After circumstances forced them to separate, a man promised to wait for the woman he loved at their favorite cafe. He waited nearly 20 years until they finally met again.
Ralph was in his mid-50s when he met Natalie, a 49-year-old woman who applied to be his housemaid. As soon as he met her, Ralph fell in love with her and courted her.
At first, Natalie was afraid of Ralph, thinking her boss was simply playing pranks on her. He kept talking to her while she worked, and Natalie thought it was a test to see how easily distracted she was.
However, the more time Natalie spent with Ralph, the more she was drawn to him. The connection between them scared her, so she thought about quitting her job.
Even though she wanted to stay away, she knew deep inside that she did not want to leave – she also had feelings for Ralph. She knew they couldn’t be together, though, as Ralph was rich, and she was a poor maid.
“We can never be together. It’ll be the talk of the town,” she thought to herself. However, their chemistry was undeniable, and they began dating secretly.
“I know you feel it too, Natalie,” Ralph told her one night as she set up the dining table for him to eat. Natalie looked at him longingly, her eyes almost filling with tears.
“I do, Ralph, you know I do. But you also know that we can never be together – people won’t stop talking about us,” she replied.
“I don’t care about what other people will say. I love you, and I want to be with you,” Ralph said, holding her hand. Natalie contemplated whether or not she would accept his proposal to start dating, but then she suddenly remembered her daughter.
“You’re one of the top businessmen in the area. Once they find out you’re dating a widow with a daughter, they won’t stop making headlines about you. I like you too much to save you from that kind of embarrassment,” Natalie told him.
The pair sat in silence for a couple of seconds until Natalie finally decided to follow her heart. “I would like to be with you,” she told him. “But maybe we should keep our relationship a secret for now.”
Ralph accepted her idea without question. All he wanted was to be with Natalie
They started frequenting a cafe, which became one of their favorites. They spent every evening there, eating and talking about life.
Because of this, Natalie would get home late daily, and her daughter Mia started to suspect that she was hiding something. Soon after, she learned from their neighbors that her mother had a lover, as they saw him dropping her home a couple of times already.
“A man in a luxury car would drop her off. She is no longer young to look for a rich husband. What is she doing?” the neighbors said, trying to shame Natalie to her daughter. This made Mia angry, as she thought her mom was embarrassing her.
“Why are you dating your boss?” Mia asked her mother that night once she got home. “Do you know that the whole neighborhood is talking about you?”
“I love him, Mia. I do,” Natalie admitted. But Mia wasn’t buying it, and she thought her mom was out to get the man’s money.
“Please, you’re only after his money. It’s embarrassing!” Mia yelled. “If you continue with this relationship, I’ll have you know you’re never seeing your granddaughter once she’s born!”
Natalie cried herself to sleep that night. Her daughter was set to give birth later that week, and she could not bear the thought of not seeing her grandchild growing up.
When her grandchild was born, Natalie decided to leave Ralph, but not before meeting in their favorite cafe one last time. Ralph also asked her to meet, because he had something important to say.
But as Natalie she rode the bus to get to the cafe, she suddenly got cold feet. She realized she might not be able to stop herself from giving in once she saw Ralph, so she didn’t end up going
Ralph was certain that Natalie was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Love instantly broke out between them, and every day that they spent together was heaven for him.
He asked Natalie to meet him at their favorite cafe because he planned to propose. He was curious, as Natalie told him that she had something to say as well.
Ralph waited for her the entire day, but Natalie never came. He searched the entire neighborhood for her, but never found her. He never saw Natalie again, and had heard from their neighbors that they had skipped town without informing them of where they were headed.
Determined to find Natalie, Ralph rented billboards around the city and along the freeway saying, “Natalie, I will wait for you at our favorite cafe every day at 7 p.m. I love you forever, Ralph.” And every day, he would wait for her at that cafe at 7 p.m. However, nearly twenty years had passed, and Ralph was still waiting for Natalie at the same table.
One day, a woman sat down in front of him. He looked up and thought it was finally Natalie, but it was the waitress. “I’m sorry, sir. I’ve noticed you come here every day as if you’re waiting for someone. I just started working here, and I wanted to know your story,” she said politely.
Ralph smiled. “I am waiting for the love of my life, Natalie Stephens,” he replied calmly, and the waitress’ face turned pale in shock.
“Natalie Stephens? That’s the name of my grandmother!” she exclaimed.
Ralph was stunned. “She’s your grandmother? My Natalie? Where is she? How has she been?” Ralph asked, tears filling his eyes. “I have been waiting for her for almost twenty years,” he cried.
“Grandma moved to another city with my mom after I was born. Grandma stayed with mom until she died two years ago. It’s always been my grandma and me, but I am currently in town for college,” the waitress, who introduced herself as Amanda, revealed. “My grandmother told me about your story. I never thought I’d meet you here,” she admitted.
When grandma was ill one time, she told me about you and regretted what happened. ‘I was supposed to love and not be afraid of other people’s thoughts!’ she told me. Grandma is a lot healthier now. I will take her to you,” Amanda said, determined to make Ralph and Natalie meet again.
Ralph couldn’t believe that she chanced upon meeting Natalie’s grandchild. He couldn’t stop his tears from falling and asked the young woman to help him meet Natalie again. Amanda promised him that she would take Natalie back to the city with her so that she and Ralph could meet again.
That weekend, Amanda went home to fetch Natalie. They boarded the bus back to town, where Amanda guided Natalie towards the cafe. “Someone here has waited almost twenty years to see you again, grandma,” Amanda said, looking towards Ralph’s table.
“Ralph?” Natalie cried. “I can’t believe this! Is it really you?”
Ralph stood up and walked toward Natalie slowly. It was as if Amanda was watching a romantic movie. He embraced her tightly, and let his tears flow. “I thought I’d never see you again,” he told her.
“I thought I would have to live with regret for the rest of my life. I should have never let you go,” Natalie told Ralph as they continued to embrace. “I am glad we were able to see each other again.”
After almost twenty years, Ralph and Natalie were reunited in the cafe that meant so much to their relationship. Amanda gave her grandmother her blessing to date Ralph, something Natalie never got from her late daughter Mia.
It was not too late for Ralph and Natalie to start again, and it was as if they were two teenagers in love. They never left each other’s side again and spent the rest of their lives together.
What can we learn from this story?
What other people say about your life should not matter to you. Natalie was the talk of the town because of her relationship with Ralph, and it caused her to back away from a relationship that meant a lot to her. She realized that she should have never let people dictate the way she chose her life, as they were only spectators anyway.
True love stands the test of time. Ralph remained faithful to Natalie throughout the years and patiently waited for her to return even if he had no assurance.
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