A girl who got befriended by an old man she once saw getting yelled at by his son went to visit him, as usual, one day, but she found many people gathered at his house. In a great act of kindness, she decided to take in his cat and was rewarded unexpectedly.
It was an excellent evening, and Linda Beckham was returning home after a long and stressful day at work. She was a waitress at a diner which meant she had to be on her feet all day long, catering to customers that sometimes thought they could walk all over her just because she was a waitress.
Linda hated it; it had never been her dream to become a waitress. She wanted to go to art school to become a professional dancer, but her parents were relatively poor and could not afford the fees.
Linda was a waitress at a diner which meant she had to be on her feet all day long | Source: Pexels
They could not also attempt to help her save up money because her mom was bedridden, and her dad was just a mere worker in a factory making peanuts, most of which went to offset his wife's medical bills.
Linda had to reckon that her dreams would have to be funded herself, so as soon as she could work, she started to because she also desired to lessen her father's burden while planning to achieve her dreams.
It was not an easy task; there were rude customers. Sometimes, some even became violent — throwing things or food around the hall — however, Linda was always restrained and courteous, unwilling to let anything jeopardize her goals.
"It's just for a short period," she would whisper whenever she felt down or at her limit.
She never argued, nor did she talk back because she had that in mind. Every day the hardworking girl would take the same route home; from the restaurant, past the butcher's shop, and two blocks down, an intersection that takes her home.
That day, she had just passed the butcher's shop when she heard screaming on the opposite side of the road. She walked past a bus blocking her view and saw an older man and another man arguing about something.
Linda had just passed the butcher's shop when she heard screaming on the opposite side of the road | Source: Pexels
It seemed pretty intense, and she stood there watching for some moments. "Should I try to intervene?" Linda wondered; however, she knew that she would do no such thing for fear of attracting the younger man's wrath.
He seemed to be the most incensed of the two, and at some point, he knocked the groceries out of the older man's hands and then left, muttering under his breath the whole time.
After he left, she stood there rooted to the spot, stunned by the violence and disrespect. Then she watched the older man bend down painfully to collect his things.
A minute later, she snapped out of her trance and rushed to help him, so they packed the groceries together, and she offered to help him take them into his home.
He tried to refuse, but she insisted.
"What kind of person would I be if I let you carry such a heavy load?" She asked him cheerfully, so he agreed to let her do it.
As soon as they entered his house, she noticed how shabby it was; there was sparse furniture, and the place was so small that a shack would be a better description.
Linda offered to help him take his groceries into his home | Source: Pexels
A few steps in, Linda noticed a black blur run out of one of the rooms and rub against her leg. She would have screamed, but she quickly realized it was just a cat.
"What a cute cat," Linda said as she dropped the groceries and bent to pat it.
"That's Ms. Bun, my companion," the old man, who had introduced himself as Richard, said.
"Wow, that's a cute name," she said, listening to it purr.
"Thanks, she has been with me since my wife passed away years back, and sometimes she seems like the reincarnation of her," the man gushed, still obviously in love with his late wife.
He offered her after she helped him put his groceries away, and because she enjoyed his company, she accepted it with glee.
After they sat down to take the tea with some snacks he whipped up; the man told her his story. He revealed that his son, Clement, had been the one to spill the groceries.
"We've been having disputes since he discovered that I left him nothing to inherit after my passing except Ms. Bun, but that's because she's my greatest treasure," he said with a wry smile.
Linda sat down to take the tea with some snacks as the man told her his story | Source: Pexels
Linda remembered she had to be home to make dinner for her parents, so she excused herself, thanked him for the tea, and apologized for what his son did.
The older man seemed sad to let her go, so she promised to visit him whenever she passed by his house on her way home, making him smile happily.
The following day at work, she worked herself to the bone once more, but she was also eager to meet the charming older man and his black cat.
As soon as her shift ended, she walked the already familiar route, but this time she stopped at the man's house and knocked at his door. When he opened the door, she told him that she had brought muffins that would go well with tea, and he gave her another toothy grin.
"That's lovely." He said. "Muffin goes well with tea, do come in."
She visited him like that two more times, but on the fourth day, she met a large crowd by his house, and then she saw the ambulance waiting by the curb.
As soon as Linda shift ended, she walked the already familiar route, but this time she stopped at the man's house and knocked at his door | Source: Pexels
Linda hastened her walk and was just in time to see the EMTs wheel a corpse out of the man's house. She had no doubt it was Jim, and it broke her heart.
People started to disperse after the ambulance left, and she was about to leave too when she saw his cat sitting quietly on the porch.
"What will happen to her now?" She asked the man closest to her, gesturing towards the cat.
"Oh her? She'll probably be taken to an animal pound where she will take the long walk," he answered.
"The long walk?" She asked, watching the man make a beheading gesture that shocked her and delighted him.
Linda could not imagine letting the cat meet that fate, so she offered to take him with her. But, of course, nobody else was willing, so no one stopped her.
She carried the cat home, and as she sadly groomed her, she noticed it had a lot of dust on its coat, so she decided to bathe it. After she put it in the sink to clean it, she noticed a collar that had been hidden under her long coat.
On one side of it, she saw lettering that read "my dearest treasure," On the other side, she saw a yellow stone that seemed to catch the light.
She cleaned the cat and put the stone on her table while attending to her home chores, but she could not get it off her mind.
"What if it's precious?" She Thought.
Linda could not imagine letting the cat meet that fate, so she offered to take him with her | Source: Pexels
"No," her mind told her. "Why would he have such a thing and still choose to live in that house?"
Eventually, when she couldn't take it anymore, she decided to see a jeweler who confirmed that the stone was not just precious but also worth a lot.
"Where did you find such a pure sapphire?" He asked her, greed in his eyes.
"I inherited it," she said quickly, but as she turned to leave with it, he offered her $50,000, and she immediately accepted it.
As she walked back home, she stopped in front of the older man's home, and it was almost like she could see his wry smile; then, she recalled what he had said.
At that moment, she understood what he meant when he had told her back then that Mrs. Bun was his greatest treasure. It had never been the cat; even though he had loved her, it was her collar.
With the money she got from selling the sapphire, Linda quit her job, paid off her parent's debt, and went to her dance school to achieve her dreams.
Linda decided to see a jeweler who confirmed that the stone was not just precious but also worth a lot | Source: Pexels
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