Wade and Becky were a happily married couple with a son, Tom. Things were good for them until Wade lost all ambition and left it upon his wife to fend for their family. After Becky left him, he decided to change his life around.
“You’re going to regret divorcing me,” Wade screamed after his trial with his ex-wife, Becky. As he spoke these heart-piercing words, Becky thought of the peculiarity of love and relationships.
She couldn’t understand how two people could transition from cherishing each other and wanting to spend the rest of their lives together to harboring such a burning resentment that it invalidated all the joy and love that came before.
“So, the ruling has been made. Full custody of the child will go in favor of the mother. The court is adjourned,” the judge said, banging his gavel.
As she sat in the courtroom in tears, looking at her ex-husband, his harsh words continued to ring in her head. She saw the burning fury on his face as the judge made his ruling and tried to remember the beautiful, kind smile that made her fall in love with him the first time they met. But she couldn’t see the same Wade anymore. He was long gone.
Things weren’t always like this between Becky and Wade. In fact, from the onset, their love was one to be envied. They had met in a rather odd fashion, what you would call “accidental fate,” so to speak.
Becky had just gotten her driver’s license but was still rusty on the wheel. She recklessly reversed out of a parking space without seeing Wade’s oncoming car, and the two collided. Becky instantly jumped out of the car, ready to give Wade a piece of her mind, oblivious to her wrong in the matter.
“Are you blind or what?” Becky barked.
As she headed to Wade’s car, she was caught off guard by a young Wade standing there with a sweet, kind smile and his hands in an apologetic gesture.
“It’s just that I’m not sure if that was supposed to be an apology.”
“Uhm… Sorry. But in all fairness, you’re supposed to look out for oncoming cars before reversing out of a blindspot parking spot,” Wade said.
Inspecting the car dent closer, Becky soon realized she was in the wrong. And that just made things that much stranger because she couldn’t figure out why he was still standing there apologetically with this absurd smile.
He knew she was wrong, but he still approached her with grace. She couldn’t help but be slightly flattered while at the same time ashamed of her sudden outburst.
“And how would you know that?” Becky said stubbornly, still unwilling to admit to her fault.
“Well, besides having a driver’s license and knowing the general rules, I’m a parking lot attendant. So it’s kinda my job to know,” Wade said.
“How do you afford a car as a parking lot attendant? I mean, it’s not much to look at, but still. No offense,” Becky said.
“If you must know, I saved up for it. It’s a job, and it pays the bills. But it’s not the end goal,” Wade explained.
“Oh. Well… I’m sorry you didn’t see me reversing,” Becky said, shamefully avoiding eye contact. Wade simply chuckled.
“What are you laughing at?” Becky asked.
“It’s just that I’m not sure if that was supposed to be an apology,” Wade retorted.
“Take it however you want. The question is, how do we solve this?” Becky asked.
“Well, we could exchange numbers for a starter. Does that work for you?” Wade said, with a cheeky smile as he gazed upon her in adoration.
“Yeah, I guess,” Becky said chuckling, struggling to keep a straight face at the man’s untimely courting.
From that day on, Wade and Becky would talk for hours on end over the phone. They never even addressed the accident. They had instant chemistry and later started dating.
“But that’s the thing, Wade. You’re not! At least if you were making an effort, I’d have some hope to hold onto. But you’ve barely tried to put yourself out there for a job since you were laid off.”
A year later, they moved in together, and after another year, they got married and had their son, Tom. Wade was still working as a parking lot attendant, while Becky, who had been an assistant to a real estate agent, was now an agent herself.
After the birth of their son, Becky began to worry about the stagnancy in Wade’s career. When they met, Wade was ambitious and knew where he was going.
He had a dream of starting a taxi business. The first car he saved for and bought was an investment into the more significant end goal. But something changed in Wade. His drive and ambition seemed to have fizzled out, and he wasn’t making much of an effort anymore.
He eventually lost his job as a parking attendant, and Becky became the breadwinner of their home. He didn’t seem interested in finding a job and was comfortable leaving everything to his wife, even though it was taking its toll on her. One day, after numerous conversations in passing on the matter, Becky attempted to confront Wade again.
“Wade, Tom’s school called, and they’re upping the fees this year. I can’t do this on my own anymore. I just can’t,” Becky said as they lay in bed.
“I know, my love. But you know I’m trying,” Wade replied nonchalantly.
“But that’s the thing, Wade. You’re not! At least if you were making an effort, I’d have some hope to hold onto. But you’ve barely tried to put yourself out there for a job since you were laid off,” Becky snapped.
“That’s not fair. You know it’s not easy with the current economy and—” Wade started before being cut off by Becky.
“Oh, please! Don’t tell me about the economy. You say it’s not easy, but how would you know if you haven’t tried?” Becky barked. She then calmed herself and simply said, “Look, Wade. If things don’t change, I’m not sure I can continue this.”
“And what does that mean, Becky?” a perplexed Wade asked.
“I’m sure you can figure it out,” Becky said, leaving the room.
Seeing there was no change in their situation, Becky divorced Wade a month later. Wade was devastated and couldn’t believe she was finally leaving him. He tried to convince Becky to stay, but her mind was made up, and that was it.
After the divorce, things took a turn for the worst. Becky would not let Wade see their son, Tom. In desperation, Wade even went to the extent of stalking Becky, trying to see their son.
In one altercation, Becky called the police on Wade for trying to break into the house to see his son. As the police hauled Wade out of the house in handcuffs, he saw the frightful look in his son’s eyes and was deeply ashamed. That was the last straw for Wade. He decided to turn his life around and started looking for a job.
Becky’s friend, Alice, used to babysit for Becky when she needed help with Tom occasionally. One day, Alice returned with Tom from a walk and told Becky about an altercation at the park with Wade.
“He came completely out of nowhere, and I was terrified he might do something crazy. I reminded him the court had put Tom under your custody, and he had no right to be there,” Alice explained.
“Oh my goodness! You didn’t let him near Tom, did you?” Becky asked in a panic.
“Surprisingly, he was pretty cool. He looked like he was in a good space. He just gave me this envelope to give you, hugged Tom goodbye, and left,” Alice said, handing Becky the envelope.
“Oh. How strange! He must be up to something,” Becky said.
“No, I don’t think so. He seemed genuine and healed,” Alice explained, but Becky wasn’t convinced. His words from the trial still rang in her head, “You’re going to regret divorcing me!”
Later that day, she finally built up the courage to open the envelope. In it were a note and $200. The note read:
“I know I’m probably the last person you want to hear from, but I had to reach out. Life has been miserable without you and Tom. I finally got a job as a taxi driver, and I’m working on purchasing a second cab. It’s not much, but it’s a start. I love you and miss you dearly, Becky. You and Tom. Please forgive me.”
The note moved Becky. As she read it, she thought of his sweet, kind smile that she adored so dearly. But she couldn’t trust Wade anymore, not after everything that he had put her through.
A few weeks later, Becky desperately needed a babysitter, but Alice was unavailable. As she scrolled through the numbers on her phone, looking for someone to help her, she saw Wade’s note peeking out of a drawer in her peripheral.
She hesitantly scrolled to Wade’s number and contemplated. At this point, she was out of options and figured she’d give him a chance. Becky was extremely nervous. This would be the first time she had called Wade since the divorce. After a moment of deep reflection, she finally dialed him up.
“Hi, Wade,” Becky said.
“Becky? Uhm… Wow, this is a surprise. Hi,” Wade replied.
“Yeah, for you and me both. Listen, I need someone to watch Tom today, and Alice isn’t available. Do you think you could watch him?” Becky asked.
“Uh, yeah. Sure, definitely!” Wade said, excited.
“Alright, thanks,” Becky said, about to drop the call.
“Wait, Becky! Err… Did you get my note?” Wade asked.
“Wade, please don’t make this any more complicated than it has to be. Just be here by 6 p.m. Please,” Becky said, trying to hold back her tears.
“When I realized he was unconscious, I called 911, and they brought us here.”
“Okay. That’s fair. I’ll be there,” Wade concluded. Becky dropped the call and instantly erupted into tears.
It had been so long since she heard his voice, and the call made her realize how much she had missed him. But she had told herself she wasn’t going back, and that was exactly what she intended to do.
Wade appeared at her place shortly after, but he was acting a bit strange. He seemed a bit slow and absent-minded. She began to doubt her decision as she recalled his words from the trial, “You’re going to regret divorcing me!”
“Wade, I’m not so sure this is a good idea. Let me just call in and work and maybe—” Becky started in a panic.
“No. Please, Becky. Go handle your business. Tom and I will be fine. I promise,” Wade said with that same sweet, kind smile. It was her weakness, and she had long suspected that Wade knew this.
“Okay. But call me if anything happens,” Becky stated, already rushing for the door.
A few hours later, Becky received a call from the hospital in the middle of her work function, telling her Tom was in the ICU. She immediately rushed to the hospital, fearing for the worst. “Would Wade stoop that low and endanger our child?” she thought.
When she got to the ICU, she was shocked to find Tom sitting there in perfect condition. She rushed to him, checking every inch of his body for injuries.
“Oh, my baby! What did he do to you?” Becky said in a panic.
“Who?” Tom asked in confusion.
“Your father. I swear if he—” Becky started, fuming.
“Dad didn’t do anything to me. He is sick. He was reading my bedtime story when he suddenly fell to the ground. When I realized he was unconscious, I called 911, and they brought us here,” Tom explained.
“Sick?” Becky said, lost for words.
“Do you really have to ask that? I did it for us. I wanted to change and prove myself to you. I—I just wanted my family back, Becky. I’d risk anything for you.”
The doctor invited Tom and Becky into Wade’s room, explaining that he had gained consciousness and they could finally see him. When Becky asked the doctor what was wrong with Wade, she explained that he had collapsed due to exhaustion, among several underlying health factors.
Becky walked into the room with Tom, and her heart sank at the site of a frail and helpless Wade on the hospital bed. However, the minute he saw them, he radiated that warm smile again.
“Tom, buddy!” Wade said as his son ran to hug him. “Thank you so much. You’re my hero. I don’t know how, but I felt you holding my hand the whole trip to the hospital,” Wade explained with a cough.
“I was telling you I loved you the whole way too. Do you remember that?” Tom asked.
“No. But I definitely felt it,” Wade replied.
“Wade. What happened?” Becky asked, almost in tears.
“Well, I’ve been a bit sick lately. The doctor says it’s due to exhaustion. I’ve been pushing myself a little too hard of late,” Wade explained.
“With what? The driving?” Becky asked, confused.
“Yes. That and setting up my company. As well as trying to purchase two more vehicles,” Wade explained.
“You’re so reckless. Why would you risk endangering your health like that? You’ve obviously been feeling the strain for a while,” Becky asked, standing a good distance from the pair.
“Do you really have to ask that? I did it for us. I wanted to change and prove myself to you. I—I just wanted my family back, Becky. I’d risk anything for you,” Wade confessed in tears.
Becky immediately rushed to hug Wade and Tom joined in. They embraced each other in tears. None of them said a word. They just wept in each other’s arms, grateful to be reunited again.
A few days later, Wade was discharged from the hospital. He went to Becky’s house with a shoe box in hand and presented it to his ex-wife as she opened the door. She opened the box to find wads of cash inside.
“What is this, Wade?” an awestruck Becky asked.
“This is my stash,” Wade said with a chuckle. “It’s some money I’ve been saving for you and Tom. If anything happens to me, you know you’re secure,” Wade added.
“Wow! Wade, you know they have banks now, right?” Becky said, laughing. As she looked at him, she thought to herself, “There he is. There’s the man I married. He never left. He just had some things he had to figure out. He just had to grow. The resentment was an illusion.”
Tommy ran out to hug his dad. As he held him dearly, he pleaded, “Daddy, please don’t die!”
“Daddy won’t die, Tom. We’ll make sure he is alright. Won’t we, Tom?” Becky said as she and Wade shared a warm smile.
“Yes,” Tom replied.
“Now, are you guys going to stand out there all night, or do you want to come in for dinner?” Becky asked, ushering them in.
After that day, Becky and Wade started working on replenishing their marriage. After a while, they finally reconciled and became a family. This time, things were different, and they were happier than they ever could have imagined.
What can we learn from this story?
Sometimes we have to take the hard, uncomfortable steps to get what we want. Wade desperately wanted to get his family back, but it took him making some hard but necessary changes in his life to do so.
People can change for the better. Becky doubted that Wade could change, stopping her from giving him a chance. However, given the right motivation, she finally learned that it was possible.