Oliver, 65, sighed bitterly, stared at the red light and pressed his stomach to calm his hunger. As cars jostled each other on the road, his gaze was fixed on the dumpster in the alley across the street, and he couldn’t wait to get there.
After a few seconds, when the light finally turned green, Oliver wheeled his wheelchair over to the dumpster and began to search for every last bit of food he could find. He was so hungry he felt like he was going to pass out any minute, and the heat waves that were blowing in that summer afternoon only made it worse.
A few years ago, life was very different for Oliver. He was a happy family man with a loving wife and son. But the day his wife died, his world began to crumble little by little. First, his son kicked him out of the house, then he lost his savings.
After being kicked out, Oliver worked day and night to rent a small house. But then he suffered a stroke and was confined to a wheelchair, which made him a hindrance rather than an asset to the company he worked for, and he was fired.
Oliver tried to find work but was unsuccessful. Soon he had no savings and, unable to pay the rent, he ended up homeless.
“Can you please give me a little more time?” he had tearfully asked his landlord.
The man refused. “I allowed you to stay here for three months rent free, Oliver. I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do now.”
Unfortunately, Oliver’s friends had moved away or were no longer alive, and he had no relatives because he and his wife were orphans. Therefore, he had no one to turn to for help. He accepted his fate and lived like a homeless man, living in an abandoned car in a parking lot, knowing that there was no way out.
That day, while rummaging through the dumpster for food, Oliver suddenly found a half-eaten sandwich, and he was very happy. He took a huge bite and cried with relief as he ate it. The bacon inside was rotten, he knew, but having something to eat was better than starving, so he ate it like it was the best food in the world. He continued to dig through the trash for more food, hoping to find something to save for dinner.
Suddenly, a luxury car pulled up next to him, and a millionaire businessman in the back seat rolled down his window. “Goodness gracious! ” he shouted from his car. “I haven’t seen you in ages. Is that you, Oliver?”.
Oliver stopped his search and looked up to see a man dressed in a tuxedo getting out of the car. Approaching him, the rich man hugged Oliver and invited him into his car.
Oliver had never been so confused in his life. He wasn’t used to being treated this way; everyone either turned him away for his disheveled appearance or ignored him.
“Who are you? Do I know you, sir?” he asked tearfully, moved by the man’s kindness, who gave him a huge smile.
“It’s me, Oliver! Sean! Do you remember? We were in college together!”.
“Sean?”, Oliver thought for a moment, then the memories came flooding back to him.
“Oh, my gosh!” he cried, suddenly remembering his long lost friend. “This is amazing. I’m so happy to see you after so long, Sean! I’m so embarrassed by my appearance,” he added sadly.
“You have nothing to be ashamed of, Oliver. But what really happened? What exactly are you doing here?”
After graduating from college, Oliver moved to another city, and so they lost touch. But fate brought them together once again.
“You don’t deserve this kind of life, Oliver! I hate to see you living like this!” said Sean to him. “And I’m sorry to say this, but your son is a jerk! How can he do that to his parents? How can he kick you out?”
Oliver sighed. “He doesn’t live there anymore. He sold the house and moved away. I went there about two years ago…”
Sean felt bad for Oliver, and he knew he had to help him. So he offered to let Oliver stay in his house and introduced him to his family, his wife, Lydia, and twin daughters, Maryl and Catherine, who affectionately called him Uncle Oliver.
Later, Sean helped Oliver find a job at his company, and later, Oliver was able to afford to rent a house. However, Sean insisted that he stay with him and his family.
“I can’t let my daughters’ uncle leave like that. You have to stay Oliver, because you are part of this family too,” he said, and Oliver couldn’t argue otherwise.