A rich man who was born into wealth and always had an easy life takes a dig at his estranged sister, labels her as ‘lazy’ and responsible for her poverty. The tables turn in a way he could’ve never imagined when they place a bet and switch places for two weeks.
As his single mother’s only son, Abraham was born into privilege and raised with a silver spoon in his mouth, with every comfort and luxury he desired within his grasp.
From the finest high school education to the most expensive branded clothes and car, he’d never had to lift a finger to get anything he wanted. His mother, Rosaline, made sure her son got whatever he desired even before he could ask her for it! Such was the luxurious king-like life of 23-year-old Abraham…
Ever since he was five and started getting to know the world around him, Abraham thought he was the only son of his estranged father, Michael, who his mom never allowed him to meet after they divorced.
But everything changed one day when Abraham and his mother drove to a far-off town, dressed in black and pulling sad faces, to pay their last respects to Michael, who’d passed away of cardiac arrest.
“You take my place, and I take yours for two weeks… Let’s see who can do better!” Abraham challenged his sister.
That day, Abraham discovered he had a half-sister named Selena, who he never knew existed until seeing her cry. “Dad, please come back… how will mom and I live without you?” she wept when Michael was laid to rest.
Despite basking in riches, Abraham had always felt a strange hollow in his life. Rosaline never talked about his dad and never allowed him to question her about him. She’d raised him sharing nasty facts about his father that no son would want to hear from his mother. She’d told him their marriage was a heedless mistake of her youth and that the only best thing that happened to her was the birth of her son.
So growing up, Abraham stopped asking about his dad and knew very little about him. Moreover, he was pleased with the abundance of luxuries he was getting from his mom. That distracted him from wanting to know more about his estranged dad and what had happened to him after the divorce.
But that evening, after his father was reduced to nothing more than a mound of earth in the cemetery, Abraham’s heart haunted him with many questions. He didn’t know he had a half-sister, and the shocking truth turned his world upside down.
“I have a sister, and you didn’t tell me about her?” Abraham asked his mother on their drive home after the funeral was over.
“She’s not your sister! She never was and never will be!” Rosaline gritted her teeth.
“Mom, you told me dad moved on… that he married someone else after you divorced. But I should’ve known about Selena,” Abraham argued, unable to shake his thoughts off his half-sister.
As he delved deeper into the past, Abraham realized his mother had intentionally kept him away from his father. She’d gone so far as to convince him that the rich and poor could never have anything in common.
Even Abraham had followed in his mother’s footsteps and had grown into someone who valued money over everything else. But the truth about the sibling he never knew existed rocked his world.
“But mom, how could you? You may not have liked dad… I never liked him either, okay? But I still had the right to know about my half-sister,” he broke the silence as she fixed her makeup.
“Look, Aby, honey… your dad was a misogynist… which was why we split. He was never meant to make us happy. I learned through a friend that Michael had a daughter from his second marriage. I didn’t want us to do anything with your dad or his new family. They’re nobody to us… So I didn’t feel it was necessary for you to know you had a sister.”
No matter what Rosaline said, it didn’t seem to ward off Abrahams’s thoughts of his sister.
He may not have gotten a chance to know her, but he felt it wasn’t too late and that he couldn’t just leave her alone like that, considering their father was no more.
The way she cried, asking for their dad to get back during the funeral, kept ringing in Abraham’s head.
He was unsettled, so the next day, he left home early in a crisp blue suit, skipping breakfast, something Rosaline thought was strange. So she immediately rose from the table and blocked his way.
“Honey, what’s the matter? Today is Sunday, and we don’t work on the weekends. Have you forgotten?”
Abraham was the general manager of their textiles business and had made his way to the position without even graduating college. He didn’t feel a degree was necessary to run his mother’s business.
Abraham did a lot of things at work and thought he was the reason behind the business’s success. In reality, his mother was actually doing all the hard work.
“Aby, what’s the matter, darling? Where are you going? You’d promised to take me to the salon today….”
“Mom, I’m sorry! I can’t take you today. I have to meet someone.”
Rosaline’s brows furrowed with disappointment when she guessed whom Abraham was going to meet. And she was never going to let that happen.
“Don’t tell me you’re going to meet Selena! If that’s your plan, I’m not letting you go.”
“Aby, honey, she’s not one of us. She’s poor and not the kind you’d want to waste time with… Selena can never live up to our expectations.”
“Your dad has raised her, so you can already guess what a loser she might be!”
Abraham didn’t utter another word. He stormed past his mother, heading to his car as he put on his sunglasses. He clearly knew Rosaline would be mad at him. But Abraham had already decided that it was time to build bridges with his long-lost sister.
And so, he drove to the address he’d found through a friend on Facebook.
An hour later, Abraham found himself outside a small, shabby old house that looked no bigger than half the garage where he parked his SUV. With a heart full of hope and eyes filled with eagerness, he marched toward the main door with gifts and flowers.
Abraham knocked on the door and waited as his heart began pounding faster. He hoped Selena wouldn’t turn him away for not visiting her and their dad all these years.
He hoped she would recognize him and hug him, crying, ‘Brother!’
Abraham’s heart fluttered with anxiety and hope when the door creaked open. And there stood the half-sibling he never knew existed. Her bloodshot eyes were sunken and hollow, as though they had no tears left to cry.
Abraham was right! Selena’s eyes sparked with joy when she saw him—the brother who her dad had always told her about, smiling back at her on her doorstep.
“Brother!” she cried and froze to the ground. Selena was shell-shocked and speechless. She hadn’t expected her half-brother Abraham to come for her, and it was too good to be true.
“Come in! Please… come in!” she said, stepping aside, and a warm smile twinkling on her face.
Abraham was greeted by the musky odor of rotting wooden furniture and steaming broth in the kitchen.
“It’s just the first day of the bet. I still have thirteen more days, and I’m damn sure I’ll beat my sis!”
“I’m sorry… I… I didn’t get a chance to meet you… and dad,” Abraham stammered. He could not find any tangible reason to tell his sister that he actually didn’t know she existed.
How could he do that? Won’t she be hurt to know that the brother she’d always wanted to meet someday didn’t even know she existed?
“That’s okay! Dad often told me about you… He even showed me your snap when you were at the baseball match last year. He used to be there at all your matches, watching and cheering out loud from the crowd… like an audience!”
“I saw you at the funeral, but I couldn’t talk… you know… dad’s passing was like a nightmare… it still is…”
“What would you like to have, brother? I make ginger tea really well!” Selena added.
“No, I’m good! And these are for you. I hope you like them,” replied Abraham as he unboxed some new sweaters and chocolates he’d gotten for his sister. He didn’t know what else to get her as he was not sure of her tastes.
Abraham stayed at Selena’s house until the afternoon and was tormented when he learned how hard she struggled after their dad’s passing.
As it turned out, Selena had just earned a scholarship to college but was forced to stay home and work as a freelance copywriter to keep the finances afloat and nurse her sick mother to health.
Selena struggled to make ends meet and counted on every penny she made. Her life, in short, was just the opposite of the luxurious one Abraham had enjoyed since birth. He was guilty and decided to help her in whatever way he could. So from that day onward, Abraham often visited Selena against his mother’s wishes.
As he continued to shower his long-lost sister with gifts and attention, Selena couldn’t help but feel a creeping sense of uneasiness. Something about Abraham’s actions felt awkward, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that he had some ulterior motive behind his sudden interest in her life. But what could it be?
Selena found herself in a web of shocking answers when Abraham visited her one evening.
“Hey! I thought you had some meeting today,” Selena was surprised at seeing her brother.
“Mom takes care of the meetings! Nothing to worry about! I got some groceries and… wait, you doin’ the dishes? I can help!”
Selena’s brows shot up in surprise. She was stunned at seeing her brother, who basked in riches and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, knew to do household work.
Abraham volunteered to do the dishes, but even an hour later, he was still in front of the sink with a pile of dirty dishes staring back at him. Selena could tell he was evidently disgusted, and she didn’t like that look on his face.
“You know, Selena… I think you could have avoided living like this, had you just worked harder!” Abraham mocked his sister. “You’re poor because of laziness! You need to buckle up and learn to do smart work.”
“What did you get outta working hard? NOTHING! Look at me! I’m only twenty-three, but look at the heights I’ve reached! You have a lot to learn from me.”
Selena couldn’t believe her ears. Her brother, who she thought was kind and generous, called her ‘lazy’ and claimed she was the root cause of all her problems and misery.
Was this why he was here? To belittle her and show her that he was better and more privileged than her?
Selena tried to reason with her brother and jumped in her defense. But Abraham wouldn’t listen, and soon, they found themselves locked in a heated argument.
“Look, Abraham… I can do this alone, alright? I didn’t ask for your help. Mum’s health is in bad condition. And after dad passed, things got worse. I can’t shuttle between work, home, and my studies. I don’t have wheels attached to my feet to keep me running all the time, okay? But I’m trying. So I’d appreciate it if you didn’t call me lazy, which I’m not….”
“That’s nonsense! You’re poor because you’re not ready to work and try new things. You’re lazy like your father. And you know what?” Abraham was getting riled up even more with each passing second, given that no one had ever argued with him like Selena had.
“My mom was right! People like you are good for nothin’. You are born losers and don’t stand a chance to live up to the expectations of the rich like us.”
“If I were you, I’d do much better and not grumble.”
And that’s when Abraham made an outrageous proposal—one that would turn his life around in ways he could’ve never imagined.
“You know what? Let’s bet on it! You take my place, and I take yours for two weeks… Let’s see who can do better!” Abraham challenged his sister.
Selena was hesitant. She knew Abraham had always lived a posh, carefree life with people doing things for him. But she was also tired and disappointed with being told that she wasn’t doing enough.
Selena was not ready to let her brother get away with telling her she was good for nothing and lazy. She didn’t want to let him see her fail. So she agreed to the bet, forcing a confident smile on her face.
“Good luck to you!” Abraham said as he shook Selena’s hand, assured about winning the bet.
A week later, the siblings switched places. Abraham’s mother, Rosaline, was unhappy about his idea but eventually agreed, hoping it would convince her son that he was wrong and that she was right about his sister.
“That girl has hardly made it to college. What knowledge does she have of running a business? My son will finally realize I was always right!” thought Rosaline before introducing Selena as the new substitute general manager to all the employees.
Meanwhile, Abraham took a refresher course for two weeks as he hadn’t graduated with a college degree and got a part-time writing gig. He then shuttled between studying, freelancing, and looking after Selena’s mother.
On day one, everything seemed like child’s play to Abraham, but at the end of the day, he was having a hard time.
He messed the kitchen up as he didn’t know how to cook. And when he came around to check his laptop, his inbox was flooded with work emails for not submitting the articles on time. However, Abraham was hellbent on winning the bet, so he never gave up.
“It’s just the first day of the bet. I still have thirteen more days, and I’m damn sure I’ll beat my sis!” he thought and decided to spend the entire night fixing the articles he was supposed to submit to the clients. But little did he know what was in store for him as he rose to the first streaks of sunlight.
The next day, Abraham woke up to his laptop on his chest. “Christ! Oh—! Turn on… turn on!” his heart started racing.
The laptop battery had died long back, and Abraham had yet to submit the articles as he’d slept during work. When he turned his laptop on, he was greeted with angry emails from the clients and was penalized from the pay for not meeting the deadline.
Abraham had taken work-from-home for granted, but now, he began rethinking all those taunts he hurled at his sister.
At the end of two weeks, all Abraham made was only $10, despite spending endless sleepless nights on his work. Moreover, he was exhausted with all the household chores and couldn’t complete the course too.
Abraham could not believe he’d lost the bet and didn’t know how to face his sister when she came home that evening.
It was like a nightmare when he realized he’d have to accept defeat.
“I’m not used to this stuff! Look, I lead a million-dollar company with my mother, okay?! I’m not meant to do dishes… and freelance… and run to the grocery,” Abraham diplomatically accepted his defeat as he stormed out of Selena’s home that evening. Only if he knew another nasty surprise was on its way.
“I’m getting late! See you at the office, mom,” Abraham hurried past his mother the next day, staring into his wristwatch as he adjusted his tie.
He was ashamed after losing the bet to his sister and couldn’t find a spot to face his mother. To his surprise, she never asked him about anything, so Abraham left for work, guessing little about what was in store as soon as he entered his posh office.
“Selena? What the hell are you doing here?” Abraham’s eyes widened with alarm at seeing his sister sitting on his rolling chair.
“Meet the company’s new general manager, son!” Rosaline’s voice startled Abraham from behind.
He couldn’t believe his eyes. It was a nightmare that shook Abraham’s world under his feet.
“M—Mom? Does that mean I—I am—”
“You’re fired from this position, Abraham! Selena will take your place from today. And you’ll be the company’s new manager!” said Rosaline.
“B—But mom! She doesn’t even have a degree. How can you just let her take my place?”
“Oh, well! You don’t need a degree to be an asset to the company. I must say—Selena did a terrific job with the proposals and presentations she made last week. The clients were impressed. I believe in smart work and not hard work, son! You were doing an amazing job, but Selena outperformed you!”
So from that day, Selena replaced her brother as the company’s general manager. She juggled between her newfound career and studying part-time.
As for Abraham, he realized he knew very little about the business he had been involved in for all these years. He had no choice but to climb up the career ladder as the company’s manager, learning how to do smart work, not just hard work.
What can we learn from this story?
Never look down upon someone’s skills. You may never know their true potential. Abraham placed a bet with his sister to swap places, confident about proving to her that she was lazy and unyielding. To his shock, the tables turned when Selena was placed as general manager in his mother’s company.
Do not judge someone by seeing their circumstances. You may never know what your true capacity is until you walk in their shoes. Abraham thought doing Selena’s work was child’s play when they swapped places. However, doing her work was easier said than done, and at the end of week two of their bet, he managed to make only $10!
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