A rich girl pretends to be poor to test the man of her dreams. What follows is a bittersweet journey of her attempting not to lose her sanity when her boyfriend’s mother interferes.
Rachel Baker was born with a silver spoon. Her father, Oliver Baker, was a professor at a renowned university, and her mother, Judy Baker, was an interior designer.
Rachel and her parents had plenty of money, but they raised their daughter to understand that money shouldn’t define her. They warned her that people have the tendency to appreciate others for their money and not for who they really are.
As a result, even after Rachel grew up and went to university, she maintained her simple lifestyle. She’d go to her college by bus, wear modest clothes, and never brag about her family’s wealth. In fact, nobody – not even her friends – knew she was wealthy. Who knew this simplicity would one day help her test the man she’d fall in love with?
Rachel was in her pre-final year of college when she fell in love with Joshua Sutton. Joshua was the head of the college basketball team. He was brilliant at academics, excelled in debates, and was a complete package with his charming looks and incredible fortune from being born to famous businessman parents.
When he first approached Rachel after losing to her in a debate competition and asked her to be friends with him, Rachel was hesitant. She was dressed in a ragged hoodie and baggy trousers, and she wasn’t near as pretty as the girls she’d seen Joshua hang out with. She flatly rebuffed him that day and walked away.
However, two days later, she ran into him at the college cafeteria, and this time, Joshua went over to her table and sat across from her. Everyone in the cafeteria was stunned to see that Joshua was hanging out with an average-looking girl like Rachel, but he didn’t move from there.
“Are you ready to be friends with me now?” he asked, smiling.
“Look,” she said, concealing the fact that she had liked him since the first time she saw him. “I told you no before. Stop bothering me unnecessarily. I know…well…” She wanted to tell him that she knew a guy like him would never be with her, but she didn’t.
“Why do you want to be friends with me?” she asked. “I am nowhere close to your standards. Tell me honestly…someone dared you?”
Joshua laughed. “What? Why would I do that? We’re not in high school! I honestly find you smart and attractive, Rachel. And, well, I’d like you to go out with me, but I know you won’t agree right away, so I figured we could just be friends?”
She blushed. “And why would I trust you?”
“So…you like me as well? That means you’re interested in me!” he exclaimed excitedly.
“Shut the hell up!” She locked her gaze on him. “People are everywhere around us!”
“Okay, okay…Well, so you’re ready to be friends with me? Try me, Rachel. You’ll find out I’m not so bad!”
“All right, then, we’ll see. But only friends for the time being!”
“Works for me. I’ll see you after basketball practice,” he said, smiling, then walked away with his coffee.
From that day on, Rachel and Joshua became friends, but before they knew it, they were in love and began dating. Rachel felt bad for keeping him in the dark about being born to a rich family, wearing shabby clothes, and pretending to be poor in front of him, even though he was always open and honest with her.
She wanted to be equally honest with him, so she decided she would tell him the truth and told her mother about it over dinner. Her father was out of town for an important conference at the time, so she believed she could discuss it more openly with Judy.
“Mom,” she said. “I really love Joshua. And well, I don’t want to pretend to be so poor in front of him. If we love each other, we should be open and honest. He’s never kept anything from me.”
“How do you know he’s being truthful with you, Rachel? You know we all have secrets. Perhaps he hasn’t told you something, just as you haven’t told him that you aren’t poor.”
“No mom, he never hides anything from me. He told me about his childhood, his parents, and….” Rachel abruptly stopped as she mentioned his parents. She instantly remembered asking Joshua one day whether their parents could meet for dinner and how nervous he appeared. Since then, he had done everything to avoid talking about his parents, and they had never brought it up.
Rachel looked down at her plate and pushed the spaghetti around with her fork. “Well, I guess he doesn’t want his parents involved. Maybe he’s not that invested in our relationship?”
“If he truly loves you, Rachel, he’ll accept you for who you are,” Judy remarked, placing her hand over Rachel’s resting hand on the table. “Your heart will be more important to him than your money. If he refuses to introduce you to his parents, it’s time to reconsider this relationship. But remember that in any case, I’m on your side.”
Rachel couldn’t sleep after dinner that night. She couldn’t get her mother’s advice out of her head that if Joshua loved her, he should love her for who she was and introduce her to his parents. So the following day in school, she was determined to go to his house and hoped to meet his parents for the first time. She didn’t tell him her real intentions and only told him they could finish their assignments there.
Joshua immediately agreed because his parents weren’t home. However, he and Rachel were in his room going over their notes when Joshua’s mother stormed in and pulled Rachel out.
“Who do you think you are to come into my son’s bedroom like that? Have you ever caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror? Do you think my son will spend time with a poor girl like you?”
“Mom? Aren’t you and dad supposed to be overseas? How come you—”
“Well, I decided to cancel because I had forgotten some documents at home. I’ll be heading there tomorrow. Who the hell is she, Joshua? I knew you weren’t alone when I came in and heard voices!”
“What?” Rachel looked at him teary-eyed. “You brought me here because your parents weren’t home?”
“Mom, please! We can talk somewhere else!” Joshua took his mother to the kitchen and explained everything to her. “We’re dating mom! I love her! See, I was afraid of your anger, so I didn’t tell you and dad about our relationship. But I really love Rachel.”
“If you love that piece of trash, get lost from my house, Joshua! There’s no place for roadside dirt here! We—”
Rachel overheard everything from outside the kitchen and sobbed her way out of Joshua’s house. She walked back home, promising herself she’d end things with Joshua and cursing herself for falling in love with a man who kept their relationship hidden from his family.
She was furious when she arrived home. She was running upstairs to her room when her father stopped her. “Rachel!” he cried. “What’s this? I’m back, and you didn’t even notice me? Not even a hug?”
“Sorry, dad!” she said, turning around. “I’m not in a good mood.”
“Let me get straight to the point. Did you fight with Joshua?” he asked.
Rachel was hurt by the way Mrs. Sutton behaved with her. | Source: Pexels
Rachel was hurt by the way Mrs. Sutton behaved with her. | Source: Pexels
“What?” She looked at her father, shocked. “Did mom tell you about him?”
“I don’t think you need anyone to tell you anything when you get a random bouquet of flowers with an apology note where the sender’s name is clearly mentioned,” he added, pointing to the living room table where a lovely bouquet was sitting on the table.
“What’s the point, dad? I’ve decided to break up with him.”
“How about you read the note first?”
Rachel reluctantly walked over to the table and picked up the note to read it.
“Hey Rachel, I’m really sorry, babe. Look, I can clear out everything. Please check your phone!
Rachel noticed at least 50 missed calls and more texts from Joshua. Her phone was silent, and she didn’t know Joshua was calling her. She called him right away, and he apologized to her. He asked her to meet him at a restaurant with her parents the next day.
“Just be yourself, Rachel. See, I really love you for who you are. And I promise you I will fix everything tomorrow,” he said over the phone.
Rachel wore a lovely green gown and arrived at the restaurant in her parents’ fancy car. Outside, Joshua was waiting for them, and when he saw Rachel, his jaw dropped. “OMG! I can’t believe that’s you, Rachel!”
“This is the real me, Joshua. I am not poor. In fact, I belong to a wealthy family. I am sorry I hid the truth from you, but—”
“Wait a minute, Rachel,” he said. “I don’t care where you’re from or how much money you have. I love you exactly as you are. Come on in. Someone’s waiting for you. Please,” he said, motioning to Rachel’s parents.
When Joshua’s mother saw Rachel and her parents, she was taken aback. She didn’t expected them to be that well-dressed!
“Oh please, have a seat!” she said softly.
“Mrs. Sutton,” Rachel said. “Do I look worthy enough for your son now? Meet my parents. My father is a professor at a prestigious university, and my mom is an interior designer. I belong to a good family, and we are not poor. I live in mediocrity because that’s how my parents brought me up. WE DON’T BELIEVE IN SHOWING OFF!”
Mrs. Sutton looked embarrassed. “Sorry for what happened, Rachel. I shouldn’t have been so mean to you. I apologize to you and your parents. When I spoke to Joshua yesterday, he told me how much he loves you. He said he’d do anything for you! I will not lie…I was hesitant to meet you and your parents even after Joshua convinced me…But I realized I would be wrong to separate my son from the girl he loved. I canceled my plans just for Joshua and you. His father couldn’t make time today, but I am sure he’ll be with us in the future. I am sorry…”
“Mom basically gave us a pass, Rachel, and if she did, so will dad. All I wanted was for our families to meet and…” Joshua dropped down on his knees and pulled a box from his pocket, which contained an old vintage ring. “My grandmother gave this ring to my mother and mom wants to give it to you. Rachel Baker, will you marry me?”
Mrs. Sutton chuckled and said, “Tell him yes before I change my mind, Rachel.”
Rachel nodded, teary-eyed. “Oh God,” she whispered. “I will! I love you!”
What can we learn from this story?
Love is pure and doesn’t rely on material things. The way Joshua loved Rachel for her personality and not status is a beautiful example of this.
Don’t judge someone by their looks or status. Joshua’s mother realized she was wrong to judge Rachel for her looks and apologized to her.
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