An elderly woman in a wheelchair was in tears after being humiliated and kicked out by a rude waiter, but things changed when the restaurant owner graciously invited her to the VIP table with her dog. The waiter didn’t know that the old lady was really a special person.
Rose, 74, looked at herself in the mirror and took her time doing her hair. Since her husband’s death, Rose had been neglecting herself. She looked nothing like the beautiful woman she had been when Derek was with her.
At the time she was always cheerful and her flawless skin was the envy of other women. But now, being single and a widow with no children, Rose no longer saw the point in maintaining a relationship.
Looking in the mirror that day, she tidied up her damaged, thinning hair. Then she applied powder to her face to hide wrinkles, and pale red lipstick to conceal her wrinkled lips. Rose made little effort to dress up. She wore a large black jacket over an old, wrinkled dress, but she was overjoyed that day.
After all, why not? It was the 50th anniversary of her marriage to Derek.
Every year since Derek’s death, Rose has continued to celebrate their wedding anniversary by spoiling her pet dog Bark, who became her life after Derek left. She had no children, but Bark played the part beautifully.
After finding herself in a wheelchair because of a knee injury, life hasn’t been easy for Rose. When Derek was by her side, he helped her, but after he left she had to make significant changes to the bathroom, kitchen and doors in the house to get around easily. However, Rose found it difficult to do everything herself, so eventually she hired a part-time carer, who also enjoyed spending time with Bark.
Rose adopted Bark as a baby when it was crying in the street and no one would help it. She brought it home, bathed it and gave it love and shelter. In return, the poor animal brought her company in her lonely old age. So when she decided to go to a restaurant for her 50th anniversary with Derek, she took it with her. Besides, the nurse was away that day, so Rose couldn’t leave Bark alone.
Fortunately, a kind taxi driver helped Rosa get safely to the restaurant. However, when she arrived at the five-star restaurant, she felt that everyone around her was staring at her intently. All the guests were rich and glamorous and she was dressed in an old-fashioned dress and an ugly black jacket. Rose knew that they were throwing angry looks at her.
“How can they just let a beggar come in here?” – asked the woman, who was outraged. “My God! They’d better get rid of her. She stinks!”
Although she felt bad, Rose ignored them and wheeled her wheelchair towards the entrance. But just as she was about to enter, a waiter with a sign bearing Simon’s name stopped her.
“You can’t go in, ma’am,” he said stiffly, blocking the way with his hand. “People like you are not welcome here.”
“People like me?” Rose pursed her lips and looked at him in disbelief. “What’s the matter with you?”
“Well, let me get this straight!” – he scolded. “Your outfit is disgusting! Your dog is very dirty and we don’t want our guests sitting next to you!”
At that moment, a couple passed by, who, holding their noses, looked at Rosa. “Simon! We’re regulars here, but we didn’t know the homeless could get in here for free!” – said the woman.
“I’m sorry, Dana!” Simon apologized to her. “I’ll take care of her. She won’t come through this entrance. Have a nice evening! … And you!” he called to Rose. “You and your bad dog should leave right now! GET OUT OF HERE!”
At that moment, Rose’s eyes filled with tears, and she began to beg him again. “Son, today is a special day for me. It’s my 50th wedding anniversary. I want to remember my late husband by having dinner here tonight. Please do it.”
“Listen, madam! I’ll be frank with you. Our guests are some of the most respected people in this city. We can’t afford to have a bum like you here. Do you understand what’s going on?!” he shouted, showing her the way out.
Rosa felt so bad that she did not say a word. She rolled her wheelchair over and was about to leave in tears when a voice behind her stopped her. “Ma’am, wait, please! I have reserved a VIP table for you and your dog,” he said.
The restaurant owner, Ben Hoffman, ran up to Rose and kindly invited her inside.
When Rose took her seat at the VIP table, everyone turned their heads to look at her.
“Who is she? Why has she been given a table here? She looks like she just walked in off the street!” – said one of the complaining men.
“I don’t understand anything,” said the other. “What happened to Mr. Hoffman? I’ve never seen him care about anyone personally, unless it’s a politician or someone worthy, and she certainly doesn’t look like one!”
But there was a wide smile on Ben’s face. “Mrs Augustus, you still don’t recognise me?” – he asked.
Rose stared at him intently, and she thought she had seen him somewhere, but she couldn’t remember where.
“I’m sorry, son,” she said at last. “But I can’t remember you. You see, this old head of mine can’t remember even the smallest things. Where have we met before?”
“That’s no problem, Mrs Augustus,” Ben smiled. “Remember that silly little Billy who used to pester you with chocolates all day while his father and your husband were at work?”
“Ben! Oh my God!” Rose’s eyes widened. “Oh my God, I knew I’d seen you somewhere!”
“That’s right, Mrs Augustus, it’s me, Ben. I’m so glad to see you again!” – he said and hugged her.
Everyone in the restaurant was shocked to find out that Ben and Rose knew each other. Ben then called Simon over and told him to be more considerate next time. “We don’t hire people who are disrespectful to our customers! The next time you are disrespectful to anyone, you will be fired!”.
And for his guests, Ben had something special to say…
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, addressing everyone. “I realise that this is a high-end restaurant frequented by the rich and famous, but if you can’t have a big heart for someone, then wealth doesn’t matter.”
“The woman who has just been disrespected here is like my second mother. She looked after me when mum and dad weren’t at home. Besides, she is an elderly person who deserves our respect. So please don’t chase someone away in the future because they are not rich. Mrs Augustus is and always will be one of my most valued clients! I hope that’s clear. Have a good evening!”.
That evening Ben asked the chef to prepare a special meal for Rose and a tasty meat treat for the lovely Bark. They had a lovely evening at the restaurant, thanks to Ben. He stayed with her, talking about what had happened in his life since they had last met. Rose was glad that after a long wait she had managed to find some company.