A helpless cashier begs her boss not to fire her after he catches her stealing money for her dying son. He even calls the cops on her, but help comes to her unexpectedly through a kind soul.
Maria broke down on her way out of church. She’d just seen her boyfriend marrying another woman at the altar. That bride was supposed to be Maria, and he’d promised her months ago it would be her.
Maria and Blake had been dating for six months when she discovered she was pregnant with his child. When she told him about the pregnancy, he said he needed time to process the unexpected news. She couldn’t have guessed he would dump her like this and marry another woman.
Blake was 21 and passionate about music. He busked for a living and dreamed about making it big in life. Maria came from wealth, and her parents were against her dating him. But the girl chose him over them because she loved him.
When a friend called one day and told her Blake was getting married, Maria was shocked. She almost didn’t believe it until she saw it herself. Maria tried to stop the wedding, but was kicked out of the church…
As Maria returned home, she locked herself in her room and couldn’t stop crying. Her whole life was falling apart! She should have listened to her mom when she forbade her from attending the vocal lessons at the local club where Blake worked. She should have believed her warning that Blake’s promises of marrying her were bogus!
Maria was heartbroken and didn’t know what to do. But now, more than anything, she was concerned about the life growing inside her. She knew her parents would never accept Blake’s child, but she couldn’t bear the thought of killing her baby. So when her baby bump became more conspicuous, she told her parents about her and Blake’s breakup, his wedding, and the unexpected pregnancy.
“You must be joking, honey. Tell me you are!” Maria’s mother, Mrs. Lancaster, was fuming. “OK, OK…Don’t worry, OK? We’ll come up with something…That man’s blood cannot be raised in this house! We must get rid of it!”
“I–I can’t kill my baby, Mom!” Maria protested. “I’m going to raise my child!”
“No, you won’t!” Mr. Lancaster said. “Your mother is right. We will meet the best doctors and find a solution. All you have to do now is forget you dated him and move on.”
But Maria couldn’t just move on. It wasn’t as easy as her parents said it was. She had loved Blake with all her heart. It wasn’t like Blake was a broken toy that could be replaced easily.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to do that…” she said quietly. “And I don’t think I can get rid of this baby either…”
“Oh, honey,” Mrs. Lancaster gently wrapped her arms around her daughter. “You’re far too young. Just 19. You have the rest of your life ahead of you. Throwing your life away like this…let’s not do that, OK?”
But Maria wouldn’t budge. She was adamant about continuing the pregnancy, so her parents gave her an ultimatum to either keep the child or leave their house. Without hesitation, Maria decided to leave.
As she packed her things and walked out of her room, Maria’s gaze was drawn to the old ragged giraffe Mrs. Lancaster had sewn for her years ago, when they couldn’t afford expensive toys. Maria took the soft toy with her.
Mr. and Mrs. Lancaster asked her to reconsider her decision as they saw her leave the house. Maria didn’t look back. God wouldn’t have sent a child my way if He didn’t want me to become a mother, she thought. But life wasn’t going to be half as easy as Maria had thought.
She was able to rent a small flat with the money she had saved since becoming pregnant and was fortunate enough to have a kind landlord who gave her the space at a discount. But she knew her savings wouldn’t last long, so she also needed to find work.
Unfortunately, nobody wanted to hire a heavily pregnant teenage girl. Those few months of Maria’s months were the most stressful, and not even one job application yielded positive results.
Due to stress, Maria went into labor earlier than expected. She gave birth to a premature baby boy, who was diagnosed with an advancing heart condition. Even the happiest moment in her life came entangled with distress, and her baby was placed in the NICU. A surgery would fix her baby’s heart, but unfortunately, Maria didn’t have enough funds to afford it.
Never give up hope. It’s only after a dark night that the sun shines in the sky.
“How much time do I have for the surgery he needs?” she asked the doctor in tears. “I… I will be able to save him, right?”
The doctor let out a sigh. “We only have six months, Maria,” he admitted helplessly. “We won’t be able to extend it any further.”
“All right,” she said quietly. “I’ll arrange for the money before that. I’ll go to any length for my child. I’ll do anything!”
But Maria didn’t quite know how she’d do that. She hadn’t been able to get a job, and after the delivery, all her savings were exhausted in clearing the hospital bills.
After getting discharged from the maternity hospital, Maria began looking for a job again. Though she kept receiving rejections, she was determined not to give up. And one day, a man named Mr. Dawson agreed to hire her. He even promised her a good salary, and Maria couldn’t believe it! Her life was finally turning around!
Maria was hired as a cashier at Mr. Dawson’s grocery store. She calculated that if she worked two shifts for five months, she could save enough money for her son’s surgery.
Soon, baby Aaron was discharged from the hospital. Maria’s kind landlord agreed to look after him on Mondays, and for the rest of the days, Maria took her son to work with her.
Maria’s customers loved entertaining the little angel while his mother rang their purchases and bagged their groceries.
The stroller with baby Aaron would be next to the checkout counter, and Maria would occasionally lull him to sleep with her left hand while serving customers. When baby Aaron became agitated and began crying, Maria gave him the ragged giraffe she’d brought from her parents’ house. Miraculously, it calmed her son in no time!
Maria’s job was difficult, exhausting even. Still, she was happy that she was on her feet, living a dignified life and saving up for her son’s surgery. But things took a turn for the worse after she wasn’t compensated for her first month of work.
When she asked Mr. Dawson about it, he just shrugged and said he’d pay it off at the end of the next month. “Don’t worry, Maria. Your salary will only add up, and you’ll be happy with the amount you receive!”
“But sir…” she objected. “I need the money. I thought we were paid monthly.”
“I believe there was a misunderstanding there, darling,” the 51-year-old boss said, his face bright with a smile. “I pay my employees every two months! I’m surprised nobody told you about it!”
“Oh, really?” she asked, concealing her surprise at the rule she had never heard of. “Then I’m sorry.”
At that point, Maria had no idea her boss was deceiving her. When she asked Mr. Dawson for the salary next month, he said he’d made a mistake in telling her about the rule and that it was paid after every four months.
Maria trusted him once more, not realizing she was in for a shock. Even four months later, all she received was half of what Mr. Dawson owed her, and his excuse was, “I had to remove the fine from it, Maria. You bring your child to work, and I don’t think that was something we ever discussed and agreed upon!”
“But… I was never told that my salary would be deducted if I brought my son here! Please, Mr. Dawson! I need the money urgently. Can you please let it slide this time?”
“Oh no!” the boss said, arching his brows. “I can’t! I can’t! I’m not doing charity here, Maria, and I can’t let this slide and be unfair to other workers who are doing their jobs well and don’t break the rules. Now, if you may excuse me, I have work to do.”
Maria was in tears as she left Mr. Dawson’s office. As she was heading back to the cashier counter, a worker saw her crying and asked her what had happened. Maria was feeling so lonely that she poured her heart out to the coworker and learned something horrible about Mr. Dawson.
“Oh, nothing new there. He does it to every employee!”
“What? What exactly do you mean?” Maria asked in tears.
“He hires young people for low wages and then underpays them, citing his so-called ridiculous reasons for fines!”
“How come you’re still working here?”
He smiled. “I can ask you the same question. And we both know the answer: because we don’t have a choice,” he said. “Although he isn’t the best boss, we still get paid and can get by with the money we make.”
Maria agreed. She was working there to save money for Aaron’s surgery, and she couldn’t quit, no matter how exhausting and unfair the job was. Instead, she requested that Mr. Dawson assign her night shifts as well so she could earn extra income for Aaron’s surgery. But fate had other plans.
One day, Maria returned home and noticed her son wasn’t feeling well. He kept coughing and crying, and no matter what she did, he wouldn’t calm down. Maria had to take a day off from work and rush to the doctor, only to learn his condition was worsening.
Little could Maria have guessed then God would send her help from an unexpected place.
“I’m afraid we’re out of time, Maria. Two weeks,” said the doctor. “We can’t put it off for much longer. We need to get his surgery scheduled as soon as possible.”
Maria’s mind was racing with worries. She hadn’t even saved half of the money needed for Aaron’s treatment and didn’t know who to turn to for help. Her tenant offered her a loan, but it was a small sum, and her parents had blocked her phone number.
A devastated Maria didn’t know what to do until she thought about the money in the grocery’s cash register. She knew what she was going to do was wrong, very wrong, but she didn’t have a choice.
The next day, Maria showed up at work early and wanted to disappear with the money, but something in her gut stopped her. “No,” her mind said. “You can’t do this! You’re not a thief, Maria!” So she asked Mr. Dawson for three months’ salary in advance, but the grumpy man refused.
“Oh no! That’s something I would never do. I trusted an employee once, and that fool disappeared with my money!”
Aaron coughed against Maria’s shoulder. “Please, sir,” she pleaded. “It’s—it’s urgent. I wouldn’t have bothered you otherwise!”
But Maria’s pleas fell on deaf ears, and Mr. Dawson threatened to fire her if she brought her son to work again.
Maria was devastated. Her last hope of saving her dying son was shattered. She didn’t know what to do or whom to ask for help until… she thought about the money in the cash register again.
Maria wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for Aaron’s sake. She sneakily stuffed her bag with the cash she found and left the grocery store, unaware that a surveillance camera was recording her every move. Maria had decided to return the money as soon as she received her salary, but she was caught before that.
When she came to work the next day, her boss approached her, and he wasn’t alone. Maria’s heart shuddered when she saw a cop walking toward her with her boss. “Arrest her, officer!” Mr. Dawson ordered the cop. “She’s a thief!”
“What? No! No! Please, sir, don’t do this,” she begged as Officer Collins cuffed her. “I—I can explain!”
“Explain?” he fumed. “I saw what you did on the video footage. You’re a thief, and this is what you deserve!”
“No, please,” Maria began crying. “Please allow me to explain, Mr. Dawson. My son is dying! He needs surgery immediately, and I will return all the money I took soon! I’ve scheduled his surgery for next week, please. If you arrest me, I won’t be able to save him!” she told the officer. “Please spare me!”
Officer Collins let out a sigh. “Sir? Would you like to perhaps sit down and have a proper word with her?” he asked Mr. Dawson.
“Hell no! Make sure she can’t get out easily!” he hissed. “Take her away, officer! SHE’S FIRED!”
As Officer Collins and his team led Maria to the police cruiser, she kept begging Mr. Dawson for a second chance. She told him she wasn’t lying and could show him Aaron’s medical records as proof, but all her pleas fell on deaf ears.
Little could she have guessed then God would send her help from an unexpected place.
“Are you still holding the money you took?” Officer Collins inquired as she was forced to sit in the back seat between two female cops.
Maria gave a nod. “It’s at home…” she said quietly.
“Good, good,” he said. “That will only elevate your concerns, ma’am. First and foremost, let’s get the money back.”
Maria’s knees buckled as she returned the money to Mr. Dawson and exited the grocery store. She began sobbing like a child on the curb and dialed Aaron’s doctor. “Good day, Dr. Wilson. I’m sorry, but I need to cancel my son’s surgery appointment.”
“What’s the matter, Maria? We don’t have enough time, you know.”
“The thing is…” she sobbed. “I—I can’t do it. I just don’t have the money, and—” Before she could finish, Officer Collins took her phone and said, “Hello, doc. Please don’t cancel the appointment. Let’s stick to the schedule. Maria and her son will be at the hospital.”
“What the hell are you doing?” she asked, snatching her phone back and redialing the doctor. “I don’t have the money! I can’t save him!”
“Miss Lancaster, please relax! I’ll help you!”
“You do?” she asked in tears. “But why? How?”
“Because I can…” he said. “And I will.”
Officer Collins and his wife had lost their daughter due to leukemia a year ago. Back then, they couldn’t finance her treatment, and many people stepped in to support them in the most challenging moment of their lives.
After the unfortunate incident, Officer Collins and his wife started a fund to support sick children because they were thankful for the help they received and wanted to help needy families so that they did not suffer the same fate as them.
To help Maria and Aaron, Officer Collins created posters and advertisements with the young boy’s picture. He circulated them on social media and everywhere he could to raise funds for the surgery. Surprisingly, the money they needed came in sooner than expected, and Aaron received the surgery successfully.
“You’re going to be fine, honey,” Maria kissed her little boy’s forehead as he regained consciousness. “You need to rest, OK? Mumma will be right back!”
When Maria left Aaron’s ward to get his medicines, she was shocked to see her parents waiting for her outside. “Mom? Dad? What are you doing here?”
Mrs. Lancaster held her hands and started crying. “When we saw the ragged giraffe in the advertisement, we knew it had to be our grandson,” she said. “We couldn’t stop blaming ourselves for treating you so harshly. We sent the money for his treatment immediately. Is he OK?”
“Can we see him?” Mr. Lancaster asked stiffly. “C’mon, you can’t say no to that! He is just…so small, and he needs his grandfather! I’m not leaving until I see my little buddy! Alright, if you really want to hear it, I am sorry. Now, can we please go see him?”
Maria’s eyes welled up as she noticed the love in her parents’ eyes for Aaron. She forgave them and allowed them to meet their grandson. The Lancasters also encouraged her to return to college, promising to look after Aaron.
Albeit late, Maria and Aaron’s lives turned around. She was let off with a small fine for the theft at Mr. Dawson’s grocery store and returned to college to finish her studies. She also began working part-time as a local singer to avoid burdening her parents, and one day she paid Officer Collins a visit to thank him for everything he’d done.
“I was hoping you wouldn’t refuse to be Aaron’s godfather,” she said. “We have his baptism coming up, and we’d love to have you there! So…what do you think?”
Officer Collins smiled through tears. “It would be a privilege,” he said. “This is such a wonderful way to express gratitude. Oh, I’m glad, so glad. This means a lot to me, and I’ll be there! I assure you!”
What can we learn from this story?
Never give up hope. It’s only after a dark night that the sun shines in the sky. Maria had given up all hope that she would be able to save Aaron until Officer Collins extended her a helping hand.
No amount of money can replace the love and warmth of a family. In the end, Maria’s parents realized nothing mattered more to them than their grandson and daughter’s well-being, and they decided to let go of the past and move on.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.