An elderly man saves his money by walking 10 kilometers to give presents to his grandson. When he arrives at his grandson’s house one day to surprise him, he sees the boy get into a stranger’s car and is horrified.
Luke was eight years old when his parents, Marissa and Peter, divorced. Peter fell in love with another woman with whom he started a family.
However, a month after their divorce, Marissa learned from Peter’s father, Ronald, that Peter and his pregnant bride had been killed in a car accident.
After losing his father, Luke was left with only his mother. She raised him alone and made sure he didn’t need anything. But Luke also had his grandfather Ronald with him, who loved the boy like his own son.
«Grandpa is the best, Mum! He loves me very much. It’s nice that Grandpa lives near us. I can spend time with him!» — little Luke always told Marissa, but she didn’t appreciate it. Every time she saw Ronald approaching her son, she felt like someone was raking over the past. It brought back memories of her complicated relationship with Peter.
So to keep Ronald away from her and Luke, Marissa moved to another house, away from Ronald’s.
«Don’t do it, darling,» the 88-year-old Ronald pleaded. But Marissa didn’t listen.
When Luke left, Ronald was very sad. He was a widower, his only son had died in a car accident, and he was very lonely. He wanted to visit Luke, but his old car hadn’t worked for a long time, and he couldn’t afford to buy a new one. Besides, Marissa would be furious to see him.
One day Ronald was eating breakfast when his phone rang. He picked up the phone and burst into tears when he heard Luke’s voice on the other end.
«Oh, how are you, darling? Do you miss Grandpa, Luke?» — he asked, his voice gasping.
«Granddad, Granddaddy. Mum is ill. She lost consciousness and they sent her to the hospital. They didn’t take me with them. I miss you, Grandpa! Could you come and see me?» — he begged, crying.
«What?» Ronald’s voice suddenly became hard. «Oh, darling, don’t worry. Grandpa’s coming, okay? Are you home alone, Luke?»
«No,» the boy replied. «I’m at Mrs. Green’s. She lives next door to us. Grandpa, I miss my mum! And I miss you too!»
Without thinking, Ronald got up, hastily put on his jacket and grabbed his walk stick. He hadn’t even finished his breakfast before he headed for Luke’s neighbour’s house.
Ronald didn’t have much money, so he decided to use what little he had to buy Luke something to cheer him up. He then walked the ten kilometres to see his grandson.
At Mrs Green’s, Luke ran up to him and gave him a big hug. «Grandpa! I missed you!»
«Oh, I missed you too, Luke!» Ronald sighed and hugged the boy tightly.
From that day onwards, Grandpa Ronald visited Luke every day. To save money for gifts for his grandson, he decided not to take transport and walked 10 km a day. He was out of breath and tired when he arrived at the Greens, but he never showed how tired he was.
«Grandfather, you look very tired. Do you want to rest?» — Luke asked Ronald one day after the old man collapsed on the stairs of the house shortly after he arrived.
But Ronald smiled feignedly and replied, «Not at all, my boy! Grandpa is still very strong. Walking ten kilometres is nothing to me!» And little Luke smiled broadly.
Every time Ronald visited Luke, he brought him sweets, toys and even his favourite pizza. He played with him despite his tiredness and read him stories. Not to say that walking 10km a day at 88 is no joke, but Ronald did it out of love for his grandson.
One day, before visiting Luke, Ronald bought a box of Luke’s favourite chocolates and decided to surprise him. But as soon as he arrived, he saw Luke getting into a stranger’s car.
«Who are you? Where are you taking my grandson? Stop here!» — he shouted from a distance.
The man holding the car door for Luke turned around, a worried expression on his face.
«Stay there!» — shouted Ronald, threatening the man with his walk stick. He rushed towards him and pulled Luke out of the car.
«Are you all right, Luke?» — he asked, hugging him, his walking stick pointed at the man. «Was he trying to hurt you?»
«No, no, Grandpa! You’ve got it all wrong!» — Luke exclaimed. «This is Mr Green, Mrs Green’s husband. You said you weren’t feeling well yesterday, so I thought I’d pay you a visit today. Mr Green was going to take me to your house.»
«Oh, really?» Ronald lowered his walking stick and looked apologetically at Mr Green. «I’m sorry, sir. I was just worried about my grandson and overreacted. Please forgive me.»
Mr Green laughed, «That’s all right, sir. Would you like to have tea with me, now that you’re here?»
«I’d appreciate it,» Ronald said shyly. «Thank you.»
Chatting over tea, Mr Green told him that he had taken time off work and decided to take Luke to meet Ronald. He also told Ronald that after hearing that he was walking 10km a day to see Luke, some neighbours had done their bit and started a GoFundMe page to buy him a new car.
Ronald was in tears and politely refused Mr Green. «Believe me, sir, it’s not necessary. It would cost a lot of money and I can’t take it.»
But Mr Green assured him that the neighbours really wanted to do it for him. And after much persuasion Ronald had to agree.
«Thank you very much,» he said with tears in his eyes. «I will never forget your kindness.»
Shortly afterwards, Ronald picked Marissa up from the hospital in a new car and had a heart-to-heart talk with her in which he apologised for what Peter had done and asked her not to forbid Luke to see him.
«I know it won’t be easy for you,» he said. «But I hope you’ll understand me.»
In time, Marissa’s heart melted, and she let Luke make the decision. If he wants to be near his grandfather, she has no right to stop him, she thought.
Things are so different now that Ronald enjoys going to see his grandson every day and helping Marissa around the house so that she can concentrate more on her career, which deep down she loves. And Luke doesn’t miss his grandfather’s love.
«I’m so glad you visit me every day, Grandpa!» — exclaims little Luke every time Ronald arrives.