A homeless man who had become a petty thief to survive gets a chance to redeem himself when he comes across a burning vehicle holding a rich girl and her driver.
Kate Reuben was an ice princess — a name given to her at her high school by her gang of sycophants. She was just 15 years old, but all of her jewelry was natural pure diamonds and gold, earning her the name ice princess.
Aside from her riches, she was also lovely with brilliant sapphire eyes that twinkled whenever she smiled. Her parents were rich people who owned an international standard diamond mining business, so Kate did not want for anything.
She had all the entertainment she could think of. Her hobbies included a range of enjoyable activities reserved for the rich, but she also loved dancing and singing.
To that end, she often attended dancing and singing lessons halfway across her town. Luckily for her, the distance hardly mattered because she had her own personal driver who took her everywhere.
His name was Edward Mark, and he was a workaholic who was working on getting his GED by attending night classes. It was a challenging undertaking, and he often had to get gassed up on energy drinks to keep his concentration up whenever he had to study.
He would make his way to the night class after making sure Kate would no longer leave the house for the day and return the following day as early as six — the Princess was a morning person.
Kate’s father, Arnold, also had his own driver, but one day the man fell ill and had to stay home at the request of his doctor.
“Your blood pressure skyrocketed overnight,” the doctor who handled all the treatments for the Reuben staff told the man.
“You’ll need to stay away from work for the next few days until you get stabilized.”
Very early the following day, Kate’s father needed to get to the airport for a flight and with his driver absent, he ordered Edward to replace him.
“Get me to the airport before 6 a.m, and then return to her side.”
The airport was several kilometers away from the Reubens’ residence, so the drive was a long one, and unfortunately for Edward, who had only returned to his bed two hours before, it was tiring. He wanted nothing more than to close his eyes because he was having trouble keeping his heavy eyelids open.
Somehow, he successfully beat back the urge to close his eyes and was able to deliver Arnold to the airport before returning to pick up the girl for school. His brain screamed for rest, and his eyes burned with exhaustion. Still, he continued his duty.
He once again sat behind the wheel and started the drive to her school. There were not a lot of twists and turns on the route, and it was the usual road he knew, so Edward was lulled into complacency then a light dozing.
The dozing only lasted a few seconds, but those were enough to lose control of the car going at the speed it was. It was over in moments, but the effect was terrible; the car had lost control on a small bridge and tumbled down the side to the road below.
The driver and the girl inside had become unconscious on impact, and petrol was leaking around the car, slowly flowing towards a small fire that had started under the car’s bonnet.
It quickly attracted a crowd of people who alighted from their cars to try to help. They inched closer until the gasoline suddenly caught fire and flared, pushing them all back.
All they could do was call the cops and hope that they arrived before there was an explosion. “Will they make it?” a passerby asked her colleague, a woman with a scar on her lip.
“I think they are still alive but will be killed by the smoke before the authorities arrive,” the woman with a scar said.
“The smoke always gets them before the flames do,” a third woman who stood near the pair piped in.
Suddenly, a young man wearing a hood appeared on the scene and bravely ran up to the burning car, after which he pulled Kate and the driver out.
As he dragged them both, Kate opened her eyes a crack to take a look at her savior; however, most of his face was covered by his hair and the hoodie he had over his head.
The only thing she saw was his deep-set dark eyes that looked as black as night. He leaned her and Edward against a light pole then took off before people could surround them.
Sadly, Edward did not survive the ordeal and passed away, but 15-year-old Kate was able to get treatment because of her less fatal injuries.
Nevertheless, she had to undergo a long period of recovery, and when she finally came out of the hospital, all she wanted to know was the identity of the man who saved her life.
“His face was allegedly obscured by a hoodie he wore so no one saw what he really looked like,” the fire department captain, who had responded to the call with his crew, told her.
“All he did was pull you and the driver out before taking off again,” eyewitnesses told her.
The trauma of that accident followed Kate for several months, and her search for the good Samaritan turned up nothing.
Eventually, she gave up and chose to enter the world of philosophy. She also knew she needed to enrich other lives the way a stranger had enriched hers.
She was able to persuade her father to become the founder of a charitable organization whose aim was to help homeless and needy people. Through the charity outfit, Kate started to spend plenty of time as a volunteer, helping people around her neighborhood.
Many years later, a man appeared on the doorstep of the organization she had founded. He had on a large overcoat and a hoodie that hid his face in shadows.
“How may we help you?” Kate had asked him, and he had promptly lowered his hoodie to reveal a face contorted by burns. It drew gasps from her fellow workers, but Kate made sure to show no reaction to the huge burn mark across his face.
She boldly walked over to him and, after examining him closely, offered to help him.”What is your name?” she asked as she raised a hand towards his face.
Embarrassed by her attention, the man took a step back and flipped his hoodie back up. Kate lowered her eyes at that, but the man spoke. “It’s okay, I’m used to the looks I get because of my burns but I am not ashamed of them,” he said. “They remind me that I have paid my dues.”
“How may I help you?” Kate asked again, looking deeply at the man.
“I am homeless and have had to engage in petty theft sometimes in order to survive, but I heard that here at this sanctuary, you give homeless people like me a new home.”
“Indeed we do,” Kate started to say but was interrupted.
“We won’t take your likes here!” shouted one worker.
“Why don’t you hear what he first has to say before judging him?” Kate replied with a smile. To the man, she said, “Tell us about yourself.”
“15 years ago, I was a thief on the run. I got in with the wrong crowd and we were going to rob a store. We did so successfully, however, during the getaway, we got into an accident and instead of rescuing me, my mate left me to die so he wouldn’t have to share the money.”
“The flames burned me but I managed to escape before the cops arrived on the scene. I’ve been on the streets ever since, then one day, I encountered a burning car like ours. I decided to help because I felt no one should go through what I had.”
The man noticed Kate getting increasingly teary-eyed as he spoke but he continued rigidly and returned his eyes to his scuffed boots. “To me rescuing the man and the girl in that car was a way of atoning for my past sins, just like my scars are.”
His last words were met with silence because at that moment, Kate’s thoughts flew back to the day a man saved her from a burning car. She was certain it was this man who saved her. After 15 years, she’s finally face-to-face with the man who saved her life. Kate started to smile as tears ran down her cheeks.
“What’s wrong with this woman?” the man wondered to himself.
Then Kate walked over to him and gently hugged him before revealing that she was the girl he saved, stunning him. “It was me,” she said quietly, looking earnestly at him.
“It was?” he said, his eyes growing wide as he recognized her.
“Your hair was shorter,” he said in shock, eyes wide as saucers.
“I let them grow out,” she said happily and gave him another hug. “Thank you for helping us, I never got to say that until now, I’m sorry,” she added.
They spoke for a very long time and afterward, she clothed him, gave him food, then offered him lodging for the night.
The next day, after giving careful thought to it and consulting with her father, Kate offered the man a job in their charitable organization, and it came complete with permanent housing. The man could not contain his joy, and he decided to embark on the path of correction, thereby changing his life completely.
What did we gain from this story?
The past does not determine the future. The man Kate helped because of what he did for her used to be a thief.
He was also still on the run when he came upon their burning car, but that did not stop him from helping her — from thief to hero, a transformation fully deserving of a reward.
Don’t overwork yourself. Edward lost his life in his quest to better it; he did not get adequate rest and was trying to do too many things at once. His story is an important example of why rest should become a compulsory part of our schedules
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