A ten-year-old boy named Kevin used public transportation often, and he had a very good reason for it. The fact was that living in the suburbs, Kevin took a regular bus to school every morning. The boy was so used to these trips that he no longer paid any attention to the inconveniences they entailed.
That day, Kevin was one of the first passengers on the bus and habitually took a seat by the window. Having turned on music on his phone, the boy put on his headphones and started watching the passersby hurrying about their business. During his travels to school and back, he studied the route to the smallest detail and had long been accustomed to the situations inside the bus.
But on that memorable morning, things took a different turn right from the beginning. It was all because of the ticket inspector, who was supposed to make sure that everyone on the bus paid their fare. Dressed in the characteristic service uniform, she immediately felt like the queen of the bus and announced in a loud voice, “Dear passengers, please have your tickets ready for inspection.”
Samantha Donahue had been working as a ticket inspector for the city transportation company for about 10 years, and during that time, she learned to immediately spot free riders. Samantha was in a bad mood, which was caused by problems in her family. Feeling the negativity emanating from her, the passengers didn’t argue and began to pull out their crumbled tickets from their pockets and purses.
Kevin had already crossed paths with this woman before, so he knew that she wasn’t the kind of person to joke around with. But the boy had his ticket, so there was no reason for him to feel nervous or intimidated by Samantha’s bossy tone. Meanwhile, the inspector got up from her seat and decided to check the back of the bus.
Samantha had already chosen her victim for the day and was dead set on having it out with her. The unfortunate person turned out to be a woman in her 30s, dressed in modest clothes that made her blend in with the crowd. Having taken a better look at the woman, Kevin thought that there was something peculiar about her and even suspected that she might be very poor. She looked quite regular, the kind of woman you could see working at a cash register or being a saleswoman. She probably didn’t want to stand out from the rest of the people, but she didn’t look like she took public transportation all that often.
Having spotted the peculiar woman, Samantha came closer and demanded that she show her ticket. In response to the inspector’s request, the woman’s hands started shaking, and an embarrassed smile appeared on her face. Having met Samantha’s eyes, she shook her head.
Kevin was watching the situation unfold and immediately realized that the woman didn’t have a ticket. The inspector’s response wasn’t long incoming: “No ticket? And what am I supposed to do with you now? Pay your fare, no way! Pay the fine, or I’ll have to call the police!”
The woman’s eyes read despair. “Ma’am, I understand that your indignation is justified, but I can’t pay the fine because I don’t have any money on me. I forgot my wallet at home. I don’t usually take the bus,” she said.
But there was no stopping the ticket inspector. “You don’t take the bus? Well, good for you, but it looks more like you’re getting used to using public transportation for free and then pretending that it’s the first time. I know your kind; you’re always looking to get a free ride,” Samantha was on a roll.
The young woman tried to say something in her own defense, but the inspector had already gotten too engrossed in her own monologue. Attracted to the loud conversation, Kevin looked pitifully at the young woman, whose eyes had already filled with tears. It was clear from Samantha’s face that she felt like the personification of justice and longed to assert herself at the expense of this frightened passenger.
“I won’t let you off this bus until you pay the fine,” Samantha continued, “or you can go straight to the police station.”
When the situation escalated to the limit, Kevin got up from his seat and walked over to the ticket inspector, holding his right hand in his jacket pocket. Having approached Samantha, the boy handed her a couple of crumpled banknotes. “Here, take this. It should be enough to pay this woman’s fine.”
That was probably the last thing in the world Samantha expected to see. “Hey, kid, what do you think you’re doing coming to the aid of this fare dodger? Trust me, she can take care of herself,” Samantha added.
But Kevin wasn’t going to give in and firmly stood his ground. Samantha hesitated for a moment and then took the boy’s money. She realized that the entire bus was watching her, so she decided to accept the boy’s gesture. Nevertheless, she couldn’t help but make a malicious joke about the gullible little boy.
But Kevin couldn’t care less about the woman’s words. Instead of arguing with Samantha, the boy was getting ready to get off the bus as it was approaching his stop. The most interesting thing was that the fare-evading woman immediately followed her savior.
The woman caught up with Kevin at the gates of his school and touched him on the shoulder as she said, “Thank you, kiddo. If it weren’t for you, I would have had a very hard time. You’re a true gentleman.”
“I… I wasn’t lying, by the way. My car broke down this morning, and I forgot my wallet at home. It’s just one of those days. Don’t worry about the money; I will definitely pay you back,” she added.
Kevin smiled and then replied, “Don’t worry about it. It could happen to anyone. I’m sorry, ma’am, I’d love to stay and talk to you some more, but I’m going to be late for school.”
The woman looked at the boy and started thinking. The fact was that the woman’s name was Laura Simons, and she was well-known in the Boston business circles. She was the owner of a chain of antique shops and several beauty salons, and she could definitely afford a comfortable life. Laura was so deeply impressed with what Kevin did that she decided to repay him for his kindness. However, she wanted to learn as much as possible about him first.
She started by visiting the boy’s school and talking to the principal and the boy’s teachers. She didn’t know the kiddo’s name, so she had to describe his appearance and age in great detail so the school staff could identify him.
Thus, in the course of their conversation, Laura learned that Kevin loved baseball and everything to do with it. Moreover, the boy dreamed of a career as a professional athlete, like the stars from the baseball cards he’d been collecting all his life. Unfortunately, there was one significant obstacle on Kevin’s way to his dream, which could negate all his efforts. The problem was that the school didn’t have a proper sports field, which meant that the young athletes couldn’t train the way they needed. No one really took care of the grass, and the track was covered with pits and ruts, which could cause the runners some serious injuries.
As expected, no one was planning on solving that problem in the near future. “Our sports equipment belongs in the landfill, but unfortunately, the city budget isn’t enough to cover all of our needs,” the principal said sadly.
Having heard the man out, Laura thought for a moment and then said, “I think that I can help you. My only condition is that you need to keep it secret for now, okay?”
The principal nodded, even though he didn’t believe that the woman would actually help the school. Frankly speaking, he couldn’t have even suspected that Laura Simons was an influential businesswoman with numerous bank accounts around the world. However, Laura’s modest clothes only emphasized her attitude towards money. Laura didn’t enjoy getting a lot of public attention, and therefore she tried to dress it down so as not to stand out in the crowd.
Laura’s life started in poverty, and everyone who knew Laura as a child never even suspected that she could become so successful. The woman still remembered the times when her large family didn’t even have a piece of bread for breakfast. Unfortunately, her parents often found themselves without work. Laura had to go through a lot before she achieved financial independence and prosperity. Contrary to popular belief, wealth didn’t spoil her; instead, she became a kind and compassionate person, always willing to help those in need.
Unfortunately, Laura’s personal life didn’t work out as well as her professional one. Having lived through a painful divorce from her alcoholic husband, the woman became more circumspect in dating and tried not to rush into anything.
Having decided to fulfill Kevin’s dream, Laura coordinated all of the details with her deputy in record time and transferred the money to the account of the contracting company, which was supposed to do the reconstruction work. However, Laura didn’t stop at that. Realizing that Kevin wanted to become an athlete, the woman bought him a set of baseball uniforms and all the necessary equipment, including a bat, a baseball, and a leather glove.
But it wasn’t really about the money, as Laura had already spent exponentially more than the fine the boy had paid on the bus. Laura came to Kevin’s school and greeted him at the gate. She handed the boy an envelope and showed him the uniform laying in the back seat of her SUV. Kevin’s surprise knew no bounds. “You didn’t have to do this; it must have cost you a fortune!” Kevin said.
Of course, Kevin had no idea that he wasn’t talking to some poor woman who couldn’t afford a bus ticket but to a woman whose financial assets were worth millions. But Laura only smiled mysteriously and offered to give the boy a ride home.
When Kevin showed his father his new clothes, Roger Murphy couldn’t believe his eyes. Upon learning what his son did on the bus, the man smiled and stroked his head. “You have a good heart, son. I think you deserve this gift,” the man added.
At that moment, Kevin and his father didn’t know what would happen in about six months when Laura Simons would come back into their lives. During one of Kevin’s games, which was dedicated to the grand opening of the sports field (which looked nothing like it did before all the reconstruction works), there was a young woman giving a speech from the impromptu stage, wishing the athletes good luck in their future endeavors. She was the one who paid for all the renovations.
Most of the parents couldn’t figure out why that woman would donate so much money to their school, but Kevin knew what it was all about. Having noticed Laura on stage with the microphone in her hands, the boy came closer and said, “Thank you, Miss Simons. If it weren’t for you, my friends and I wouldn’t be able to do what we love so much.”
Laura smiled, then shook the boy’s hand and said, “No thanks needed, Kevin. You returned my faith in humanity, and that’s worth a lot.”
Talking to Kevin, Laura didn’t even notice when Roger Murphy approached them. “It’s great to meet you, Miss Simons. I’m very grateful to you for helping my son and his friends achieve their goals,” the man began.
“Thank you for raising such a wonderful boy,” Laura answered with a smile.
Of course, the woman knew that Kevin’s mother had died in a car accident and that Roger had been raising his son alone for seven years. Laura and Roger didn’t even realize when they got deep into a conversation and how they moved to the nearest cafe to continue it. That day marked the beginning of their rapidly developing relationship, which quite naturally would end in a wedding. Kevin was the happiest of all of them. He didn’t only get a chance to become a professional baseball player but also found a strong family in which he was loved and cherished, just like every child deserves.