A little girl shared her birthday cake with a homeless man she had never met before. The next day, the man waited for her dad to leave work and, assured she was alone, showed up on her doorstep with a gang of men. They say sharing is caring, and this is what little Madison wanted to do on her birthday. But to her horror, the homeless stranger she didn’t drive away hungry arrived at her doorstep with his gang the next day under the pretext of thanking her. Madison was overly delighted and had been looking forward to a ninth birthday for a long time.
She dreamed her daddy Johnny would buy her favorite pink dress this time, but the birthday girl knew little about her single dad hating the color as it reminded him of a painful past he never wanted to recall again. On a fateful night eight years ago, Johnny and his wife Betty were returning home from a party.
He couldn’t take his eyes off his beautiful wife in her favorite Pink Dress. Johnny dropped her home and went to meet a friend, but when he returned, he found his baby alone at home, and a letter from Betty lay in the crib. “Sorry darling, I’m going.
I tried to sort our differences and adapt to your lifestyle, but after meeting Dave, I realized that only he could bring me happiness and wealth. I still cannot believe I wasted two years of my life with a gas attendant like you. Suit yourself and take care. Move on. Goodbye.
Betty was having an affair with a man who Johnny thought was just her friend that day. He hated everything that involved Betty. He lost hope and trust in women, so he raised his daughter alone and never remarried. Life as a single father was not easy for Johnny. He didn’t want to find a different job and continue to work at the local gas station.
Although he struggled, he provided the best for his daughter. He was ready to move Heaven and Earth for Madison, except give her the one thing she’d been wishing for, a pink dress. “I wish Daddy gives me that pink dress I showed him in the store,” the little girl honed. “He told me he hates the color, but I love pink.” Madison was about to turn nine in two days, and whenever she saw her dad, she wanted to ask him about the color of her birthday dress.
But like all her previous birthdays, Johnny had already decided to get her only a brown dress. Not that brown was his favorite color, but he started liking it because Betty hated it. The special day finally arrived, and Madison was so excited to open her dad’s birthday gift. But as she unwrapped it, her joy faded, and her smile shrunk. “Not again, a brown dress, but Daddy, you know I have already so many Brown dresses,” she cried.
“I love this dress, darling. Please wear it, and we’ll cut the cake,” said Johnny, disappointed. Little Madison wore the dress and pretended to be happy on her birthday. She tried to smile but was too hurt inside. She went to the yard to cry alone and noticed a man in rags approaching her.
“Hey kid, what’s your name?” the man asked. “My name’s Jim. What’s yours?” she replied and took a few steps back, ready to run inside the house.
“Hey, wait up, Madison. What a gorgeous name you have, and your dress is lovely. You look so pretty. Do you have anything to eat?” Madison was upset and naively told the man that it was her birthday and that she was sad.
She rushed to the house and returned with half her birthday cake in a box and gave it to him. “I’m not pretty. I hate this brown dress,” she said in tears. “No, darling, you look like an angel in this dress. You’re so pretty,” said Jim.
“God bless you, sweetheart. Thanks for not sending me away hungry.” This stranger took the cake box and happily faded away into the street. Madison sighed and thought she would never see him again. But horror struck the next day when she was home and alone in their little house in Maryland and heard a loud knock all of a sudden.
“Who is it?” Madison shrieked at the knocking. The knocking never ceased. She knew it wasn’t her dad because he was away at work and would never knock on the door. The girl knew it was someone else and decided to peep through the little hole in the door to see who it was.
“Strangers, what do you want?” “Hey sweetheart, can you please open the door?” voiced the homeless man. “My pretty darling, please open the door.” Madison’s heart began to pound in fear.
She recognized Jim’s voice. Her dad had often warned her not to talk to strangers or allow them in the house while he was away. She was frightened but peeped through the door again to look. The men were dressed in rags and whispered among themselves, often bending down to do something at the doorstep. Madison was startled and stopped answering Jim.
She anxiously pressed herself to the door, waiting for them to leave. Moments later, the gang stopped knocking and walked away. Madison saw a faint figure of Jim turning back and smiling as though he knew she was watching him. Restless and frightened, she slightly opened the door inside after seeing nobody outside. But then something else caught her attention.
Madison gaped in shock. A couple of balloons were tied to the doorknob, and there were two boxes on the doorstep. One gift wrapped in pink. Curious, she opened one of them and found a birthday cake. Then she opened the other box and sat back as tears of joy soaked her cheeks.
There was a beautiful pink dress and pink head inside the box. A note was attached to the dress, and it was from Jim. “My friends and I bought this little treat in this dress in your favorite color with the money we’d sing. I was not treated well in the store, but I wanted to get this lovely dress for my lovely little friend. Happy birthday, sweetheart.
May you always be happy. Love your friend, Jim.” As it turned out, the kind homeless man teamed up with his other homeless friends to surprise Madison. They gathered all the money they had collected in alms for months and bought her a birthday cake and a lovely pink dress. They waited for her dad to leave for work before knocking on her door because they worried he wouldn’t allow them to see her.
The kind stranger’s gesture moved Madison, but deep inside, she worried about her dad’s reaction when he sees the pink dress. When Johnny learned of the incident later, he was furious with Madison for accepting a gift from a stranger. Despite her efforts to explain, he was angry. But his mood shifted after reading Jim’s note. He realized that a dad’s duty was to fulfill his child’s wishes and not force her to do something she didn’t like.
Johnny kissed Madison on her forehead and promised to get all the pink dresses she loved. That evening, they spent a long time shopping for pretty pink dresses and toys. Along the way, Madison stopped to meet Jim and his friends on the platform to thank them. “Thank you, Jim,” she said in tears. “You changed my dad, and I love him more than I did yesterday.
Thank you.” The homeless men were pleased to see the little girl smiling and wearing the dress they gained from. It’s been 11 years since Madison saw Jim and his gang around. Although she wanted to meet the kind man again, she moved on with her life, knowing Jim was happy somewhere. On her 20th birthday, Madison was partying with her friends at home when she heard the doorbell.
When she opened it, she saw a box wrapped in pink. Her heart began to beat fast as she unwrapped it and saw a gorgeous shimmering pink dress and a note attached to it. “Wishing you good luck and happiness. Here’s something you may want to wear to your graduation party. Love, Jim.
Madison couldn’t believe her eyes. She’d almost forgotten about her old friend, and it touched the core of her heart to learn that he still remembered her. Although it remains a mystery where Jim had been all those years, it soothes the heart to know that he was always grateful to the girl who never turned him away hungry.