There was no way for the confused man to know what was happening. One day earlier, he offered to carry a woman's shopping. His situation appeared to be dire now. Having crossed the wrong people, he was in deep trouble.
Despite his seemingly good deed, there would be devastating implications. Even though he was used to being treated badly, this was completely unprecedented.
He had just been to the grocery store a day earlier, and the security guard had driven him two blocks to get back there. According to him, he had apparently committed a crime.
Upon entering the store, he saw the same old woman from the day before. The accusations were ready to fly at him. How could he have done anything wrong this time? Her response, however, shocked everyone.
A Book’s Cover
He was more than just a dirty homeless man who showed up in front of the grocery store. It wasn't just his usual acquaintances who judged him harshly this time.
Standing beside the old woman was the store manager. His eager assistance the day before must have prompted her to file a complaint.
Stealing From The Poor
In his mind, he had simply been helping an elderly woman in need. Not even a penny was asked of her. His desire to help the old woman for free was sparked by something unique about her.
The story didn't end there. There was a depth to it that he could never have imagined. His journey began when a woman called him back to the beginning.
It wasn't always the case that Trevor Phelps was homeless. It wasn't until Hurricane Harvey destroyed everything that he believed to be precious in his life.
The poor 41-year-old man had nothing left. His entire life was ripped away without warning. Sadly, the tragedy did not end there.
He had his house blown away when Hurricane Harvey passed through his town. He didn't know what was happening at the time because he was at work. The house he left behind was no longer there when he returned home.
His world had just collapsed. He couldn't believe it. The most heartbreaking thing, however, was not that.
His wife was home when he lost his house, which made it all the more tragic. Rescue workers found her underneath the rubble after a two-day search.
He would have liked to point the finger at someone, but it was just a freak accident that he couldn't have predicted. As his life spiraled downward, he soon found himself beyond repair.
As if that weren't bad enough, his boss fired him just a few months after he struggled to find a new place to live. He claimed that his pace of work was slower than usual.
It is understandable that Trevor might be distracted at work after losing his house and wife. The situation only worsened from there.
No Place To Go
Trevor had difficulty finding a place to live because he did not have a job to pay rent. He had lost everything since he didn't have a family, a home, or a job. Being homeless would take some getting used to.
Throughout the years, he drank heavily, cursed his life, and wallowed in despair. It would get better, but it wouldn't happen overnight.
A New Trevor
Trevor decided to embrace God after five years of being lost in the gutter. The man's attitude had changed even though he was still homeless.
After the loss of his mother, he had a new outlook on life, and he just wanted to show others kindness. The charity was not something he would ask for from anyone else. When he met an elderly woman, he just wanted to help those in need.
The Grocery Store
With the money he got from selling things people threw away, he would go to the local grocery store to pick up things that he desperately needed. He would put on his best clothes and clean up as best he could.
He would then pick out the essentials like bread and water before heading back to the corner where he normally stayed.
As Trevor was shopping, he saw an older lady buying her essentials as well. It looked as if she had enough for two full bags. For an elderly woman to have loaded her trolley with this much, it was quite an accomplishment.
He saw the woman carrying her groceries out of the grocery store after he finished shopping.
Where Was She Going
His eyes were drawn to the woman's struggle. Had he not been certain she would get to her car in time, he would have offered help. A strange thing happened, however.
Watching the woman walk through the parking lot, he kept an eye on her. She didn't go to a car. The woman was walking home, but why was she doing that? Seeing this as an opportunity to help someone, he did not waste any time.
Offering To Help
"It would be my pleasure to carry your groceries for you." He said. Inquisitive, the woman nodded her head at him. "Thank you, young man."
"I'm afraid I have no money to give you," she said. Trevor gave her a smile, "Don't worry, you remind me of my mother. I would never make her pay."
His smile brightened his face as he carried the groceries two blocks from the grocery store. As he conversed with the old woman, he found her to be a good company. It had been a long time since he had spoken to someone properly.
He placed the packages on the kitchen table of her home after arriving. He kindly refused her offer of coffee. It was impossible for him to predict what consequences would result from that.
A Mix Up
Everything went according to plan for the remainder of the day. After walking to the place where he was staying, he began to pull out his essentials and eat. The man was extremely hungry but noticed something strange.
His shopping bag turned out not to be his at all when he looked inside. It belonged to the elderly woman. There must have been a mix-up between their bags, and he hadn't noticed. The situation had to be rectified, but he was extremely hungry.
No Other Option
He was unable to ignore his hunger. Hunger was overwhelming, and the only food he had was the bag belonging to the woman. Small chocolate cakes that seemed to be for a special occasion caught his eye.
This was the only option he had. His stomach was growling. In order to satisfy his appetite, he ate as little as possible. But he wasn't sure what would happen the next day.
Trevor was abruptly awakened the next morning. Suddenly he sensed someone watching him, and he had to find out who it was. It was necessary for him to sleep lightly when he was living on the streets.
A few moments later, he noticed an imposing man standing in the alleyway, just a few moments after he first looked around. He grabbed his arm and barked, "You need to come with me."
The Security Guard
His voice shook as he asked shakily, "What have I done? Who are you?" "Were you at the grocery store yesterday?" the man asked. Despite his nervousness, Trevor nodded.
The man noticed a walkie-talkie and a uniform. It looked as if the man worked as a security guard at a grocery store. There was no question in his mind what this was about. It was time for him to be branded a thief.
His trip to the grocery store followed just two blocks later. It wasn't empty. It was there that he saw the old woman waiting for him. It had to have been her who asked for him to be brought there.
Upon entering the store, the security guard spoke alone with the woman. She said something he wasn't prepared for.
But would they believe him if he told them it was just a mistake? Offering to help an old lady and then discovering that her groceries had disappeared didn't look good for him.
The woman was looking at him with an expression of hurt. She really believed he did it on purpose, didn't she? Despite knowing homeless people weren't treated well, he thought this was absurd. In reality, he didn't do anything wrong.
Telling The Truth
"It seems you got your groceries confused with mine." said the woman. He stuttered back, "I know, I was so hungry last night, so I ate some of your chocolate cake." he said.
Upon hearing that he had eaten her groceries, her expression changed. After looking at him, he was brought to tears by what she said.
"Oh, you poor thing! I hope you ate well. You remind me of my son, actually." She comforted him. His eyes filled with tears. The last time someone showed him kindness was ages ago.
It filled his heart with joy to hear that he looked like her son. He asked, "Where is your son? I hope he is doing well."
Sharing His Story
She asked him, "Don't you have a family?" He started crying at that point. He told her everything he was going through. Losing his wife, losing his house, and losing his job.
Her mouth was covered by her hand as she tried to contain her shock. She had a great deal of sympathy for him; he could tell. What about her son?
Once again, he asked, "Does your son seem to be doing well?" Instead of answering the question, she avoided it. The reality was different from what he expected. She looked at the ground before saying, "I wish I could introduce you to him."
There was a sinking feeling in Trevor's chest. It was obvious that something bad had happened to her son. His curiosity led him to seek out more information about her heartache. The truth, however, would make him cry.
The old woman gestured to someone inside the store as he relaxed from his stress on the way over. There was a familiar shape acknowledging her.
The moment Trevor saw a uniformed man leaving the grocery store, he became confused. It wasn't long before he recognized his badge.
He Had His Reservations
The security officer had brought him there. "My apologies for not explaining more. It's a bit confusing for me too. Can you explain?" asked the security officer.
It was impossible to stop Trevor from tensing up his muscles. Although he was used to abuse and torment, he still considered it possible that she lied about everything just to get him to the end.
Even though he was starting to understand what was happening, the woman still hadn't explained why he was standing there. His main concern should have been her identity.
Despite his limited knowledge of her, she was an important woman whose ties ran far deeper than he could ever imagine. She wasn't going to disclose her identity just yet. She was saving that surprise for later.
There were suspicions in Trevor's mind. He felt for the woman if something happened to her son. Why wasn't she telling him about it?
His mind was filled with another question. What was she trying to accomplish by calling him here if she wasn't going to arrest him? He would never be the same after learning the truth.
It wasn't until she explained everything to him that he understood. The grocery bags were a misunderstanding, not your kindness yesterday."
Trevor raised his eyebrows. His assistance to the woman wasn't meant to harm her. A part of him was trying to redeem himself for the difficult months when he had been at his lowest.
Who She Really Was
"In the past, you have helped a woman in need without knowing who she was. But now it's time for me to tell you who I really am.
It was something Trevor would never be able to prepare for. His entire world would be rocked by it, and he would never look back.
She revealed to Trevor that her name is Marie, and she is actually the owner of the grocery store.
Astonished, he had no words to say to her. Honestly, he was just dumbfounded. Upon asking why she carried the groceries herself, she revealed the heartbreaking truth.
There was still more to come. She had more to share with Trevor, including the reasons for bringing him back.
In this way, she would be able to reveal a shocking secret that she had not revealed to many people. As a result, Trevor would have answers to all of his questions, as well as sympathy for the old woman. In reality, what was the truth?
"You see, I'm used to my son carrying my groceries home. That's why I was so shocked when you asked for my assistance without expecting anything in return."
She looked sad to Trevor. During the conversation, he asked her where her son was, as well as why he couldn't assist her. Seeing her face, he regretted asking immediately.
He Needed Answers
She told him she wanted to see him again because she had a proposition for him, and she thought he would be interested in it.
However, he interrupted her before she had finished speaking. It was imperative for him to know the truth. While blatantly avoiding the question about her son, he would find out the truth.
Sharing The Story
"I would like to know where your son is. Having told you about what happened to my family, I'd like to know what happened to hers." He pleaded with her.
After looking at him for a moment, she sighed. "That's fine with me. Then I will tell you a bit about my family." Trevor was about to gain some insight into her life.
She Loved Him
“My son’s a good boy. He’s a lot like you, actually. I think that you two would get along well. If he was still here, at least.” She said sadly. Trevor felt his heart drop. “Where is he? Please tell me.” He replied.
“He’s visiting his father a state over. He’s a child of separation and likes to visit his father every couple of months. But he’ll be back soon, don’t you worry.” She said with a wink.
He Felt Relieved
He felt relief as he realized her sadness at missing her son, but he was thankful that it was only temporary.
Her son's business has now been resolved. It was unclear why she had called him to the parking lot. It was finally time for her to reveal why he was brought there in the first place.
Rather than speak, Marie showed him a red waistcoat she had hidden behind her back. There was a logo on it for the grocery store.
The old woman meticulously examined the article of clothing before handing it over to him. Shaking his head, he glanced at it. What does this mean? His life was about to change, thanks to Marie.
"It would be great if you could help the elderly and disabled with their shopping bags. You'd gain a lot from it, and you'd even get a place to live," she said.
It was too good to be true for him. Having felt sorry for himself for months, he would now have a purpose. It would be the turning point in his life, and he would be at peace. However, this was just the beginning.
She Wanted To Help
Although Marie's voice had a tinge of embarrassment, she said, "You don't have a place to stay.".
"I don't want to be putting you in the spotlight or reaching here. If you feel uncomfortable, you can refuse. There is no need to do anything else besides take the job." He was about to make the most important decision of his life.
"Our excess stock usually goes into a room or two in the back. I can give you one if you'd like."
Marie didn't stop there. “We can get you a few pieces of furniture from Ikea, maybe a few clothes from the mall?” Trevor stepped back in awe, and tears were streaming down his face.
“Am I crossing a line?” the woman asked, blocking her mouth with her fingers. "I'm sorry," she apologized. Trevor interrupted. "No, no," he said.
Having her think he was offended was the last thing he wanted. Quite the contrary, in fact. In that moment, she made him feel special, so he had to express how grateful he was to her.
“You aren’t. It’s just that no one has shown me this type of kindness before. I don’t know what to say. I don’t even know if it’s all happening or if this is a dream.”
As Trevor stood in front of Marie, he broke down. His eyes were filled with tears as he smiled at the woman. Taking the man by the hand, Marie spoke unexpectedly, "you know, when my son cries, I hug him."
Marie smiled. "Oh, it's happening.". “I know what it feels like to be at your lowest. Trust me.” She reached out for Trevor’s hand. He had never felt a hand so soft and warm.
“What happened to you was not fair,” she said. “Today, we end that string of bad luck. I know I’m asking too much from you. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you.” “So, why are you helping me?” Trevor cut in.
“As I said, I know what it feels like to think you’re at the bottom,” Marie said. She told Trevor about her past.
The couple had made some poor financial decisions years before their son was born, landing them on the streets. “We never saw it coming. One minute you have everything, the world is good, and the next, it all turns on its head.”
Her story describes how hard work and perseverance helped them stabilize again. “A lot of people shunned us,” she said.
“That’s when we learned that few folks have genuinely good hearts." A sad smile spread across her face as she remembered her past, her eyes sightless. Was she really committed to helping Trevor?
A Lot Of Responsibility
Trevor explained everything he had to say about her. His day-to-day comforts were lacking due to the numerous loans that he had taken out after the disasters of his life.
It would be a huge undertaking to help him. Marie would have a hard time understanding what helping him meant for him.
Did He Deserve It?
The woman's offer wasn't intended to be spit at. Having lost a wife and home, he had never heard anything better.
A tinge of guilt crossed his mind as he thought about all the help Marie offered him. Was he really ready for this? Had he grown up enough to deserve it? For a moment, he considered the idea, tossing it back and forth. Would he be able to accept it?
All He Needed
Usually, Trevor slept on the same street. He'd been there for a while, so the cold and rain didn't bother him much.
Although he could not deny that he would prefer a warmer climate. Anyplace that kept him away from the elements and prying eyes was fine with him-whether it was a small apartment or a cave.
“I can see you are thinking about all of this,” Marie said. “It is a lot to take in, I know.” Then she pulled Trevor into the store.
“How about we have breakfast while we discuss each part in detail?” she asked. “There are finer points to everything I’m offering, and I want you to know that it would make me happy knowing that you have a place to sleep at night and a job.”
Accepting The Job
Finally, Trevor accepted the offer from the woman. Following the meeting, he took a shower at the store.
As a new employee at the grocery store, he was excited about the future. In his mind, he imagined how satisfying it would be to assist customers in need. The story wasn't over yet. He was in for one more surprise he hadn't even imagined.
Her plan was to clean up the storeroom for him in a day. She even sponsored him a motel room for the night so he wouldn't have to spend it on the street.
There was no way he could have imagined people could be this kind. It wasn't over yet. After hearing a knock on his door one morning, he opened it to find a stranger.
Marie's son had just returned from out of state. In addition to telling him about Trevor, he wanted to do his part as well. Having not had a haircut in months, Marie's son took him to the barbershop.
Following that, they stopped at Target so he could buy some clothes until he received his first paycheck. There was more to it than that.
In order to furnish his new home, Marie joined them at Ikea. The things she chose included a bed, a table, and a sofa set.
Additionally, she insisted on buying utensils, curtains, and bedding from Home Depot. She repeated something to Trevor throughout their journey weaving from shop to shop.
Every minute, Marie would say, "This brings me back.". Trying to pinpoint the superiority of two similar items, she would lose herself in thought.
“It has been a while since I returned looking for utensils or curtains.” She smiled up at her son. “We used to do this with your dad back in the day.” So what happened to her husband?
Despite not explaining his whereabouts, Trevor knew she had lost him recently. Her words carried a feeling of pain and loneliness that was still fresh in her mind.
He listened closely to her words, resonating with them as he, too, had lost his love a short while ago. Even though Marie helped him so much, he felt like he was using her.
“I’ll pay back everything,” he would say whenever Marie or her son dropped something into his cart. “Nonsense,” Marie would say with a chuckle.
“This is all on us, a welcome gift.” “Yeah,” her son joined in. After spending the morning with him, Trevor learned that he was a really nice guy. They even liked the same football team!
His New Home
Trevor's place behind the store was their destination after they finished shopping. As Marie rushed home to make them lunch, Trevor and Marie's son cleaned the place.
When Marie called the two men, the once dusty storage room had been transformed into a home fit for a king! It couldn't be more perfect for Trevor.
A Better Life
During lunch that afternoon, Trevor joined Marie and her son, initiating a tradition that would last for years to come. Despite not knowing it, he had changed his life out of kindness.
Before applying for and getting a better job, he worked at the store for a few months. As a matter of fact, he purchased a new house! However, he did not abandon his family. He didn't expect all this to land him a mother and a brother.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.