The smug grin faded and the look of horror was evident on her boss’ face when the homeless man revealed his true identity.
Not only did her boss just tarnish his reputation, he also just watched as he lost everything right before his eyes. Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined that an act of kindness could carry this amount of consequences.
Growing up in California, Traci Bamm had big dreams. But for the time being, these dreams would have to wait.
She spent hours on her feet as a waitress and this job was earning her just enough to pay her bills. With a lot on her plate, she barely had the time to attend her nighttime classes after work. But she remained grateful for what she had, she knew others had it a lot worse than her.
For the past few days, Traci had noticed a homeless man who had been sitting right outside the restaurant. It made her sad seeing someone in his position.
She was heartbroken for the man. She noted how nice it was that he was sharing his food with stray cats and dogs on the street and he smiled warmly at her every time she would pass him. Something about this man tugged at Traci’s heartstrings. She wanted desperately to help the man, but he boss would certainly put a stop to her kind gesture.
The place she worked at was known as one of California’s most prestigious restaurants. The chef was out of this world. He had two Michelin Stars under his name, and anyone that ate or even smelled his food knew exactly why.
This chef was also the owner of the restaurant. His food was amazing, but his ego was inflated, he refused to delegate and he micromanaged his staff with absolutely no mercy. He was the definition of a horrible boss. But Traci had learned by now that it was all good, as long as she stayed out of his way.
Traci was studying to become a chef, but her job in the Michelin Star was wearing her down.
But she felt guilty working in such a high-end restaurant whenever she would be reminded of the homeless an that had taken up residence right outside.
The restaurant was earning a lot of money. People that had more money than they knew what to do with would come dress to the nines and spend hundreds of dollars on lavish meals.
And just a few feet away, a homeless man was trying to fall asleep with an empty belly. Traci hated the tought, she knew she had to do something.
Despite the homeless man looking like someone who had fallen on hard times, he still greeted everyone that passed with a warm and friendly mile.
He never asked anyone for anything, he seemed to really just want to speak to somebody. Traci could no longer ignore the feelings she felt every day.
She wanted to hep the man more than she wanted to do anything else. But she too was struggling with money, since all of it went to her rent and studies.
And a perk to her job was that she made and ate most of her meals at work, which also meant that she had no food to give the man. But she had a plan. But she had a problem — her boss. He would never allow her to even give the man food scraps. He could not find out about this
She wanted her kind gesture to be done with love. She had no money to give him, but there was one thing that no one but her could do for the poor man.
She decided that her cooking skills would have to show the man that someone cared enough about him to cook him a meal. But there was a risk involved… She would have to get the ingredients without anyone knowing.
She decided to borrow ingredients from the restaurant that she would replace once she got paid. She wanted the homeless man to have a taste of some luxurious food, which she knew he had never had before.
If they caught her out before she was able to return the ingredients, she knew she would be fired. That was a guarantee. But she was committed to going through with her plan.
Traci made sure her boss was preoccupied with a busy lunch service before she enacted her plan. She could hear the frantic clattering of pots and pans as he barked orders and swore at his sous chef. It was now or never.
She snuck into the pantry and selected two black truffles, a handful of fresh chanterelle mushrooms, eggs, and a bottle of Marcassin Chardonnay. She’d probably have to pick up a few more shifts so she could afford to replace them, but it would be worth it. Then, she heard her boss’ voice.
Traci’s heart began to pound out of her chest. Her boss was right outside and she couldn’t escape. If he saw what she had it would all be over.
She wasn’t even allowed to be in here. She prepared for the worst – she’d be screamed at, fired on the spot, and possibly hauled to jail for stealing. She was trapped.
Traci’s first instinct was to tuck her ill-gotten goods into her pockets and apron, but the bottle wouldn’t fit. The neck hung out, accusingly.
Her eyes darted around, looking for somewhere to hide if her boss came in. She tried not to make a sound as she listened to his heavy footsteps. When she heard him walk away, she almost cried with relief. When she was sure he was gone, she dashed out the door.
Traci hid the expensive ingredients in a bag in her locker for the duration of her shift. When it was finally over, she couldn’t get out of the restaurant fast enough.
As she lovingly fried the chanterelle mushrooms and kneaded the pasta dough in her apartment, she couldn’t stop thinking about what the homeless man’s face would look like when she presented him with the meal. Little did she know, the man hadn’t been entirely truthful to her.
Traci plated up the homemade pasta and shaved the black truffles on top. She got out a crystal wineglass and packed everything neatly in a basket. Tonight, the homeless man would eat like a king.
Her heart fluttered as she rounded the corner, but she was relieved to see that the man was still there.