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The Barista

Updated on December 9, 2017
Larry Fish profile image

I was born and raised as a country boy in the rural Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. I love the art of writing..

Everyone looked up as the stranger walked into the coffee shop. He was very elderly, looked extremely frail, and wore tattered clothes. He walked up to the counter and was told by one of the male barista that homeless people were not allowed in here. Jill saw what happened so she rushed over to were they were and said, "I will take this, John. Can I help you, sir."

The stranger said, "I would like a large coffee and a danish."

"Very well, I will get that for you right away." She saw how frail he looked and told him to sit at a table and she would bring it to him. He shuffled to a table and sat down as Jill was watching him. She thought to herself, he reminds me a lot of my grandpa that died last year.

Jill brought the coffee and danish to him and said, "Here you go, sir enjoy."

"Thank you, dear. That cocky little prick that refused to serve me. I could kick his ass," he said.

Jill just nodded and walked away knowing that he couldn't beat-up an ant, but she loved to hear him say it. She didn't like John very much either, he was a wise guy that thought he knew everything.

The man sat at the table drank his coffee and ate his danish. He started to come into the coffee shop every morning at exactly 10:15 a.m. He walked into the shop one morning and asked John where she was. John said she was off today so the man turned around and walked out of the shop.

John just looked at him with a cocky smirk on his face.

The next morning John told Jill what he had done. Jill said, "I guess he doesn't like you very much." Then she laughed.

At 10:15 there he came through the door. Jill said, "Do you want the regular?"

"Yes," he said.

He sat at the table for the longest time. Jill was taking a break so she decided to go and sit with the old man. They talked for a time. Most was about Jill and her young son that had a lot of health problems. Jill's husband just up and left the two of them so it has been a struggle for her since then.

The old man said, " That was a terrible thing to do. I don't understand some people."

It got to be a routine that Jill would take her break every morning at the same time and sit down with the old man. The more she talked to him the more he seemed like her grandpa. Jill asked him where he lived and he would always say, just around. She was afraid that he was living on the streets. One day, Jill asked him how old he was and he told her 96. Jill thought OMG, no wonder you look so old and frail.

The routine was that the old man would only talk to Jill and no other barista. Jill liked the old man. He told her about many things, of his time in the military, that he had been married 54 years until his wife died, how he had a successful business for a long time. However, where he lived now was a secret. She knew at 96 he could not still be living on the streets. However, he did seen in good health for that age.

His name was, Sam. That is all that she found out, His last name and where he lived was a secret that he kept to himself.

For eleven months he came into the shop whenever Jill was working and then his visits just stopped. Jill was afraid that something had happened to him. Was he sick or was he dead? She was worried and wished she could find out something but no one knew anything. She felt kind of sad because she loved their talks. In a way it was like talking to grandpa again.

It was over a month later that a tall handsome man walked into the shop and asked for Jill. He asked Jill if they could sit down somewhere private. He said, "I am sorry to tell you that Sam passed away in his sleep one night. He thought a lot of you, Jill and talked about you often. I am Ben Cranston, I am an attorney and I am handling the estate of Sam Wilkens. Many people do not know it, he lived a short distance from here in that small house a little over a block away that had the beautiful flowers around the front porch. He never was extravagant and kept living a simple life even after he made his millions"

Jill gasped, "Do you mean he was a millionaire? OMG, I had no idea."

"I know it," said Ben. "That is the way he wanted it. At the time of his death he was worth 68 million dollars. He had no family left so he gave most of it to charity. However, there was one person that meant a lot to him." He reached in his brief case and took out a check. Handing it to Jill he said, "He wanted you to have this."

It was a check for 4.5 million dollars. Jill slapped her hand over her face and started to cry. "I wish I could hug, Sam right now."

Ben laughed and said, "That is exactly what, Sam figured you would say."

Jill wanted to know where, Sam was buried. She went to the cemetery later that day and looked at, Sam's tombstone. Tears were flowing all over her cheeks as she said, "Sam, I will always think of you as my second grandpa. Thank you for thinking of me. I love you, Sam."

Needless to say, Jill never poured another cup of coffee.


Copyright Larry W. Fish 2017

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    • Larry Fish profile image
      Author

      Larry W Fish 5 months ago from Raleigh

      Thanks Linda, this world needs more kindness!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely tale of kindness and friendship, Larry.

    • Larry Fish profile image
      Author

      Larry W Fish 5 months ago from Raleigh

      Yes Mary, an act of kindness can go a long way. I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 months ago from Brazil

      Even if you take the money out of the equation, they both found something they needed. A kind soul that was willing to listen.

      Heartwarming story Larry.

    • Larry Fish profile image
      Author

      Larry W Fish 5 months ago from Raleigh

      Thanks Eric, you can never judge people by how they look.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fantastic. You got me all teary eyed. Perfect for our Christmas season.

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