Chris was slowly walking down the bridge, swaying from side to side like a ghost. The man’s unsteady gait was caused by the alcohol he had consumed earlier in the evening. There was a cacophony of voices in Chris’s head, one of which was the soft baritone of his doctor: “I’m sorry, Mr. Simmons, we did everything we could, but medicine is powerless in cases like this. Although if you want to, you could try going to New York; they could have a different opinion there. But personally, I don’t think that anything else can be done.”
Chris waved his hand in despair. He had never felt as bad as he did that day. The bad news was the only reason he got drunk that night: “I’m sorry, sir, but you can’t have children,” Chris mimicked the doctor.
Approaching the bridge railing, as the businessman walked on the bridge, he kept asking himself the same question: “Why did I need to have an expensive car, a three-story house in an elite neighborhood of the city, and a bank account as if I have children and a family?” Leaning over the bridge railing, he looked at the dark, cold water below but couldn’t bring himself to jump. “It’s okay, I’ll always have this option, but I should probably try going to New York first after all,” Chris tried to persuade himself.
At that moment, a strange noise caught his attention; it faintly resembled the cry of an animal, prompting Chris to turn his head to the left. At first, he thought he was seeing things, but upon closer inspection, the businessman gasped. A few yards away from him stood a thin woman with a baby in her arms. Her clothing looked unkempt and appeared to have been bought at a flea market or a cheap sale. The expression on her face hinted that she was feeling desperate. It seemed that she was contemplating something dire.
Abandoning the idea of jumping off the bridge, Chris took a couple of steps towards the woman with the child. “Hey, what are you doing? Don’t even think about it; it’s not worth it. You’re young and beautiful; why are you doing this?” Chris said. The stranger looked at him with a sad and melancholic gaze, then shook her head ambiguously.
At that moment, the baby in her arms started crying instantly, bringing both Chris and his mother back to reality. The businessman wrinkled his brow, “You should probably feed him or something. Why is he crying? Is he hungry?” The woman sniffled, “I can’t feed him; I don’t have any milk.”
“How is that possible?” Chris asked in surprise. “I don’t know; I… I just don’t,” she replied. At that moment, Chris felt rather uncomfortable and softened visibly. Having thought for a moment, he said, “Well, if you can’t breastfeed him, you need to get him formula. What’s the big deal? Let’s go to the store.”
The stranger looked at Chris with skepticism but didn’t reject his offer. Meanwhile, Chris was already leading her to a nearby supermarket, where he intended to buy everything the young mother needed. The child in her arms got quiet, as if sensing that he was going to get food soon. Chris bought a lot of various necessities for them, including wet wipes, diapers, and food for the baby’s mother. As it later turned out, the woman’s name was Linda Stone, and her baby’s name was Tommy. Unfortunately, Linda’s fiancé broke up with her as soon as he learned that she was pregnant.
Chris saw it as an outright betrayal, especially since it concerned a child, which was a sore subject for Chris: “I don’t understand how anyone could abandon the woman carrying their child. Simply unacceptable,” Chris expressed his sincere outrage. But Linda just shrugged, having grown up in an orphanage; she was used to only relying on herself. Even now, she looked at Chris suspiciously, afraid to trust him.
Meanwhile, Chris watched with a smile as the young mother carefully chose discounted items from the store shelves. “No, no, get the best stuff. Don’t worry about the money,” Chris said, pulling out his credit card. Linda smiled for the first time since they’d met and nodded in agreement.
Since he was still tipsy, the businessman decided not to get behind the wheel and opted for a cab instead. “Where are we going?” Linda asked nervously. Chris answered immediately, “We’re going to my place. Don’t worry; I live alone and I have for quite some time now.” Chris replied hastily. Linda glanced at the taxi driver, but he seemed to be paying no attention to their conversation. Frankly speaking, he couldn’t care less about some businessman who decided to take in some homeless woman and her child.
When Linda saw Chris’s house in the twilight, her astonishment knew no bounds. “Is this your home?” she exclaimed. Chris smiled proudly and said, “Yes, it is. I built it from the ground up after founding my own company.” The taxi driver nodded respectfully and, having turned the wheel, stopped the car at the entrance.
Taking the baby from Linda’s arms, Chris headed for the door. Having stepped inside the house, Linda simply froze. She had never seen such luxury and grandeur, not even in Hollywood movies. In the meantime, Chris led Linda into the living room and started putting the groceries on the table. Then, turning to his guest, he asked as gently as possible, “Please prepare the baby’s formula, and I’ll quickly whip up something for us to eat.”
Melinda eagerly took the baby in her arms and went to the adjacent room to change him. Chris quickly cooked an omelet with bacon even quicker than Linda had a chance to feed formula to the baby. Dinner went well; the guest devoured her meal eagerly, as if she hadn’t eaten in days. Chris watched Linda with affection, feeling an unparalleled sense of pity for this woman worn down by life.
Of course, the businessman understood that not everyone has the means to buy luxury houses and live a life of luxury. At that moment, a previously unknown feeling stirred up in Chris’s heart, bringing him a sense of comfort and warmth he had played this scene in his mind countless times, imagining himself as the head of a loving family. But it turned out that he wasn’t ready to experience it in reality. As for Linda, she was simply savoring the moment, being a guest in this beautiful house and hoping to stay there at least until morning when her son Tommy would have a good night’s rest.
She saw herself as a pilgrim with a child in her arms instead of a knapsack on her back. Chris chose not to delve into Linda’s past or ask her any uncomfortable questions; he already understood the main thing: this mother and child have no one to extend a helping hand to them except for Chris.
As the effects of alcohol still lingered, Chris’s eyelids grew heavy, and he felt a strong urge to go to bed. His day was hard as it was, and the incident on the bridge completely drained him. “You can stay in the nursery; it’s brand new, but I don’t have any children. I actually can’t have children, so welcome,” Chris said as he headed to the bedroom.
Linda had trouble falling asleep; she looked at the decor of the nursery, where every detail had been crafted with love and tenderness. Tears welled up in her eyes as she looked at her son Tommy, peacefully sleeping in his new cradle with a canopy and a dim blue light on the bedside table. At that moment, she pictured Chris passing by the room every day, fully aware that he would never hear a child’s laughter in there.
It turned out that there was another resident in Chris’s house, a black cat named Church. Chris jokingly claimed that his pet was named after a prominent political figure, but that wasn’t the case. Church immediately liked the guests and began rubbing against Linda’s leg, purring affectionately and gently touching her ankle with his paw. “Oh, what a handsome cat,” Linda exclaimed, scratching the pet behind his ear. She fell asleep late, sharing the bed with the cat since he had grown fond of the woman and decided to sleep with her.
In the morning, Chris woke up earlier than everyone else and immediately started having breakfast. His mood wasn’t great; he had to leave on an important business trip to the other end of the country that day, but he hadn’t found anyone to look after Church. “What if I asked Linda to do it? It wouldn’t be too strange, would it? She’d have a place to stay, and Church would get the care and attention he needs,” Chris thought.
Soon, Linda came into the kitchen, holding Tommy in her arms. The baby was hungrily smacking his lips, demanding a fresh bottle of formula. Chris smiled and took the baby off Linda’s hands, giving her a chance to freshen up and prepare the bottle for the baby.
Well, he voiced his proposal to Linda; her surprise knew no bounds. “So I can stay in this house for a few days? That’s incredible, but I do feel a bit uncomfortable about it,” she replied. Chris immediately came up with a couple of solid arguments in his favor. “Don’t worry; Church has a special diet, but I have enough of his food to last at least a month. And the house, I never have guests, and the neighborhood is very nice and peaceful, so please stay. You won’t regret it.”
Linda nodded hesitantly, then looked at Tommy, who still greedily sucked on the bottle of formula. At that moment, the young mother realized that she had nothing to lose. Living in Chris’s house was much safer than roaming the streets, risking her child’s health and life.
When Linda accepted Chris’s proposal, the man breathed a sigh of relief. Now he could go on his business trip knowing that his beloved pet would be taken care of. A few hours before his departure, Linda prepared a delicious lunch for him and, with a shy smile, said that she’d wait for him, no matter what.
When Chris said goodbye to Linda at the door, tears glistened in his eyes. Watching Tommy napping peacefully in his mother’s arms, the businessman felt something that he had longed for all these years: “I will definitely come back; please wait for me,” Chris said, closing the door behind him.
Linda watched him leave and silently wished him luck. Chris kept his promise and returned home three weeks later, holding a bouquet of white roses. Now he knew exactly what he wanted from life, and he realized it while being hundreds of miles away from home.
A few months later, Linda and Chris got married, forever binding their hearts at the altar. Chris’s acquaintances and friends admired his choice and expressed their respect for the bride not only on the wedding day but after it as well. Church was also very happy about this new development, since instead of just one owner, he now had three, one of them being a wonderful baby named Tommy.