A rich man marries a poor girl against his family’s wishes. They have three children and are very happy until he has to take over the family business.
Rick Pace fell in love with Ada the moment she served his caramel latte. He kept coming back to the same café day after day until he persuaded her to go out with him. Six months later he proposed and she accepted.
Rick’s family was outraged when they discovered he was marrying a penniless orphan from Queens, but he didn’t care. He loved Ada.
He took a job in a Fortune 500 company in Houston, away from the family and its influence. He never imagined that he’d ever feel differently about Ada or his family.
Seven years later, Rick and Ada were the proud parents of three adorable children, and as happy a couple as anyone had ever seen. Then Rick’s uncle Denton passed away and their world was turned upside down.
Uncle Denton had been running the family business for the last 30 years, and now the charge was passed to Rick. That meant that the young family had to leave Houston and move to New York, where the rest of the Pace family lived.
Rick said, “I was thinking, that just at first we could live in the family house? It has over 20 bedrooms, lots of space for us and staff — and of course, my mother and my aunt will help us settle in!”
But Ada hesitated. “Oh Rick, I’ve always loved us having our own home!” she said. “And I don’t know if I like the idea of sharing with two women who don’t like me!”
“Nonsense!” cried Rick. “That was years ago! They can see now how happy you’ve made me, and they can’t wait to meet the children!”
So Ada gave in, and two weeks later, the family was in New York being introduced to the Paces. Rick’s mom, Frances, smiled and kissed Ava on the cheek and looked the three children over.
Tessa was five, Gina was three, and little Rick Jr. was just nine months old. “Goodness!” cried Frances. “What pretty children! But where did they get such big blue eyes?”
“My grandmother had blue eyes,” Ada said. “I’m glad they got the gene!”
“Indeed!” said Frances and smiled a nasty little smile. Behind that smile, her devious mind was working a mile a minute. She thought she might have just found a way to get her son to drop this unsuitable girl and her horrible children…
A few weeks later, Frances walked into her son’s office. “Darling,” she said. “We need to talk! I didn’t want to bother you, but, honestly…”
Rick frowned. “What’s happening, mom?”
“It’s Ada…I didn’t want to tell you, but…I think she’s cheating on you.”
“Ada?” asked Rick incredulously. “Nonsense, mom, where did you get such an idea?”
“I’ve heard her on the phone, Rick,” Frances said. “And the other day I caught a glimpse of a text message — well, it was very indiscreet!”
Rick stared at his mother, his face glowing red. “What else?” he asked.
“The children…” Frances pretended to hesitate. “Darling, I know you love them and it’s not their fault, but you have brown eyes, and so does Ada…Have you considered they might not be yours?”
But Rick wasn’t listening anymore. He was rushing out the door and heading for home. In his jealousy and his anger, he didn’t even stop to think. He walked into the room he shared with Ada and grabbed her phone.
Ada protested but he just shoved her aside. “I want to know what’s going on in my own house!” he screamed. He clicked on the text messages and immediately read one Ava hadn’t opened yet.
It was a very sexy message and it was signed by Jonathan. “Who is Jonathan?” Rick screamed. “Is he your children’s father?”
“Rick, you are my children’s father! Our children!” Ada cried.
“Get out!” Rick shouted. “You and your brats, get out right now!”
Ada gathered up a few of her things and a few essentials for the children and called a taxi. As she walked down the stairs carrying little Rick and dragging a suitcase, she saw Frances smiling her devious little smile and knew who had destroyed her marriage.
Ada raised her head high and left the house with her children. That very afternoon she made a series of appointments and arrangements, and a week later she was sitting opposite Rick and his lawyer.
They were there to discuss the terms of the divorce, but first, Ada’s lawyer said, they had to talk about the children.
Ada said quietly, “Rick, I want you to sign total custody of the children over to me before I agree to the divorce.”
Rick was fuming. “Give me the papers! You can have the brats!” and he grabbed the papers Ada’s lawyer handed over to him and signed them.
“Good!” said Ada’s lawyer with a smile, and she handed Rick a big thick envelope before escorting Ada out of the room. Rick opened the envelope. He had expected to see an outline of Ada’s demands but he was in for a surprise.
Instead, the envelope contained three DNA tests for Tessa, Gina, and Little Rick and proved that the three children were his. The last page was a message from Ada: “I loved you. I never cheated.”
When Rick got home, he showed his mother the tests, and when she saw them, Frances started crying. “If I’d known they were my grandchildren…”
“What did you do mother?” Rick asked, and Frances confessed that she’d been the one who’d sent the text messages to Ada’s phone to make it look like she was cheating.
Rick was devastated and he begged Ada for forgiveness but she went ahead with the divorce and got half of the enormous Pace family fortune. Frances had to beg Ada to be allowed to see her grandchildren and repented for all her scheming.
What can we learn from this story?
Trust is the cornerstone of a relationship. Even though he loved Ava, Rick was ready to believe his mother’s stories and lost his family.
People who meddle in other people’s lives always end up alone. Frances destroyed her son’s happy marriage and he never forgave her.