“Today is your lucky day, young man. There’s plenty of food left, and you can have it all.” With these words Steve, the chef of Alice’s restaurant, met little Christopher. The boy often visited the place for food.
Christopher’s big sad eyes glistened with delight. “Really? That’s very good news. It means I’ll be able to treat all my friends tonight?”
“I’m not kidding, Chris. Stay here, I’ll be right back,” – Steve replied beaming and went inside to get the bags.
It was hard to describe the look on Christoper’s face, when he received the packages full of food. He was so happy and grateful, that Steve almost teared up. The smile never left the boy’s face. He said goodbye to Steve and left.
As for Alice, the owner of the place, she had no clue, that a little boy was picking up leftovers almost every day. She was quite surprised, when she noticed him for the first time, as the boy didn’t look like a homeless person.”I must find out, what is going on “, she thought to herself.
For two days Alice was watching for Christopher to come to the restaurant. Finally the boy came on the third day, and she came out to meet him. “Hello! Are you the one picking up the leftovers?”, Alice asked with a softness in her voice. She didn’t want to scare the boy.
But Chris wasn’t worried a bit, on the contrary, he replied cheerfully, “Yes, I am. Would you be so kind as to call the cook, maybe he’s already prepared the bags for me?”
Alice liked the boy’s immediacy. She replied, “Let’s do things differently today. Here is fresh food especially for you, so you don’t have to eat leftovers. My name is Alice, what’s yours?”
“You are so kind, thank you!” the boy pronounced. “My name is Christopher, but you can call me Chris.”
“Say, Chris, why don’t you eat at home?”, asked Alice gently. “Is your mother well? Is she all right?”
The boy’s face changed. “You know, I don’t really have a home, I live in a shelter. The food there is very bad. And I get some food at your restaurant, thanks to your staff. Don’t worry, I’m on my way out,” Christopher hastily replied and left.
Something told Alice that the boy didn’t tell her everything. So she followed him, and what she saw next, stunned her.
Chris didn’t go to the orphanage; he walked up to some house, put a bag of food by the door, and quickly disappeared. After a while, an older woman came out of the house, saw the bag, looked around, and went inside, taking the bag with her.
Curiosity was gnawing at Alice, and she planned to get some answers.
She wanted to call out to the woman to find out who she was, and what Chris had to do with her, but at that moment the phone rang and she went back to work. When Christopher reappeared at the restaurant, Alice was already waiting for him.
“Chris, I want to know something. You’re not taking food for yourself, are you? Tell me honestly, who is that woman?”
“I’m sorry I lied,” Chris replied. “Actually, the food was meant for my grandmother. She’s the only family I have.”
A stunned Alice asked: “Then why aren’t you living with her?”
Chris furrowed his brow. “When my parents passed away, Grandma didn’t get custody of me because she didn’t have a steady income. She doesn’t even have money for food. To help her, I take leftovers from your restaurant and bring them to her secretly.”
Alice was proud of the little boy for showing such generosity, but at the same time she felt uncomfortable about the whole situation. So she decided to go in the evening to Chris’s grandmother and tell her all about it.
When the elderly woman learned the name of the virtuous man who had brought her food, she was shocked. “Is it true?!”, could not believe Edith. “My grandson, I missed him so much. It really hurts that I couldn’t take him.”
“It’s all right, don’t worry,” Alice reassured her. “I think I know how to help you.”
That same afternoon, Alice drove out to the shelter where Christopher lived and applied for custody of him. Alice’s application was approved, and after all the formalities were met, Christopher returned to his grandmother.
“I can’t even imagine how to thank you, Alice,” Edith said with tears in her eyes. “If it was up to me, Christopher and I wouldn’t have been separated. I am so grateful to you!”
“Don’t thank me, ma’am,” Alice replied. “It was only my pleasure to help you. After all, I was once without parents myself, and I know from experience how good it is to have loved ones around.”
Hearing Alice’s words, the older woman took her hands and said: “I’m so sorry. I can’t replace your parents, but I would be very happy, if you wanted to be a part of our family. Our home is always open to you. You can come, any time you want.”
Alice was touched deeply: “Thank you, Edith. You are so kind,” “I will be happy to visit you and Christopher. He is a splendid boy, he has touched me to my core.”
“It’s true,” Edith seconded her. “All that remains is for me to figure out how to support him.”
“I have a proposition for you in that regard,” Alice replied.
Edith expected to hear a job offer, but what Alice said made the older woman cry.
“It may seem too much to ask, but after I lost my parents, there was no one to give me love and care,” Alice said. “It would make me very happy if you would agree to be a mother to me. You don’t have to worry about Christopher’s education; I’ll take care of it, for legal custody rests with me.
“Oh, darling,” said a touched Edith. “We are indebted to you. You are like an angel who has illuminated our lives.”
“Please don’t say that,” Alice replied. “Now I have you, my family. And what could be more precious in this world?”