Kevin walked home with briefcase in hand. He was visibly upset. A recruiter who had interviewed him an hour ago told him, “We’re sorry, but the position is already filled.”
“I thought I would make it. I promised Linda I’d come back with the job,” he complained. Kevin was 25 years old and an orphan. All his life he had struggled to make a better life. But it seemed his misery would never end.
Kevin stopped at the florist despite his financial problems and bought Linda’s favorite roses.
“She won’t be mad at me after seeing these!”. He consoled himself, but a heartbreaking blow awaited him in the apartment he’d shared with his girlfriend for five years….
“What happened at the interview, how much are they offering you?”. Linda was curious. “As soon as you get your first salary, we need to buy some nice furniture. This looks rotten and old.”
Kevin didn’t know how to talk openly about his failed interview. Finally, he mustered up the courage to face his girlfriend. He held out the bouquet and said:
“Honey, I’m sorry. I promise to keep trying. But this time, the position was already filled.”
Linda immediately threw a tantrum and argued.
“I always knew you were a worthless loser. I don’t want to be here anymore and live a poor life like you…I’m leaving.”
Kevin begged and cried, but his girlfriend accused him of wasting his time. She ran out with her suitcase, blocked his contact on her cell phone and went on her way. She left Kevin behind with nothing but anguish and tears.
A month later, Kevin complained to a close friend about how horrible his life was.
“Your ex-girlfriend is dating a rich guy, dude. She wasn’t worth it… I told you so!” his friend commented, further squeezing the wound in Kevin’s heart.
Kevin was so hurt that he immediately went to his late father’s grave to vent his frustrations.
His father, Alex, had passed away when Kevin was 18 years old. He was his inspiration in many ways, and on his deathbed he told him:
“Son, never lose hope, no matter how many traps await you. Always rise up with confidence and fight back. Your success will prove your worth. All you have to do is prove it.”
“Dad, I’m sorry I let you down. I promise to fight back. I will no longer cry about my past or people who don’t deserve my attention. I will work hard and show what I am capable of.”
Kevin was determined and dedicated his time to establishing his life.
Thirteen years passed, and one day, Kevin was in his office discussing a new agreement with his contractors when Carlos walked in.
“Excuse me, sir,” he said, opening the glass door.
“Yes, Carlos… Please come in.”
Carlos handed Kevin a wedding invitation.
“Sir, I would be honored if you would attend my wedding, I hope you can attend!”.
Kevin congratulated his employee and promised he would attend. He never checked the invitation thoroughly and vaguely checked the location of the ceremony. It was at a nearby resort.
The day of the wedding arrived. It was a beautiful venue, and some guests who recognized him flocked to greet and fawn over him to win a new contract with his construction company.
“Sir!” Carlos greeted Kevin. “This is my fiancée, Linda,” he introduced.
Kevin was surprised to see that his ex-girlfriend was Carlos’ fiancée. Linda and Kevin looked at each other, dumbfounded, unable to believe it.
“Do you know each other?!” interjected Carlos.
Kevin and Linda denied it. In the midst of the occasion, Kevin was asked to address the newlyweds and congratulate them. He took the microphone and began to speak, revealing how he managed to rise to the top of his fortune.
“What makes a family strong is how they support each other to the end,” he began as Linda slowly paled. She was nervous about Kevin revealing his past in public.
“You can’t talk about family unless you believe you will stand by them through the hard times. The name and fame that people know me by today is because of my wife, Shirley. I owe my life to her!”.
Linda was surprised to learn that Kevin was happily married with three children. But that wasn’t all.
“I was let down by someone I loved and adored. Then I found Shirley. She fell in love with me when I was just an ordinary employee – I was fired three times! But she believed in me and motivated me. I changed seven jobs in seven years, she earned more than I did, and there was a time when we lived in an old motel with rusty tap water.”
“Life was full of bitter surprises until one day my family business became a huge success. I married the woman I truly loved and this is where I am today!”.
Linda could not hide the humiliation that welled up in her eyes like tears. She pretended she was fine.
“If it wasn’t for Shirley, I would have been stranded where I was betrayed. Thank you, honey, I love you! And I wish you a happy married life, Carlos and Linda. I pray that Linda will become a true support in everything, no matter what.”
Kevin finished the speech and flashed a smirk at Linda, who still couldn’t get over how successful and wealthy he was. It added fuel to the fire to know that her husband Carlos worked for her ex-boyfriend, whom she had abandoned for his status. Even if Linda wanted to, she could do nothing but accept the bitter truth and live with it for the rest of her life.