A homeless older man is digging through the trash for food when a luxe car pulls beside him, and a millionaire asks him to get in his car. The homeless man is confused, to say the least, as he doesn’t recognize the millionaire at all.
65-year-old Oliver sighed bitterly, staring at the red signal light and squeezing his stomach to quell the hunger pangs. While the cars rushed up and down the road, his gaze was locked on the dumpster in the alley across the street, and he couldn’t wait to get there.
After a couple of seconds, when the signal light finally turned green, Oliver rolled his wheelchair to the dumpster and began digging for even the tiniest bits of food he could find. He was so hungry that he felt he’d pass out any minute, and the heat waves blowing during the summer afternoon were only making matters worse.
A few years ago, life had been very different for Oliver. He was a happy family man with a loving wife and a son. But the day his wife died, Oliver’s world started to collapse in bits. First, his son kicked him out of the house, and then he lost his savings and respect.
After being kicked out, Oliver worked days and nights to rent out a small house. But then he suffered a stroke and was confined to a wheelchair, making him a liability rather than an asset to the company for which he worked, and he was sacked.
“Who are you? Do I know you, sir?” Oliver asked in tears, moved by the man’s kind treatment, and the man gave him a huge smile.
Oliver tried to find work again but couldn’t. Soon, his savings ran out and when he couldn’t pay the rent, he became homeless.
“Can you please give me some more time?” he had asked his landlord in tears.
The man refused. “I allowed you to stay here for three months without rent, Oliver. I’m sorry, I can’t do anything now.”
Sadly, Oliver’s friends had either moved away or were no longer alive, and he didn’t have any relatives because he and his wife were orphans. As a result, he had no one to turn to for assistance. He accepted his fate and embraced the life of a homeless man, living in an abandoned car in a parking lot, knowing there was no way out.
That day, while exploring the dumpster for food, Oliver suddenly found a half-eaten sandwich, and his happiness knew no bounds. He took a huge bite and cried in relief as he ate it. The bacon inside had gone bad, he knew it, but having something to eat was better than starving, so he just ate it like it was the best food in the world. He rummaged through the bin for more food, hoping to find something to store for dinner.
Suddenly, a luxe car pulled beside him, and the millionaire businessman in the backseat rolled down his window. “Good Lord!” he yelled from his car. “I haven’t seen you in ages. Is that you, Oliver?”
Oliver stopped digging and looked up to see a man dressed in a tuxedo stepping out of the car. As the rich man approached him, he hugged Oliver and invited him to his car.
Oliver had never been more confused in his life. He wasn’t used to being treated this way; everyone pushed him away for his scruffy appearance or ignored him.
“Who are you? Do I know you, sir?” he asked in tears, moved by the man’s kind treatment, and the man gave him a huge smile.
“It’s me, Oliver! Sean! Remember? We were together in college!”
“Sean?” Oliver deliberated for a while and then memories flooded back to him.
“Oh, no way!” he cried, suddenly remembering his long-lost friend. “This has to be unreal. I am so happy to see you after so long, Sean! I – I am very embarrassed about my appearance, though,” he added sadly.
“You have nothing to be ashamed of, Oliver. But what actually happened? What exactly are you doing here?”
Oliver shared his painful story and Sean felt awful for him.
“Get in!” he said, motioning for Oliver to get in his car. Oliver hesitated, but he was just too happy to see Sean and obliged. With Sean’s driver’s assistance, Oliver managed to get in the car, his wheelchair stowed in the trunk.
Sean took him to a local restaurant where he ordered him a lot of food. While Oliver ate, Sean reminded him of their good old days, and the two buddies couldn’t stop chatting about how lovely their youth had been.
Oliver was always a bright and intelligent student who excelled academically and in sports. Sean, on the other hand, used to put in minimal effort in everything because he preferred to do things smartly rather than the hard way. He even dropped out of college to start his business, and while everyone thought Sean would never achieve anything in life, Oliver always encouraged him.
After Oliver graduated college, he relocated to a different city, and that’s how they lost touch. But then fate brought them together once again.
“You don’t deserve this kind of life, Oliver! I hate to see you living like this!” Sean told him. “And I’m sorry to say this, but your son is a jerk! How can anyone do that to their parents? How can he kick you out?”
Oliver sighed. “He doesn’t live there any longer. He sold the house and moved. I went there around two years ago…”
Sean felt bad for Oliver, and he knew he had to help him, so he offered Oliver to stay in his house and introduced him to his family, his wife, Lydia, and twin daughters, Maryl and Catherine, who called him Uncle Oliver with affection.
Later, Sean helped Oliver get a job in his company, and Oliver was soon able to afford to rent a house. However, Sean insisted Oliver stay with him and his family.
“I can’t let my daughters’ uncle leave like that. You must stay, Oliver, because you are a part of this family too,” he said, and Oliver couldn’t argue otherwise.
What can we learn from this story?
- True friends stick with you through good and bad times. Sean was a real friend who didn’t hesitate to help his friend in distress. Such friends deserve all appreciation.
- Be kind and help others because there’s always someone having it worse than you. Everyone ignored Oliver or dismissed him because he was a homeless man, but without thinking about anything else, Sean jumped in to help his friend, even though they’d lost touch long ago. He was a kind man and a true friend.