A woman goes through a rude awakening in a cafe and decides to do something about it — the first thing to go was her husband, but did he deserve it?
Debra Skye was a 52-year-old woman who was very much young at heart. At her age, she did not recognize herself as an old woman — not that she had a lot of time to dwell on the subject since she had to work three jobs. This was to support her family as she was the breadwinner.
Her husband, Austin Skye, was a man who had slowly become a burden after he lost his job more than two decades ago.
At first, he sought a job with all his strength without luck, but after some time, he stopped searching. Austin had fallen in love with life as a dependent, and gradually, his hobby became lying on the couch in front of the TV, drinking beer and eating chips.
His body was the first thing to change, followed by everything else. He was well fed and clothed even though he was no longer working.
It was a dream come true for a man who was always lazy at heart. Everything was enough for him, thanks to Debra working different jobs, but he did not seem to notice how hard she was trying.
They had married when they were barely adults; Debra was 19 while he was 20, and they had been completely in love with one another.
That love was what Debra thought about as she continued to hope that Austin would once again start putting himself out there for work. She even remained his staunch supporter at times when their relatives ganged up to ridicule him.
They got married so early in their lives because she had gotten pregnant with their daughter, Kayla. Of course, there would have been consequences if they had not wed, but their love had made it a simple, even natural, decision.
Their daughter, like them, also got married early and gave birth to a child who would grow up without his father because the man divorced Kayla.
Left to fend for her child while not being able to go to work because of the minor child in her care, Kayla needed help, and Debra was who she asked for it.
A dependable mother, Debra chose to pitch in financially, giving Kayla a steady allowance to care for herself and her child.
Never once did the steady supply of money waver, and it made Kayla become complacent with findng her own source of income. She stopped trying to search for a suitable workplace and started depending solely on the allowance she was receiving.
It continued that way for a long time until one day, Debra was jolted to a painful realization. That day had been just like any other; the woman left her home early and stopped at Starbucks for her coffee.
Once in the cafe, she joined a line three-people-long and patiently stood waiting for her turn while keeping an eye on her watch.
“Gordon will eat me alive if I arrive late today,” she thought to herself.
Her boss knew how many jobs she worked and usually cut her some slack, but Debra knew she had been pushing her luck in recent days. As she impatiently tapped her feet, several teenagers brazenly walked into the cafe and cut in line just when it was her turn.
The cashier, a young man with a bored look on his face, said nothing and simply started responding to them. Debra couldn’t believe her eyes.
“Excuse me?” she said through gritted teeth. “Don’t you see me standing here? It was my turn!”
“I’m sorry ma’am, kids will be kids right?” the man behind the counter said, offering an awkward smile.
“What’s your deal anyway?” one of the teenagers said.
“Yeah, got somewhere you’re hurrying to?” another said in a mocking voice.
“Don’t think pensioners have anywhere they need to hurry to ma’am,” the third teenager said.
“You can stand in the queue all day if you want,” they chorused as they moved to the other end to collect their orders. Debra had never encountered such unruly children before, and it shocked her but not as much as what they said.
When she returned to her car, she took a long time staring at herself in the mirror. The woman she saw looked very tired. Many wrinkles had become evident on her face, and her dark hair was slowly giving way to grey. Debra couldn’t remember when the gray strands first appeared, and it reminded her of how much she had been neglecting herself.
“I can’t even recall the last time I was in a hair salon,” she thought in despair.
The thought made her wonder what she had been doing all that time, and an answer immediately emerged — slaving away.
It made her very upset and realize that all her life, all she had been doing was trying to please her family, at the expense of her own well-being. “This has to end,” she told herself.
The first thing Debra did was call her daughter to inform her of her decision.
“Hello mama, I was just going to call you,” Kayla said as soon as she picked up the call. “I was hoping you could send me my allowance earlier than Friday?”
“No Kayla, I will not do that,” Debra said, annoyed that her daughter had not even let her speak.
“What? Mama, why?” Kayla complained.
“Because you’ve grown too complacent with your lot in life. It’s time for you to wake up.”
“What are you saying mama?”
“I’m saying effective immediately your allowance is terminated and you’ll no longer be receiving it. If you want money, get out there and work for it.”
With that, Debra hung up and went in search of a beauty salon, where she had her hair dyed before getting a beautiful haircut, manicure, and many other procedures.
She turned her phone off to enjoy what had become a novel experience, and after that, she headed to a mall and got herself several beautiful dresses, one of which she decided to go home in. Her old clothes did not leave the mall with her.
Upon arriving home, her husband, who had picked up a call from her boss redirected to their landline, asked where she had been.
“Two of your bosses said you didn’t turn up for your shifts,” Austin said from his position on the couch. When he turned around to look at Debra, he coughed up the bite of chips he had just swallowed.
“Debs, is that you?” he asked wide-eyed.
“Yes, it is,” she replied stiffly.
“You went clothes shopping and all when you were supposed to be working?” he asked her angrily.
She gave him a vague answer but he started scolding her about how much money she wasted treating herself to all those nice things.
They were in the middle of that heated conversation when Kayla walked into the house with all the confidence of a righteous person done wrong. “Why would you cut my allowance off?” she asked without pausing to read the room.
After a moment, she took in her mom’s new look and pointed out how comfortable she was spending so much on herself while refusing to help her.
Debra had to take a moment to calm herself down before responding by explaining what had happened to her daughter. The girl was still trying to contain her shock when her mother turned to her father and revealed her desire to get divorced.
“I’m done cleaning up after you Austin,” she said. The man was shocked. He could not understand why she suddenly switched upon them, but Debra did not back down.
“For the past two decades, I have shouldered this family’s financial burdens. But now I’m tired and would like to focus that energy on myself,” Debra said tearfully. It was like admitting defeat, but what choice did she have? Those she was fighting for had given up a long time ago.
“I want you to leave,” she said.
“What? You can’t mean that,” Austin said.
“I do,” she said, then went past him to get to their room. After that night, Austin’s bruised pride caused him to move out of their home without trying to beg for forgiveness, and Kayla stopped asking Debra for money.
A month later, Debra quit her hard and disliked jobs and settled with one that really brought her passion. She lived her life, traveled the world, and when she could, helped her daughter to look after her grandson.
Debra never regretted her decision to divorce her husband even though he begged her to return after he found a job. “I will keep your offer in mind,” she’d told him, and he had not stopped trying to deserve her ever since.
Debra never regretted her decision to divorce her husband even though he begged her to return after he found a job | Source: Pexels
What can we gain from this story?
Self-love is non-negotiable. Debra sacrificed for her family without thinking about herself until the rude kids pointed out just how much it was affecting her. Her awakening brought about change, and she was able to start living for herself once more.
Never stop trying. Kayla and Austin gave up so easily because they were getting all they needed through Debra, who never complained. They forgot that the only way to move forward was by trying, but luckily Debra was there to remind them.
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