Rummaging through dumpsters trying to find some food for the day was never a part of Peter’s life plan. Everything seemed to happen to him. That, coupled with problems with mental health, led to his tricky situation. He survived daily but had trouble finding part-time gigs due to his lack of housing and proper documents. So he went through dumpsters every day, trying to find food. The bright side is that big supermarket chains would throw out good food for no reason, so it worked. It wasn’t dignified, but it was better than nothing.
He found a couple of old prepared sandwiches, and underneath was a black bag. It was heavy too, so it could be something good. But when he pulled it out of the dumpster, it started moving, startling him. Peter almost dropped it, but the sound of crying echoed from the inside and triggered Peter to stop.
“It can’t be,” he said aloud as he knelt and ripped the bag open. A baby, perhaps a one-year-old, was wailing. The child’s eyes turned to Peter, still crying, but his arms raised. Taking the baby into his arms, forgetting about the sandwiches, he looked around, trying to see if someone else would help. But it was late, which was why he could rummage through the dumpster in peace.
So Peter did the only thing he could do—walk briskly to the police station, which was closer than the fire station in his city, to take the baby to safety. “Found this baby in a dumpster!” Peter yelled as soon as he walked through the doors.
The officers all turned in shock. The vision of Peter, who had tattered clothes, overgrown hair and beard, and dirty shoes, carrying a baby in his arms must have been startling. But to their credit, the cops just jumped into action. One grabbed the child and seemed to check while performing what Peter could only guess was first aid. The baby was later taken to another room.
Another cop came to him. “Can you tell us exactly what happened?”
“Yes, I was, well, looking for food,” he replied, ashamed. “I found him in a black bag. It was unmoving, so I had no idea. But as soon as I took the baby, he started crying. He was just there.”
“Did you see anyone nearby?”
“No,” Peter continued his line of questions and was called by the officer who had taken the child. They spoke to one side so that no one could hear them, but Peter concentrated, snooping. He could only discern this: “This must be the Morgan’s child.”
Peter stayed at the station while the officers moved around, made calls, rushed out, and did their business. He wondered if he should leave until the same questioning officer came back. “Stay here. We’ve located the parents, and they want to thank you for this,” the cop nodded.
“Sure,” he answered, not needing any gratitude. He did what anyone would have done. A few more minutes passed until bright headlights shone through the station’s glass doors, illuminating everything in sight. Peter was blinded for a second until the car turned the headlights off, and two people rushed out of the front seats.
“Where’s my baby?” a woman wailed in desperation. She was beautifully dressed in elegant, pristine clothes. Peter turned to the man and marveled at his clearly expensive suit, watch, and shoes—his complete opposite. It stung, but he looked at the big picture. The man’s face was a picture of pain, disbelief, and hope. These people had not abandoned their child. So this was a kidnapping case, and worse.
The officer who had taken the baby to the back returned and handed the baby to his mother, who grabbed him as quickly as she could and held him tightly to her chest. The father joined them, and Peter could see both their chests moving, crying.
“This is the man who found your child,” the officer indicated, pointing at Peter, who felt small and inconsequential. “It was no big deal. I did what anyone would,” he stated, wanting to leave. But the man almost ran to him, grabbing Peter and hugging him. He couldn’t remember the last time he was embraced, and this man didn’t seem to care about ruining his fancy outfit.
“Thank you,” the man chanted several times. “You have no idea.” The woman approached him when her husband let go. Her hand went to Peter’s face, shocking him again. “You saved our baby. How can we ever repay you?” she asked, tears still flowing, but somehow her makeup was intact.
“No, nothing. I don’t need anything,” Peter repeated, raising his hands.
“Nonsense! You deserve a reward for this. You have saved our family,” the man insisted.
“Oh, we haven’t even introduced ourselves. I’m James, this is Amy, and that’s our boy Aaron. Please tell me what we can do for you,” Peter sighed, knowing these people would not give up.
“Well, I could use a burger or something,” Peter replied.
“Do you have a bank account?” James asked, grabbing his phone. “Do you have a job? Do you have a house?” James questioned him, just like the officer did before, and Peter felt small again but responded honestly.
Finally, the fancy business-looking man said, “I’m going to fix all your troubles. You don’t—” He tried to refuse again, but Amy interjected, “You saved us; we save you.”
The Morgans took Peter to dinner that night and gave him all their cash, which was over one thousand dollars. However, his cheap smartphone pinged with an alert from his bank account just an hour after. It was a massive wire transfer worth millions of dollars. It had to be a mistake, but James called him right away to confirm he got the money. “That’s what that low life was asking for. I don’t negotiate with criminals or give my money away so easily,” he stated severely. “You deserve this money. Start over and let me know if you need a job. Thank you.” He hung up.
Peter looked around his cheap hotel room, which he had booked with the cash they gave him. He had planned to buy shoes and more things the next day, but he was now a millionaire. So the following morning, his first visit was to a realtor, and Peter put in an offer on the house shortly after looking at it. He later visited a car dealership and came out with a sensible sedan.
Less than 24 hours ago, he had been homeless and destitute, but now he had a chance to rebuild his life in the best possible way. He later called the Morgans, asking if they needed a new driver. James laughed and agreed immediately.
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