Gregory had to work hard to earn every penny of his money. He grew up in a poor home and endured hardship throughout his life. When he finished high school, he could not afford to go to college, so he found employment as a laborer and worked on his own.
When he married the love of his life, Estefania, he thought his luck had finally changed. Unfortunately, his wife died in childbirth. From then on, the man dedicated himself to providing his son Henry with the best life possible. Gregory found work installing flooring for an elderly blind woman, Meredith.
“All you have to do is install some new wood boards in the attic. It should be a one-day job; the attic isn’t very big,” Meredith said.
As Gregory was removing the old floorboards, he came across something unexpected: a section full of cash. Now the man faced a major dilemma.
“This is a quick job, and I’ll be gone this afternoon. Meredith will never know,” he thought.
Acting against his better judgment, he took the money.
As a single father he was always ashamed that he couldn’t provide Henry with a better life. Although the boy was humble and didn’t ask for much, Gregory wished he could spoil his son more. With a third of the money, he decided to treat Henry to a day at the amusement park.
Gregory was overjoyed that his son was having so much fun. They were able to ride all the roller coasters and eat cake.
“It’s the best day of my life,” Henry told Gregory.
His son’s joy was enough to make Gregory forget his guilt for a day.
The widower had gone through many financial troubles since the death of his beloved wife and could barely afford Henry’s school tuition and living expenses. However, he couldn’t help but wonder what that money was for and if he had made a big mistake in taking it.
His heart ached as he went to bed that night, especially considering that Meredith was basically helpless. The next morning, Gregory received a call from Meredith.
“Hello, Gregory. I got a call from my maid, Ana, about some money she had hidden in my attic. Apparently, she had left cash under the floorboards for safekeeping because she was afraid her boyfriend would steal it. Her boyfriend was abusing her and she was planning to use the money for her son’s cancer treatment. Did you come across the money when you were working on the attic floor the other day?” asked Meredith.
Wracked with guilt, Gregory denied seeing the money. Meredith told him she felt terrible because Anne was devastated. Without the money, her employee’s son would not be able to receive chemotherapy, which meant his cancer would probably get worse.
Gregory couldn’t sleep that night because he knew that even if he paid back the money, a third of it would be gone, which meant Ana wouldn’t be able to pay for treatment in any case. He cried, knowing that a child might suffer for what he had done.
The next day, Gregory went to Meredith’s house with the remaining money and confessed what he had done.
“I have to tell you the truth. I lied to you yesterday. I found the money and took it. I used a third of it to spoil my son at the amusement park. I’m sorry I stole from you. There’s no excuse for it. Here’s what’s left. Please apologize to Ana on my behalf,” Gregory admitted.
Meredith took a moment before responding:
“I accept your apology. Would you mind making some tea? I’d like to talk to you for a while.”
Surprised by her response, Gregory agreed and the two sat and talked throughout the afternoon. Meredith asked Gregory to tell her his story. He explained that he came from a poor background, that Estefania had passed away, and that he used all of his money to support his son.
“Don’t worry about Ana. In any case, I planned to pay for her son’s treatment. Before he lost his sight, he was a successful artist. I have no one to inherit my fortune, so I was looking for ways to help others. I’m glad you confessed to what you did. I would have been a terrible witness,” Meredith joked.
“I’ll give you the rest, so you can return the entire sum to Anna. It will be a show of good faith. But if you keep the money, you’d better do all the floors for free for me!” said Meredith.
“Let’s just say it’s on the house,” Gregory joked.
The next day, Gregory returned Ana’s money and apologized for taking it. The woman accepted his apology and made Gregory promise not to do it again.
Gregory continued to work for free at Meredith’s house and maintained his friendship with her. The following year, Anne’s son James made a full recovery. As it turned out, Henry and Jacobo ended up in the same class and became friends.
Every month, Gregory and Ana took their children to the amusement park as a tradition. Meredith invested in Gregory’s business, which was able to hire employees and expand his business. In Meredith’s honor, Gregory adopted a policy that any work done in a senior’s home would be free of charge.
“To make it up to them for taking money from you and Anna, I promise to give it back to the elderly with free work.”
The man never forgot his promise to Meredith. Eventually, Gregory went to college and graduated with a degree in management, thanks to the success of his company.