A young woman leaves her apartment to take up residence at an old house where she meets two lonely kids and their ailing mother — the meeting changed both their lives.
“Elizabeth Johnson, you are expected to leave this apartment within one week or risk forceful eviction.” That was what was written on the note her landlord slipped under her door in the early hours of the morning.
Elizabeth knew what it was the moment she saw it; it was another clear-cut reminder that Elizabeth was behind on rent payment for another month and the landlord was done waiting.
Elizabeth had to move to an old shelter home after her rent expired | Source: Shutterstock
Despite having expected the eviction notice, it saddened her because she had nowhere she could move to, nor did she have any family to come to her aid.
Above all, she had no money saved up that would allow her to pay rent for new housing urgently. At this point, Elizabeth was desperate.
She went out all day looking for cheap housing she could manage but found none. Time passed quickly, and before she knew it, there was only one day left before she got kicked out.
The troubled woman was returning from yet another unsuccessful house hunt when she caught sight of a wallet on the floor. She was in the hallway leading to her room and four others, so she suspected it must belong to one of her neighbors.
No one else was about, and the thought of stealing the wallet occurred to Elizabeth, who quickly opened it to see who it belonged to and if there were valuables.
It contained documents in the name of her neighbor, Tom Cranfield, and several $100 bills that looked very attractive to Elizabeth.
The wallet contained several $100 bills that called to Elizabeth | Source: Pexels
However, despite the fact that she was in desperate need of money, Elizabeth chose to return the wallet. Every step she took, she had to shut down the urge to simply take the cash and discard the wallet, but as soon as the man she believed owned it answered his door, the thoughts melted away, and she presented him with the intact wallet.
“I believe you dropped this,” she said shyly, then turned to walk away.
“I’m very grateful to you, Miss Elizabeth, if you could spare me some of your time, I do believe I could help you with your current predicament,” Tom said.
“What?” she asked, confused.
“I know Mr. Martin wants to evict you because you can’t keep up with the rent. If you don’t mind, I know a place you could stay while you figure out more permanent living arrangements.”
“Why would you do that for me?” she asked, shocked.
“Well, another person would have taken the money and left the wallet but you were decent enough to return it intact. This is my way of saying thank you.”
Tom told Elizabeth that there was an old house that took in people like her. “It’s not much but it’s clean and safe,” he said.
Tom offered Elizabeth a place to stay | Source: Pexels
Elizabeth could not believe her luck and her spirit visibly lifted at the news. Hoping to do more for the honest woman, Tom decided to help her secure a job at his friend, Mr. Olsen’s cafe.
“He needs cleaning ladies and will pay well if you’re diligent with your work,” Tom told her.
Elizabeth did not have any other choice, so she agreed to check it out. “Thank you very much for everything Mr. Cranfield,” she said as she left him.
The next morning, Elizabeth packed up her meager belongings and found her way to the house Tom Cranfield described.
It was a private shelter that took people in only through invites to keep the number of homeless people down, thereby avoiding overcrowding.
Since Tom did not warn her that there were more tenants in the house, she was not prepared for the number of people she met; however, she also knew beggars could not choose.
On her first day at the shelter, she met a teenage boy named Albert and his little sister Ginny in the kitchen. The two kids kept to themselves but warmed up quickly to her after she offered to share her chocolate bars with them.
The children told Elizabeth that Tom Cranfield had been the one to show them the private shelter and told them they could stay for a while. “But not forever,” Ginny said.
“Because others won’t be able to come in if everyone stays here forever,” Albert finished.
The house was a private shelter that took people in only through invites to keep the number of homeless people down, thereby avoiding overcrowding | Source: Pexels
“Where will you go when you leave here?” Elizabeth asked them.
“It depends on our mommy,” they both chorused.
Elizabeth had initially thought the children were alone, but then they revealed that their mother was in a room they shared. The woman was very ill and needed an expensive surgery, but their family could not afford it. The story saddened Elizabeth.
The following day, Elizabeth visited the cafe Tom told her needed cleaning services. There she met Mr. Olsen, the cafe’s owner.
He gave her things to do, and she noticed that the man watched her with interest. Later that day, after the cafe closed, he gathered the workers and gave out paychecks for the previous months.
Somehow, Elizabeth also got one even though it was her first day on the job. She received a lot more money than she should have and, because she feared it was a mistake, she went to Mr. Olsen’s office.
“I think there was some sort of mistake. Even if I’m to get a paycheck for the one day of work I did today, it shouldn’t be this much,” she said.
Mr. Olsen, 67, told her there was no mistake.
Elizabeth visited the café which Tom told her needed cleaning services and there she met Mr. Olsen, the owner. | Source: Pexels
“Tom told me about what you’re going through so I decided to help out by paying your salary upfront. You remind me a lot about my daughter who ran away with her boyfriend many years ago.”
“You must miss her,” Elizabeth said, feeling sympathy for the man.
“I do,” he said sadly. “I also regret how everything turned out and I hope one day I get to meet her and my grandkids again… if they’re alive.”
Mr. Olsen and Elizabeth talked about life for a while, and somehow she mentioned the children she met at her new home. Mr. Olsen promised to help them by paying for their mother’s surgery. Elizabeth offered to donate half of her salary to pay for the operation, but Mr. Olsen objected.
“You have a kind heart Elizabeth but don’t worry, I’ve got this,” he told her gently.
“But you don’t know them, sir, why would you do such a thing for strangers?” a baffled Elizabeth asked him.
“Because I can,” was all he said.
In the days that followed, Elizabeth found out how much money was required for the operation while Mr. Olsen entrusted her with the total amount and to get it to the family.
The operation was a success, and after her recovery, Albert and Ginny’s mother decided to thank her benefactor for the help. So as soon as she could, Elizabeth took her to meet the man who made the treatment possible.
The operation of Albert and Ginny’s mother was a success | Source: Pexels
As they arrived at Mr. Olsen’s office, the woman froze. Elizabeth worried, thinking it was a medical issue, but then she noticed that the benevolent man was not moving either.
That’s because he was looking at none other than his daughter, whom he had not seen in almost two decades. “Dorothy? Is that you?” he asked tearfully.
She simply nodded, and before Elizabeth knew it, father and daughter were in each other’s arms weeping tears of joy.
“I’m so sorry dad,” Dorothy cried as she hugged him.
She admitted that she should not have run from home because her boyfriend turned out to be an alcoholic who only stole money from her.
She also told him about the birth of their two children and how she persevered because of them. But when she fell ill, the man left them saying it was not what he signed up for.
“I’m so sorry, I was so ashamed to even return to ask for help so I’ve lived on the streets ever since.”
“It’s okay pumpkin, I’m just glad you’ve returned to me,” he said.
Mr. Olsen thanked Elizabeth and, as a reward for reuniting him with his daughter, decided to teach her all about the cafe business, and soon after, she was promoted to the position of manager in his cafe. From then on, Elizabeth was able to afford good housing and did not deny herself anything good.
Mr. Olsen promoted Elizabeth to the position of manager in his café | Source: Pexels
What did we gain from this story?
- The good you do always comes back. Mr. Olsen didn’t have to help Elizabeth, but he did, and she inadvertently became the catalyst that helped him reunite with his estranged daughter.
- Never be too ashamed to beg for forgiveness. Dorothy could have returned to her father and begged his forgiveness, but she was too ashamed, so she put herself through hardship, thinking it was what she deserved. In the end, fate played its hand, and she was able to find forgiveness.
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