“Dad, do you have to do this, can’t you go back to teaching?”.
Bruno’s oldest son, 15-year-old Travis, worriedly rubbed his eyes as he handed a bottle of tea to his father, who was leaving for his evening shift. He couldn’t know what his father was going through after retiring from the teaching career he loved so much.
Travis had a big responsibility for the next eight hours until Bruno returned home. The boy had to take care of his four younger siblings and make sure they slept well while his dad was driving his car, picking up and transporting strangers.
Bruno, 48, was a cab driver who had given up more than just his dream career to raise his five children who had lost their mother, and that fateful tragedy still haunted him.
The single father left for work in his cab on a rainy night. The next travel notification left him stuck in heavy traffic. It was the weekend and people were coming in and out of town. He stopped when a couple with a child in a car parked nearby caught his eye.
“How happy they look!” sighed Bruno. “Even I was that happy once. Samantha, I miss you, honey.”
Ten years ago, Bruno’s life was different. He was living a beautiful life with his wife Samantha and their four sons, Travis, Johnny, Matt and Eric. The family was expecting another small addition as Samantha was pregnant with their fifth baby.
“I should have been on time…. I wouldn’t have missed you if I hadn’t gone to proctor the exam that day,” Bruno thought as rain splashed against the window.
As it turned out, Samantha had gone into labor while Bruno was at school, filling in for a teacher who was out sick. Samantha was at home when she developed last-minute complications, just days before her due date.
Fortunately, neighbors found her unconscious and took her to the hospital. Bruno rushed from work to see his wife and baby, only to be told that only one had survived. Samantha was gone and Bruno constantly blamed himself for the tragedy.
A couple of days after his beloved wife’s funeral, Bruno made a difficult decision. He retired from his dream job because he couldn’t concentrate as he should have.
“My dedication to teaching cost my wife her life. I don’t hate my job, but I can’t keep working while taking care of my children. My youngest son needs me. I can’t work peacefully leaving him with a nanny.” he told his colleagues before leaving the school.
Bruno never went back to teaching after that.
Although his students tried to convince him to change his mind, Bruno never gave in to their arguments. But soon, his rash decision to quit his job began to take its toll. The widower was torn between raising his five children and being out of work when a friend referred him to a cab service company looking for a driver.
A sudden honk behind startled Bruno back to his senses. Traffic cleared and he started driving when a woman holding a baby hailed his cab from a bus stop.
Bruno pulled up next to her while he rolled down the car window.
“Hey, can you drop me off at the airport?” the woman asked him, rain splattering her face.
Bruno explained that he had to pick up a passenger who had already booked a trip. He had twenty minutes, and the airport was a ten-minute drive from where they were. He didn’t have the heart to drop off the woman and her baby, so he asked her to board the car.
“Thank you!” was all the woman said. She started checking with her phone while her baby slept next to her. Ten minutes later, she asked Bruno to pull up in front of the airport.
“You drove so fast, driver. I feel sick… I want to throw up,” she said.
“Uh, sorry, ma’am. I had a trip booked in advance, so I was in a hurry.”
“Never mind! Can you wait here with the baby? I need to throw up. I’ll be back after I wash up, okay?”.
“Sure, ma’am. I’ll wait here.”
Bruno waited with the baby, but time was passing. He was restless and kept looking for the woman. She was nowhere in sight. He turned around and saw that the baby was asleep.
“Where could she be? I’m going to be late.”
Bruno waited for more than twenty minutes, but the woman never returned. He got out of his car to check the back seat and found that the purse the woman was carrying was missing. Bruno became anxious and reported it to the police.
“Do you have her booking details?”.
“No, officer. I was going to pick up someone else and she asked me to bring her to the airport. I had twenty minutes, so I offered her a ride.”
The cops looked for the woman everywhere, including the airport, but she was nowhere to be found. Bruno stayed with the baby the whole time while police searched for the missing mother.
Night settled in and, when dawn broke, Bruno was still with the baby. He left the child with the police, who then turned him over to child services until they found the mother.
Bruno returned home to take his children to school, but for some reason, he was still upset about the previous night’s incident.
Two days later he went to the police station to find out if the baby’s mother had been found. He learned that she had disappeared, abandoning the child.
“We were unable to trace the identity of the child. It looks like she abandoned him. We sent the baby to a foster home for now,” police officers informed Bruno.
Concerned about the baby boy, Bruno visited him in the foster home and, several days later, when no relatives showed up to look for him, he made another life-changing decision. He adopted the baby, not knowing how his life would evolve afterwards.
“Children, meet Samuel, your little brother. He is going to live with us. I want you to love him the way you love each other, okay?”
Bruno and his sons raised Samuel, who brightened their lives despite their difficult days. Three months passed and Bruno almost forgot how the child had come into his life.
“Yes, sir. I adopted him because I thought Samuel had no one. They never found his mother and he needed someone to love and comfort him.”
“Meet me at the lawyer’s office tomorrow, sir!” said Mr. Fernandez to Bruno as he handed him the lawyer’s card and then left the place with his wife. Before leaving, he told him to bring the baby.
Bruno anxiously met the couple at the lawyer’s office the next day, only to learn that he was called to sign the guardianship of Samuel’s $1 million estate.
“After our daughter, Amanda, broke up with her boyfriend, she was hell-bent on her fashion career against our wishes,” Mr. Fernandez explained.
“When we found out she was pregnant and didn’t want the child, we advised her not to terminate her pregnancy. We told her it was against our beliefs as Christians and we feared our reputation in the church would be ruined. She decided to abort the baby against our wishes, but it was too late.”
“She told us about her new job abroad, but we didn’t agree. We wanted her to stay and raise her son. When she refused, we disinherited her and bequeathed our estate to our grandson. She was furious with us and took him away in his sleep. We kept looking everywhere for our grandson, and a friend in the apartment told us about the baby and you. Thank you for caring and loving our grandson!”. added Mrs. Fernandez.
“And what happened to your daughter, Mr. Fernádez?” asked Bruno curiously.
“Well, she called us once and told us not to look for her. We tracked down the number and found out she was in Japan. We’re not sure about the future, but we’re happy that our grandson is now in the hands of a loving father and siblings.”
Bruno sighed and, after signing the papers, took Samuel home. He was now the legal guardian of the boy’s $1 million inheritance.
Although only time would tell if Amanda would realize her mistake and return to her son, Bruno found yet another reason to be happy. He continued to raise Samuel, devoting his love and care.