Stranger fills the cart of an elderly man who can’t buy groceries, they meet again later on a private jet — Story of the Day
A former teacher named Charles realized he would not be able to pay for the groceries he had put inside his cart, only for a stranger to fill it up and pay for the whole lot. Soon after, they meet again in a private jet, where the man reveals his true identity.
Charles was an 86-year-old retired math teacher who struggled with Alzheimer’s disease and relied heavily on a caregiver that visited him at home daily. He lived a lonely life, refusing to live at a nursing home after his wife and only son passed before him.
However, of everything that frustrated Charles, it was how he gradually lost his memory. He didn’t want to lose the best memories of his wife and son and his days at the university, where he was once one of the most intelligent students and professors.
“Why did this have to happen to me, of all people! I had such a sharp mind!” he grumpily told his caregiver one day. “It’s one thing for fate to make me live the rest of my life alone, but to lose my memory? Such bad luck!”
His patient caregiver, Melissa, always tried to make Charles feel less alone by talking to him throughout the day and exercising his mind by playing board games with him. Sometimes though, it would not be enough, and he still longed for his family’s company.
One day, it was Melissa’s day off, and Charles wanted to get out of the house. He decided to head to the nearby supermarket to buy food for the week.
Because he had nothing better to do, he slowly walked through every aisle and carefully picked out the items he wanted to buy. When he got to the cashier, he suddenly realized that he had forgotten his wallet at home.
The cashier saw Charles stare into space as if confused about what to do. “Well? Do you have your credit card with you, sir, or will you be paying in cash?” she asked.
“I… I think I forgot my wallet at home,” a disoriented Charles replied.
“Oh, come on, I’ve heard that excuse plenty of times, sir,” the cashier complained. “It’s not going to work on me, and you’re not going to be getting a free cart of groceries today. Move along now. You’re holding up the line!” she shouted.
Charles was about to beg the cashier to give him a couple of minutes to return home and get his wallet, but she was already about to call security, so the old man slowly returned the things into the cart. That’s when he felt a hand on top of his, stopping him.
“Don’t take them out,” the man said, placing the items back on the counter. He emptied Charles’ cart on the conveyor and added a couple more items from the ready-to-eat section to go along with his groceries.
“I don’t have any money to pay for this. I left my wallet at home,” Charles explained to the man. But the man shook his head and put a reassuring arm on his shoulder.
“It’s on me,” he said, handing the cashier his credit card. “Next time, take it easy on the seniors, alright? They’ve gone through a lot,” he told the cashier sternly, and the woman’s face instantly turned red.
The kind stranger offered to take Charles home when he discovered he was going to walk. Charles offered him a cup of tea and the man happily obliged.
“What is your name, young man?” Charles asked him as soon as they were settled inside his home.
“I’m Morgan Ellis, sir. Do you remember me?” the man asked.
Charles paused, taking a good look at the man’s face. His frustrations started to return when he realized he did not recognize the man. “I’m sorry. I suffer from Alzheimer’s, and my memory has been terrible. How do I know you?”
“I was your student at the university, sir. You tutored me for free every day after school, and because of that, I got a full scholarship to an excellent university in Europe,” Morgan revealed. “Because of you, I am who I am today.”
“Morgan Ellis,” Charles said. “I am so happy to know that I somehow helped you out. What do you do for a living?” he asked his former student.
“I’m a businessman, sir. I actually have a meeting to run to in a bit, but I would love to see you again. Can we meet up on Saturday? I’ll have my driver pick you up.”
Charles enjoyed Morgan’s company even though he could not remember him. He happily nodded, agreeing to meet on Saturday. Before Morgan left, he told his teacher:
“Don’t worry about losing your memories, sir. What’s important is you are still able to make new memories in the present. Live life to the fullest – it’s what your wife and son would have wanted.”
Days later, Morgan’s driver picked Charles up and took him to a private hangar. He boarded Morgan’s private jet for an adventure of a lifetime. “Where are we going?” he asked.
“I remember you once said your dream was to see the world as birds do. We’re going on a weekend getaway in Europe,” Morgan revealed to an excited Charles, who couldn’t help but keep staring out the window.