A man is shocked when he sees the woman he abandoned when she was in a wheelchair enjoying a walk with another man.
Rose Jones had always been lucky. Right from her childhood, it seemed like life had been bent to fulfill her every desire. She was born into a middle-class family who cared very much about formal education because they believed it was the only way to make a name for themselves.
Rose excelled at her studies with an effortless grace as a child, making her family proud. She kept up her stellar performance throughout high school then as a college student.
Joe abandoned Rose after learning that she would be condemned to a wheelchair | Source: Shutterstock
Rose had a charming aura, and her good looks were a perfect match for her sharp intellect. As a result, she was quite popular in college but only for good reasons.
Her love life was also a fairytale; only the most reserved guy in class could have her attention. Those relationships usually ended with her walking away, but her previous experience had not been like that.
This made Rose decide to leave her options open for a different kind of guy; usually, she preferred nerdy, introverted, perhaps moody boys, but after her ex trampled all over her heart, she decided to go for someone more outgoing.
Rose was used to getting her way all the time — she had a timeline for her goals, and as far as she was concerned, two years after college was ideal for marriage.
She wanted to have kids in her 20s and also have a family before most of her friends, and the only way that could happen was if she found her husband in college.
Rose knew it could also happen after, but she believed the longer they had to get to know one another before marriage, the better. She thought her ex had been it, but he had cheated on her — the search would have to continue.
Rose had a charming aura, and her good looks were a perfect match for her sharp intellect | Source: Pexels
A couple of months before she finished college, Rose joined her friends for an all-girls night out, and on that fateful day, she met her Mr. Right, Joe.
He ticked all of her boxes, and Rose decided he was the one just two minutes into their conversation. Shortly after that meeting, the two started their relationship.
To Joe, Rose was a woman he wanted to keep. She was smart, and her beauty was mesmerizing. He was a perfect match for Rose as well; he even had a job as an architect, and his salary could easily help him afford an apartment.
All of these factors pushed the two lovebirds to take things to the next level just five months after they met. The proposal had been spontaneous, and it didn't even occur to Rose to say no.
After the marriage, Rose and her husband moved to a nice neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas. They were the latest newlyweds in the neighborhood, and everyone admired their dedication to each other.
As time passed, the two expanded their family twice with the birth of two boys, and life passed slowly, easily, and happily for the family — then Joe lost his job.
Their relationship started going downhill from there, with Joe's anger always hovering beneath the surface. He had no compassion for her pain as finances got tighter and his tolerance for her complaints waned.
Shortly after that meeting, Joe and Rose started their relationship | Source: Pexels
He would snap, curse or yell at his wife for the smallest things even when she was making sense. The former architect believed her advice was usually silly and blamed her for his unemployment.
His nasty behavior dragged on for months, then years, but Rose held on, believing that her role as a wife was to be supportive of her husband regardless of what was going on.
She had a passion for interior design, and she channeled her misgivings and unhappiness into making it work while simultaneously supporting her family.
She kept it up for two years, then Joe's toxicity started to eat at her. Finally, she told her close friend Becky, a divorced mother, about it. "Becky, I think I've reached that stage where I'm starting to lose it," Rose said over coffee one day.
Worried by her tone, Becky Reinhard looked up from the bowl of stew she had been sipping. Rose looked a bit pale and stressed.
"Oh boy," the single mother said. "Is this about your husband? Or the kids? Teenage boys can be a lot to handle."
"It's Joe. He can't seem to not yell at me every single time we interact, and after everything, he never shows remorse. He makes me feel like the cause of his misery — his joblessness," Rose said.
Becky first gave a sigh of relief — the man was not hitting her, that was something. He wasn't staying away from home either; the single mother thought it could be worse, so she shunned her friend.
She kept up with supporting her family for two years before Joe's toxicity started to eat at her | Source: Pexels
"Rose, I think you really just have to be patient. You are fortunate there is even a man in the picture, some people have it worse," Becky pointed out, referring to herself.
Rose did not like what Becky said, but rather than take her anger out on the woman, she just exhaled loudly and slowly, after which she decided there was no point telling a divorced woman about her own marital trials.
"You're right," she said. "Some do have it worse, but I know something is different, Joe is no longer the same man I fell in love with."
The discussion ended without a solution from Becky, but Rose decided she would keep putting in her best.
On the day of their 12th wedding anniversary, Rose thought about taking Joe out on a date, so she scheduled a reservation at a classy restaurant, and when she got home from work, she told him about it.
Joe didn't think there was anything special to celebrate, but he agreed to the date on the condition that she foot all the bills. Later that day, they drove to the restaurant and had what seemed like a good time.
As they headed home much later, Rose started telling him about a job vacancy at an architectural company. She thought Joe was a good fit for the job, but the pay was only about $1000 per month.
On the day of their 12th wedding anniversary, Rose thought about taking Joe out on a date, so she scheduled a reservation at a classy restaurant | Source: Pexels
"That's not good enough for me!" he had told her, and they had argued about it in the car for some time. As usual, that degenerated into Joe talking down to Rose. He called her terrible names and told her he had already planned their lives.
"You are a pathetic woman! I don't need your counseling. I'll deal with this crisis all on my own!" he yelled.
The direction the conversation had taken shocked Rose, who thought she was only acting genuinely concerned, especially since they had two mouths to feed and clothe — not to mention their college fees.
It got her upset, and rather than just overlook his anger, Rose returned it, further making him more unsettled and harsh.
She was not ready to back down for him again, but after she noticed that his driving was becoming more reckless, Rose decided it was not the time or place for a face-off, so she went silent.
This aggravated Joe's anger even more, so he kept nagging and taking his eyes off the road. At some point, he swerved into oncoming traffic while facing her, and before Rose could shout a warning, a car crashed into their own.
Joe swerved into oncoming traffic while nagging at and facing Rose, and before she could shout a warning, a car crashed into their own | Source: Pexels
When she woke up hours later, Rose felt uncomfortable and sad for some reason. She also felt pain all over her upper body while her lower body was … absent.
She opened her eyes and saw tubes embedded into her skin, and she noticed that ever-present smell of antiseptic in the hospital. That was when she remembered the accident.
Her first instinct was to ask after her husband's health, and a few minutes later, Joe walked in with the doctor; his forehead had been wrapped in a medical band, but besides that, he seemed unhurt.
She wanted to mention how happy she was that he was okay, but Joe had other things on his mind. First, he asked the doctor about what would happen to his wife who told him she would never walk again.
The doctor repeated the same thing to a stunned Rose, but rather than give her time to process it; Joe got all up in her face. "Do you hear that! You will never use your legs again, and that will affect us. I mean, how will you get to work?"
His statement appalled the hospital staff who were around, especially because they could see how deeply his words cut Rose. She tried to stop the tears from flowing, but her efforts were useless. It hurt her that her husband spoke those words more than it hurt that she had lost use of her legs.
A few days after she was discharged from the hospital, Joe packed his belongings and announced to the family that he would be leaving. He admitted that he needed a fresh start and that he couldn't live with a disabled woman for the rest of his life.
Rose woke up to find herself in a hospital bed | Source: Pexels
It broke Rose's heart, but she decided to focus on her children, who could be taken away by social services if they were not receiving adequate care.
After her husband left, Rose turned to her two boys and assured them all would be fine. "Everything is gonna be just fine, boys, we have each other." The boys nodded their agreement, and John, the oldest, said, "We don't need him, mom. You deserve better."
This soothed Rose's heart, and she vowed to make her boys happy again. They worked as a team from then on.
When John became a senior, he was able to find employment, and his brother took over the household while Rose continued building her business virtually.
Everything was working smoothly, and the progress gave Rose hope that one day her legs would work too. To that end, she scheduled visits at a hospital close to their home and started learning to walk again.
One day, she was attempting to go down a ramp after her session at the hospital when she tumbled out of the wheelchair. Fortunately, a young doctor had been around.
Everything was working smoothly, and the progress gave Rose hope that one day her legs would work too | Source: Pexels
His name was Andrew, and he had just been transferred to the hospital. He helped her without making her feel terrible about her disability, and thus a friendship was born.
He pointed Rose to a personal physiotherapist who eventually helped her learn to walk again, and after that, it was just a matter of time before the two fell in love.
Rose felt safe knowing that she met Andrew at a low point in her life and he loved her anyway. Her boys also liked the man — mostly because he made her happy and seemed to speak their language. He was a welcome father figure for the boys who had grown up knowing an unpleasant man like Joe.
A couple of weeks after their romance blossomed, the lovebirds decided to enjoy an evening stroll in the park. Imagine Rose's surprise when they ran into Joe, who looked unrecognizable, poor, and shabby, but still looked familiar to his former wife.
When Joe saw settees on her, he had gone deadly still, shocked to the bone. "What in the… ? You can walk? … How, how is this possible?" he asked, tears in his eyes.
Rose, shocked by his dismal state, replied, "I suppose all I needed was just support from the right people."
Rose felt safe knowing that she met Andrew at a low point in her life and he loved her anyway | Source: Pexels
She told him about all that happened with her and the boys after he left, and she also pointed out how things would have ended up fine if he had been more patient and supportive.
"I'm sorry, Rose. I mean that. I was arrogant, stupid, and impatient. I realize now just how much I hurt you while we were together," Joe said, clearly remorseful. "If you could forgive me… I know I don't deserve it, but if you did it would mean a lot to me – that's one less person I've crossed on earth," he finished.
Rose was almost in tears by then, but it was mostly out of pity for his dismal state. She could still remember all she suffered at his hands; however, it was all in the past.
She was in a better place now, and she was not about to let anything rob her of her newly found happiness. "It's fine Joe. I forgive you, but I don't speak for the boys. You'll have to ask for their forgiveness too," she said.
"Thank you very much, Rose. May I see them? The boys? I hope they can also forgive me," Joe said, worried.
After Rose and Andrew discussed it for a bit, they decided Joe could return to their home with them —to patch things up with his sons. Joe was grateful for the consideration, and they all returned to their home.
After Rose and Andrew discussed it for a bit, they decided Joe could return to their home with them | Source: Pexels
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