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Wilson and Tom sat silently, watching the horizon. | Source: Amomama
Wilson and Tom sat silently, watching the horizon. | Source: Amomama

Poor Guy Cares for Disabled Man Who Constantly Mocks Him, One Day He Finds Out Why — Story of the Day

Mariia Kobzieva
May 31, 2024
03:09 P.M.

Tom takes on the job of caring for Wilson, a disabled man, to earn money for his education. Rather than expressing gratitude for Tom's attentive support, Wilson treats him with disdain. One day, Wilson takes Tom on a lengthy journey that unveils a secret Wilson had long kept hidden.

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Tom stared at the stack of bills on his tiny kitchen table. Each was a reminder of the dream that felt just beyond his reach—a degree in medicine, a future of healing others.

But his parents, though loving, had made their stance clear: they wouldn't pay for a career they didn't believe in. Economics was practical, they said; medicine was a pipe dream.

For illustration purposes only | Source: АІ

For illustration purposes only | Source: АІ

Determined not to give up, Tom scoured the classifieds for any job that might help him scrape his tuition. That’s when he stumbled upon the ad.

"Caregiver needed for elderly man," it read. The job didn’t require much experience, just patience and time—two things Tom had in abundance.

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The address led him to a modest house on the edge of town, its paint peeling slightly at the corners. He knocked, unsure of what to expect.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The door swung open, revealing an older man in a wheelchair. His face was lined with age and stern severity, immediately setting Tom on edge.

“You the kid from the ad?” the old man grumbled, eyeing Tom disdainfully.

“Yes, sir. I’m Tom,” he replied, extending a hand that Wilson looked at but didn’t bother to shake.

“I’m Wilson,” the man said shortly. “Come in, let's get this over with.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Tom followed Wilson into the living room, cluttered with old football trophies and faded photographs of younger, happier days.

Wilson maneuvered his wheelchair with a practiced ease, stopping in the center of the room. He turned to face Tom, his expression hard.

“Listen, kid, I’m not one for being babysat. My legs might be shot, but my mind’s as sharp as ever. You’re not here to satisfy me. You’re here because the law says I can’t be left alone, got it?”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Tom nodded, swallowing his anxiety. “Understood, sir. I’m here to help with whatever you need.”

Wilson scoffed, his gaze skeptical.

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“We’ll see about that. You can start by ensuring I don’t fall flat on my face when I get around. And no chit-chat. I’m not your grandpa and don’t need your pity.”

Despite Wilson's harshness, Tom sensed a deep loneliness in the older man’s sharp eyes—perhaps not unlike his own.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Over the next few days, Tom did his best to assist Wilson without overstepping. As he worked, Tom's mind wandered as he observed the pictures of Wilson in his football days, surrounded by teammates.

Each image was a stark contrast to the man he now cared for, who seemed to have no one left but a caregiver he didn’t even want.

"It's hard to imagine him as anything but the grumpy old man he is now," he mused, adjusting a cushion behind Wilson's back. "He must have been something else back in the day."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

One evening, as Tom was about to leave, Wilson called out to him.

“Kid, sit down. I want to talk.” His voice was less gruff than usual, and Tom hesitated before sitting across from him.

“You’re not like the others,” Wilson began, his tone reflective. “They all left after a few days. Why are you still here?”

Tom thought for a moment before answering.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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“I guess... I believe everyone deserves a little help, sir. And maybe... maybe I understand what it’s like to feel stuck.”

Wilson looked away, a flicker of something unreadable crossing his face. “Maybe you do, kid. Maybe you do.”

***

The following day, as the first light of dawn crept through the curtains, Wilson wheeled himself into the living room with a surprising proposition.

“I’ve got something to do,” Wilson announced abruptly, “and you’re going to help me with it.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Tom, taken aback by the sudden plan, watched as Wilson tossed a set of car keys towards him.

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“We’re going on a road trip. There’s a match tomorrow, a big one. You’re driving.”

Wilson was adamant despite Tom’s protests about his lack of driving skills. “You’ll manage. I’ll teach you.”

Tom took the driver’s seat, his hands gripping the steering wheel tightly as Wilson instructed him with a sharp critique and grudging advice.

“Ease up on the gas, kid. Steady your hands. Watch the road, not the dashboard!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The landscape changed from urban sprawl to open fields and blue skies as the hours passed. The tension in the car gradually gave way to Wilson's stories from his football days.

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By late afternoon, they reached a small town, and Wilson's condition worsened. His breathing grew labored, his face ashen. Tom, noticing the change, leaped to his feet, his voice laced with panic.

"Wilson, you okay? Should I call someone?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

"Just... just a bit winded, kid," Wilson gasped, trying to downplay his discomfort.

Tom didn’t hesitate, dialing for an ambulance as his heart raced. "Hang in there, Wilson. Help's on the way."

***

While doctors whisked Wilson away at the hospital, Tom walked straight and forward in the antiseptic-scented waiting room. "This was a bad idea," he muttered to himself. "What were we thinking, coming all this way?"

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A nurse's gentle voice broke his reverie. "He is too old for a long trip. He's taken some medicine, better now. He's asking for you," she said, smiling kindly.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

Stepping into the dim light of the hospital room, Tom found Wilson propped up on pillows, looking weaker yet undeniably steadfast. Wilson's eyes fixed on Tom.

"Kid," Wilson's voice was raspy but firm, "and let a little hiccup stop us? No way, kid. We're finishing what we started."

Tom's worry morphed into resolve as he approached Wilson's bedside. "Wilson, I don’t know if it’s safe..."

"Safe?" Wilson cut in, a wry smile touching his lips.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

"Since when has life ever been safe, huh? We're going to that match, Tom. Not just for me, but for you too. You need to see that dreams aren’t just chased; they’re caught."

Tom sighed, "I get it, Wilson. It's just like my dream of seeing the sea. I’ve been saving up for it. But now, every penny is being funneled into my university fund."

Wilson faced the road, his voice quieter. "The sea, huh? That's a fine dream, Tom." Wilson's tone did not mock for the first time, instead expressing a shared sense of yearning.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Tom continued, "Yeah, I always imagined what it would be like—the sound of the waves, the endless water. It’s not just about seeing it. It’s about feeling that freedom, you know?"

Wilson nodded slowly, his gaze distant. "Dreams... they’re funny things. Hard to chase, harder to give up. I pushed my own aside once. Look where that got me."

Wilson’s hand tightened around Tom’s, "That’s the spirit, kid. Now, help me leave this place. We’ve got places to be."

"Alright, Wilson."

***

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Tom and Wilson arrived in the small town just as the afternoon sun began casting long shadows across the streets. Tom drove slowly, following Wilson’s directions to a stadium.

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As they pulled up near the gates, Tom noticed that instead of the roaring crowds and towering floodlights he had imagined, there was only the quiet chatter of a few parents and the distant sound of children's laughter as they kicked a soccer ball around the patchy grass field. That was a school stadium.

Wilson’s face seemed to soften for a moment as he watched the children play.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

“Wilson, I thought we were going to see a professional game? What’s going on here?” Tom asked, trying to keep his voice light.

Wilson's response was curt, a shadow crossing his face. “Just watch the game, kid. Don’t bug me with questions.”

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They watched in silence. Tom glanced at Wilson occasionally, noticing the older man's eyes tracking a particular player, a young boy who moved with a clumsy grace.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

As the game neared its end, Tom ventured another question, hoping to understand the reason behind their long journey.

"Wilson, who are we here to watch? That boy there, is he someone special?"

Wilson snorted, his eyes never leaving the field. “You’re full of questions, aren’t you? Just shut up and watch.”

Tom recoiled slightly, stung by Wilson’s harsh tone. It contrasted sharply with the camaraderie they had briefly shared in the car.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

When the game ended, the children dispersed, running toward their parents with sweaty faces and bright smiles. Wilson remained in his seat, staring at the now empty field, his hands gripping the arms of his wheelchair tightly.

“Well, are we going to meet him? The boy you were watching?” Tom asked gently, hoping to break through Wilson’s sudden withdrawal.

“No. Just take me home,” Wilson replied abruptly, his voice carrying a bitterness that made Tom flinch.

Without another word, Wilson maneuvered his wheelchair and turned away from the field. Tom followed, pushing the wheelchair through the gravel lot to their car.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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***

Wilson directed Tom to take a different route home. The usual route would not have taken them anywhere near the coast, but the salty scent of the sea began to permeate the air, sparking a sense of wonder in Tom.

"Are we going somewhere special?" Tom ventured to ask, his voice hesitant.

"Just drive," Wilson replied gruffly, his eyes fixed on the road ahead.

After hours of silent driving under the starlit sky, the sound of waves crashing gently against the shore reached their ears.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Tom pulled the car over near a deserted beach. Together, they made their way to the shore, the wheelchair struggling slightly against the sandy terrain.

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Wilson motioned for Tom to stop. They sat in silence, watching the waves roll in.

"I lost a lot because of my stubbornness," Wilson admitted, staring at the vast sea.

"My daughter... she was just a kid like you when she made choices I couldn't accept. She married young, against my wishes, and I... I couldn't forgive her for that."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"She wrote to me, you know? Told me about her life, her son... my grandson," Wilson continued, his voice catching slightly.

"He played his first football match today. That was him, the boy we watched."

"Wilson, it’s not too late to make things right," he said gently. "People change, feelings heal. Maybe she still hopes you’ll reach out."

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Wilson shook his head slowly, regret etched deep in his features. "I don't know if she can forgive me, Tom. I've been a fool."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"But you went today," Tom pointed out. "You saw him play. Isn’t that a start?"

Wilson sighed, the weight of years of estrangement pressing down on him. "Maybe it is. Maybe you're right, kid."

As the first light of dawn tinged the sky with shades of orange and pink, Wilson and Tom sat silently, watching the horizon.

"Tom, I owe you more than you know," Wilson chuckled softly, "And you, despite everything, stuck by me. I've been a stubborn old mule, yet you didn't give up on me."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

He gestured towards the vast sea, its waves gently lapping at their feet.

"This sea... bringing you here wasn't just about fulfilling your dream. It was my way of apologizing, a small gesture to say I'm sorry for all the times I was less than kind."

Tom's eyes widened slightly, touched by the admission and the depth of Wilson's gratitude. "Thank you, Wilson. Seeing the sea, it's more than I expected. It means a lot."

Wilson nodded, his gaze returning to the horizon. "Let's go home, kid."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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***

As the car hummed softly along the road back from the sea, Wilson's even breathing indicated that he had fallen asleep in the passenger seat. The early morning events had drained him.

With a determined nod to himself, Tom gently turned the steering wheel, redirecting the car towards a different destination than originally planned.

He knew that in about an hour, Wilson would meet his grandson, Jason. It was time for old wounds to heal.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Finally, they arrived. Tom turned off the engine. After a few moments, Wilson stirred, blinking his eyes open and looking around in confusion.

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"Tom? Where are we? This isn’t the way home," Wilson asked, his voice groggy from sleep.

Tom smiled, "No, it’s not home, Wilson. But it’s where you need to be. You’re about to meet someone extraordinary."

Wilson’s eyes widened as he absorbed Tom’s words and took in the familiar surroundings of his daughter’s house.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Are you sure about this, Tom?"

Tom nodded, placing a hand on Wilson's shoulder. "I’ve never been more sure of anything, Wilson. It’s time. You’re ready for this."

Within about five minutes of nervous anticipation, the family reunited. Wilson stepped forward and embraced his daughter in a long, heartfelt hug. Then, his grandson clambered onto his lap in the wheelchair, refusing to leave. Both laughed, their happiness echoing around them, filling the space with joy and newfound togetherness.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

If you enjoyed this story, read this one: Grace is a shy widow working as a governess at Claudia's house. She sees Claudia throwing away letters from her admirer, disgracing him for his lack of wealth. By accident, Grace reads one of these letters. She decides to write back, pretending to be Claudia. Read the full story here.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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