No one knew what a grumpy older man was protecting behind closed doors from his home until a boy tried to break in to save him during a hurricane.

What was worse for 68-year-old Frank than coming home to an empty house? After a long day as a cleaner in a cafe, he came home tired, knowing no one would be waiting for him.

The door creaked open, causing Frank to cough from the dust and the smell of old, rotting furniture. As soon as he entered his shabby house, he slammed the door as neighbors and children grumbled. No one liked him because he was rude and never let anyone in.

“Why can’t he go somewhere else? – Yes, how rude and ugly he looks all the time frowning,” they gossiped behind his back.

Why did Frank live alone in that old haunted house, and what was he hiding there? No one guessed what he’d been doing behind closed doors until Josh, a boy recently widowed with his mother, braved his porch one day…

For illustration only | Source: Pexels

Josh, 13, and his mother, Camilla, were new to town. It had been over a month since they lost the most beloved man of their lives, Josh’s father, Jackson. They couldn’t rent a bigger house, so they moved out of town to a smaller house.

“That’s why I never let anyone into my house,” Frank cried, pointing his finger at a dim corner of his house.

The things Camilla and Josh heard about Frank from all their neighbors after they moved in weren’t very pleasant.

“You and your son better stay away from that grumpy old man who lives next door,” they warned. “He never talks to anyone and always keeps himself locked up when he’s not working.”

“Yeah, he never lets anyone in and goes crazy if anyone comes near his house. Nobody knows what he’s doing inside,” added another.

Camilla was concerned and heeded the neighbors’ warnings. She forbade Josh to go near Frank’s house.

For illustration only | Source: Pixabay

Day after day, Josh began to observe Frank, whose house was only a few feet across from his bedroom window.

‘Why isn’t that man talking to anyone? It’s sad how people here talk bad about him. Why does he lock himself up all the time? I need to find out,” Josh wondered. But he never had the time for it. Josh just started his new school and always came home tired.

One day he was just about to go to school when his mother stopped him. ‘Didn’t you see the news this morning? They’ve predicted a hurricane and it’s going to rain hard. Don’t go out today.’

Josh agreed and even Camilla took a day off from work. It started to rain heavily, accompanied by strong winds. “Thank God I didn’t go to school today,” Josh sighed as he snuggled up on his bed and stared out the window.

Suddenly he noticed that the hurricane had ripped off part of the roof of Frank’s house. Josh ran to the aid of the older man, ignoring his mother’s alarmed screams to stop him.

For illustration only | Source: Pixabay

‘Sir? Sir, please open the door. You must go outside. Part of your roof is damaged and it is raining heavily. Please come out,” he yelled, banging wildly on Frank’s door.

Josh looked around for help, but all his neighbors had locked themselves in their homes. And even if they had known Frank was in trouble, he doubted they would have come to his rescue.

“Please open the door. You need to come out quickly,” Josh kept yelling, but Frank didn’t respond. Camilla kept calling the boy back. She was scared. To make matters worse, it was raining heavily and savagely, as if there was a war in heaven. Josh pressed his soaked body against Frank’s door, knocking repeatedly and screaming.

“I know you’re inside. I saw you enter your house an hour ago. Are you OK? Please open the door. Answer me, sir. Please come out.’

For illustration only | Source: Pexels

Josh used all his strength to try to break open the door. Suddenly Frank opened it. “What do you want?” he grumbled.

‘Do not you see? It’s raining hard and I saw that part of your roof was torn away by the wind. Please come to my house and stay there until the weather calms down.’

Frank, who was known to be “grumpy and rude” and shunned by his neighbors, was moved to tears. He couldn’t believe that someone really cared about him and wanted to help. He hesitated. ‘I can not go. I can’t leave something dear here alone. It will be destroyed,’ he cried.

Josh had no idea what Frank was talking about. He took his hand and led him to his house. “Everything will be fine, don’t worry. You can return home as soon as the weather clears,’ he said.

Frank followed Josh, warm tears streaming down his face along with the raindrops.

“Mom, please give him something warm to drink,” Josh said. His mother was visibly upset that Frank was around, but she was comforted that Josh was willing to help the poor man through such a difficult time.

“Do you live alone?” she asked Frank. ‘Why isn’t anyone talking to you? And why do you always lock yourself inside?’

For illustration only | Source: Pexels

Frank took his last sip of tea, pursed his lips and wiped his wet mustache. Tears slowly came to his eyes as he began to speak. ‘I have a son and a grandson. It’s been three years since I last saw them.’

‘Three years? But what happened?’ asked Jos. Camilla was also stunned.

“I had a little misunderstanding with my widowed son Jake. He wanted to go abroad, but I didn’t agree. I was afraid I would lose him and my grandson forever. We got into a fight and as a result he stormed out of my house with his son. He grabbed my luck as he left and then stopped talking,” revealed Frank.

“I’m so sorry this happened to you. But you should know – tomorrow is always uncertain and our lives are very short. You don’t know what could happen tomorrow. Please reconcile with your son before it’s too late,” advised Camilla.

Frank felt his hope in life for the first time in three years. As soon as the weather cleared up, he took Camilla and Josh to his house to show them something.

“That’s why I never let anyone into my house,” he cried, pointing his finger at a dim corner of his house. Camilla and Josh were moved to tears when they saw what it was.

For illustration only | Source: Unsplash

“In my spare time, I collected wooden planks and scrap plastic and made a toy train set for my grandson, Dave. I didn’t want the kids here to play with it because I was afraid they would ruin it,” Frank said.

As it turned out, Frank had been waiting for his son and grandson to visit him one day. He couldn’t afford to buy an expensive gift for his grandson, so he made a handmade toy train to surprise him. Frank never let anyone in to protect this gift. Fortunately, it was undamaged in the hurricane.

Later, Josh and Camilla shared with their neighbors what they had found in Frank’s house. Everyone sympathized with him and regretted calling him names behind his back. They worked together and repaired his damaged roof as a token of apology. Meanwhile, Frank was in for a tear-jerking surprise when he least expected it.

For illustration only | Source: Pixabay

A few days later, Jake returned home with his son after seeing the news of the hurricane in his father’s town. “Dad, I’m glad you’re doing well. I’m so sorry,’ he cried. Frank couldn’t hold back his tears after seeing his son and grandson. “I’m sorry it took me three long years to apologize, son,” he sobbed and hugged them.

Frank finally gave his handmade toy train to his grandson. It brought more tears to his eyes and calmed his heart. He smiled and waved at Josh and Camilla from his doorstep, thanking them with tears of joy for helping him realize the importance of reconciling with loved ones before it’s too late.

For illustration only | Source: Pexels

What can we learn from this story?

  • Better to apologize to our loved ones before it’s too late. Frank apologized to his son, with whom he argued three years ago, after his new neighbor Camilla advised him that it is important to say sorry to loved ones before it was too late.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions about anyone. The neighbors labeled Frank rude and grumpy and didn’t know why he never let anyone into his house. As it turns out, Frank was striving to protect the handmade toy train he was waiting to gift his grandson.

A young girl makes a surprise visit to her grandfather’s house after five years and finds it abandoned and decorated for a party that never happened. Click here to read the full story.

This piece is inspired by stories from the daily lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to real names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you’d like to share your story, send it to

Exit mobile version