«Haaaa! My big day is finally here!» sighs Joseph as the warm rays of sunlight streaming through his bedroom window tickle his eyes. «I hope Mrs. Wills has everything ready for the party.»
Joseph was hours away from cutting his 37th birthday cake. He was excited to have all his friends and colleagues at the party, especially his boss, Samuel. He had been looking forward to this day for a long time and wanted everything to be perfect.
But the poor man had no idea that something else was going to happen on the day that would cause him to kick out his VIP guests in favor of his old cleaning lady…
A soft bass melody played in Joseph’s living room, transformed for the occasion into a party room.
«Jo, the chosen one of the day … You look dashing. No one can tell you’re 37!» joked Samuel as he entered the room with his hand resting on Joseph’s shoulder, adjusting his luxurious tuxedo.
Guests were eating lunch as Karen, 62, stood in the corner of the living room, taking a short break to ease her sore feet.
«Here, take this wine tray. Will you carry it?» a guest asked her.
«Haaaa…I’ll take this,» Karen said, picking up a tray of wine and approaching the guests. She was not used to hearing loud music, not to mention the smell of cigarette smoke, when she passed by smoking and talking guests.
Karen couldn’t stand the smell, but she was determined to serve her boss’ guests with a smile. That’s when she accidentally tripped on the carpet, dropping the tray of glasses that splashed wine on Samuel’s expensive tuxedo before shattering on the floor.
«Oh my God,» Joseph gasped as his boss was shocked by his wine-stained and oozing suit.
The guests dancing around stopped and watched the tragic scene with dismay. Meanwhile, Karen was not expecting the intensity of Samuel’s anger.
«I’ll clean it up. I’m so sorry, sir,» she apologized, aware that everyone was staring at her with a frown.
«SORRY??? Will that word be enough to clean my suit, you old crone?» said Samuel angrily.
«Do you know how expensive this tux is? Even if you clean all your life, you’ll never have enough money to buy it! How dare you spoil my suit! Do you have eyes in the back of your head?»
Karen felt a strange sensation rising in her gut. She was frightened, because no one had ever yelled at her like that before, let alone in public. Tears welled up in her eyes and she looked around, embarrassed.
«Why do you come to work when you are unable to hold a tray?», Samuel shouted. «If your hands are that twisted and shaky, I can’t imagine what your children look like!».
The guests burst out laughing, mocking Karen and adding insult. Unable to take it anymore, she walked away in tears.
«Jo, what kind of a housekeeper do you have? Fire her immediately!», Samuel shouted.
Joseph was torn between obeying his boss’s order and standing up for poor Karen.
«Jo, why are you standing like a statue? That good-for-nothing old crone destroyed my expensive suit.» added Samuel, confident that Joseph would obey. But he was surprised by his reaction.
«ENOUGH! Everybody out now,» Joseph shouted. «Get out of my house, all the rich goats! Get out!»
Samuel was taken aback. He hadn’t expected Joseph to take his housekeeper’s side and kick out his distinguished guests instead of sending her away.
«Joseph? Have you lost your mind? You’d better apologize at once and send her away… Or you can kiss your job goodbye!», Samuel raged.
«Oh, really? Well, why don’t you get out before I throw you out myself?», Joseph replied as his angry boss stormed off with all the guests.
The living room, which was filled with laughter and music a moment ago, became very quiet.
«Mrs. Wills, I am so sorry this happened. Please forgive them and…», Joseph apologized to Karen, before breaking down in tears after she revealed a heartbreaking truth.
«I have no children. My only daughter and her husband died in a car accident nine years ago. My husband is bedridden, so I have to work to raise my grandson, Dave. We don’t know what weekends and vacations are like. We work daily to make our little Dave happy,» Karen cried. «It’s my fault … I should have been more careful, but I couldn’t hold back the tears when he talked about my kids.»
Touched by Karen’s story, Joseph decided to comfort and cheer her up by cutting his birthday cake in her presence.
«You are my guest, Mrs. Wills. I’ll make a wish…». He blew out the candle on the cake while preparing a little surprise for Karen.
The next day, Samuel tried to call Joseph, but to no avail.
«…I can’t even reach him through his landline. Why isn’t anyone answering? Why hasn’t he come into the office yet? I can’t wait to tell him he’s fired and throw him out like he did with me yesterday!».
But Joseph and his housekeeper were already hundreds of miles out of town, and no one knew where they were going.
«A resignation letter?», Samuel wondered after a notification came through on his phone. It was from Joseph, and it turned out that, as part of his plan, he had quit his job first before taking the next step in his surprise for Karen.
Joseph, who lost his parents too soon in a car accident, was raised by his late grandmother, Carol. After listening to Karen’s story, he didn’t want a repeat of the story he had experienced. So he decided to help her raise her grandson.
First, he decided to take Karen’s family on a vacation, before telling her the next big thing he had planned for her.
«It was the best moment of our lives… My grandson had always wanted to see the beach and enjoy the waves. Thank you for granting his wish, Mr. Parker,» Karen said on the way home from vacation.
«It’s not over yet, Mrs. Wills. I have another surprise for you,» Joseph replied as he pulled up in front of his house and showed Karen a plaque that read «Joseph Parker & Family» near his front door.
«I know this may sound crazy, but Mrs. Wills, please allow me to become your son, and please move in with me!» he said.
Karen couldn’t help but shed tears.
«After my parents and grandmother died, I lived with a big void in my heart. I think only you can fill it with love.»
Eventually, Karen moved into Joseph’s house with her husband and grandson. She was no longer his housekeeper, but rather Joseph’s beloved mother.
As for Samuel, he couldn’t get over the fact that his employee had quit to partner with his housekeeper. He winced and grumbled. He was even more frustrated when he learned that Joseph had found a better paying job with a competing company!