91-Year-Old Veteran Eats At The Same Table Every Day Until Manager Checks Security Camera
The Sad Truth
Rico stared across the room at the older man. He had been watching him for a while now. He needed to know what agenda he had coming in every day.
He knew it wasn’t for the food. Normally, customers would complain, and rarely did they have people coming in for seconds. But something was going on with him; what was it?
It had become a routine for the old man. He’d come into the diner every day for about a month now. It seemed that he was there for a very specific reason.
Especially since he always sat in the same seat. But his behavior dramatically changed when he started saying things that he didn’t think Rico heard.
Rico occasionally heard mumbles from the man while he wiped down countertops. He’d hear snippets of what he was saying under his breath, “Forgive me” and “I’m sorry for this.”
Whatever was going on, it was concerning Rico. He was worried things were going to escalate if he didn’t investigate further. But he had no idea what he was getting himself into.
Taking A Closer Look
After staring down the man for a while, Rico finally decided to take a closer look. He walked up to the man with a smile and asked him if he was enjoying his regular meal.
The man ordered the strangest meal Rico had ever seen – an onion sandwich with mayo. But things were about to get even weirder.
Underneath The Table
But the man flat-out ignored him. It seemed that he wasn’t interested in friendly exchanges. But that’s when Rico decided to look underneath the table. What he saw had him in tears.
That’s when the man finally noticed him. The old man knew that Rico had discovered his secret and told Rico to sit down. A terrified Rico had no choice but to sit down across from him. But what would happen next would change the waiter’s life forever.
Rico Reynolds grew up in Ogden, Utah, and always felt that he was more of an introvert than anything else. His parents taught him at a young age to always be careful around strangers.
But despite always being careful, one day, he would be caught between a rock and a hard place. It would all be because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Finding A Job
At the age of 20, Rico managed to find a job at a local diner. He knew it wouldn’t pay him a lot, but he needed money to save for college.
He still lived with his parents, so he could put 90% of his wage towards his tuition. But he had no idea how dangerous his job really would be when an elderly man came through the doors.
Working For A Few Months
Rico had worked at the diner for a few months and had really gotten the hang of it. He felt that he was already expertly serving tables and occasionally got some rewarding tips too.
But he was unaware that one customer was about to come in that was impossible to impress. But when confronted, tragedy would strike.
Not The Most Customers
Despite good tips and his good service, the diner didn’t have the most traffic through it. The diner was generally quite empty during the day and only had a few patrons in the evening.
Rico sometimes wondered how the place had stayed open. But he didn’t question it too much; he was just grateful for the job. But that’s when the old man came through the door.
The old man didn’t look like much, but he had a secret that no one else was aware of. He hobbled in and sat down at one of the older booths despite there being more comfortable seats in the diner.
Rico watched him closely as he glanced at the menu before putting it back down. He rushed over to greet him, but the old man didn’t seem like the friendliest.
“Hello, sir. I’m Rico, and I’ll be serving you today…” Rico began before being interrupted by the old man, “I’ll have my favorite sandwich – toasted cheese, mayo, and onion.”
Rico was taken aback by his straightforward demeanor. He didn’t take it. Personally, it was part of the job. He bowed his head and went back to the kitchen.
After serving the old man his food, he slowly ate it over the course of an hour before paying for the bill and leaving without saying a word or even tipping Rico.
He found it hard not to feel a little scorned for not getting anything from the old man. But he knew the next customer would be more generous. But things were about to get interesting.
The Next Day
The very next day, Rico waited patiently for business to pick up, but he couldn’t believe who he saw come through the door. It was the very same old man from before.
Rico’s heart dropped, he believed in second chances, but he expected more of the same. The diner was understaffed, so he had to serve him again. He approached the man and dared to ask him again.
Same As Before
The man asked him for the same order as the previous day. Rico, once again, gave him his sandwich and watched him from the other side of the diner.
Rico had the opportunity to examine the old man more closely since the business was so slow. Between wiping down countertops, he looked over at him occasionally, but he wished he hadn’t.
Rico noticed that the man’s behavior was a little out of the ordinary. He would take a bite of his sandwich and stare forward at the bench opposite him. It was as if he was dining with a ghost.
It sent a shiver down Rico’s spine. The old man was making Rico feel uncomfortable, but he’d just have to deal with it since he was a customer. But things ran a lot deeper than he knew.
The old man’s history was a long and complicated one, but no one in public ever considered what he could have been through. He looked like he was in his late eighties or even early nineties.
Rico was taught by his parents to never trust strangers, but he was also taught to respect his elders. This meant that he was in a tough position.
He felt like he should try his best to get the man to open up to him, but his gut told him something was wrong. He had no idea what kind of mistake he was about to make.
Getting Into A Routine
Over the next few days, Rico got used to seeing the old man walk in through the door and sit down in the same rundown booth. He’d order the same thing every time and stay there for an hour every time.
He’d mostly stare ahead, but he’d occasionally look around before taking another bite of his sandwich. No one had any idea what he was actually doing.
Inspecting The Place
Rico started to get suspicious of what was really going on. It was as if the man was inspecting the place. She didn’t want to assume the place, but what else could he have been doing?
It was as if he was trying to work up the nerve to do something, but he hadn’t done anything yet. Rico was wondering what he was going to do.
Needed To Figure It Out
Rico thought long and hard about it and decided he needed a plan. He needed to find out what the man was doing so that he could protect his community if it came down to it.
The man would barely ever talk to him and order the same thing. What was his endgame? Rico was nervous and knew he had to work up the nerve and do something before the old man did.
Another Set Of Eyes
It seemed that Rico wasn’t the only one watching someone. Another set of eyes was watching Rico as he went about his day as a waiter.
They didn’t seem as patient as Rico and would start a confrontation soon. They watched both Rico and the old man and had to intervene before something terrible happened.
While Rico was so fixated on the old man, he had no idea that someone was watching him as well. He had finally had enough and walked behind Rico before putting a hand on his shoulder.
Rico jumped back and looked at whoever was behind him. His fears were abolished as soon as he recognized the man as his manager. But he had no idea what he was about to say.
The manager stared at him with a serious look on his face before saying, “Look, Rico. Be careful. I’ve seen him before; he comes into the diner once a year for a few weeks and then disappears again.”
“He’s never done anything bad, but he’s clearly been going through some things. Try to be understanding, okay?”
Rico couldn’t believe what his manager was saying. Something was clearly off about the man, and his manager wanted him to ignore all of the red flags.
He was bewildered. But when the manager finally checked the security footage, he’d understand why Rico was so concerned.
Rico’s anxiety only grew more intense until he couldn’t hold it anymore. He had to do something, despite the warning from his manager.
He was wiping a table next to the man when he heard him say something under his breath. “I’m sorry” and “Forgive me” were the only words he could make out. He knew he had to stop this.
Rico knew enough was enough and approached the man under the guise of kindness. “How’s the meal, sir?” But he was only ignored again.
That’s when something caught Rico’s attention. He saw the glint of something shiny from underneath the table. He took a closer look and froze instantly.
Rico didn’t need to look any closer to know what it was. The old man had a gun holstered on his waist. But it was already too late; the old man noticed him and, for the first time since he walked in, spoke to Rico.
“Sit down, would you?” He said plainly. Rico felt he didn’t have much of a choice and sat across from him. That’s when the old man spilled everything.
“You know, I’ve been lonely for the longest time ever since my wife died. There isn’t much point to anything anymore, so let me do one last thing.” He said before reaching for his waist.
Rico was trying his best to fight back tears as the man reached for his waist. He didn’t want to die this way. But the manager was watching the cameras.
The manager rushed out of his office with a phone in his hand and stared at Rico. There wasn’t much else he could do to help his employee.
The old man didn’t shift focus and continued to reach for his waist. Rico closed his eyes and felt a tear roll down his face. “Here you go.” He heard the old man say.
The Tip Of A Lifetime
Rico opened his eyes and saw something he never expected. The man had placed a stack of bills on the table in front of him.
“My name’s Clarence, and this is your tip for serving me all this week.” He told him. But the man’s story hadn’t been told yet. He was about to explain everything to Rico.
Hard Of Hearing
Clarence explained that he was hard of hearing ever since a bomb landed next to him in World War II. He was a veteran that always carried his lucky 1911 pistol with him.
Tears streamed down his face, “I come here every year to celebrate my anniversary with my wife. Our first date was on this bench in this bar. Rico was touched by the amazing story, even if it was bittersweet.
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.