Edward thought he would never achieve his dream of becoming a doctor until he bought an old dilapidated house and it transformed his life.
Edward Mallow's life didn't work out the way he'd dreamed. When he was a teen he'd wanted to become a doctor, to help people and heal them, but his father's death when he was 17 ended that dream.
Edward's mother had fallen ill shortly after, and whatever money his father had left for his education was consumed by medical bills. So he gave up his dream of becoming a doctor and became a veterinarian nurse instead.
Edward fell in love with the old abandoned house at first sight | Source: Shutterstock.com
Edward had to admit that his life wasn't so bad. He had his mom and he had his job. He wasn't a doctor, but he comforted and alleviated the suffering of the animals he cared for.
Edward had a girlfriend too, a pretty girl he'd met back in high school -- but who seemed to have soured over the last few years. Zola -- that was his girlfriend's name -- was always harping at Edward for his lack of ambition.
"You're 26 and you still live with your mom!" Zola cried disdainfully, "I thought you were serious about us, but you don't even have your own apartment!"
Edward grinned. "Actually," he said, "I've been meaning to talk to you about that, but you've kinda spoiled the surprise!"
Edward's father died when he was young and there was no money for med school | Source: Unsplash
Zola gasped. "You're moving out?"
"I'm moving in," Edward said. "There's this old Victorian house I've loved since I was a kid, and I heard the guy who inherited it wanted to get rid of it, so I made an offer! It's a fixer-upper, but with a lot of work..."
"You bought it?" asked Zola excitedly. "You have your own place? We could move in together?"
"Well, for the next 20 years it's the bank's house," said Edward smiling. "But yes, we can all move in together."
Edward's mother was ill and he had to take care of her | Source: Unsplash
Zola stood stock still. "What do you mean 'we can all move in together?'" she asked.
"You, me, and my mom, of course," Edward said.
"Are you kidding me?" screamed Zola. "You expect me to move into some dilapidated wreck with your MOTHER? I won't do it, Edward. You choose. Me or her!"
Edward looked at her and his face was dead-white. "There's no choice, is there?" he asked quietly.
Edward became a veterinarian nurse | Source: Pexels
"Good!" said Zola with a triumphant smile. "So let's go take a look at this house..."
"I'm afraid you misunderstood," Edward said. "My mother is alone and ill. I would never leave her on her own. We are finished."
The universe often finds ways to reward a good heart.
"Finished?" screamed Zola. "Look at yourself, mommy's boy! You're going to be wiping dog's bottoms for the rest of your life, and changing mommy's diapers! I'm the one who's finished with you, you pathetic LOSER!"
A few weeks later, Edward started working on the house, and he had to agree with Zola, it really was a wreck, but under all the dirt and neglect, he could see the hidden beauty.
Edward borrowed money and bought the old house | Source: Pexels
He started cleaning out the decades of refuse and bird's nests that had accumulated inside the house and in the eaves. Under the dirt and grime was solid wood. A lot of work and a dab of paint and it would be amazing, Edward thought.
His favorite room of the house was the stately Victorian parlor with high molded ceilings and carved wood paneling wainscoting. It was while he was scraping the old paint and tatty wallpaper from the parlor that he made an incredible discovery.
One section of the wainscoting 'felt' different, and when he rapped it with his knuckles he heard a hollow sound. Could there be rot behind the carved wood? Edward carefully prodded the carved panel and suddenly he heard a click, and the panel swung open.
Behind it was darkness and the smell of must and dust. Edward fetched his torch and let the light flood into the hidden room for the first time in decades. The area behind the panel was tiny, but it contained a table and a chair, and a few wine racks filled with bottles.
Edward's girlfriend Zola called him a loser for living with his sick mother | Source: Pexels
Edward stepped in and dust swirled up around his ankles. On top of the table was a bulky volume, and when Edward wiped it down he saw an old-fashioned carpetbag. Next to it was a thick journal that someone had left open.
Under the dust on the page was writing, and Edward carefully blew it away in a cloud before he started to read.
The last page of the journal read: "One-Eyed Roger turned me into the Feds, but he's not getting my stash. I hope whoever finds it lives a better life than I did and does good to make up for the evil I've done." It was signed by Freddy the Gimp.
The rest of the journal was some kind of rough accounting of bottles of bootleg liquor bought in Canada and sold in the United States. The entries started in 1925 and ended in 1930, which was when the owner of the journal had presumably been nabbed by the FBI!
Edward was fixing the parlor when he made an incredible discovery | Source: Pixabay
Edward had bought the house of a real-life Prohibition bootlegger! He turned his attention to the carpetbag and opened it. Edward gasped. It was full of neatly packed rolls of $100 bills!
Well, no matter how much evil Freddy the Gimp may have done in his lifetime, Edward surely made up for it. With Freddy's money, he fixed up the house as good as new and moved in with his mom.
He enrolled in medical school, hired two vets, and opened a free animal clinic for the pets of underprivileged children who couldn't afford the expensive rates charged by regular vets.
Zola soon heard about Edward's new life and she immediately dropped in 'for old time's sake' but Edward quickly set her right. "Listen, Zola," he said before she could open her mouth.
In the bag Edward found enough money to make his dreams come true | Source: Pexels
"Forget it. I'm now dating a loser just like me who believes in love and family values, not money."
Edward ended up marrying the sweet girl he'd met after he broke up with Zola, and on their honeymoon, they adopted the ugliest cat either of them had ever seen. Since the cat had only three legs, Edward named him Freddy the Gimp -- and started thinking about reincarnation very seriously!
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