An old man who lives alone in his shabby house receives an unexpected visitor one morning who changes his life in ways he could never have imagined.
It was winter yet again, and like many mornings, Mr. Hughes was sitting alone in the warmth of his fireplace, wondering when his son would visit him again. Allen Hughes was a rich businessman, and he never really liked the vibe of the countryside, so he chose to settle in the city.
Years later, when he got married and had a baby boy, he and his wife paid Mr. Hughes a visit to celebrate the joy of him becoming a grandpa, but that was the last time Mr. Hughes saw or heard from his son.
Mr. Hughes lived alone in his old house. | Source: Shutterstock
Several Thanksgivings and Christmases passed after that, but Allen didn't even bother to call his father, let alone send him an invitation. But things were different when Allen was a student. He would often lend a helping hand to Mr. Hughes in stocking food and firewood for winters so that when it snowed heavily, they didn't have to worry about much and could get by with the supplies at home. However, that wasn't the case now, as he rarely visited his father.
Furthermore, Mr. Hughes' knees gave way at the age of 89, with the cold exacerbating his knee pain, which is why he could no longer make trips to another village where they usually got their firewood and food supplies. Hence, the older man endured on whatever he could gather nearby, often surviving on leftovers and cheap groceries and sometimes sleeping on an empty stomach due to lack of food.
But then, one morning, everything changed...
That morning, Mr. Hughes was tending to his tiny garden when he heard a yowling sound. He looked around his yard and noticed a kitten stuck in one of the trees. "Oh, no. How did you even get there?" he wondered as he watched the poor animal cry in agony.
You never know how your life will turn around.
He considered asking for help to get the kitty down, but then it hit him. He remembered that he had a ladder in his basement that he could use, so he dashed inside to get it.
After securing it to the tree, he began climbing it step by step, assuring the kitten that she would soon be safe. "Don't worry, kitty. This old man may take some time, but he'll make it."
However, deep down, Mr. Hughes felt like it was more of a reassurance for him because he could clearly hear the cranking of the old wood under his feet with every step he took.
When he got close enough to the kitten, he gently rescued her from the branch where she was stuck and brought her down.
Mr. Hughes rescued the kitten. | Source: Pexels
"Yay! We finally made it!" he exclaimed, celebrating his small victory with the poor animal, which was staring at him with huge eyes and occasionally blending pleasant purrs with whines.
"Are you hungry? Let's see if we can get you some milk."
Mr. Hughes brought the cat inside and pulled out an old ceramic bowl he hadn't used in years. When he looked in the fridge, he noticed that all groceries had been depleted. However, there was some milk left in there, which he poured into the bowl for the poor animal.
The kitten pounced on the milk as soon as Mr. Hughes offered it, and while she drank, he gently patted her head. "Looks like you got no one else too. Well then, kitty, let's become friends because this old man is also alone…just like you."
And surprisingly, the kitten did become friends with Mr. Hughes sooner than he expected. She would accompany him in the garden when he was watering his flower beds, or when he returned home with firewood, she would sit beside him on the old couch and keep staring until she got some milk.
Mr. Hughes forgot he was alone for a while, and he and the kitten, whom he named Lily, became best friends. He just loved having Lily around him all the time. But one morning was different.
Mr. Hughes and Lily became best friends. | Source: Pexels
Mr. Hughes had just awoken and was pouring milk for Lily when he heard a car's engine outside his house. His heart skipped a beat for a split second, thinking it had to be Allen. But when he lifted the window shade, he noticed a young man – not Allen – dressed in a suit and getting out of a black Mercedes.
Who the hell is he? Mr. Huges wondered and drew the shades down. A few minutes later, he heard a knock on his door, and when he opened it, he saw the same man standing there.
"Good morning, sir," the man said. "My name is Thomas Pearce. My wife and I are actually looking for our cat. She ran away from us a few days ago. Someone said they'd seen the cat around this area. Do you happen to know anything?" he asked, holding up a photograph of Lily. In the photo, she was wearing a collar, which Mr. Hughes assumed had come off when she ran away from Thomas's house.
"Oh well..." Mr. Hughes had begun speaking when Lily entered the living room from the kitchen. Thomas recognized her the moment he saw her. "Oh, look! There she is!"
"Well, yeah, I found her a few days ago... I had no idea she had escaped."
"She's a little mischievous, sir. Thanks for looking after her. What's your name?"
Thomas came to get Lily back. | Source: Pexels
"Oh, that wasn't a problem. It - It's all good. I'm David - David Hughes."
But Thomas could see that there was a problem. As he glanced around Mr. Hughes' home, he noticed it was in desperate need of repairs. The house smelled moldy, and there was dust everywhere, indicating that it hadn't been cleaned in days, if not weeks.
"Do you live here by yourself, sir?"
"Well, I have a son, but he lives in the city."
"Ah, I see…."
Suddenly, his gaze was drawn to the kitchen, piled with dirty dishes and a table with only a packet of leftover bread and some jam on it, on which Mr. Hughes had been surviving. He decided to give the old man a few dollars in appreciation for looking after his cat, thinking it would help him.
"Thank you again for looking after my cat, sir. You did me a favor, so I would be happy if you accepted this," he said, extending a few dollar bills from his wallet.
Mr. Hughes refused to accept it, so Thomas insisted, but he still refused. So Thomas thought of a better idea to help the old man.
"All right, sir, if you don't want to take the money, at least join me and my wife for dinner. We'd be delighted to have you over. I'm hoping you won't decline this request."
Thomas noticed the terrible condition Mr. Hughes was living in. | Source: Pexels
Mr. Hughes hesitated for a while but finally nodded.
"Perfect! See you later, sir," Thomas replied. He gave him his address before walking away.
Mr. Hughes couldn't believe his eyes when he arrived at Thomas' house. It was a massive villa, beautifully decorated with plants on both sides.
Thomas met him at the gate, then ushered him inside where Thomas and his wife, Sharon, had prepared a delicious dinner of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, and apple pie. Mr. Hughes also met Thomas' 5-year-old daughter, Lindsay, who insisted he play with her dolls.
That night, Mr. Hughes couldn't stop crying when he got home, thinking about Thomas and his family. His son had abandoned him, but this stranger genuinely cared for him.
But that wasn't all. There was another surprise in store for him the next morning.
Mr. Hughes enjoyed a delicious dinner at Thomas's house. | Source: Pexels
Thomas dropped by to bring him breakfast. "I was passing by your house, so I just thought of dropping by," he said.
But that wasn't the only time he "just dropped by." Thomas and Sharon started keeping a regular check on Mr. Hughes after learning from his neighbor about how his son had never visited him in years and he was always alone.
Mr. Hughes didn't even realize when, but Thomas, Sharon, Lindsay, and Lily became like family to him. He never felt alone anymore after meeting them, and soon, Thomas insisted he move in with them.
"You see, Mr. Hughes, I know what transpired between you and your son. Neighbors informed me... I apologize for invading your privacy, but... I was an orphan, so I never knew what it was like to have parents. But you are no less than a father to me. Lindsay would also appreciate having a grandfather like you. What do you think?"
The old man cried and hugged Thomas. "I don't have words to thank you, Thomas. My son never cared for me like that. Thank you!"
And so, Mr. Hughes moved from his shabby old cottage to Thomas' house and found himself a wonderful family.
When his son returned to his house later that year to pick up some documents, he was surprised that Mr. Hughes wasn't there. He discovered from the neighbors he had been staying with Thomas and his family and decided to pay him a visit. But Mr. Hughes slammed the door on his face and said, "I don't know you. Please leave because I'm staying here with my son, and he's not fond of strangers."
What can we learn from this story?
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