There is no sex in this story but it is a good read. Thank you to Linda62953 for editing this story and making it a much better read.
My mother passed away a couple of years ago. My dad took it pretty hard but went on with his life; what else could he do? He ran a combination gas station and grocery store, which was passed down to him from my grandfather. Dad is a good man, as was my grandfather before him.
Mom was only fifty-four when she died of that dreaded Cancer. She and Dad started dating after Dad returned from the service and married soon after. They had a good marriage and seemed to be a happy couple. Mom was a writer and wrote children's books. Over the years, she made a good amount of money, but she always said she was a mother and a housewife first.
I was an only child and knew my father wanted me to follow in his footsteps and work at the gas station and eventually he would pass it down to me. The problem is, I wasn't a mechanic and had no desire to be one. I guess I took after my mother because I enjoyed writing. When I was younger, I would sit around the gas station and listen to the many stories people told us and would write about them.
Mom told me I had a real talent and would edit my stories for me. I would send them to Readers Digest or other short story magazines and make a few dollars. Real life stories had always hit me in a special way. I did go to college for a couple of years to take some general business courses and to hone up on my writing skills.
Dad knew that being a mechanic wasn't what I wanted, so he grew the grocery store part of our business and I eventually became the manager of the grocery store. He managed the garage along with his right hand man, Les, who my grandfather had hired many years ago.
Les was married and had a daughter and a son. He told me he owed his life to my grandfather. I asked him if he'd tell me his story. Dad and Mom already knew it but promised my Granddad and Les they wouldn't tell anyone without Les's ok. Les said it was about time, so he told me his story.
Before he even started, he had tears in his eyes. By the time he finished his story, we all did.
Lester's told me his story:
Les said it had all began many years ago one Christmas Eve when my granddad sat in his gas station on a very cold and snowy night. Granddad hadn't really celebrated Christmas in years since his wife, my grandmother, had passed away. It was just another lonely day to him. My dad was in the service and had moved to Kentucky after he served his time in the army. He had lived there a couple of years. It left Granddad pretty much alone in his business, after the death of my grandmother.
Gramps didn't hate Christmas, he just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking out at the snow that had been falling for the last couple of hours thinking how slick the roads must be getting. The snowplows hadn't been through yet. At the time, he was pondering what Christmas was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped in.
Instead of throwing the man out, since he didn't even have a car, George, my granddad, as he was known by his customers, told the man to come in and sit by the heater and warm up. "Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy, I just wanted to warm up a bit, and I'll just go."
"Not without something hot in your belly," George said. He
turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. "It isn't much, but it's hot and tasty. It's stew... , made it myself. When you're done eating it, there's coffee and it's hot and fresh."
Just at that moment, he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me, be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old truck that had pulled up; steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. "Mister, can you help me?" asked the driver, seeming desperate. "My wife is pregnant and ready to deliver our baby. We were headed to the hospital when my truck began overheating."
George looked into the car and saw the scared pregnant woman sitting in the passenger seat. He opened the hood of the old truck. It didn't look good; steam just rolled out from under the hood.
"You aren't going anywhere in this old truck," George said as he turned away.
"But Mister, please help..."
"I'll be right back," said George.
The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage door, started his own old truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. "Here, take my truck," he said. "She isn't the best truck you ever looked at, but she runs real good. Just return it to me when you can."
The man wasn't about to argue with him as George helped put the woman into the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I loaned them the truck, their tires were shot, too. My old truck at least has brand new ones."
George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. "Well, at least he got something in his belly," George thought.
After the old truck cooled down George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He put it into the garage where his truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant few customers. He discovered that the block hadn't cracked, it was just a problem with the bottom radiator hose. "Well, shoot, I can fix this," he said to himself. So, he put a new one on.
"Those tires aren't going to get them through the winter, either." He took some tires that had been traded in but still had good tread left on them and put them on the old truck. As he was working, he heard a loud noise outside. It was a police cruiser that had went over the embankment and had overturned.
He ran outside and helped the police officer out of the cruiser. He was shook up and bleeding quite a bit from the left shoulder. The officer moaned, "Please help me."
George helped the officer inside his station. He remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. "Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had been there the day before and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the deep cut. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix anything," he said, trying to make the police officer feel at ease.
"You need something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. "You hang in there, I'm going to get you an ambulance."
It began snowing harder and when George went to call an ambulance, the phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that talk box out in your car." He went out, only to find that it was badly damaged and had destroyed the two-way radio.
He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. "Thanks," said the officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that I was chasing could still be in the area."
George sat down beside him, "I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I wouldn't leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. You will need some stitching up. Looks like it missed the important stuff. I think with time, you're going to be right as rain."
George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked.
"Black is fine, thank you," said the officer.
"Too bad I'm out of donuts," said George. The officer laughed and winced at the same time.
The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. "Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had probably never done anything like this before.
"That's the guy I was chasing!" exclaimed the officer.
"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George, "You need to put that cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt."
The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you. Now give me your cash!"
The cop started to slowly reach for his gun before George stopped him and before the young man shot him. George said to him, "We've got one too many out now."
He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It's not much, but it's all I got. Now put that pea shooter away." The young man's hand was shaking and George knew he was scared.
George pulled a hundred and fifty dollars out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry.
"I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he went on. "I lost my job last month, my rent is due and they're going to repossess my car."
George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can."
He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup of coffee. "Being stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Coming in here with a gun, isn't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort this thing out."
.... There is more of this story ...