A kindly boy buys food for his favorite teacher’s hungry kid. He never imagines that as a result of his selfless act, his life will be transformed.
Zach pressed his hands over his hot eyes. Why did everything make so much sense when Mr. Porter explained it to him? The truth is that Zach was just too tired.
He’d arrived home, cleaned the house, made dinner for his mom, made sure she took her meds, and now he was finally doing his homework. After a while, Zach put his books away. It was no good, the letters danced in front of his eyes.
He knew that on Monday, Mr. Porter would be disappointed once again when he saw the test results. Zach was a poor student. He knew it, and there was nothing he could do about it.
His dad passed away seven years ago when he was just four years old. His mom had been devastated, but she’d rallied. She’d sold their house, and they’d moved to a more modest home.
Zach and his mom had settled into their new reality, but one day, something terrible happened. Zach’s mom was diagnosed with a degenerative condition.
Little by little, her physical condition deteriorated, and there was nothing doctors could do. There were new, revolutionary treatments in Europe, but they couldn’t afford them.
As Zach’s mom became more limited by her condition, it was the 11-year-old who had to take over running the household. He went shopping for groceries and paid the bills. He even learned how to cook. Zach took care of his mom, just as his mother had once taken care of him.
On Saturday morning, Zach headed for the mall to accomplish the week’s shopping. He bought what they needed and decided to stop by the food court for a snack.
He joined the line at a popular hotdog stand and was delighted to recognize Mr. Parker ahead of him, with a little boy, around 4 years old. The boy was complaining and tugging at Mr. Parker’s jacket, telling him he was hungry.
“Hey, Mr. Parker!” Zach said. “How are you?”
Mr. Parker turned around and smiled. “Hello, Zach! Ready for the big quiz on Monday?”
Zach shrugged. “I don’t know, Mr. Parker,” he said. “When you explain it in class it makes sense, but then when I look at the books, everything just… disappears.”
Mr. Parker nodded and reached into his pocket. Then he frowned and put his hand in his other pocket. “Oh!” he said. “I’m sorry, I think I left my wallet at home!”
The server shrugged, and Mr. Parker said to his son: “I’m sorry, Davy, I’ll get you a hotdog next time.”
The boy started crying. “But I’m HUNGRY now, daddy!” he howled. “I want a hotdog NOW!”
“Please, Davy,” Mr. Parker said nervously. “Please, Daddy hasn’t got any money right now…”
Zach had never seen Mr. Parker look so helpless, and he decided to take action. He took his money out and slapped it on the counter. “I’ll pay for the boy’s hotdog,” he told the server.