Sally Evans was beautiful. She stared at her mirror and pouted. She deserved so much more! She looked around at the tiny one-bedroom apartment she shared with her boyfriend Jack Nemes.
It was a dump! Sally was tired of waiting for the good times Jack kept promising her. Once, Sally had believed Jack had the makings of a winner, bursting with brilliant ideas and enthusiasm.
But that had been three years ago, Since then, Jack was stuck in the same dead-end job and the promotions kept going to his more forceful and cunning colleagues. Sally had had enough
When Jack came home that evening Sally was ready and waiting. He walked in smiling. She had to admit that in the looks department Jack had few rivals. He really was handsome, and sweet.
But sweetness and good looks did not buy designer shoes or a holiday home in St. Kitts. Sally wanted to fly to the Caribbean in winter and spend summer in the Hamptons. She wouldn’t get anywhere with Jack.
Oblivious to his girlfriend’s dissatisfaction, Jack walked over and kissed her. “Babe, look what I got us!” Jack showed her a bottle of sparkling wine. “I got us some champagne!”
Sally turned her face so his kiss fell on her cheek, “Champagne? That’s not champagne. You can’t afford champagne, Jack.”
Jack flushed. “Sorry, Sal, you’re right, but we do have something to celebrate!”
“Do we?” asked Sally coldly, “And what is it this time?”
“Well, I managed to get Mr. Gullian alone and I pitched him my idea, and he told me he’d think about it…”
“Stop it!” Sally screamed, “Just STOP! Gullian is NOT going to think about your stupid idea. He was fobbing you off to get rid of you.”
Jack shook his head. “Honestly, Sally, I think he really will. I could see he was impressed…”
“IMPRESSED? You really are dumb, Jack! No one could possibly be impressed by your stupid ideas. They don’t even make sense! You are a dreamer, Jack, and I can’t live on dreams.”
Jack was pale. “Look, I know it’s taking longer than I thought, Sally…”
Sally laughed cruelly. “Longer? How much longer? Another year? Three? Thirty? I can’t wait, Jack, I want to LIVE.”
“I’m doing my best, I work hard, you know I do. I just haven’t been lucky…”
“You were lucky. You had me, but that wasn’t enough of a motivation, was it? I’m a woman who needs and deserves more than you can give me.”
Jack’s voice shook. “I love you, Sally, I love you so much…”
“Love…Oh yes! That’s what my mother settled for, and she lives in a trailer park on Desmoines with a loser. I am not making the same mistake.”
Sally walked into the bedroom and picked up the bags she had already packed. “I’m leaving you, Jack. It’s over.”
“You had already decided…Your bags are packed.”
Sally laughed. “Of course, what did you expect? While you’ve been dreaming, Dean Barton’s been offering me everything I ever dreamed of, Jack, all those things you can never give me.”
Barton? Your boss?” Jack shook his head. “Sally, please, listen…”
“Goodbye, Jack!” Sally said, “Have a great life.”
It would be two years before Sally saw Jack Nemes again, and by then her life had changed more than she had ever imagined. She was pushing a pram down the avenue when someone walked up to her.
“Sally,” the man said, “Sally Evans, how have you been?” It was Jack, looking as handsome as ever, and beautifully dressed in what was obviously a designer Italian suit.
Sally gasped. “Jack! Well hello! What a surprise…”
Jack grinned. “Well, I’m back in town. I’ve been setting up offices in London and Tokyo for the last two years, but I’m hoping I can stay put for a while, catch up with old friends.”
Sally realized that if she’d been patient just a few months longer she’d had been with a man who loved her.
Sally smiled. “Wow! So your idea…”
Jack grinned. “Mr. Gullian backed me, and my crazy idea really took off! But what about you?” Jack leaned in and looked at the baby in the pram. “That’s such a cutie! You’re lucky, Sally!”
Sally flushed. “That’s not my baby. I’m working as a nanny now.”
“What about you and Barton? I thought it was serious…”
Sally’s eyes filled with tears. “He left me. He fired me the same day. Nobody wanted an assistant with a reputation for getting involved with the boss…”
“I’m sorry, Sally,” Jack said sympathetically, “you deserved better.”
Sally shook her head. “No. I got exactly what I deserved. I’ve thought about you a lot, Jack. I was wrong, I said some things… I’ve wished I could take them back many times.”
“Forget it, Sally, really. I have. I think of you always as a wonderful girl I was lucky to have in my life.”
Sally smiled hopefully. “Jack, do you think, maybe…”
At that moment. Jack’s phone rang. “Sorry Sal, just one moment!” he said and answered the phone. “Babe…Hey! I’m on my way!”
He listened to whatever the person on the other end was saying, then replied: “Riva, I haven’t forgotten the wine! Would I forget our second anniversary? I love you, babe…”
He hung up smiling. “My wife,” he explained to Sally. “We got married two years ago. She worked with me, and she always believed in me. She’s so amazing! You must come and meet her one of these days!”
Sally forced a smile and nodded. “Of course! I’d love to. Happy anniversary!” She watched him walk off and knew that she had thrown away the love of her life, a chance at happiness she could never retrieve, and all because of greed.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Love is worth more than money. Sally spurned Jack’s love because he couldn’t give her the luxurious life she craved but later discovered that she’d thrown away her chance at true love.
2. Financial success is not the measure of a person. Sally wanted status, and money, but the man she chose was shallow and disloyal. She learned that money doesn’t make a person better.
3. Patience is the greatest of virtues. Sally realized that if she’d been patient just a few months longer she’d had been with a man who loved her and had the financial security she’d craved, and the regret would follow her for the rest of her life.