A homeless man is rewarded with riches beyond his wildest imagination after he spends his last cash on two little lost boys he had never known.
“Give me all your money.”
That was the last thing Derek Blaise heard as he walked down 3rd Avenue in New York. There was a mass outcry for help from civilians due to the high rate of mugging in the area; Derek was also a victim.
When he heard the words, he felt the gun barrel against his spine and got a whiff of the decadent smell of cigarette. This retard is most likely trigger happy, he thought.
Derek had been in the same situation once before and was able to get away, however, this time, as he made a move, the robber cracked down on him with the butt of the gun, rendering him useless on the spot — he had been robbed.
When he came to, the few dollars he had were gone and so was the nice hat he had found abandoned on the street and claimed for himself. He felt sad at that loss.
His emotions were particularly potent because he once used to be a powerful businessman who could afford anything. That life fell to ruins when he met her — Agnes, a young woman who had bewitched him with her exotic looks and sweetened tongue.
Agnes deceived him and took all his money, leaving him penniless. She also kicked him out of their house and ensured her security knew to keep him off its grounds.
He had to live like a nomad for some time because none of his old friends would help him now that he had nothing to offer them.
After roaming around a few months, he eventually settled down in New York to live under a bridge with other homeless people, scraping their daily meal together off the excesses of other people.
Derek often begged near the train station. One day, he noticed two boys who looked so much alike, they could have been twins. He also noticed that they were pleading for money from the people coming and going. Almost immediately, he recognized them for what they were — beggars.
When they saw him, they walked towards him and bowed their heads in respect. “Hello,” they said at once. “Can we have some money to buy food?”
Derek was shocked; it had been some time since someone asked him for money, but that shock quickly translated into anger when he tried to figure out why the children would ask him for money, seeing how tattered he was dressed.
“Get lost,” he told them. But they didn’t budge. They just stood there, boys who looked like they were 11, watching him with knowing eyes.
Derek could not bring himself to turn his back on them; they looked dirty and were clearly making a living on the streets as well. After a few tense moments of calculating, he gave them all of the coins he had.
The money would have covered his lunch that day but he knew the boys needed it more so he gave it to them, prepared to starve until he could earn enough to have food.
He didn’t expect that the twins would buy some food and return to share it with him, but they did. “We saw that it was the only money you had left so we thought we would share it with you,” the boys told him.
“Thank you,” he replied sincerely.
They sat in a small corner of the subway eating and Derek saw it as an opportunity to find out more about the boys. “So,” he said. “What’s your story?” The boys needed no further encouragement.
“We moved here with our mother from another city, but we got separated from her in the crowd and got lost,” Norman said.
“And since then, you have both been on the streets?” he asked.
“We don’t want to believe our mom abandoned us but we stayed close to the place we last saw her just in case she comes looking,” Jordan replied. “We live in a basement nearby. It’s our birthday tomorrow, you should come around.”
“Oh go on, tell everyone where we live so in no time it doesn’t belong to us anymore,” Norman groaned.
“It’s okay Jordan, I won’t try to eject you from your abode,” Derek reassured the boy. They all parted with happy smiles and Derek promised to visit.
To that end, Derek saved all the money he could get from passers-by. He wanted to buy the twins a cake to cheer them up a bit on their birthday. He was in a bakery browsing a catalogue of cakes when an old flier caught his eye. It had a picture of the boys and instructions to call the police or the boys’ mother if they were found.
“Can I use your phone?” he asked the attendant respectfully.
“Of course,” the portly woman said, and led him to a landline through which he was able to reach the boys’ mother.
“I found them,” he told her. “I found your boys.”
“What? Who is this? Oh, thank God! Where are they? Where can I meet you??” Vanessa, their mother asked, relief evident in her voice.
“I’ll tell you but on one condition,” he said.
“You’ll help me select their favorite cake,” he replied.
“Oh, it’s their birthday. You’ve really found them,” the woman sighed, and it seemed like she was rushing out of the house.
“Don’t hang up,” she said. “How are my boys?”
“Ma’am, I think it’s best if you see them yourself,” Derek said.
He gave her an address and the next day, he met with Vanessa. He took her to the basement where the boys were. She was carrying the cake Derek bought for them.
They rushed to embrace him but as soon as they saw their mother and she had to lift the cake high above her head to prevent it from getting squished between them. Derek stepped in to take it so Vanessa could freely hold her boys as she cried tears of joy. They had been missing for a year.
Vanessa didn’t know how to thank Derek. He later told her about what happened to him, and she decided to help by inviting him to join them as they returned to Ohio – where she had finally settled down to make something of herself.
She set him up temporarily in her guest room and helped him get a job as an accountant at a small IT firm. He lived in her home for months as he worked to get back on his feet, but when it was time to leave, he could not.
Their interactions and the bond he shared with her kids had caused Vanessa to fall in love with him, and her beauty and grace had also done him in.
They continued to live together and after some time, they decided to make things official by getting married. Jordan and Norman were the ring bearers.
What did we learn from this story?
- Empathy is important. The twins noticed that Derek had given them his last cash and even though they were very hungry, they chose to return to him to share their food and their story with him. This endeared them to him and when he found an opportunity to truly help them, he jumped at it.
- Kindness never goes unreturned. When Derek gave the twins the last money they had, he was resigned to starving the whole of that day. He never expected they would return, neither did he expect that he would find the love of his life through them. His little kindness bore him a lot of rewards.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a woman who offered help to a homeless boy, and several years later, it literally saves her life.
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