A man whose beloved wife leaves him without an explanation is devastated, then a year later he discovers the reason behind her decision.
Sam Ewell was a happy man. He had been married to Felicity for 8 years and his love for his wife grew with each year. His only woe was that he was finding his job as a top-level executive at an engineering firm increasingly stressful.
He came home at the end of each day longing for the moment he could lay down his load, and relax with Felicity. One evening he came home and walked into chaos, and his life changed forever.
San opened the front door and walked in, calling out “Fee? Babes, I’m home!”
Instead of Felicity’s usual cheerful reply, only the sound of strange thumps from the bedroom greeted his arrival. Sam looked around and noticed that the entire house seemed to be in disarray.
Pictures were missing from the sitting room, and decorative objects too. Frowning Sam walked into the bedroom and found his wife flinging pieces of clothing into one of two suitcases lying open on their bed.
“Fee!” Sam cried in distress, “Babe, what’s happening?”
Felicity turned from the wardrobe to face him. Her pretty face was very pale, but her expression was calm and determined. “Hello Sam,” she said, “You’re home early today. I’d hoped to be done before you arrived.”
“Well, a client canceled a meeting, and I thought we could go out to dinner, take in a movie…” Sam looked at the suitcases. “What’s happening, babe?”
Felicity’s reply was ice-cold, with no trace of emotion. “I’m leaving you. Sam. It’s over.”
“Over? What are you talking about, Fee?” gasped Sam reeling as if from a blow from a giant fist. “Please, Fee, if this is a joke, it’s not funny!”
“It’s no joke, Sam. I want a divorce. My lawyer will be contacting you tomorrow.” Fee said.
“Your lawyer? You have a lawyer?” asked Sam, dazed and disbelieving.. “Fee…Please, I love you…Please, babe, whatever is wrong we’ll fix it. Whatever I’ve done to hurt you…”
There’s nothing you can do to fix this. I’ve made my decision, and it’s final.” Sam knew the determined flex of Fee’s delicate jaw well. His pretty wife was sweet and accommodating but when she made up her mind she was adamant.
“Fee!” Sam whispered as tears trickled down his cheeks, “Why? Please tell me why? Don’t you love me anymore?”
Sam saw Fee flinch, and she turned her face away. “I told you, Sam, it’s over. Please don’t make this harder for us both. Don’t make me say things that will hurt you.”
“There’s someone else?” Sam cried angrily, “Is that it? You’re leaving me for some other man?”
Fee turned to face him, her face a mask of indifference, “I don’t want to discuss it, Sam. You will know everything, sooner or later, I suppose. Word travels, but not now, not today.”
Sam’s desperation reached fever-pitch. In two steps he was in front of Fee, gripping her shoulders in his big hands. “Fee…Fee, I want to know now! NOW!”
Fee raised her chin and looked Sam in the eyes. “You’re hurting me, Sam,” she said calmly.
Sam’s hands dropped to his sides. His voice was quiet. “Is it because of my work? I know I’ve been stressed…”
“It’s not your work, it’s nothing that you did, it’s nothing that you can change.” Fee replied. “Please don’t make this more difficult for us both, Sam. It’s just over.”
Sam turned his back and walked out, walked away from the sight of his beloved wife preparing to leave him. He walked out of the front door and kept walking. He lost track of time, and when he returned it was dark. Fee was gone.
Sam walked around the house. Everything that would have reminded him of Fee or their life together was gone. Then on the top shelf or their bookcase, he found a tiny music box.
Sam picked it up. He and Fee had bought the music box together on their honeymoon, at a flea market in Kingston Jamaica. It was painted French porcelain and when wound played a haunting little tune, Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.”
Sam had thought the music sad, but Fee had loved it. Now listening to the chords of the song, Sam started sobbing, his heart breaking. In the morning he dressed for work. He hadn’t slept. It would be a long time until he slept again.
Every night when he lay down on their bed, he could smell Fee’s perfume. He clung to her pillow, he raged and begged, but there was no answers, the phone didn’t ring. He kept dreaming that the door opened and Fee walked in.
Sam threw himself into his work, welcoming the demands and the pressure of his demanding role. He could forget Fee while he was working, so he started working longer and longer hours.
When he left the office he often stepped into a nearby bar and had a drink. One night a slender brunette with bold eyes approached him. He took her home, and in the morning all he could smell on his bed was her cheap perfume.
There were other women after that, many women until he met Kate. Kate was funny and bright and beautiful, more beautiful, he told himself, then Fee who had been merely pretty.
It wasn’t long before Kate moved in. Sam like Kate. She made him laugh, and her bossiness was amusing. Sam indulged her whims, until the day she found the music box in his bedside drawer.
“Oh my God!” Kate cried, “What’s THIS! What a piece of junk!”
“That’s mine,” Sam said quietly, “Please leave it there.”
“Please!” said Kate laughing, “This is a child’s toy, what do you want with this? I’m throwing it out.”
“Please leave it, Kate, it has sentimental value,” Sam said, frowning. He hated to see the delicate little box in Kate’s hands.
“Sentimental? Why?” asked Kate, amused.
“It was my ex-wife’s. We bought it on our honeymoon.” Sam explained reluctantly. “Please don’t touch it!”
Kate stared at him, astonished. “You still love her!” she gasped.
“NO!” cried Sam angrily, “I hate her, but that reminds me of a happy time in my life. PUT IT BACK!”
Kate placed the music box back in the drawer carefully, and Sam walked out of the bedroom. He never referred to the incident again, and neither did Kate. Then, two months later, almost a year after Fee left, Sam received a letter.
He stared at the envelope. It was from Fee! Sam tore the envelope open and unfolded the letter with trembling hands.
Despite the pain he went through when fee left him, sam still loved her.
“My dear Sam,” he read, “I spoke to your sister Gina and she told me that you have recovered, and have moved on with your life. She said that you are well and happy, and Sam, that is all I ever wanted
The day I left I have the results of some medical exams my doctor had ordered because of my headaches. It turned out that I have a brain tumor, an inoperable one. Their best prognosis wasn’t good, Sam.
I knew that you’d stand by me whatever the cost to yourself, and I knew I couldn’t let you. So I had to leave you, even though it broke my heart, I had to make you hate me so you’d move on.
I know you’ve found someone, and I’m so glad you’re happy. You deserve to be happy Sam. I love you, now and to my last day. Fee.”
Sam was sobbing when Kate found him. “Sam!” she gasped, “What’s the matter?”
“My wife…” he said, “My wife…”
“Your ex-wife,” Kate said sharply, “You mean your EX-wife!”
Sam looked up at her. “My wife, always and forever my wife. I’m sorry Kate, you were right, I do love her. I have to go to her, be with her…”
An hour later Sam was knocking at the door of a modest little apartment across town. After a long moment, the door opened and Sam found himself staring into Fee’s pale, thin face.
She was so thin, and her head was covered with a colorful wrapped scarf. She looked stunned. “Sam!” she gasped, backing away from him, “What are you doing here? How did you find me?”
Sam smiled and reached out his hand. The music box rested on his palm and he wound it and the sweet, sad notes of “Clair de Lune” filled the tiny apartment. “I’ve come to be with you, Fee. I made Gina tell me where you were.”
“Sam, I told you…I explained in the letter…I’m dying. Two months, a few weeks.” Fee said
“It doesn’t matter,” Sam told her, reaching for her hands. “Even if it’s an hour. I want to be with you. I love you
“Sam,” Fee whispered, “I wanted to spare you this! That’s why I left you! I didn’t want you to be here to see me waste away, all the impossible hopes…”
What impossible hopes?” asked Sam.
“Oh…There’s a doctor in Switzerland who’s had success operating cases like mine…” Fee explained.
“So let’s go to Switzerland,” Sam cried, “Let’s GO!”
Sam,” Fee said, “It would cost over $250,000 just for the operation. We could never afford that.”
Sam started grinning. “Silly girl!” he cried, “When you left all I had to distract me was work, so I worked. I worked so hard that I’m now COO, and my bonus for the year was twice what we need for the operation! I’m not leaving you Fee, not now, and not ever!”
What can we learn from this Story?
1. True love wants the best for the beloved. Fee left Sam at the time she needed him most to spare him the agony of watching her dying of an inoperable tumor.
2. Love overcomes any barrier. Despite the pain he went through when Fee left him, Sam still loved her and was determined to spend the rest of her life by her side.
Love conquers all things