He opened the envelope with shaking hands.
He hadn’t been feeling too good because of the last few days. He wondered why a lot of people could be so selfish. But when he opened the envelope he finally understood everything.
People generally believed that it took a lot of coldness and determination to run a restaurant.
Apollo lived in Middlesbrough his whole life. But he believed in two principles when it came to the business – elbow grease and kindness. But he tried to live every day with that code – even outside the business.
Apollo felt that every single customer and even every employee were entitled to respect and kindness every day.
He created a beautiful atmosphere at the restaurant so that patrons and employees alike would feel good even when they stepped outside to continue their life. But something would come into his restaurant that would questions all of the beliefs that he had set up.
Apollo’s restaurant was close to Mount Kilimandjaro and always had lots of friendly faces coming in.
People came in to drink a few cold beers and but also eat something from the amazing menu. The most popular was the Waka Waka chicken, but one day something weird would happen that Apollo could never have expected.
It was the soccer weekend and lots of fans would flood into the restaurant to watch the sport on the flatscreen in the bar.
Three men walked into the packed restaurant and sat at a vacant table. Apollo’s best waitress went to help them with her cheery smile. He knew she could handle anything.
The crowd of people cheered at the soccer match while the orders of food kept being ordered and devoured. The three men that entered ate like they hadn’t had anything for a week.
Once they finished their meal they asked for the cheque. But what the man gave back to the waitress had her frozen in her tracks.
She looked at the plastic in the man’s hand and frowned. “We only take cash, no cards”.
Every local that frequented the restaurant knew about the rule. But whenever a first-timer entered the restaurant they were furious when they found out that their cards were no good. And today would be no exception for the three men.
Apollo felt that his waitress could handle the situation with the men. He had to focus on other customers that were pouring in.
But she’d return to Apollo a short while later with a look of desperation in her eyes. Two of the three men had left the restaurant and the third didn’t look happy at all.
He had dealt with unruly customers before, but never a dine-and-dash.
Part of him wondered if they were out trying to get cash from an ATM. But any one who did that would usually leave at least one person behind. He held onto his philosophy of kindness as the hours passed and they finally had to turn the sign to “closed.”
Apollo was born in Burkina Faso, which actually means “The Land of Honest People.”
It was hard for him to process how someone could be so angry over a payment method that they would refuse to pay and just walk out. It was only a few days later, and he was getting ready to involve the police, when a thick letter reached his restaurant.
He only had to read the first two lines to know it was from the men who had vanished without paying.
He scanned the rest of the letter, shaking his head at their words. He tipped over the envelope and three more pieces of paper fell out. Apollo felt a tear form in the corner of his eye.
The answer to the disappearance was exactly what he had been praying for.
The writer explained how they only had a credit card. When they found out it was cash-only, they freaked and ran out to find any place to get cash. But that wasn’t their only problem.
They were in the middle of their search when they noticed the time. It would be a race to get the last train home and they didn’t have anywhere near enough money to get a motel.
They had no choice but to leave and abandon their quest to pay the bill. Instead, they spent the next couple days scrounging up the cash, plus a generous tip, to send back to Apollo. But it gets better.
Even though they paid, they still felt horrible. So, they promised to write a glowing Trip Advisor review as well as a Yelp review – which they did.
If Apollo was honest with himself, the event had strained his view on people. “Things like this happen” just wasn’t good enough. He had been brought up in an environment where honesty and virtue were paramount.
The few days that had passed made him wonder if he was wrong – if the world really was a hopeless place.
But that simple letter had fixed all of it. It renewed his philosophies and proved all it took was a little kindness to keep the world turning.