong with the 88-year-old woman.
An Old Friend
Mary sat at the table by the window as always, and the restaurant owner sat with her and assured her he would be there for her. He was also old, had been through loss, and had known her for 30 years.
It was a great evening and the beginning of a new chapter in Mary’s life. She then slowly returned to her old bubbly self and began visiting the restaurant daily again.
A week prior, Mary took some routine medical tests. Then the old woman finally received a call from the hospital. It was the test result. She didn’t know what to expect and was extremely nervous.
The doctor informed Mary that she had blood cancer. It was as if a knife pierced Mary’s heart. She asked how serious it was and how long she had. The doctor told her the cancer was in the final stages, and she had between six months to one year left. The news was soul-crushing.
Mary had that three-month period where she changed a lot and stopped visiting the restaurant. Everything seemed the same in the restaurant that once helped her in her time of great sorrow.
But there was a change in the restaurant actually. It had a new manager who was strict with the staff and didn’t know about Mary’s history with the establishment. This would lead to an unexpected turn of events.
The new manager always had harsh words for the staff and criticized them. It seemed like he didn’t like to see them happy and relaxed.
The atmosphere in the restaurant became somber, and a lot of guests even stopped coming in as much as they did before. The once happy staff now came to work with a frown on their faces.
Coming From The Hospital
Mary went to see her doctor to discuss her options in more detail. After the 88-year-old woman visited the hospital, she went straight to the restaurant to try and chase away the bad thoughts. She sat down at her table by the window, and the staff immediately brought in the day’s specials.
Mary tried to make small talk, but the manager’s eyes were fixed on the staff, so the waiter quickly left her table. The new manager had heard about Mary from the team. They all spoke fondly of her, and he wanted to finally meet her. But it wasn’t because he thought she was a wonderful person.
The Real Reason
The manager wanted to see Mary because her unpaid bill was still on the bulletin board, surrounded by hearts and kind words. The staff never asked the old woman to pay it in the end.
The manager approached the old woman and said the restaurant only accepted paying customers. He told her, “it doesn’t matter how nice everyone thinks you are. We are not a charity.” And he asked her to leave, not knowing what he actually did.
At that moment, Mary took out a pen and a piece of paper and wrote on it, then placed the note on the table and left without saying a word.
While the server cleared the table, he saw the note the 88-year-old woman had left behind in the black folder. Curious, the waiter opened the note. He screamed when he saw what Mary had written. What did he just read? Mary’s words would change everything for the restaurant.
A Final Message
The note Mary left behind was addressed to the restaurant staff, saying, “I’ve loved coming to this restaurant for over 30 years. I’ve seen your establishment change everything. Staff left, and new ones came in.”
“Even the menu changed a dozen times, but I’ve always been here. I had such a great time here. Even in bad times, you always supported me.” It was a final message from the old lady to the staff of her favorite restaurant.
Mary continued, “now that I am old and I’ll pass away soon, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you by leaving a sufficient sum of money for you.”
Written at the bottom with a pen was the request that the manager won’t get a penny from her money and that she would report him to the owner. Turning the note, the waiter saw the ridiculous amount of 462.1 million bequeathed to the restaurant from the old woman.
An Old Client’s Request
The waiter couldn’t believe his eyes and handed the note to the owner. He burst into tears as Mary and her dear husband had been like family to him for over 30 years, and he knew he wouldn’t see her again.
Then after a brief phone call with Mary, the manager was immediately fired. But that wasn’t the only instance where a restaurant worker collided with a long-time customer. A similar case took place a few miles from the restaurant.
The incident involved an older man who had been frequenting a diner for over forty years. A war vet in his town, the man, was a childless widower who had always seemed to have bad luck.
The man, Mr. Roger Meyers, had spent the better part of his eighty-seven years trying to make other people happy. But now, in his old age, he was starting to realize a terrible truth.
Roger found it hard to make everyone around him like him. Giselle, his late wife, had always told him that you couldn’t make everyone happy.
Yet Roger spent decades of his life trying. But he’d get the worst experiences each time, eventually turning him into the worst version of himself.
The Changes In Him
Roger had once been an ever-smiling individual. He was known to have a good heart and to love helping people whenever possible.
But once the people of his time learned about his goodness, they started using him. By his sixties, Roger was tired of it. Without his knowledge, he was slowly changing.
Roger turned cold from all the experiences of his life. He couldn’t count the time he’d been hurt by those he held close or betrayed by those he loved.
Such experiences are enough to turn anyone’s beating heart into stone. Roger was no exception. But although he was slowly changing, he still fought to be good for one reason.
A Good Heart
Giselle, Roger’s wife, loved him because of his good heart. Seeing that being a stand-up guy made her smile, he worked hard to keep the encroaching darkness at bay.
But although the two’s life as a married couple was perfect, disaster began showing its ugly face, slowly chipping away at Roger’s goodness.
Starting A Family
The first iteration of bad luck came when Roger and his wife decided to have kids. But a few years into trying and failing, they visited the doctor only to discover they couldn’t conceive.
Heartbroken, the two worked hard to find other ways to have a child. They landed on adoption, a process that would see them have two wonderful boys. But trouble was far from done with them.
Roger was off fighting for his country when his wife sent him a heartbreaking letter. Both of their sons had been involved in an accident. They didn’t make it.
As any serviceman would, Roger did his best to complete his tour before rushing home. His kind heart was slowly withering. It would turn into dust at the final hand that fate would deal him.
A Sad Reality
Roger spent a few months with his wife before she fell ill. But he wouldn’t lose her the way he lost his kids.
They fought for many years, but eventually, Giselle succumbed to her condition. Seeing himself with nothing, Roger became a former shell of himself. The darkness that had long wanted to swarm his heart finally got it.
Visiting The Diner
Among the many things Roger had loved to do with his family before they passed away was visiting the local diner for lunch.
His sons had loved the waffles at the diner, and Giselle adored their stake and eggs. As they had made countless memories here, Roger spent decades of his time there. He had no clue what awaited him.
After losing Giselle, Roger was lost in his own world. He was always quiet whenever he visited the restaurant, sitting in a dark corner to enjoy his food and leave.
If anyone approached him, the servers included, he’d yell at them rudely, asking them to leave him alone. After a while, the diner knew him as the grumpy old guy who was always rude. Most people avoided him. Well, most people but Alexa.
Alexa was a university student new to the town. She worked most afternoons after attending her classes at the local college and always made an effort to talk to Roger.
At first, Roger tried to employ his usual tactics to scare her away but realized that she was as stubborn as he was. It wasn’t long before they became good friends.
Although Roger maintained his nasty attitude, he realized that Alexa always talked to him. She would smile and ask about his past. She was interested in his stories, asking about his wife, kids, and days in the military.
What’s even more interesting, Roger found himself loving her company. She was like the granddaughter he never had, and he was beginning to realize this.
Better Days Are Here
Roger’s visits to the diner became more frequent as he finally found someone he could talk to. For more than two decades, no one had taken the time to sit with him at the restaurant.
But although life was finally starting to look up for Roger, and he was beginning to forget his long-time pain, disaster struck.
The End Is Here
Roger was eighty-seven years old when he had his first stroke. He woke up at the hospital a few hours later, exhausted and in pain. Knowing he didn’t have much time left, he asked the doctors if he could make one final phone call.
Alexa, who had been working double shifts throughout the week, was worried sick. Today was the fourth day her friend hadn’t walked through the diner’s door. Was something wrong?
The Suited Man
A few weeks passed, and a suited man walked through the front door with a briefcase. He called for Alexa and informed her that he was Roger’s lawyer.
He shared that Roger had passed on peacefully after writing a small note that he wanted her to have. In it, he thanked her for helping him forget his pain. He was leaving her his house and vintage car, hoping she could make memories there as he had.
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 or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.