A 19-year-old boy broke up with his girlfriend for $25K and never saw her again until seven years later when he chanced upon her on the street. She was a completely different woman with a little boy who turned out to be his son.
What happens when money gets in the way of true love? Apart from ruining relationships, what more could it do? For 26-year-old Rick Halls, it wrecked more than just his romance with his girlfriend, Ashley Thompson, when he chose $25K over her.
Was Rick not truly in love with Ashley then? Was money that important to him than all those promises of love he made? The answers lead to that one fateful incident seven years ago when the "dedicated" lover was forced to forget the woman who meant the world to him and choose money over her...
Rick & Ashley were head over heels for each other since college. | Source: Unsplash
Rick and Ashley had been head over heels in love ever since they met in college at 17. Their love for history led them to take the same major in Archaeology, thus landing them in the same classes. Their friendship blossomed into a beautiful love story over two years.
"Ashley? Is it you? Oh my God! You've changed a lot! How are you?" Rick asked his ex-girlfriend after seeing her for the first time after seven years later.
Soon, Rick decided to pop the question to his ladylove. But whenever he thought about it, he feared the same thing—if Ashley's father, Thompson Gill, would give the green light to their marriage.
So Rick mustered his courage to meet with his girlfriend's father, a very affluent man in the city, before proposing to his girlfriend.
Ashley was Thompson's only child. He dreamed big of her future and had always wanted to choose the best life partner for her. So seeing Rick, a poor man from an ordinary family, asking for his girl's hand didn't go too well with Thompson.
Ashley's father, Thompson Gill, only wished the best for her. | Source: Pexels
"What is your dad's annual income, Mr. Ronald? Drake?" Thompson said in a husky voice.
"Rick. My name is Rick Halls."
"Ah, Rick Halls. So, what's your father's annual turnover?"
"Sir, my dad was a carpenter, but he died already. I am yet to find a job that pays well. I haven't graduated yet, and there isn't much scope for archaeology here unless I move out of town."
"Oh, that means you will be jobless until you find your dream job, huh? And how will you take care of my daughter if she marries you?"
"I work as a part-time waiter...I am sure I will get my big break after college and earn a lot of money to make her happy."
Thompson remained silent for a few seconds, grinning and staring at his daughter's choice. "Do you know how much my daughter spends a week? What expensive gift did you give her recently?"
Rick's heart began to race. He started sweating but showed no uneasiness at the wealthy father's questions. "Well, I saved some money and got her a purse," he said.
"A purse? Do you mean that tattered clutch I asked my maid to discard yesterday? It was lying in Ashley's room, and I wondered why her taste had degraded. I want her only to use branded and expensive things. Not cheap things from thrift stores!" Thompson mocked.
By now, Rick could surmise the rich man's reply to giving his daughter's hand in marriage. Before he could snap to reality, Thompson took him to his private room, and minutes later, Rick came out smiling with a cheque in his hand. What happened inside became Ashley's worst nightmare later.
Moments later, Rick walked away with a check worth $25K. | Source: Unsplash
"Did he take it? I don't believe you, daddy. My Rick wouldn't trade my love for $25K," Ashley cried. Her dad felt very bad for her, but this was the truth, and nothing could change that. Rick had indeed accepted the check worth $25K Thompson had offered him to forget Ashley and move away from her.
"I told you, didn't I? Money can make a man forget anything or anyone," Thompson said, comforting his heartbroken daughter. "Such people are fake."
Ashley was shattered, and she never heard from or met with Rick again. He had changed his phone number, blocked her on all his social media accounts, and moved out of the city. Although she tried to find and confront him, she couldn't.
Ashley and Rick moved on their separate ways until fate made them cross paths again seven years later. But this time, some new jolting surprises were waiting for Rick.
Ashley was crushed when she learned of how Rick chose money over her. | Source: Pexels
"Ashley? Is it you? Oh my God! You have changed a lot. How are you?" Rick asked his ex-girlfriend after seeing her get down from an expensive car outside the mall.
"Rick? Oh Jeez...You look miserable. What happened to you? Didn't you start a good life with the $25K my dad gave you?" Ashley said sarcastically.
Rick didn't have any answers to her questions. He was jobless and had grown from bad to worse over the years. He had discontinued his studies and blown away all the money he had taken from Ashley's dad on partying and vacations.
He was ashamed and filled with regret that he traded Ashley's genuine love for money. But deep inside, he felt he still stood a chance to explain everything to her. That's when Eric walked over to Ashley and kissed her in front of Rick, shattering his hopes of reconciliation.
"Oh, Rick...Meet my husband, Eric Fox," Ashley said, introducing her husband to her heartbroken ex. She was pleased by how Rick's smile melted into despair and sadness on seeing the rich and handsome Eric.
"Nice to meet you, Eric. And this little boy? Is he your son?" he asked, looking at a little boy holding Eric's hand.
"Meet Jack, my son...OUR SON, Rick...our son," Ashley said, jolting Rick with the shock of his life.
"OUR SON?" Rick gasped, his hand rushing to his mouth in awe as he watched little Jack hop into the car.
Rick was startled when Ashley told him Jack was their son. | Source: Pixabay
As it turned out, Ashley had discovered she was pregnant just a week after Rick abandoned her. Although her father told her to terminate her pregnancy and move on in life, she refused. She birthed a baby boy and raised him.
On a casual visit to her dad's office six months after her baby's birth, she met Eric, a manager who worked there. They became friends, and Eric often made Jack feel a father's love through his affection and care.
Ultimately, Ashley was attracted to Eric's personality and decided to marry him. Like Rick did years ago, even Eric had approached Thompson to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage.
Ashley's dad was reluctant. He began to mock Eric's status, finally taking him inside to his private room to test whether he genuinely loved Ashley and not her money.
When Eric came out of the room five minutes later, he did not have a check in his hand. Instead, he had a warm, broad smile as he ran to Ashley to share the good news of her father's approval of their wedding.
"We got married with my dad's blessings. I am proud to have a husband like Eric, who chose me over money. I am happy that fate had better plans for me. I'm happy I found true love through my husband, who legally adopted my son...He is Jack's father now and forever!" Ashley said, sounding bold and unbreakable.
Ashley fell in love with Eric & had married him with her father's blessings. | Source: Unsplash
Rick hung his head in shame. He could no longer look Ashley in the eye and didn't even get a chance to hold his son's hands and talk to him. Ashley got into the car and sat beside her son while Eric stopped to look at Rick.
"I was not rich when I met Ashley," he said. "But Ashley motivated me to find success. Now, I am happily married to a strong woman who inspired me to be successful and build my empire...and I have a son...He is our son. Ashley brought you just $25K, but she brought me hundreds of thousands and a family no amount of money can buy...Have a good day, Rick!"
Eric got into the car, pulled up the window, and drove away, leaving Rick in a fog of despair and pain. It crushed him to the core that he was stranded as a poor man who had lost more than just true love over his greed for money!
In the end, Rick reaped the bitter fruit of his greed. | Source: Pixabay
What can we learn from this story?
Alex was a widowed father who kicked out his pregnant teen daughter Diana. 38 years later, her son held his hand and led him to a tear-jerking encounter in the hospital. Click here to find out what happened next.
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