“With her son in tow, the mom headed to the cashier. Despite her worn appearance, she smiled and requested her items. It became clear to the cashier that the young boy was invested in what she was doing. She then decided to ask him if he wanted to see how everything worked. She was completely unaware of how everything would change because of her actions.
Emma took a job as a cashier at a local supermarket to ensure that she would be able to afford her rent and groceries. She was a busy college student who had to juggle a job, an aspiring art career, and completing her degree. Emma was a motivated woman and never missed a day. What would happen that day, though, would cause her to unlearn everything she had ever known.
Emma did not anticipate that she would find herself working at a supermarket after classes. However, as time progressed, she learned to love her job. Emma didn’t just sit behind the register, ringing up customers’ items; her position allowed her to connect with people from all over. She loved getting to know people. What would transpire that day, though, would be unlike anything she’d ever known.
Emma would begin her workday at three and finish up around 10 in the evenings. However, Emma always made sure that she would report to work an hour earlier. But that day would be unique from the beginning, and it would have a significant impact on the circumstances that would change Emma’s life.
The week that changed everything for Emma was filled with a variety of changes. All of her classes were canceled that week, and she finally had some free time to focus on her art. However, Emma got bored very quickly and asked if she could pick up extra shifts at work. She needed some extra money, and she had the time. She didn’t know what she was getting herself into.
Emma struggled financially for a very long time, and she desperately needed some money to finance her art career. She wanted to change the world with her art, but supplies were expensive. The fact that she took those extra shifts would enable her to finally purchase her supplies. She also knew that she was one step closer to being able to afford a better apartment.
Emma arrived at work earlier than she was supposed to. She made herself a nice cup of tea before making her way to the counter. Then she waited patiently for the store to open. When the clock struck eight, the manager opened the doors, and the customers stormed in. The day was identical to all the others, and time flew by. She had an hour left before she could take her first break of the day.
A mother stepped up to the counter, dragging a grocery cart behind her and trailed by her son. She appeared fatigued with sleepy eyes and unkempt hair. Emma greeted her, and the woman smiled back at her. What the woman said next made Emma’s eyes fill up with tears.
“Have you had a long day?” As she drew the woman’s cart closer, Emma inquired.
“Yes,” the woman replied, cracking her smile yet again. “This one was demanding lasagna for lunch, and I discovered the house was out of food.” She rubbed her son’s head. “He’s reliable,” Emma said with a wider smile on her face, oblivious to what was about to transpire.
“He is,” answered the woman. “At the age of three, he’s already the man of the home.” She explained that the boy’s younger brother was in the hospital, and it was taking a toll on him. Emma could not help but feel sorry for the young boy. She remembered how it felt to be a child with a sick sibling.
What Emma did next stunned the woman. “Honey, what’s your name?” Emma inquired of the young man.
“Tristan,” he kindly replied.
“Well, Tristan, my name is Emma, and I’ve brought you a present.” She took a lollipop from a confectionary stall next to her workstation. She ran it through the machine before handing it over to Tristan. She saw something she’d overlooked previously when processing the woman’s items. As it beeped with each beat that the register made, Tristan’s face lit up. His eyes widened, and he’d bounce on his toes trying to get a better look.
Emma was still wrapping her head around it when the boy asked, “Can I help?”
“Can I help?” Of course!” she exclaimed, hurrying over to carry Tristan to her desk. She showed him how to ring up goods as the boy laughed and pressed away at buttons. The most unexpected thing happened.
Tristan’s mom snapped a photo of the innocent interaction, capturing her son’s ecstasy through the immortality of a photograph. Her eyes watered as she looked at her phone. She took more photos of Emma and Tristan ringing up groceries and thanked Emma for everything. Emma wished her other son a quick recovery before they left. She had no clue what a few photos would do to her life.
A few days passed with Emma reporting for work in the morning and leaving at night. As the week was closing, a friend called her, informing Emma that she was trending on Facebook. Her friend mentioned Emma showing a three-year-old boy how the register worked. Of course, Emma asked for the Facebook link and quickly investigated. She wasn’t ready for what she found.
Emma found the post, the kindest story about how she made a customer and her son smile amid trying times. As the story gained traction, people worldwide dug around Emma’s social network accounts and uncovered she was a budding painter and student. And just like that, her art career took off, with many people commissioning her for various art projects alongside commending her for her kindness.