John is a 20-something pizza boy working his regular shift when a delivery goes horribly wrong. When a lady pays him for her pizza, John discovers a note among the dollar bills with the words “HELP ME!” He realizes he needs to save the woman before it’s too late.

John heaved a sigh of relief as he checked the delivery addresses on his phone. It had been a long day, more exhausting than usual. Only one more delivery to go, then he could go home, relax, and have some pizza himself.

John hopped on his scooter and rode to the house of Eloise C. for the next delivery. He had thought he could finish his work soon and head home because she lived close to the neighborhood where he had been delivering pizzas all day.

When John pulled over, he found himself in front of a modest but decent house. He collected the pizza Eloise had ordered, walked to her front door, and rang the doorbell.

“Hello! I’ve got your pizza, ma’am!” John called out. There was no answer…

“Hello? Ma’am? You in there?” he asked again.

John rang the bell several times, but nobody answered. For a moment, he didn’t know what to do.

“Ma’am, I have your pizza!” he called out one last time.

Yet again, there were no replies.

John shook his head in disappointment. He knew that if he didn’t finish this delivery, he’d have to pay for it out of his pocket. John couldn’t afford that. He was working as a pizza delivery boy because he had elderly foster parents back home who had given him the best of everything and deserved the best, too.

John was orphaned at a young age and would’ve ended up in a sinister world full of crazy, illegal things had his foster parents not taken him in. Out of gratitude, John wanted to financially support his parents, who had spent all their savings raising him and his brothers.

John decided to wait a bit longer, hoping this Eloise woman would come out and collect her order. He looked around the house and noticed that the lights were on and clothes were drying in the backyard. This meant the house was not empty.

“Excuse me, ma’am! Can you—” John had started when the door finally opened.

“Oh gosh! Thank God!” he sighed as he plastered a smile and prepared himself to greet his last customer of the day. As Eloise appeared, John could tell something was wrong with her. She was a fragile, petite woman in her early fifties who looked terrified, as if she was scared for her life.

Eloise opened the door just a crack. “Oh… how… How much was it again?” she asked tremblingly.

“Um, it was—it’s $8.99,” John said as he passed the pizza box through to the woman.

“Ma’am, are you alright? Do you need help?” he asked, watching her visibly shivering from fright.

To John’s surprise, she nodded. “Yes, yeah… Please wait right here!” she said as she slammed the door shut. She returned seconds later with a couple of sticky dollar bills and coins and said, “There you go. Thanks!”

“Wait, ma’am, I thought you needed help!” he cried.

John wanted to ask her if she was OK, but she slammed the door shut before he could. “Oh, well, have a good day!” he said anyway.

“Why didn’t she say something?” he mumbled to himself.

John had a nagging feeling that Eloise was in trouble. But what was wrong with her? He walked back to his scooter, straightening the bills and counting the coins she’d given him, and it was then he realized what the matter was. When John counted the money, he noticed a small crumpled piece of paper—a note—wedged between two dollar bills.

As John straightened the note, his eyebrows arched, and his heart began racing. “HELP ME! ASAP!” was scribbled on it in bold letters. The writing suggested it was hurried as if Eloise was compelled to write it quickly and slyly—as if she was held captive and was in danger.

John decided he couldn’t leave Eloise alone. He had to investigate what the note meant. Returning to the house and ringing the doorbell would be a bad idea since whoever was inside the house with Eloise would try to hurt her or both of them.

John got on his scooter and rode down the lane behind Eloise’s house. As he reached her backyard, he peeped in through the kitchen window and gasped in shock.


John noticed a trembling Eloise on the living room couch, crying and pleading with a tall man wearing a vest. He had some weird tattoos on his back.

“Oh no, she’s in danger!” John panicked. “I need to call someone for help!”

The tall man threw the pizza box to the floor in a rage and tapped his boot on Eloise’s front table. Then he held up the money he was holding, gesticulating to Eloise as if to suggest the money wasn’t enough and he needed more.

John realized there was no time to waste. He needed to assist Eloise before it was too late. He dashed to his scooter, took his phone from the saddle storage compartment, and dialed 911.

He then returned to the lane in front of Eloise’s house and decided to wait for the cops. As they arrived, he walked up to Eloise’s front door and rang the bell. She opened it immediately.

“Yes?” she asked, gulping as she straightened her dress.

“Ma’am, I know someone’s in there,” John said confidently. “I found your note. This!” he added, showing the note. “I can help! What’s going on?”

Eloise nervously rubbed her palms together. “Oh… Well… Oh, I’m sure there has been some mistake, officers. There’s nothing wrong. Really, I was just going to eat my pizza!”

“May we take a look inside?” one of the officers asked.

“Oh, yes, sure, certainly. I mean, why not?”

Lend a helping hand to someone in need, and you’ll never regret it.

Eloise opened the door wider for everyone to enter. The cops searched the entire house but didn’t find anyone there.

“See, I told you I was OK!” exclaimed Eloise. “Why would a man be here? My husband died years ago, and since then, it’s been just me.”

“But I saw him!” John cried. “He was right here!”

“Well, our team checked all the rooms, and there’s no one here, sir. I hope you are aware that false reporting is a crime.”

“I’m not lying! HE was here! Right here! And the pizza… He did, in fact, throw the pizza box on the floor! So I’m sure she was not going to eat any pizza!”

“Oh well, I…I…” Eloise stammered. “I—I was so excited about it, but I accidentally dropped the box on the floor and had to throw it away!”

“You’re lying!” John said. “You’re lying, Eloise! I know you’re in trouble, and that man, whoever he was, was trying to con you out of money! How could you—”

“Sir,” the officer intervened. “If this lady says there’s no trouble, we’ll have to take her word for it. I’m letting you off on a warning. If you report a false crime again, we’ll have to take you to the station. We’ll take leave here.”

John followed the cops outside and stood alone, watching their cruiser disappear down the street. He sighed in disbelief as he recalled what he’d seen through Eloise’s kitchen window. THERE HAD TO BE A MAN! He had seen him!

Disappointed, John buckled his helmet and climbed on his scooter to head home. Suddenly, a voice called out to him. “Please wait! Can we talk?”

John looked to his side and saw Eloise in her doorway. “What do you want now?” he asked angrily.

“I… I did write that note,” she confessed.

“So why wouldn’t you tell the cops? What if they took me to the police station?”

“Sorry,” she said. “Would you mind coming in, please? I could really use some company.”

“Five minutes,” he said. “That’s all you’re going to get!”

John got down from his scooter and followed Eloise inside. As she sat across from him and began talking, she started crying.

“So, who exactly is he?” John asked.

“His name is Reggie. He’s a… loan shark.”

“A loan shark? Why would a woman like you deal with a man like him?”

“I didn’t have a choice,” Eloise confessed. “I needed money for my son. I thought it was a miracle when he came forward to help me. I didn’t know he wasn’t the right man…”

Eloise’s youngest son, Jacob, was in college, but she couldn’t afford his tuition, so she borrowed money from Reggie and promised to repay it by the deadline. As fate would have it, she lost her job unexpectedly, and as soon as Reggie found out about it, he began harassing her.

He began visiting her house at odd hours and demanding money, even though Eloise still had time for the payment.

“I don’t have any savings left,” she sobbed. “And I can’t involve the cops because, you know, that man has connections and could hurt my son. I can’t let that happen. So when the cops came, I had to lie that he wasn’t here. I gave him the money I had, and he left.”

“But you’ve got to get out of this, or he’ll keep extorting you.”

“I don’t know how to get rid of him!” she sighed.

John could understand Eloise’s plight. He knew he had to help her in some way. “Uh, well, I think there’s a way I can help you,” he said.

“Is there?” her eyes widened.

“Are you sure this Reggie guy isn’t going to come after you if you pay his loan?”

“Yes,” she said. “The money. That’s all he wants.”

“Well then, would you like to work at the pizzeria where I work?”

John’s pizzeria had a vacancy for an assistant, so he asked Eloise to come in the next day and try her hands at the position.

Surprisingly, Eloise turned out to be a fantastic cook and an excellent team player, so John’s boss hired her after a week of probation. Then two months later, a nearby Italian restaurant offered her a job as a cook and better pay, and Eloise accepted the offer.

“Your boss and I planned this surprise for you!”

Eloise started making good money and could finally support her family. Meanwhile, Reggie returned to her house one day and demanded money again. Eloise gave him the cash she had saved, but she wouldn’t let him get away this time.

She had already called the cops, and as he took the money and left her house, he was apprehended. The cops arrested him for operating unlawful businesses and for blackmailing and duping innocent citizens.

Eloise was relieved as she watched Reggie being led to the police cruiser after being arrested for his misdeeds. She could now live her life in peace and without worry.

But that’s not where things ended. Eloise knew none of this would have been possible without John’s help. She decided to pay him a visit and express her gratitude for his help and kindness while apologizing for involving him in her problems.

“Oh, I bet you would’ve done the same!” John waved his hand dismissively. “Honestly, Eloise, it feels great that I could help someone and make a difference in their life. When I told my parents about it, they were really proud of me, and I think that means the world to me.”

“Well,” Eloise said. “I’m sure they were very proud of you; any parent would be. But thanking you wasn’t enough for what you did for me, John. So I thought I’d do something special for you.”

“What?” John laughed. “What do you mean?”

“Well, come to my place tomorrow at exactly two o’clock, and don’t forget the pizza you got me last time!” she chirped.

John had no idea what Eloise meant until… he visited her house the next day with a pepperoni pizza. “So what was this about?” he asked.

She handed him the money for the pizza and a note with the dollar bills. “And you totally deserved it,” she said.

John was confused as he opened the note. As he began reading it, tears welled up in his eyes, and he found himself crying. “Oh god…” he sobbed. “You did not do that!”

This time, the note was not a cry for help but a message of appreciation. It read:

Congratulations, John! Your boss and I planned this surprise for you! YOU ARE NOW A MANAGER! I told your boss how you had helped me, and he was impressed. He decided to reward you with a promotion!

Reggie would’ve never stopped troubling me if it hadn’t been for that pizza delivery. You deserve this promotion for working hard and helping others. You have also given me the confidence to share my story with other women my age who may not be aware of illegal lending and scams. Due to you, I can raise awareness about the issue.

Thank you for helping me and so many of us,

With love, Eloise.

What can we learn from this story?

Lend a helping hand to someone in need, and you’ll never regret it. As John discovers Eloise is in trouble, he tries to help her rather than ignore her problems. It eventually gains him the respect of his boss, Eloise, and his parents.
Refrain from relying on anyone blindly when it comes to finances. If Eloise had verified Reggie’s background and been more aware financially, she wouldn’t have landed in trouble.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

By admin

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