Love in a Dollar

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Jim worked in a scenic area. When he went to work every day, his elderly neighbor Jack would hand him a $5 bill and ask him to buy him a $4 coffee from the coffee shop in the scenic area.
This exchange had been going on for several years. In return for getting him the coffee, Jack, despite his age, would always take the initiative to mow Jim’s lawn beautifully.
Since this had been going on for a long time, the hostess who sold the coffee became quite familiar with Jim, and she always prepared delicious coffee and set aside one-dollar bills to give him as change.
Sometimes, Jim curiously asked Jack: “Coffee beans have a long shelf life; why don’t you buy them in bulk so you can have your coffee fresh and hot, rather than waiting for me to bring it to you after it has gotten cold?” Jack shook his head and said with a smile: “No, I prefer to have it this way. I like having a single serving of coffee made for me each day.”
Once, Jim was in a hurry to go to a friend’s house for a party, so he bought coffee from another store. He was surprised when Jack didn’t even take off the lid. He said: “This is not the coffee I wanted.” Jim was taken aback. After several similar instances, he realized that even if the packaging was exactly the same, Jack would be able to spot at a glance that it was from the wrong coffee shop. Jim never dared to change it again.
After a few years, Jim became weaker. Despite this, he still entrusted Jim to buy his coffee every day.
Every time Jack handed over $5 to Jim, his expression seemed to be full of prudence and anticipation.
One day, Jack was lying on his hospital bed when Jim brought him his usual cup of coffee. Jack stretched out his hand weakly to take the one-dollar bill he received as change. He stroked the bill gently and asked Jim: “You have been buying me my coffee for years. Do you know why I really want it from that shop?” Jim looked at him and shook his head.
“The person who sells that coffee is Elena!” Jack’s voice was gentle and affectionate when he said her name. He seemed to be staring off into the distance, “She is the person I love the most.
“When I asked her parents for permission to marry her, they thought that, since I was poor, their daughter and I would have little chance of happiness. They just separated us; I left this place very sad. Many years later, my wife died of illness. Our children had their own families, so I returned to my hometown.
“I soon found out that Elena was selling coffee in the area where you work. I didn’t want to disturb her peaceful life, so after I settled down quietly, I began to entrust you to buy my coffee from her.
“I knew from the day you first brought me my coffee that Elena had never forgotten me.
“How could you know this if you haven’t visited her?” Jim asked, puzzled.
Jack replied: “Years ago, when we were in love, we couldn’t see each other often. To make up for this, we created a secret sign. We would fold a dollar bill into a triangle, put it in an envelope, and ask the postman to give it to the other party to signal that we were doing well.
“So, every time I ask you to buy me coffee, I always fold the 5-dollar bill into a triangle, and the change that Elena gives you to bring back is also folded into a triangle.
“Although we never meet, we relay news of each other’s well-being every day. It is as if we have returned to the time when we were young and in love.
“Now, I’m going to meet God, but I cannot bear to think of how sad Elena will be if she does not hear from me!
“There is a box under my bed, which is full of specially folded 5-dollar bills. Please use them to continue buying me coffee every day…” Jack finished speaking and then closed his eyes serenely.
At Jack’s funeral, Jim silently laid a box full of packaged coffee and a lot of dollar bills folded into triangles at his gravesite.
As it turned out, as early as half a year ago, Elena had already passed away due to an illness.
Before leaving this world, she made sure to hand over the coffee and dollar bills to Jim. She wanted him to deliver her daily message to Jack in her place so that Jack would not suspect that anything had gone wrong…
The original Chinese article is from

一天,在吉姆照舊買回咖啡時,躺在病床上的老傑克虛弱地伸出手,輕輕摩挲著那張一美元零鈔,問吉姆:“ 這麼久了,難道你真不知道,我為什麼一定要那家店的咖啡嗎?” 吉姆看著老鄰居,搖搖頭。
“賣你咖啡的是艾莉娜呀!”老傑克眼神專注遠方、以溫柔多情的語氣說:「 她是我最深愛的人。」
耶路撒冷的眾女子阿、我指羚羊或田野的母鹿、囑咐你們、不要驚動、不要叫醒我所親愛的,等他自己情願。(雅歌 8 : 4)

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