His eyes were fixed on the bill in front of him. It should have been fifty dollars total. She didn’t order much. Faculty members had other plans for the struggling veteran besides simply feeding him.
When he saw the scandalous bill, his blood began to boil. Despite his age and fragility, they underestimated him. They were going to pay for it.
They demanded an enormous sum from him for the mere exercise of his rights and he refused to pay it. What does it matter if he violated his policies? Human beings deserve better treatment.
Knowing the truth about the old man’s past would certainly have made the staff more cautious. Despite his modest appearance, he was not weak at all.
Pat glared at the waitress when she returned. “Is there any reason for this payment?” She asked, already knowing. “Sir, you repeatedly ignored our requests and violated our policy. This is the consequence.”
A feeling of rage ran through Pat’s body. A sudden calm came over him. “I didn’t expect to pay so much. I just need to get some cash out of my trunk. Don’t worry, it’s right outside. If you want to look at me, you can.”
make them pay
Despite rolling her eyes, the waitress didn’t seem to object. If that meant letting him go to her car, she would realize that she simply wanted him out of her reach.
Before heading to the door, he smiled and slowly stood up. She couldn’t believe she would be allowed into his car. As soon as he did so, they would beg him for mercy.
Opening his trunk
Through the front window, Pat noticed the waitress watching him as he left the restaurant. Watching him ensured that he didn’t do anything suspicious.
He was going to do just that. A smile spread across his face as he opened his trunk. In case of emergency, the veteran always kept the item in his trunk.
After grabbing the duffel bag, the veteran stared at the restaurant. He didn’t want to do it, but he was forced to do it. He cleared his throat as he walked back to the front door.
The waitress’s face was free of annoyance. After unzipping her duffel bag, she took out something that no one expected.
Even though others would have been glad to face the day, Patrick Abner felt exhausted. Getting up in the morning sometimes seemed pointless. Even after all these years, he still felt heartbroken.
There had been many traumas in his life, but one event shattered his heart. She found it impossible to pick them up again.
Horrors of war
In his early twenties, Pat decided to enlist in the United States Army and fight overseas. The Vietnam War was a political war and he didn’t realize how much politics was at play.
Fortunately, he did not suffer any physical injuries during his deployment. He would never fully recover from the horrors of war.
Following his return from war, Pat met a woman named Joanna and tried to forget about his past. It was love at first sight between the two, and they even had twins. His life had never been happier, but he had no idea what would happen next.
His best efforts were put into raising the two boys. There were many differences between the two boys, despite the fact that they were twins.
Despite their similar looks, Derek and John had very different interests. Following his father’s example, Derek wanted to join the military as well. His dream was to serve his country one day.
Meanwhile, John focused more on his mother’s passions. She loved cooking tasty meals for her family and spoiling them with delicious treats.
Time flew by, and Pat couldn’t believe that his children had already grown into young adults. John moved out first, finding his passion in hospitality. Derek, on the other hand, stayed for another year before doing the unexpected.
With the war in Iraq in full swing, Derek told his parents that he was going to listen to the call and protect them. But it wouldn’t end well.
Pat tried to give his son some perspective on war, but with how patriotic he was, there was no stopping him. He couldn’t be hypocritical, either. He let Derek go fight in a foreign land just as he had over twenty years before.
Pat and Joanna worried about him every day, until one day, they got a letter hand-delivered from a soldier. It was the worst news.
Joanna collapsed as Pat took the letter. He read through it and felt as if someone had ripped apart his heart. He had been shot before, and that hurt far less than this. Their baby boy, Derek, had been killed in action.
They would never recover from this. Pat felt powerless to console his wife as he watched her slip further into depression every day.
The married couple grew further apart every day after losing their son. Eventually, Pat understood he couldn’t help his wife, and they ended up getting a divorce. He let Joanna keep the house while he became a wanderer.
Pat was practically alone. He decided to move to New York, but it was no less friendly than where he lived before then. For another twenty years, he roamed around, getting odd jobs to get by. He had lost a lot of things along the way, but he always kept two things dear to him: Derek’s old baseball cap and an old photo of him. He’d taken both from his room before leaving the house for good.
A Normal Day
On a normal day, Pat had heard that a restaurant had recently opened up in New York. He decided to stop by and see how the food was. Looking at the menu in the window, his belly growled loudly.
He walked in and sat down in one of the booths. The food reminded him of all the delicious meals his wife used to cook, but someone was about to ruin his day.
Suddenly, Pat’s attention was ripped away from the menu as he heard a female voice. “Hello. Can I get you anything to drink?” She sounded mean and kind. But then Pat lowered the menu so she could see his face.
Her smile immediately dropped. Something was wrong, but how had he offended her? She was about to tell him.
“Sorry, sir, but you can’t wear a hat inside,” She said in an annoyed tone. He couldn’t believe what she had just said. “Sorry, but I have to keep it on. It was my sons…” But before he could finish explaining, she cut him off: “Well, it doesn’t matter whose it was, that’s our policy.”
Pat decided to stand his ground, “I’m not taking it off, young lady.” He said in a stern voice. The woman scoffed and stormed off. He thought that was the end of it, but he was mistaken.
An Amazing Meal
Pat managed to order food from the waitress when she came back and quickly got some amazing-looking food. It tasted just like home and comforted him in ways he hadn’t been in decades.
He nearly cried but kept his composure. He then asked for the bill, but he was about to see something outrageous.
Supposed To Be Fifty Dollars
Pat stared down at the bill in front of him. It was supposed to be a total of fifty dollars. He hadn’t ordered much at all. The struggling veteran just wanted to feed himself, but the faculty had other ideas.
His blood started boiling at the outrageous bill he had been given. But they had underestimated him as a feeble old man. He was going to make them pay.
Against Their Policy
He refused to pay such a huge fee for just exercising his rights. So what if he did something against their policy? He was a human being and deserved to be treated better.
No doubt the staff would have been a bit more cautious of the old man if they knew the truth surrounding his past. Even if he looked unassuming and weak, he was anything but that.
The waitress came back, and Pat stared daggers at her. “What’s this fee for?” He asked, already having an idea. “Sir, you broke our policy and repeatedly ignored our requests. This is the repercussion.”
Pat felt rage course through his body. Then suddenly, he was calm. “Okay, I didn’t count on paying so much. Let me just get some cash from my trunk. Don’t worry, it’s right by the window. You can watch me.”
Heading For The Door
The waitress just rolled her eyes, but she didn’t seem to object. He could tell that she just wanted him out of her hair as quickly as possible, even if that meant letting him go to his car.
He smiled and slowly got up before heading for the door. He couldn’t believe they were about to let him make it to his car. Once he did, they would be the ones begging for his mercy.
Pat walked out of the restaurant and noticed the waitress watching him through the front window. She was making sure he didn’t do anything suspicious.
But that’s exactly what the old man was going to do. He walked over to his trunk and opened it, a smile on his face. The veteran always made sure to keep the item in his trunk for emergencies like this.
The veteran grabbed the duffel bag and stared at the restaurant. He didn’t want to have to do it, but they had no choice. He walked back to the front door and cleared his throat.
The expression of annoyance disappeared from the waitress’s face. She had been replaced by fear when she unzipped her duffel bag and pulled out something no one expected.
Your travel bag
It turned out to be her travel bag. She kept everything important to him. The waitress saw wads of cash inside her, but that’s not what she took out. What she grabbed was an old Polaroid.
“Do you know who it is?” She said with tears streaming down her face. It was a photo of a young man smiling at the camera. “This is my son, Derek, and he died fighting for this country. If he had survived, would you have treated him as badly as you treat me? But he wasn’t done.
“And this hat. This is her hat. It’s the only part of him I have left and that’s why I won’t take it away from you or anyone else! She finally ended her emotional rant upon seeing the scene she had created.
The waitress stared at him before saying, “I’m going to find the owner before I run back.” Pat sat down and smiled. He was aware of certain information that the waitress was missing.
The owner leaves
The owner, the head chef and the manager came out. But he was a man who held all those titles in this humble restaurant. He cooked with passion and finally managed to open his own restaurant after twenty years of trying.
“There is!” The waitress said as she pointed to the ragged man in the corner. “It’s been bothering customers.” But she had no idea what was about to happen.
As soon as the owner saw Pat, something stirred inside him. He stumbled upon his words: “D…dad?” He choked before running towards Pat. The gray-haired old man knew his son’s restaurant and wanted to support it.
But he hadn’t told his son he was coming. John didn’t even know she lived in the same city as him. The two hugged, but then Pat began to tell him what had happened.
“The waitress wanted to charge me $300 for leaving my hat on. “That is an absurd policy.” She told her son. But that’s when John’s eyes widened: “What policy? “We don’t have one on hats.”
Then John looked back at the waitress, who realized he was about to get into a lot of trouble. Her clients had taken advantage of her.
After finding out that she had been making up absurd policies to scam weak-looking clients, John fired her on the spot. He took her apron and watched her leave her restaurant. She turned to her father, who had been lost for decades, wandering aimlessly.
Then John said something Pat had only dreamed about: “Dad, I had no idea where you’d been. I know you felt guilty about Derek, but it’s time for you to come home, okay? “I have a spare room and I would love for you to meet my family.” Pat couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He cried in the arms of his son. He would never be alone again.
* This story is a work of fiction intended for entertainment. The characters and events are the product of the author’s imagination. The images shown are for illustrative purposes only.