“One fine autumn day, beautiful romantic music was streaming from a parked car. The car was driven by a young, beautiful woman, Laura. She was a successful businesswoman, thanks to her affectionate parents. She graduated from the London School of Economics and successfully took over her father’s business after he died early.
Laura was in no way spoiled by the big money she was making, and she never chose her boyfriend based on the size of his wallet or the amount on his credit card. What mattered to her in a man was a kind heart and a kind soul, and now it looked like she had finally found the ideal partner. Lucas was seven years older than she was and taught at the university, to which she came in connection with the international student exchange program. He noticed this good-looking and rich student at once.
One time, immediately after classes, a terrible thunderstorm broke out, and Laura offered to drive him home where he lived with his mother, dying to move out the first chance he would get. Such an acquaintance was the opportunity of a lifetime, and he grabbed it with both hands. His mother did not exactly approve of such marriages, of which she informed her son in quite a straightforward manner, “She’ll turn your life into a living hell, son.”
Although Lucas was not exactly in love with Laura, he proposed to her anyway. However, after a few years of marriage, when most of Lucas’s financial problems were solved, his heart started longing for true romance. By sheer coincidence, on the road leading to their house, he unexpectedly met his fate – the poor thing’s old car broke down, and Laura, like a true gentleman, offered to help. The moment he saw that girl, he probably, for the first time in his life, understood what falling in love meant. He at once forgot all about his commitments and even about his pregnant wife, who was about to give birth to their child.
They began to meet nearly every day, even now, instead of going to the maternity center and bringing his wife the things she needed for her newborn, he decided to go and spend a few sweet hours with his lover, snuggling in the back seat of her car. He was listening to what his love was saying. Lucas, the long-legged blonde, was saying, “We’ve been dating for three weeks already. I think it’s time to legitimize our relationship.”
Lucas looked back at her with loving eyes and, hugging her tightly, said, “My dear, you underestimate me. I’ve almost done everything. My beloved wife has already signed over her house and her business to me. There’s just one little thing left to do – turn Laura out to the four winds. Of course, I will not dump my daughter; I will help her, but my wife will not get a single penny from me. Let this be the compensation for my moral damage from the years that I spent next to her.”
The whole last month, Lucas tried to talk Laura into writing him a power of attorney for managing her company, which he was going to simply sell once the whole thing was over and then leave with his new passion for warmer climes.
“Oh, it’s that great. Then I propose to celebrate the occasion. Why waste time? Let’s go to the maternity center right now and tell your wife that we love each other. But first, let’s drop by a travel agent. I really want to fly with you to the place where the warm sea is rolling its waves and the hot sun is shining. Can you imagine? I have never been any further than our Black Sea,” Monica said, half complaining and half hinting.
“Just wait a little; I’ll show you so many countries, and you will walk on clouds everywhere we go, I promise,” Lucas whispered lovingly.
After that, the lovers drove downtown, where they hurried to the top travel agency. They exited with happy smiles on their faces. At the same time, a woman stood by the window of her ward in the maternity center. Her face was tired and pensive, yet her eyes showed the boundless happiness of maternity. She was holding a newborn baby to her breast.
Laura did not really expect her husband to show up because lately, he had been pretty cold with her. She saw strange changes in her husband, and not for the better. While she was pondering this, Laura saw her husband’s SUV pull up to the clinic’s parking lot. But to her horror, her husband delighted not with flowers and gifts for her and her daughter. Opening the passenger front door, he helped another woman out of the SUV, after which they proceeded to the entrance without so much as breaking their embrace.
Laura’s heart sank. For some time, she had a flickering hope that she simply mistook the man for the car, or maybe this was just a bad dream, and she only had to open her eyes, and everything would dissolve. But no, this was not a dream. A few minutes later, the ward door opened. Formerly, no visitors were allowed, but since the entrance was only guarded by an elderly lady, a simple box of chocolates did the trick.
On the threshold, Lucas stood with a disgusting smile on his face, accompanied by his new passion. Without beating around the bush, he stated that they must break up because they were totally different people. Obviously, he could not think of a better excuse. His marrying her was the biggest mistake of his life. Now, however, he had found his true love with whom he was ready to spend the rest of his life. During this tirade, his girlfriend was only giggling stupidly and even had the audacity to wink at Laura.
Such an unexpected visit and betrayal by the closest person was something that Laura was not prepared for. Slumped down on the couch, unable to utter a single word, tears rolled down her cheeks, and she no longer heard what else this traitor was saying. Who tricked her into giving him the power of attorney to manage her business, even their house, the one she thought they were happy in, was now his? There she was, deprived of her business, deprived of her property, and with a newborn daughter on her hands.
At last, Lucas, obviously angered by the fact that instead of making a scene for half the clinic to hear, his wife was only crying silently, shouted, “You may meet yourself from the clinic, your goddamn self! As for me and Monica, we are heading down south for warmer climes. And one more thing, don’t forget to vacate my property by the time we get back.”
After a few other unmotivated insults, Lucas departed with Monica in tow. Laura still sat on the bed, weeping. Soon, however, Luke, her supervising physician, a very kind and decent man, walked into the ward. When he was walking down the corridor, he heard what happened in the ward, becoming an unwilling witness to the treachery. Seeing Laura crying, he sat down on the edge of the bed. He looked at her with compassion and, holding her little hand in his, said softly, “You don’t have to kill yourself over someone who is not worthy of you. Your future is not carved in stone; there are so many beautiful things in this world and new, interesting challenges to look forward to.”
“My wife also ditched me back in the day when I was just beginning my practice, but she wanted everything there and then. Now I have my own clinic, but I also work as a simple doctor in this maternity center because not everyone can afford top-class medical services. By the way, my ex-wife works as a janitor now. She had a lot of ambitions but no desire to work at all. Like I said, she wanted everything there and then, but as it’s often the case, people who want this often end up nowhere.”
These words cheered up Laura a bit, and the warmth issuing from the doctor’s hand warmed her broken heart. Meanwhile, Lucas and Monica were hurrying to the airport to fly away for a romantic vacation by the seaside. They spent two wonderful weeks on the Mediterranean Sea, and Lucas was generously spending his money on various kinds of entertainment, spending a rough total of seventeen thousand dollars. Incredibly happy and suntanned, they returned to their home city and immediately went to check whether or not Laura had moved out of the house. If she didn’t, they were prepared to set the police loose on the former mistress of the house.
Imagine Lucas’s surprise when he saw his ex-wife sitting pretty in the house, as if nothing had happened. She also had a nanny who helped her care for the baby. At the moment, Laura was enjoying a cup of tea with her doctor. For all intents and purposes, the doctor was more than just a doctor now.
What came as the biggest shock was the fact that it was not Lucas who kicked Laura out of the house, but the doctor, who sent Lucas flying down the stairs, easily sidestepping him and treating him to a good boxer’s punch. Strangely, it was Monica who had the time of her life watching all this.
Then the explanation came. It had been Monica’s idea to stage this test for Lucas. Monica was Laura’s friend from way back. Monica had been living abroad for a few years, and when she got back, she suggested that Laura test her husband for temptation resistance. Laura simply could not believe that her husband would betray her so easily, and this was one of the reasons why she ultimately agreed to such an experiment.
The real truth came as a terrible shock to her, but she decided to go through with it in order to punish the cheat who was also intending to deprive her of her business and her property. Of course, the power of attorney, as well as the papers in which she signed her house over to him, were all fakes, about which Lucas soon found out. This was only the start of his misfortune, however, because he owed the bank a handsome sum of money that he spent on Monica, who did not think twice about grabbing the opportunity of having a couple of weeks of good living at someone else’s expense.
The only option for Lucas was going back to his mother, who thought it was her honorable duty to remind Lucas every day about the stupid things he had done. “I did tell you, didn’t I?” drove him up the wall.
He got back to his teaching job, only not at a university but at a regular high school. He had gotten so engrossed in his romance that he stopped showing up at the university altogether and eventually was fired. The debt to the bank would be deducted from his modest salary for many years to come, as would the alimony for his daughter whom he betrayed the very moment she was born.”