An abandoned elderly woman who used to frequent a café saw a single father struggling to cope with his son and decided to help him. He was so grateful that he did something she could never have imagined, and her whole life changed.
“Good morning, Ella,” Hannah greeted the waitress at the local café she visited every morning. She didn’t have much money, but going for a cup of coffee every day helped her to keep her sanity in her old age. Everyone knew her, and the owners often wouldn’t let her pay because they knew her situation.
Hannah has a son, George, who works in New York and doesn’t care much for his old mother in Florida. She lives on her pension and luckily her house has been paid for, although it is outdated. But with rising prices and unexpected repairs to the house, her monthly budget has always been reduced.
Hannah wanted to ask George for money to fix up her house but also hesitated to bother him, so she did her best to cut back on expenses and tried to repair things slowly.
Hannah sat at her table and ordered her usual coffee and a muffin. She looked around the café, which was not too occupied that morning. She knew some of the people there, but there was a man with a young boy at a nearby table, and Hannah had never seen them before.
The man had some paperwork on the table. Or were those construction plans? she wondered, unable to see from her spot. Either way, he was utterly focused until the boy started crying – an ear-piercing cry that made everyone turn.
“Joshua, Joshua, shush,” the man tried to comfort the boy, but he wouldn’t calm down. In a fit, his tiny arms knocked over a cup of coffee and made a huge mess.
The man looked so flustered that Hannah could not stay put. She stood, walked over, and distracted the boy. “Hey, boy! Hey! You’re the most handsome boy ever,” she sat down and distracted the toddler with funny faces and sweet words.
The man gave her a grateful look and started picking up the mess with the waiter’s help. Luckily, Joshua seemed to calm down, thanks to Hannah’s attention, and she began to feed him when their food arrived. Ella decided to bring Hannah’s coffee and muffin to that table so she could stay with them.
“Thank you so much, ma’am. Joshua is not an easy kid,” the dad said. “I’m Patrick.”
“Nice to meet you, Patrick. I’m Hannah,” Hannah replied, still focused on feeding the boy. “All babies are fuzzy at some point. It’s a phase.”
Patrick sighed. “No, I don’t think so. Our pediatrician thinks he might be autistic. I have to take him to more testing, but I’ve been so busy.”
“Oh, but I heard that’s a manageable condition nowadays with all kinds of treatments and therapies, right?” Hannah commented, concerned.
“Yeah, but I’m a single father, and I have my company. I don’t have any time to take him,” Patrick explained, shaking his head. “It kills me that he has me, and I barely have any time. His mother walked out when he was born. Tons of nannies have quit on me already.”
“Well, you just make the time. I was a single mother too, and I had to work to the bone while raising my son,” Hannah said, raising one eyebrow. “He’s now a businessman in New York. If I can do it, you can do it too.”
“I hope so,” he sighed, grinning slightly.
“How about this? I can watch him. I’ll be his nanny. He’s a sweet child. I think he likes me. Let’s do it,” Hannah offered, smiling widely.
The man breathed a sigh of relief as if Hannah had offered all the answers of the universe. He thanked her profusely, and they continued their breakfast pleasantly.
At some point, the poor older woman revealed that although her son was successful, he didn’t call much or send her money, so she was on her own.
She talked about her house having too many repairs, and the single father listened intently. He then told her more about his relationship with Joshua’s mother, and it was toxic, to say the least. Hannah couldn’t remember the last time she had such a deep conversation with anyone.
Soon, Patrick had to leave to take Joshua to an appointment for further testing. Hannah gave him her address and phone number and said she wouldn’t even charge for babysitting. “It’ll be a delight to feel useful again finally,” she told him and said goodbye.
She got home, and Patrick called her a few hours later, asking to babysit. He dropped Joshua off but had a cup of tea before leaving.
At some point, Joshua fell asleep on Hannah’s couch. She was picking things up and rummaging through her purse for some gum when she found something odd there. She pulled out a piece of paper and saw the stationary of a local construction company.
Her eyebrows raised when she saw that it was a voucher for $50,000 worth of house repairs. It was exactly what she needed, but she had no idea how it got in her bag… until Patrick came to pick Joshua up.
“Did you see it? In your purse?” he asked, smiling conspiratorially.
“It was you? How can you offer such a thing?” Hannah asked, delighted and shocked.
“I own that company. That’s why I don’t have any time,” he responded, shrugging.
“Are you sure about this? It’s a lot of money and effort,” she asked.
“I’m sure,” he assured her, and they hugged even though they had been strangers just that morning.
Patrick brought Joshua almost every day to Hannah for babysitting, and soon his company started working on repairing her house. It looked better than ever, and Patrick added a bathroom and kitchen remodel, although he didn’t tell her it was worth so much more than what he had offered in the voucher he gave her.
Six months later, Hannah’s house was unrecognizable, and she was happier than ever. Joshua had officially been diagnosed with autism, but the older woman was there for him throughout the process. She took him to therapies when Patrick couldn’t and watched him as if he was her own grandson.
Surprisingly, her son, George, came for a visit and was shocked to encounter Patrick with his son, enjoying a nice lunch with his mother.
Hannah explained everything, and George couldn’t believe how happy she was. She told him all about the free repairs Patrick did for the house and how great Joshua was doing in therapy.
George felt almost jealous of their relationship but realized he deserved it for neglecting his mother for so long. He had planned on moving back home because he hated New York and found an excellent job in the area. He started visiting Hannah often since then, and he also fell in love with Joshua.
George and Patrick became like brothers eventually – there for each other threw thick and thin. Hannah couldn’t believe all this had happened because she had been friendly to some strangers at the café.