One day a man in old and shabby clothes enters a restaurant with his old mother to celebrate her birthday, but the manager throws them out. Then the waitress invites them to a nearby café and pays for their dinner. The next day, her boss summons her to his office. What happens next is something she didn’t expect.
Amy, a waitress employed in a renowned restaurant, was the sole provider for her three children. On a particular evening, while sitting in the kitchen, she spread some cash on the table, allocating it for the rent and groceries. However, she couldn’t manage to set aside enough money for her children’s school supplies, which left her feeling disappointed. With school commencement around the corner, the thought of not being able to provide for her children’s academic needs weighed heavily on her mind.
“Sweetheart, don’t worry,” a woman’s hand gently touched Amy’s shoulder, causing her to startle and turn around. Standing behind her was a mature woman of approximately sixty-five years of age.
“Mum, you scared me,” Amy exclaimed.
“I apologize, my dear. Is it the lack of funds again?” inquired the woman.
“Yes, I’m afraid I won’t be able to purchase textbooks,” replied Amy dejectedly.
The woman offered her assistance, saying, “I could give private math lessons. Even though I’m retired, I haven’t forgotten how to teach.”
Amy hesitated, not wanting to impose on her mother any further. “You’re already tired from taking care of the children. I don’t want to burden you any further. You already do so much for us. Thank you,” Amy said, patting her mother’s hand. “I’ll manage as usual.”
The middle-aged man, dressed in worn-out clothes, turned towards the older woman and said, “Come on, Mum.”
“Son, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” the older woman objected.
“Mum, it’s your birthday, and I want us to celebrate it at Diamond,” the man insisted.
“The Diamond” was widely regarded as one of the most upscale restaurants in the city, where individuals typically needed to make reservations one or two months in advance to secure a table. Ryan, however, managed to secure a reservation at the restaurant to celebrate his mother’s 80th birthday in an elegant setting.
The elderly woman hesitantly rose from the sofa and made her way to her bedroom. She retrieved her most beautiful dress from the wardrobe, a dark brown one that fell just below the knee, reminiscent of the fashion during the sixties and seventies. It had been a gift from her late husband on their wedding anniversary before they went to dinner at the Diamond. During that time, it was a modest restaurant that was mostly empty, and the staff was thrilled to have any guests.
After fifteen minutes, she went back to the living room where her son was eagerly waiting for her.
“Wow, Mum, you’re so beautiful!” exclaimed the man, beaming with a wide smile.
Although the woman felt shy, she smiled back at her son.
“Shall we leave now?” she asked.
“Yes, Mum, I’m all set.” Ryan extended his hand towards her, and they stepped out onto the street where a taxi was already waiting for them.
After completing her shift at the restaurant, Amy was preparing to depart when she heard commotion outside the entrance. Curious, she approached the area and observed the restaurant manager engaged in a heated dispute with a man.
“I’ve already told you that I have a reservation here,” the visitor indignantly said.
“Mr. Smith, I’m afraid I can’t let you in. There is a certain dress code that unfortunately you do not comply with. So I cannot allow you to enter the restaurant,” the manager explained.
“Robert?” Amy turned to the manager. “What’s going on here?”
Robert didn’t answer anything, he just threw an annoyed look at her.
“If they have a reservation, why don’t you want to let them in?” said Amy.
“‘Don’t interfere, Amy!” said the manager rudely.
“It’s my mother’s birthday. She’s turning eighty years old. I wanted to celebrate it in a special place for her.” explained the visitor.
“I don’t want to hear anything else! Either you leave the restaurant voluntarily or I will be forced to call security.” threatened the manager.
“But I…” continued Mr. Smith, but then the woman took his hand: “No need to humiliate yourself in front of him, son. Let’s leave this place.”
“It’s your birthday, Mum. And it’s a special place for you.”
“Any place near you is already special,” the old woman said softly. “We can celebrate my birthday somewhere else, but I won’t let you humiliate yourself in front of this one…” the woman looked at the manager with disgust.
Robert just grunted and went back into the restaurant, closing the door in front of them.
Amy, who had been watching the whole time, approached them.
“I’m really sorry about what happened,” the young woman said frustratedly.
“It’s not your fault,” the old woman smiled softly at her.
“I… I can’t take you to a restaurant, but there’s a very cozy café nearby. I invite you there. We’ll celebrate your birthday,” smiled Amy.
“That won’t be necessary,” said Mr. Smith. “You don’t have to do that.”
“I want to. And I don’t take no for an answer,” Amy insisted.
Twenty minutes later, all three of them were sitting in a cozy, Provence-style café, chatting nicely.
“It’s so wonderful to have lived with the man you love for 48 years,” Amy enthused.
“Yes, Jonathan was a wonderful man,” the old lady thought dreamily, remembering her late husband.
“But unfortunately not everyone gets that opportunity,” sighed Amy sadly.
“So what happened to your husband?” inquired Mr. Smith.
“Ryan!” shouted the old lady at him. “That’s very tactless.”
“I’m sorry,” Ryan faltered. “I asked without thinking.”
“It’s all right, that’s okay,” Amy replied. “My husband was in the military and died a few years ago. But I have three wonderful children who make me not feel sad,” smiled the young woman.
The whole evening they talked about different things, shared happy memories, and laughed. In the end, the waiter brought out a big cake with a candle on it. All the customers sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and Mrs. Smith blew out the candle.
Afterward, Ryan walked Amy home.
“You’re so happy,” remarked the woman as Amy entered the house. “Did something special happen?”
“Ah mum, I don’t even know.”
“I saw that man through the window. He seemed really nice.”
“Yeah, he’s really nice,” Amy replied.
“Who is he?” the woman asked her.
Amy sat down on the sofa beside her mother and told her everything that had happened tonight.
The next day, when Amy went to the bar to hand the order to the barman, Robert came up to her. He was a very arrogant man and looked at Amy with contempt as if she was nothing.
“Mr. Porter’s here,” he declared.
“What?” wondered the barman. “Mr. Porter himself is here?”
“Yes,” snorted the manager, not even glancing in the barman’s direction.
Mr. Porter was the new owner of the restaurant, but none of the staff knew him by sight. His assistant, Mr. Johnson, handled all the business.
“He wants to see you,” Robert informed Amy. The woman became agitated.
“Is something wrong?”
“I think it’s because you got in the wrong business yesterday,” Robert said in a voice that lacked any emotion.”Follow me.”
Trembling with fear, Amy walked slowly behind the manager. “But what have I done?” she thought to herself. “I just suggested that Robert let them into the restaurant. That’s all.”
Outside Mr. Porter’s office, Johnson was already waiting for them.
“Ah, Robert, good you’re here too,” he said. “Mr. Porter wants to see you both.”
Johnson opened the office door and the two employees entered. At the window, with his back to the door, stood a tall, middle-aged man. He was wearing an expensive three-piece suit and a Rolex watch gleamed on his left wrist. His well-groomed hair was tousled back.
“You’re here,” he stated, turning to the staff who had just entered.
Robert and Amy were shocked by what they saw. The man who was now standing in front of them, they had already seen yesterday. But in this rich man, it was difficult to see yesterday’s visitor, Mr. Smith.
“You?” said the manager in a trembling voice.
“Hello, Mr. Parker. You surprised me last night, I won’t hide it. You kicked me out of my own restaurant.”
“I didn’t know it was your restaurant. It’s just that you looked different yesterday… and then there’s the dress code. It’s a restaurant, not a diner. We can’t let just anyone in,” Robert tried to justify his actions.
“This may have been the case under the previous bosses, but it is unacceptable to me. You can’t put some people above others. All people are equal. I will not allow anyone to throw my visitors out, even if they are dressed ‘inappropriately’. Is that clear?” said Mr. Porter in a stern voice.
“Of course, sir,” Robert replied in a quiet, almost inaudible voice.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Parker, I have to deprive you of your position,” Ryan informed him.
“What? But sir…” wanted to object Robert, but Porter gestured with a hand to silence him.
“As for you, Miss White, I was very surprised yesterday. You don’t care what a person looks like, you treat everyone equally. I’d like you to take Robert’s job.”
“Me?” Amy was surprised and didn’t quite understand what was happening like it was all in a dream.
“Yes,” said Ryan. “Mr. Parker, you can go.”
“Yes,” Ryan replied. “Mr. Parker, you’re free to go. Amy, you stay. We need to discuss some changes I want to make.”