An old cleaner who was getting bullied by kids at the school he worked at was rescued by an innocent boy, but there was more to the old man than they knew.
January 11 was the first day Lucas set eyes on Kevin Davis. The man was the school’s new janitor — the old one had been dismissed after he lost his temper and smacked a student for pulling an outrageous prank on him.
Janitors who were hired at the school, which was reserved for the nation’s elites, were often poor, which made them subject to the whims of the mischievous high school students.
The students had begun pulling pranks on janitors after their favorite, Mr. Amos, passed away from a stroke. Prior to his death, the man had been working at the school for years, so he had some sort of fellowship with the kids.
Kevin had no such fellowship, and he enjoyed no such privileges. From the first day of working at the school as a cleaner, he was humiliated by all the children.
It began in the cafeteria; a tall boy named Tom had deliberately emptied his food bowl on the floor Kevin had just cleaned.
“Clean it up,” Tom had said provocatively while standing over his mess.
Kevin was new, and he wanted no problems, so he backtracked to do as the boy said. He decided to use his mop, but Tom placed a foot on it once it touched the ground.
Kevin tried to move it, but the boy wouldn’t budge until he used force. Just as he did, the mischievous boy lifted his foot, and the old man ended up on his rear end — to the amusement of everyone.
Everyone except Lucas, who thought it was no fun to pick on a man hunched with age and half-blind without his glasses. He knew the man could not see without them because of how squinty his eyes had looked without them.
Kevin did his best to avoid the students from that day, but there was only so much he could do when they did all they could to seek him out and provoke him.
One day, he was cleaning the school gym when one of the high schoolers aimed a ball at his head. He had been engrossed in his work and had not seen it coming.
The ball hit him square in the head, and he lost his balance from the shock, making the students roar with laughter. They laughed and laughed until 13-year-old Lucas, who had had enough, ran to his aid.
He ran to Kevin, gave him his glasses, and said, “Don’t mind them!”
The next day during lunch break, Lucas entered the dining room and noticed that Kevin was cleaning a corner of the cafeteria far from other people.
Looking to impress his other colleagues who were egging him on, Tom stood up again and went over to Kevin.
The man simply ignored him, but Tom knocked over his glass, effectively blinding him, and when he reached for it, the boy moved out of the way but left his foot hanging out to trip Kevin.
The man took a heavy fall immediately, spilling his bucket all over himself and triggering another wave of laughter. It infuriated Lucas, and in his anger, the boy ran to the high schooler and turned his plate, which had pasta, on Tom’s head.
“What did you do that for?!” Tom yelled, and the cafeteria went silent as a graveyard.
Everyone was watching to see what Tom would do, and he decided he wouldn’t disappoint. He raised a hand to punch Lucas, who was smaller, but Kevin interfered.
He was able to subdue Tom with some help from Lucas, and they both walked away from the bully. “I’ll let my father know!” Tom yelled as they walked away.
Lucas and Kevin hung out inside the janitor’s closet after the altercation to have a discussion. “I’m sorry about my colleagues, they do the silliest things at times,” Lucas said.
“Oh it’s okay young man, I understand the teenage angst, I just wish they would get over it.”
“That’s like asking the moon to rise in the morning,” Lucas joked.
“Wouldn’t that be something,” Kevin replied with a smile, feeling better.
“I’ll defend you if Tom really calls his dad but I doubt he will,” Lucas said.
“Thank you, Lucas, you’re a good boy.”
“Is it rude of me to ask why you’re cleaning hallways for a living?” Lucas suddenly asked. He had been wondering, and Kevin was only too happy to share.
“Well, my wife passed away 15 years ago and because we didn’t have kids, I’ve been alone ever since. This is the first time I’ve felt someone’s support since my wife died,” Kevin said.
That evening, Lucas told his parents about Kevin and asked them to invite him over for a family dinner. The man honored the invitation, and it was a wonderful evening.
After dinner, they watched a family movie together, and Kevin struggled not to shed the tears in his eyes — it had been years since he had felt anything like that.
The next day, Lucas arrived at his school to find his schoolmates laughing at him because he had invited a poor cleaner to his home.
“I hope you gave him a bath before you let him in,” one student yelled out of nowhere, but Lucas felt nothing.
He looked around for Kevin, but when he didn’t find the man, decided that he must have slept in since he returned home late. He returned to his locker to prepare for class and found a letter with a bank check for a large sum of money inside. The note read, “Don’t mind those clowns, your parents have more money than they do and now, so do you.”
It turned out that Kevin was a rich man who retired a few years ago. His wife died 15 years ago, and he didn’t have any relatives left.
He had taken a job in the school to see how people would treat him without his wealth. The mysterious man and Lucas remained friends even though he did not return to his post, and every so often, he spent weekends with Lucas’s family.
What did we gain from this story?
Don’t do terrible things just to gain popularit
Tom had nothing against Kevin, but because he was looking to impress his other friends, he resorted to negative methods like bullying because it got others to laugh. He eventually got rewarded for that when Lucas teamed up with Kevin.
Stand up for the weak when you can. Lucas did not like what was being done to Kevin, and when he thought it had gone too far, he decided to defend the old man and was rewarded for it.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a rich man who met a poor cleaner who had the same birthmark as his.