Whenever the other waitresses saw Matthew pulling up in his old car, they would tell Amber that her "boyfriend" had arrived. They teased Amber about the day the elderly Matthew would propose to her.
"What are you going to tell him?" asked Chelsea. "If you say no, he might go home and drink himself to death. If you say yes, the shock might give him a heart attack." Amber put up with her coworkers' jokes.
Matthew continued to visit the Do-Drop-In regularly, but never proposed to Amber. The last time he ate breakfast there, he told her he was not feeling well. That's why he didn't finish the pancakes, he said. And he had only one refill of coffee. For the first time ever, he left Amber a two-dollar tip. She tried to return one dollar, figuring that he had made a mistake. He said no, she had earned that second dollar. She thanked him.
In his will, Matthew left a dollar each to the Republican and Democratic parties; the rest of his money, $50,000, he left to Amber. He noted in his will that Amber's friendly smile was the "syrup on my pancakes." Amber's coworkers were happy for her, at first.
But later, when she hadn't offered to share her money with them, some of them got angry. "You're supposed to share the tips," said Chelsea. "We've always pooled all the tips for each shift, and then distributed the total amount equally. This $50,000 was just an extra-large tip from a regular customer, and she should share it with the rest of the breakfast crew."
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