In the days leading up to her wedding, Paula was excited about marrying a man who seemed almost perfect. While preparing for the wedding, she conducted one last test for her fiancé to see if their values were truly aligned.
25-year-old Paula recently graduated from her studies in the UK. She was a hardworking woman preparing to lead her parents’ company in the US. Even though she understood she had to gradually involve herself in the business, she couldn’t wait to apply her ideas to the company.
As soon as she returned home, she spent every day at work. She was involved in the daily running of the business. She also founded a charity project to help needy people in her hometown. This project fulfilled her and kept her in touch with people in the community who needed the most help.
Paula’s parents were very proud of her. They could see that their daughter was passionate about the business and the charity project. But they were worried about her personal life. “We just think it’s time for you to lessen your workload and start socializing,” Paula’s mother said.
“Relax, mom; I’ll make time eventually. I want to ensure that all these projects, especially the charity one, are sustainable,” Paula replied.
“But we would like grandchildren,” her father added, “The sooner, the better.”
“It’s funny you’re both talking about grandchildren when you were never satisfied with the guys I used to bring home before I left to study,” Paula said.
“Yes, but those boys weren’t good enough for you; you’re older now with better judgment, so we trust you,” her mother replied.
Paula assured them she would consider looking for a partner. “But don’t think it will happen tomorrow; I need to sort out the business first,” she said.
A week later, Paula was rushing to a meeting across town when she came across a gentleman giving food to a homeless man. She noticed how well he was dressed and interacted with the man with kindness. She walked up to him and introduced herself. “I’ve never seen you around town before,” she told him.
“My name is Curtis; I just moved here to establish an office for my business,” he said.
While introducing themselves, another beggar walked up to them to ask for some food. Curtis immediately pulled out a thick wad of cash and handed it to the woman.
Paula was shocked; she had never seen such generosity before. “How about we have lunch together when I get back from a meeting today?“ she asked.
Curtis accepted the invitation, and Paula couldn’t wait to know him better. She was fascinated by his generosity, but she wanted to learn as much about him as possible. The lunch date was exciting. Paula couldn’t remember when she last had so much fun with someone.
Curtis took care of several orphanages and animal shelters from some of the proceeds of his business. He also said he helped homeless people. “I never thought I would meet someone with such a generous heart,” Paula said.
“I just think that my success means I also have the responsibility to care for the less fortunate,” he said.
Paula was infatuated by Curtis. They exchanged numbers and spoke every day since their lunch date. A week after meeting, Curtis asked her to be his girlfriend officially. “Of course, I will,” Paula replied excitedly. She also knew her parents would be thrilled about her finally dating someone.
Paula and Curtis spent almost every day together. Curtis planned extravagant dates for her and showered her with gifts. Even though the attention and skills were excellent, Paula appreciated her conversations with Curtis about helping people.
Six months into their relationship, Paula introduced Curtis to her family. “He’s amazing. I hope he marries you soon,” Paula’s mom said.
“I didn’t think you’d pull it off, Paula. He’s a great guy,” said her dad.
Her parents asked Curtis if he was planning on marrying Paula. He agreed and promised he would propose very soon. True to his word, he proposed at a dinner he organized for Paula and her family a month later. Paula said yes, and the wedding preparations were almost immediately underway.
When the wedding preparations were in full swing, Paula had lunch with some of her friends in the city. One of her friends told her that they saw Curtis arguing with a homeless man asking him for money. Paula giggled and said Curtis would never do something like that. “He is a charitable and generous man,” she said.
Paula drove home thinking about what her friend had said at the end of that lunch. There was no way that Curtis would hurt someone in need. She had seen him being generous with people all the time. As the evening went on, she couldn’t get her friend’s story out of her head.
To set her mind at ease, she contacted all the organizations Curtis said he worked with. To her absolute shock, none of the organizations that Curtis mentioned had even heard of him. This scared her. She was sure that Curtis was a good man. But what if he wasn’t?
The following day, Paula decided to answer her question by dressing as a homeless person and going to beg near where Curtis worked. As she disguised herself and watched her fiancé stroll down the road, she got ready to start begging. As soon as Curtis walked past her, she asked him for food and money.
But instead of turning around and paying attention, Curtis didn’t even look in her direction. He carried on strolling past. So Paula decided to run after him and continue asking for money and food. That’s when Curtis turned around angrily and pushed her down. “Get out of my way, you beggar!” he shouted.
Immediately, another homeless gentleman nearby came to Paula’s help. He helped pick her up and shouted at Curtis for being violent with her. “Ma’am, are you okay?” he asked. He said his name was George and she should ask for help whenever she needed it.
Paula could not believe what had just happened. She got up and ran, and as soon as she got home, she asked her mother to cancel the wedding. Her mother asked what happened and she told her the whole story immediately. Her mother decided to run a background check on Curtis.
It turned out that Curtis did not have the wealth he claimed. Even worse, he had planned a performance with the homeless people to gain access to Paula and eventually take her money. Paula was heartbroken at the information she had received.
But instead of trying to punish Curtis, she decided to move on with her life. She was sad a lot of the time, but she comforted herself by focusing on more significant problems in the world. When she returned to work, she thought again about the homeless man who had helped her. She returned to find him and helped him get a job.
George successfully managed to get a job, and he was grateful to Paula. A year later, he came to her office to thank her. George looked unrecognizable. He looked healthy and happy and was thankful to Paula for everything she did for him.
So what can we learn from this story?
The truth always comes out, no matter how big the secret. Curtis fooled Paula and her entire family for a long time, but the truth about his pretenses came out eventually.
Life will get better even in the midst of heartbreak. Paula was devastated after she found out about Curtis, but her life improved eventually and she went on to help other people.
Please share this story with your friends; it might inspire people to share their own stories or help someone else.