A homeless girl is stunned when a handsome man gives her flowers and a diamond ring and transforms her life.
Haven’t we all heard the story of Cinderella raised up from misery by the hand of a handsome prince? And of course, we know that it’s all a fantasy. The bitter bread of poverty is not so easily spat out so we can take a bite of caviar and blinis, is it?
We devour those meager crumbs and thank God for them, and when someone waves the cornucopia of plenty at us, we know it’s a trap or a mad dream. Amber Grey had spent too many nights sleeping in dark alleys for such dreams. Her life was too much of a nightmare.
Amber’s life on the streets was too hard for her to ever imagine happiness could come her way | Source: Shutterstock.com
Amber had been raised in the foster system after her drug-addicted teenage mother had abandoned her at the age of three. From then on, Amber had been moved from one home to the next.
Whenever she thought that she’d finally found a family, people who loved her, she’d be moved. Finally, at the age of 18, she aged out of the system.
At first, things had gone well. She’d found herself a job as a saleswoman in a discount store, and because she was pleasant and helpful, the customers liked her, and so did her job. Amber was happily contemplating a raise and promotion when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
No matter how bad things get, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Like hundreds of thousands of other people, she found herself unemployed, and a year later, after having burned through her savings just to make ends meet, she found herself out on the streets, homeless.
Amber was an orphan and when she became unemployed she ended up on the streets | Source: Unsplash
Amber tried to scrape together enough money each day panhandling to eat, but often she had to stand in line at the soup kitchen. As winter progressed, life got harder for the homeless and finding a place to sleep in a shelter was almost impossible.
The people Amber begged from were less than charitable and a few even insulted her: “Get off your fat ass and get a job!” screamed one woman. Amber wished she could get a job, but her former life seemed a distant dream now.
Then one night, as she huddled shivering in her blankets, someone stopped in front of her and she heard the chink of metal dropping into her cup and a bouquet of flowers was dropped into her lap.
Amber looked up and saw a man wearing a tuxedo under his coat. “Thank you,” she whispered, and peering into the cup she saw an expensive-looking engagement ring. “Wait!” Amber cried, and stumbled to her feet. “You made a mistake! You dropped your ring!”
Amber was stunned to see the engagement ring in her begging cup | Source: Unsplash
The man turned back and looked at Amber. “I don’t want that ring anymore, you keep it. Sell it, get off the streets.” Then he turned up his coat collar and walked away.
The next day, Amber saw the man walk by again and she went up to him. “Excuse me,” she said. “This belongs to you.”
The man who’d given her the ring, Ryan Houseman stared at her in astonishment. “I thought you’d have sold or pawned that ring by now,” he exclaimed.
Amber looked down at the ring in her thin dirty hand and shook her head. “This is not the kind of thing you sell or give away. You don’t give up on love.”
The next day Amber saw the man again | Source: Unsplash
Ryan stared down at the thin, hungry-looking girl. “Listen,” he exclaimed. “Come have breakfast with me!” Amber, who hadn’t had a hot meal in days accepted the invitation gratefully.
The two sat in a warm restaurant, and Ryan ordered eggs and bacon and a stack of pancakes for Amber. While the homeless girl ate, he told her his story.
“I thought I loved Felicity, I really did, but I guess I didn’t even know her. Last night I proposed, and I thought she would be happy — we’ve been going out for two years — and she did say yes…”
Amber frowned. “So if she said yes, why did you still have the ring?”
Ryan took Amber out for breakfast | Source: Unsplash
Ryan shrugged. “I took it back, to be honest, and the flowers too. The first thing she said after ‘yes’ was to start specifying how much she’d get in the prenup if we stayed together for more than a year.
“I was surprised, you know? So I said… Well, I think we’ll be married a long time if we want to have four kids, and I laughed, trying to make a joke of it. And she said: ‘You must be joking, I’m not spoiling my figure to have kids!'”
Amber chewed another mouthful of her pancakes. “Oh…I see what you mean…”
“Yeah…” Ryan said sadly. “She saw me as a meal ticket.”
Ryan had proposed to his girlfriend, but all she cared about was money | Source: Unsplash
Amber grinned. “Hey, so do I! After all, you’re paying for breakfast!” Ryan found himself grinning back, and that radiant smile in that thin little face stirred something in him.
“Well, then,” he said. “How about we go on a shopping spree? Let’s have fun! What do you need?”
“Socks!” said Amber. “Nice warm wooly socks. We can get some good ones at Walmart…”
“No way!” Ryan said, and he steered Amber down the street towards a luxurious and expensive-looking beauty salon. He walked in and said to the receptionist, “Hi Jean, this is my cousin Amber. She’s into this street-grunge look, but I think she needs a makeover!”
Ryan took Amber to a salon for a makeover | Source: Unsplash
Jean smiled respectfully. “Of course, Mr. Houseman, you can leave her in our hands!”
When Ryan came back three hours later to fetch Amber, he found himself staring at a slender pixie-faced girl with huge eyes and a feathery blond hairdo. There was something about her… fragility and strength, he thought, and so beautiful…
The girl saw him and smiled. “Ryan?” she asked. “I thought you’d forgotten about me!”
Ryan’s mouth dropped open. “Wow!” he gasped. “You look beautiful!”
Ryan was stunned when he saw Amber | Source: Unsplash
“Thank you,” Amber said. “Now maybe I can go to a few interviews, get a job…”
Ryan was smiling. “Let’s go shopping for those socks…” he said, but already he was thinking that he had a very special job in mind for Amber — a lifetime job, as the love of his life.
What can we learn from this story?
- No matter how bad things get, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Amber was as low as she could get, and then a miracle brought her a kind and loving man and a new life.
- The end of one dream can mean the start of a new and better one. Ryan was hurt when he found out his girlfriend was a golddigger, and then he found all he’d dreamed of in the most unexpected place.
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