A single, ambitious woman whose life is all about work tries to have a single father with a crying baby kicked out of a café. Surprisingly, she runs into him again a year later, but this time, the tables have been turned.
It was a busy Monday evening when Libby walked into the café, ordered a regular coffee, and settled into the seat overlooking New York City’s busy streets.
Terrible, terrible day it had been for her. With the long meetings and projects with tight deadlines, she was hoping to find some time to relax before returning home to her yoga meditation and more work before bed.
“Thank you,” she said quietly as a waitress brought her order while she checked her day planner on her iPad. More meetings and work for the next day. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Libby put down her iPad, sipped some hot coffee, and took a look around. That’s when she cast a disgusting glance at the table next to her, where a baby was staring at her with big eyes and apple puree all over his mouth…
Libby assumed the decent-looking man, who was talking on his phone while his baby giggled at a stranger, was a single father. Why else would he be in formal wear at a café at 7 p.m., feeding a child, his office bag beside him?
“Disgusting!” Libby muttered under her breath before looking away.
Libby hated babies. She despised how cranky and needy of affection they were. But it seemed like the baby she called disgusting loved her.
Everyone has a story to tell. You can’t judge someone until you know their story.
As Libby turned away, the baby began to cry, and his tears flowed down his cheeks like a waterfall.
“What a piece of mess!” she thought angrily.
When Libby turned to look at the table a few seconds later, she saw that the baby’s father was still on the phone, which irritated her. She had had a long day at work, and the last thing she needed to hear was the baby’s cries.
“Excuse me, sir!” she called out to the man from her table. “Ask your baby to be quiet! He’s crying like he won’t see another day!”
The man turned around and whispered a sorry before continuing the call and rocking his baby simultaneously. Nothing changed. The baby kept crying, and Libby was so angry that she called the waitress.
“I’m a regular here, and this is the bare minimum you could do for me. Please move them to another table where I won’t be able to hear that obstinate baby’s cries! Or simply kick them out! Do anything; just get them out of my sight!”
“Ma’am,” said the waitress apologetically. “As you can see, all the tables inside are currently full, and the only open slots are on the terrace, which may be too cold for the baby. I’ll speak with them…”
The waitress approached the man’s table, said something to him, and Libby noticed the man hang up the phone.
“Well, if she has a problem, she should be the one to move,” Libby overheard the man saying. “It’s not even my fault, but I apologize for the inconvenience.”
Libby couldn’t contain her anger as she overheard that. She walked over to the man’s table and told him to get out. That’s when the crying child threw some apple puree on Libby’s outfit, which enraged her further.
“Jason, boy!” cried the man. “That’s not right. Calm down!”
“Hey, look, I’m sorry about that,” said the man to Libby. “I can make it up to you, and—”
“That’s ridiculous!” exclaimed Libby. “Of both you and the child! I’m done with this place,” she said as she stormed out of the café, glaring angrily at the man and the waitress.
Libby never visited the café again, and she hoped to never run into that man and his child again. She despised him as much as she despised that baby.
A year went by, and Libby found herself a handsome man at the company where she worked. Trevor was a mere contract employee, but he was charming, polite, confident, and everything Libby had ever wanted in a man. He fell for her first, but she fell harder, and soon after, she found out she was pregnant with his child.
When her baby bump became visible, Libby announced the pregnancy news to her parents, but the older couple didn’t appreciate it.
“We’d rather have you unmarried for the rest of your life,” said her father grumpily. “I don’t want that man to be involved with you or our family, Lib.”
“Your father is right, hun,” said her mother. “He doesn’t deserve you. He doesn’t have our class, and well, the baby… you can choose to keep it. We’ll see what we can do to help you raise your child.”
Libby was shocked. She had expected her parents would be happy, but quite the opposite happened. Because Libby was adamant about marrying Trevor, both of them were kicked out of the company—they worked for her father’s company—and Libby’s parents cut her off from the will.
A few months later, Libby moved into Trevor’s studio apartment because she couldn’t afford her rent anymore. Trevor was working for a small private firm then, and he supported her and their child.
Months later, when the little gift of God came into Libby and Trevor’s life, they decided to give her all the love despite their struggles. Trevor started working two jobs, and Libby started looking for work too.
One day, she was called for an interview at an editorial company, and she had to take baby Eve with her.
Libby loved writing ever since was a kid. So she was very excited about the interview. However, as she neared the interview room, the other applicants judged her because she was the only one carrying a baby.
“I’m afraid you won’t be able to carry her inside,” the lady outside the interview room told her as her name was called.
“I’m sorry,” Libby said. “If I leave her alone, she’ll be a nuisance to others. Please, understand.”
The woman sighed and eventually allowed her.
Libby walked into the room, unaware of what awaited her. When she saw the interviewer’s face, she froze in shock. He was none other than the man she’d been rude to months ago.
“Do I know you?” He raised a brow as he asked Libby to take a seat. “You seem familiar.”
“Oh well,” said Libby shyly. “We met at the café, and your baby was crying…”
“Ah!” he smiled. “So we know each other. Please take a seat. Also, I hope you know that babies are not permitted at work.”
Before Libby would say anything, Eve started crying. And she just wouldn’t stop.
Libby was embarrassed.
“Oh no, I’m so sorry. I can’t leave Eve home alone, and it’s just—”
“May I?” he asked.
“What?” she said, confused.
“May I hold her for a moment? I think I’ll be able to quiet her.”
Libby nodded because she didn’t have any other option. She handed Eve over to the man, and the baby girl stopped crying as soon as he began playing with her.
“She seems to like you,” Libby said. “That’s not like her!”
“I love babies,” said the man. “I’m Jonathan, by the way. Besides being the company director, I’m a single dad to my little baby boy. He’s currently with my sister. I don’t like leaving kids to strangers.”
Libby couldn’t control her tears. “I don’t know how else to put this, but I can’t leave Eve alone. I’m not in the best financial shape, and since I can’t bring her to work, I don’t think I’ll be the right candidate for this position. Sorry.”
“No, that’s fine. I’d like to interview you. We don’t want to lose an important candidate. Please…”
Jonathan interviewed Libby, and he hired her. He also allowed Libby to bring Eve to work as long as it didn’t interfere with her work.
“I’m a father, too, and I understand,” he said. “Not to mention, we’re all human at the end of the day, Mrs. Walsh. I guess having a little employee with us would be great!”
Libby was beyond grateful to Jonathan. She not only bagged a job that day, but she understood life was more than just work.
Jonathan was a single father who handled most of the company’s responsibilities, and she’d seen what a wonderful father he was. While he was raising a child on his own, he was also doing his best for his company and others. He taught Libby that being human comes first and foremost.
What can we learn from this story?
Everyone has a story to tell. You can’t judge someone until you know their story. Libby despised Jonathan and his crying baby and regretted it months later when she met the real Jonathan, the kind man who hired her and sympathized with her situation.
Life is a circle. What goes around comes around. When Libby found herself in a situation where Eve was crying, she realized how wrong she was to despise Jonathan’s child.
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