Matthew saw an angry woman putting a girl in a car in front of his usual spot outside the local café. There was a commotion inside the coffee shop, and he knew instinctively what was going on. Another woman came out of the store in tears, and Matthew had to do something.
Matthew was sitting right outside the local coffee shop in a quiet, busy neighborhood in New York when he saw a woman dragging her little daughter out of the café. She was wailing and pulling on her hand. He usually wouldn’t have noticed because kids threw tantrums all the time, but something about this scene made him pay attention.
“Shut up, Kelly! We’re going, and that’s it!” the woman yelled at the girl angrily and shoved her into the passenger side of the vehicle. That’s dangerous. A girl that small needs a car seat, Matthew thought, but he noticed there was none inside the car. That’s when alarms began to ring in his head.
He stood up and began telling other people to check on that lady. “Please, someone. I think that lady is kidnapping a kid,” he said as urgently as he could, but only a few people turned to look at the car. It was already out of its parking spot and rolling slowly towards the intersection. “Please! This could be a matter of life or death!”
But people kept walking, avoiding him as they always did. Suddenly, there was a commotion inside the restaurant. A woman was yelling inside the store, and Matthew saw her searching around frantically. She exited the café and looked up and down the street.
“Ma’am!” he approached, and she flinched a bit at his appearance. “Ma’am, a woman was dragging a little girl off to her car. Is she your daughter? I heard her calling the little girl Kelly.”
“Oh, no! I can’t believe this! Did you see the license plate?” the woman asked, her hands were holding her cheeks to drive away the cold morning.
“No, ma’am. I’m a bit old now. But it was a dark car. The woman was blonde, and she definitely called her Kelly. Maybe you should call the police and check the cameras. Mr. Salinger next door has cameras too. They might have caught the woman too,” Matthew suggested, feeling awful that he couldn’t help further.
“Yes! I’ll do that. Thank you!” the woman said and rushed back inside.
A few minutes later, the cops showed up, and they talked to the woman for some time before going to the back of the café. Matthew assumed they were looking at the images.
Finally, several hours later, another squad car showed up, and the little girl he knew as Kelly ran out and hugged the woman from the café. They cried in each other’s arms, and the woman thanked the cops profusely for what they had done.
See, that’s why you have to follow your instincts. If something looks wrong, you must act before it’s too late. I just wish I could’ve done more, Matthew thought with a smile as he continued begging for cash outside the café.
Suddenly, the woman came out with a plate full of croissants and a warm cup of coffee in her hand. “Hello, sir. Here, this is for you. Thank you so much for your help!” she said vehemently. “I’m Emma. I own this coffee shop. I’ve seen you before, but well, I get so busy sometimes.”
Matthew told her his name and said, “Thank you, ma’am. I didn’t do anything. I just told you about the woman I saw.” He also accepted the plate and the travel cup.
“Of course you did! I wouldn’t have known what had happened otherwise. No one saw where Kelly went or if someone had taken her. I would’ve assumed she ran outside and got lost. But you pointed me in the right direction.”
“No one saw what happened?” Matthew asked, confused. The would-be kidnapper made a lot of noise when she left with the little girl, so that was hard to believe.
“Yeah. I swear New Yorkers are so busy with their individual lives that they don’t see anything else. But luckily, you’re different,” Emma stated sincerely.
“Well, yeah. I have to be,” Matthew added, a bit sadly.
“Listen, I need someone to clean up my store. Someone reliable. And I have room in the back where you could stay. It has a bathroom but no kitchen, but that has to be better than living on the streets. How about it? You get the regular pay plus room and board,” Emma offered.
Matthew’s eyes widened in surprise, and he nodded eagerly.
“Ok, first, I’ll get you a uniform. Let’s go back there so you can see everything, and you need to shower before you start your shift. But I think it’ll be great!” she continued cheerfully and ushered him inside her store.
He was baffled by her kindness, and the room was perfect. It was warm and cozy. He could get back on his feet thanks to Emma’s offer.
“How can I repay you for this?” Matthew asked.
“You already paid me for this. My little girl? Well, she’s my stepdaughter. And the woman who took her is her birth mother, Cynthia. She was in prison this entire time and lost custody of Kelly many years ago. She doesn’t even recognize her at all,” Emma explained. “Kelly calls me ‘mom,’ so that must have been traumatizing for her. I don’t know what Cynthia would do with her or if she would’ve taken her away. But you made me act fast, so I needed to thank you.”
Matthew nodded and smiled at the words, feeling great when someone acknowledged something he had done well. He stayed in the room for several months and worked tirelessly, cleaning dishes, mopping floors and bathrooms, etc.
Finally, he saved up enough for a deposit and moved into his first apartment in a long time. But he continued to work for Emma, who was teaching him how to make coffee and work everything. Slowly, he learned the ropes of the shop and moved up to barista. Then he enrolled in a business class at the local community college.
After a few years, he became the manager and saw Kelly grow up happily. The girl even called him Uncle Matthew sometimes. And her birth mom never showed up again.
What can we learn from this story?
Follow your instincts. They always tell you when something is wrong, even if you don’t consciously know it yet.
Don’t be so caught up in yourself that you forget the outside world.
No one else noticed when Cynthia took Kelly because everyone else was caught up in their own worlds. We have to pay attention.
Thank Goodness for the one person who paid attention!!
Without him no one else would of seen anything.
God Bless him!!💯