Judith had no reason to be weirded out by the family at the table in front of her except for one thing. They only ordered one kids meal even though they had two children with them. So she kept an eye on the family during dinner and what she noticed made her take a step back. She had to figure out what was going on if she could ever live with herself, so she started asking some tough questions.
Taking a Stand
Judith was so appalled by what she witnessed in the restaurant that she pulled the young girl aside out of earshot of her parents. She kindly asked if everything was okay and asked the girl other questions to begin to find out what was going on with her strange family. But she still needed answers...
On their way out of the restaurant, Judith and a few other dinner guests stopped the family from leaving and confronted them with what they had found out. The father went red as a cherry and then looked at his daughter. “This is not what it looks like…”
The father started to frantically explain why he did not buy a meal for his daughter and when he was finished, Judith could barely believe it…
But what did the father say to the waitress that was so out of the ordinary? Was the girl sick or was something bigger going on? Judith had to get to the bottom of things.
She Knew Something Was Off
Judith had worked in the same restaurant long enough to know that she could trust her gut about customers. When a young family walked in that afternoon, she immediately had a strange feeling. There wasn’t anything obviously off, and she didn’t have time to study them and figure out what about them was bothering her.
It was the Saturday dinner rush, so the restaurant was packed with guests. Judith made sure the family was settled at their table and then hurried over to take orders from the other guests who had already been seated with drinks. The family seemed nice, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was missing something.
An Easy Table
Judith passed the family multiple times on her way back and forth before returning to take their food order. The only thing she noticed was that they were more quiet than other guests, especially since they had two young children at the table. That actually seemed like a good thing. Maybe they would be an easy table… or maybe not.
She Was Relieved
As a career waitress, Judith knew that even well-behaved kids could change moods quickly. She was grateful any time children weren’t running around or screaming. She almost felt a little guilty for misjudging the family when they’d first arrived. But Judith’s relief quickly changed when the family started wrapping up their order.
No Time to Ask
When the family finished ordering, Judith realized that they’d only ordered three meals. Since there were two parents and two children, that didn’t add up. There was no second meal off the kids’ menu or even a side dish to go with the entrees. Judith’s brain started working on overdrive. What was going on?
Worry On Her Face
Judith was worried about the second child. Their entrees were enough to satisfy an adult, but it wasn’t like they were huge enough to share. Plus, even if the child happened to be a picky eater, the parents should have ordered at least something small. Judith studied the children to see if there was a sign of anything wrong.
Out of the Ordinary
There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. The kids appeared to be well-behaved and polite. But after years of seeing different families, Judith had seen parents withhold food from children as a punishment. But there was a big difference between not buying food at a restaurant for a misbehaving child and not giving them food at all. She decided to figure out what was going on.
Take My Spot
Judith asked a coworker to temporarily take over the table for her. She wanted to be able to check on the family when they didn’t think she was watching. Judith knew that she’d have to split her tip money, but it seemed worth it to find out whether or not the children were safe. She just had to wait until their order was ready.
The Best Angle
Judith tested out different angles and found the best ways to keep an eye on the family without them noticing her. She could stand at the waitresses’ area in the back or hover at the side of the bar. Both places seemed natural. After a few minutes of observing the family, Judith was able to draw a few conclusions.
Nothing To Do
Everyone at the table was animated and talking except the little girl. The parents and their son talked amongst themselves, but the girl just sat quietly. She didn’t even react when the others were laughing or telling a story. Judith didn’t notice any signs that the young girl was upset by the situation, but she also knew that some children could get used to toxic families.
What's Going On?
At one point, the little girl acted like she was going to get up from the table. Maybe she needed to go to the bathroom. Or, if she was in danger, the girl might have been trying to get help. But as soon as she moved, her father latched onto her hand and wouldn’t allow her to move. Judith almost intervened, but then she noticed that the family’s food was done.
Judith retrieved the family’s food and brought it over to the table. She set down the full-size entrees in front of the parents and then held up the kids’ meal. Judith worked up as much courage as she could and decided that she needed to say something. She couldn’t just look the other way.
Eyes on Them
Judith was certain that the family hadn’t noticed her watching them, so she pretended to be confused about the missing meal. She asked which child had ordered the meal and took a step closer to the little girl to give her a chance to reach out if she wanted. When the parents answered, Judith wasn’t surprised at all.
Without giving it a second thought, the father responded that the meal was for his son. The children themselves didn’t react at all, though the boy looked pleased that his food was ready. Still acting confused, Judith asked if a second kids’ meal was missing and said she’d be happy to check with the kitchen to see if it had been accidentally forgotten.
The entire family seemed to freeze when they heard Judith’s question. The girl took particular interest in what Judith was asking and stared up at her with a look that the waitress didn’t quite understand. The girl’s father answered somewhat nervously that his daughter wasn’t hungry. Judith wasn’t sure what to believe.
Judith instantly noticed that the parents were acting differently toward her. Their body language told her that they were done answering questions. Even though she wanted to keep asking, she had other tables to handle and didn’t want to get in trouble for bothering customers. But she wasn’t ready to give up just yet.
Time was running out for Judith to figure out what was going on with the little girl. She desperately wanted to help, but there was only so much she could do when the girl wasn’t speaking up. But if that child needed help, Judith was determined to get it for her at any cost. But how could do anything with the parents right there?
She Had to Step In
Judith kept studying the family in between running plates to other tables. The parents and the son were all eating, but the little girl didn’t touch a single thing. None of them offered to share or give her a bite of their meal. The girl looked so sad that it broke Judith’s heart. Someone had to do something.
Judith started coming up with different plans in her head while she pretended to ignore the family. There had to be a way to communicate with the little girl without her parents knowing. Judith thought about trying to get the girl away from the table, but that seemed impossible when her father wouldn’t let her leave. But then finally, Judith had an idea.
Send a Signal
Judith was suddenly grateful that she knew the restaurant so well. She’d worked there for many years and had memorized where she could stand to see certain tables. There was one place that she thought she could signal to the girl without the rest of the family seeing her. Judith hurried over to test her theory.
When Judith got to the area she had in mind, there was a pillar in the way that blocked her from the son, and the parents were facing the opposite direction. Judith thought she could send the girl a message from there to ask if she was in danger. However, the plan was more than a little risky.
Catch Her Attention
Judith first decided to wave at the girl, but the girl didn't respond to her. She seemed a bit confused about what was going on. She really needed to speak to the girl alone, before the family would leave the restaurant. Judith had a gut feeling something was off.
She then grabbed pen and paper and wrote a message down, it read "Do you need help?" The girl looked Judith's direction and nodded without her father noticing it. Judith wrote down "ok" to let the girl know she would help her. Now Judith needed to come up with a plan to get to the girl alone.
The easiest way would be for Judith to speak to her in the bathroom, this was the only place she could talk to the kid without anyone interfering. Judith had an idea, but this required the help of some of her colleagues.
She Let Everyone Know
Judith informed her closest colleagues that something was going on with the family, one of them actually agreed that she had noticed it as well. Judith came up with a plan to let her colleague accidentally spill some soda on the father and girl. This had to get them away from the table.
A Plan In Motion
First Judith had to tell her boss, because she doesn't want to get fired for helping a girl. Her boss actually agreed to the plan. They must help the girl, even if there was a good reason for the behavior. They felt like it was their duty to know the whole story. So they set the plan in motion.
Everything Went Wrong
Judith was very nervous, but she knew they are doing the right thing. Her colleague quickly went up to the table and got the order for drinks. They got the order ready immediately to make sure the plan would succeed. Then it started, the drinks were spilled carefully. The father got mad.
He Was Upset
The father got really angry with Judith's colleague, Judith and her boss quickly went to the table to help out. The father got up and walked to the toilet. This was Judith's chance, she needed to take it right now. She proposed to escort the child. The mother stared at Judith.
She Was Reluctant
The mother was reluctant at first, but her daughter begged to go with Judith. Her mother taught this was a bit odd. However, she agreed. The mother was looking around to see if her husband was returning already, but there was no sign of him.
Judith thought this was strange, but it would get even stranger. The mother grabbed Judith by her arm, she pulled Judith closer. Judith was confused. Then the mother whispered "take her quickly." Judith couldn't believe her ears.
Getting Some Privacy
There was no time to waste, she walked with the child to the bathroom. The child, Anna, seemed relieved that she was finally alone with Judith. Now she could finally tell her story to Judith without being watched by anyone.
Could She Trust Her?
Anna was a bit nervous, she asked if she could trust Judith. Judith told the child that there was nothing going to happen to her, but she needed to tell Judith what was going on. The child wanted to tell Judith something, then they heard loud noises.
He Raised His Voice
There was someone outside, then they heard the father raising his voice. He sounded a bit angry. He demanded that Anna would come out. Judith quickly barricaded the door. She needed to know what was going on.
Tempers Ran High
The boss tried to calm the father down, but he got emotional. Judith couldn't keep Anna in the bathroom. The father shouted that he would call the police if she didn't come out. Judith knew that she would get in trouble if she kept Anna here. She reluctantly opened the door.
Don't Back Down
She stared right into the eyes of the father, he looked angry. He grabbed his daughter's hand and went back to their table. Judith still had no idea what was going on here, she was so close. She decided that she was not going to give up.
She Had to Speak Up
She tried talking to the father but he wouldn't budge, he had nothing to explain to Judith. He told her to mind her own business. Judith felt crushed, she just wanted to help little Anna. Judith took a deep breath, she couldn't let this slide.
Judith mustered up the courage to confront the father. She had no idea how he would react. But she was completely done with the situation. If Anna needed help she was going to help her no matter what, she knew she was doing the right thing.
Then Judith walked up to the table, the father asked if she came to apologize. Judith told him she had different plans, then he started laughing. He was not scared of a little waitress, he told her to be careful of her next steps.
Speak Your Peace
Judith told him to be quiet, and let her talk. The father was a bit confused, he did not expect this reaction from Judith out of nowhere. Judith told him to come clean about the situation with his daughter. She talked loud enough that everyone could hear her. Then the father suddenly started clapping.
He Broke Character
Judith told him to stop, she felt like she wasn't being taken serious. That he was clowning her. Then there was a big smile on his face. He told Judith not to worry anymore, everything would be fine. Then even more weird things started happening.
Round of Applause
Then the mother started clapping as well as the rest of the restaurant, Judith was totally in shock. What was going on here. Then her boss got up to Judith, he thanked her for doing the right thing. Judith demanded an explanation.
Behind the Scenes Crew
Then out of nowhere a camera crew arrived. Judith was absolutely stunned. She did not know how to react. Then Anna came up to Judith to give her a hug. Judith could only stare at everyone around her. Then Anna said, "You are a good person Judith." Judith demanded an explanation.
Apparently Judith's boss and best friend had given her up for a hidden camera program to let the world know what a great person Judith is. Everyone pressent today was in on the whole ordeal. Judith didn't know what to say.
Dazed and Confused
She felt like all of this was completely surreal. Judith got emotional and thanked everyone. Everything came out all at once, she had had a rough year. This felt great for her that her good deeds were finally recognized. She didn't care about the tv exposure, but the gesture from everyone around her.
Her Good Side
The camera crew thanked her for being a good sport about it. Judith did not seem angry that she got tricked. This showed her good side. She eventually watched the episode at home together with Anna and the family. They could all laugh about it.
The events of this story are entirely fictional and are products of the author’s imagination. Images included are meant for illustration purposes only. Any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.