Beautiful mechanic girl | Source: Shutterstock
Beautiful mechanic girl | Source: Shutterstock

Rich Man Tries to Buy Poor Mechanic's Daughter, but Pays Too High Price for It – Story of the Day

Prenesa Naidoo
Mar 22, 2024
04:45 A.M.
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Leslie is her father’s good luck charm, from helping him out with the family business to saving the day when he avoids his responsibilities. But what happens when he convinces a powerful client to take his daughter out – all in the attempt to not be sued?


The hazy glow of the workshop's overhead lamps made Leslie sleepy. The air was thick with the scent of oil and metal, which she was familiar with. Eugene, her father and a seasoned mechanic with calloused hands and a grizzled beard, stood beside her, wiping the grease off his tools with a cloth that desperately needed a wash.

Les put her hands into her overall pockets and waited for her father to finish – he was about to show her the tricky part about changing an engine.

"Alright, Les," he said, setting the tools on a board before him. "I'm going to show you the ropes. Pay close attention because we're getting two cars that need new engines this week."

Leslie yawned. Between the daze of the lights and the rhythmic hum of machinery, she was very relaxed and felt at home.

"First things first," Eugene said, wiping his hands on his grease-stained overalls. He pointed to the engine compartment of a battered pickup truck that they had been working on for the better part of the day. "Know your engine. This, right here, is the heart of the beast. Get familiar with its components, so when something is off, you can spot it a mile away."

Leslie nodded. She wanted to learn all of this. Her father pointed to the toolbox at their feet.


"Also, tools are your best friend, Les. Treat 'em right, and they'll treat you right. Now, grab that socket wrench. We'll start by loosening the bolts on the battery terminals."

Leslie did as her father had requested. She was glad she knew precisely what he was talking about. He guided her as she worked, continuing his instructions.

As much as she was learning about the work and the industry, Leslie also learned about her father's passion. She was amused by his terminology when it came to teaching her – the 'elixir' of the engine made her want to giggle out loud. But this way, she knew she would never forget what he taught her.

She loved her father. Not very long ago, he was a completely different man - a man who drank his way into rock bottom, and almost lost his life. It wasn't easy being his daughter then, but Leslie was right by his side. She had been there to clean up after him on the darkest days and was there to support and cheer him now, when he was almost a year sober.

She listened intently as her father explained the importance of changing the oil filter, checking other fluid levels, and inspecting belts and hoses. She watched his hands move with the confidence of someone who had spent a lifetime under the hood of cars.


"Now," he said. "When it comes to pulling the engine, precision is key. Every bolt, every connection, matters. Take your time; don't rush anything. This is like surgery for a machine."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

By the end of the day, Leslie had a newfound appreciation for the artistry of mechanics – she always loved working beside her father, but today, he had let her take the reins, teaching her through practice and not just words. As the engine purred to life after the successful swap, Eugene clapped her with a proud grin.

"You're catching on, Les," he said. "Soon enough, you'll teach someone else the ropes."

Leslie's heart grew with pride. She loved being acknowledged for her hard work. She could have chosen anything else, but she decided to be here with her father, and hearing her dad's words, she couldn't be happier about her decision.


"I'm going to go up," she told her father. "Is there anything specific you want for dinner?"

"A tuna melt," he said immediately. "I've been thinking about that for the better part of this afternoon!"

Leslie went to the backroom in the garage and stepped out of her overalls, ready to soak them for the night before washing them first thing in the morning. She added extra laundry powder because her father had bought the wrong type, and it took two extra scoops to make a difference to their grease-stained uniforms. Then, she ran up the stairs to their flat above the garage.

While her water heated up for a bath, she quickly made their dinner – ready to toast when her father walked in.

She needed everything to be perfect at dinner. Only then would she be able to finally bring up the topic she'd been dreading to discuss with her father.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


Leslie had spent most of the night wondering whether she should enroll in college or just do courses that were available at the high school at night. They were for people like her who graduated from high school and then went into a trade.

The entire thing began because her friend, Sav, had messaged her to say that she had gotten into an art course she had her eye on since they were juniors in school.

"Trade is good. You learn practical skills, Les," Sav said. "But having a qualification, even just a certificate, will change everything."

"Yeah, I get that," Leslie had said, her voice muffled as she spoke beneath the sheets, trying not to wake her father in the next room.

"But I do love working with my Dad," she continued.

"There's nothing wrong with that, do it. I'm just saying that it's good to have something to back you up. Think about it."

After the phone call, Leslie tossed and turned, trying to figure out if her friend's words had made her feel less than she was. And while she was happy working with Eugene, she had to admit that having another piece of paper with her name on it would make her feel good.


It would make her feel worthy and secure – if she needed something to fall back on if something happened to their business. Her father was getting older. And she knew how females were viewed in male-dominated industries.

Think about it.

Sav's words echoed in her mind while she finally drifted to sleep.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

The hum of the garage settled into a quiet lull as Eugene and Leslie took a break that afternoon, sipping the coffee she had made in the backroom minutes before. Her father sat with his tools at his feet, wiping them away while he drank from his mug.

"Hey, Dad," Leslie began tentatively, her eyes on the steaming cup.


When she knew that her father had looked up, she continued.

"I was thinking," she said. "I want to take some courses at the community college or the school. Get certified in auto-mechanics, you know? It'll help me learn more, and maybe we can expand the business and all of that."

Leslie looked at her father over the rim of her mug. She knew he wouldn't like it, but it was worth trying. Either way, whatever his reply, she would have some direction, and she could try and push it to the back of her mind.

"Night courses?" he asked, his weathered face reflecting a mix of surprise and concern. "Les, we've got plenty of work to do here during the day. There would be no way that you would pay attention at night. You would be too exhausted. And you know, people learn best by doing, not sitting in a classroom."

Leslie shifted uncomfortably in her seat. This wasn't quite the reply she sought, but he was honest, and she appreciated that.

"I know, Dad, but I want to be the best mechanic I can be – and I think having a formal qualification will open up more opportunities for us. We can take on bigger projects to attract more customers."


Her father sighed, running his hands through his graying hair.

"Les, this business has been in the family for generations. I have taught you everything you know, and you're doing great. Why do you need a piece of paper to prove it?"

"It's not just about proving it, Dad," she said earnestly. "I just want to learn more, to understand the newer technologies, stay ahead of the game. It's not just for me – it's for us."

She saw her father's expression harden. A hint of disappointment flickered in his eyes.

"We must keep this business running, Leslie. It's been my life, and now it is yours too. We're a team, and teams stick together."

Leslie swallowed hard, torn between the desire to further her education and her loyalty to her father.

"I get that, Dad, I do," she said. "But if I can bring more knowledge and skills to the table, won't that benefit us, too?"

Her question was met with complete silence.

"I just want what's best for us," she said quietly.


"So do I," he replied, his tone softening. "You're my apprentice, my partner. We can figure things out together, right here in our garage."

She watched him pick up his mug again.

"But, if this still means so much to you, we can discuss it again in the new year."

Leslie beamed at him.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

The next two days went by rather quietly, lost in the monotony of work and life.

But then, Les noticed something concerning.

The day's work at the garage had wound down, the sun casting long shadows across the workshop. Les tidied up the tools and went to tell her father that she was ready to go upstairs. As she moved through the garage, she noticed her father sitting alone on a worn-out stool by the workbench.


The unmistakable scent of alcohol lingered in the air as she approached him, and her eyes widened when she saw her father pouring a generous amount of amber liquid from a flask into his coffee mug. Panic tightened her chest, and she hesitated for a moment before gathering the courage to speak.

"Dad?" she said cautiously, her gaze on the flask. "Is everything okay?"

"Yeah," he said, a forced smile on his lips. "Just winding down, Leslie-girl. It's been a long day, you know?"

Leslie shook her head.

"Dad, what's in there?" she asked, looking piercingly into Eugene's eyes.

"Wha-ah, this?" the old man stuttered in panic and withdrew the flask as far away from his daughter as he could. "It's nothing, Les."

"So now you're lying to me?" Leslie asked.

She teared up, her heart wanting to explode out of concern and hurt. How could he do this? After everything we've been through?

And just looking at his daughter, he knew he couldn't lie to her kind heart.


"Sorry, kid. It's just something to take the edge off. We all have our ways of coping, right?"

"Dad," she began. "Drinking isn't coping. That's being irresponsible. We know this. Also, what if something happens here? What if a customer comes in, and you're not in the right state? Besides, you're obviously upset about something. Why can't we talk about it?"

"Les, relax, honey. Running a business isn't easy. Your granddad did it, and I've been doing it. It will be your turn soon. It is a lot of pressure. This is just...my way of dealing with things for the moment."

"Oh, like you dealt with it after mom died?" Les blurted out in anger, and instantly turned red with regret. She promised she would never bring that up. She knew how it triggered him. How it could break him all over again.

Eugene looked at his daughter, resignation unmistakable in his eyes. The slight smile he was bearing disappeared, and his face shrunk. Tears were beginning to glisten at the rim of his eyes.

"Dad, I'm sorry. I'm just...concerned about you is all. I don't want you to—"

But Eugene had already gotten up and begun to walk away, taking a few chugs out of the flask.


For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

The weekend was fast approaching, and the garage buzzed with the usual clatter of tools and oil scent. Leslie felt a sense of urgency as she hurriedly moved among the cars lined up for repair. The familiar sound of engines being diagnosed by her father and parts being replaced filled the air.

Since their argument, Eugene had been cold and distant again. He wasn't drinking in plain sight, but Les could always smell pungent rum on his breath when they worked closely next to each other.

At least he wasn't behaving erratically (yet), so she wanted to believe he did have it under control.

And she was glad that Eugene had contacted Carl, an old man who they called in when they needed help from time to time. Having him around also seemed to keep Eugene's mood lighter most of the time.


As Les passed through the rows of vehicles, Leslie's eyes scanned the work orders clipped to the hoods. Her heart sank when she realized the gravity of the situation.

Only two of the eight cars scheduled for completion by the end of the week were ready to go. Anxiety crept over her, knowing that the looming deadline and the expectations they had set for their customers rested on her shoulders.

"Dad!" Leslie called out, her voice carrying a hint of desperation. She found him beneath the raised chassis of a Volvo, his hands stained with grease.

He slid out from beneath, a weirdly relaxed smile on his face.

"What's up, Les?"

"No, Dad, it's not," she said. "We have eight cars due by the end of the week, and only two are ready. We're falling behind, and customers are counting on us."

Eugene wiped his hands on a rag attached to his overalls, seemingly unfazed.

"This isn't the first time we've been down to the wire, Leslie. We'll get it done, don't worry."

"But Dad, this is different," she insisted. "We promised these people their cars back, and we're not delivering. We need to step it up. Maybe we should call in some extra help. Carl is good but old. We cannot afford to lose business or our reputation. And judging by these cars, these rich people could cause us harm."


Her father shrugged, which stressed her out more because he dismissed her concerns like they were nothing.

"Les, we've been through tough spots before. Sometimes, all it takes is telling the customer we need more time to work on their car. They want the best, and we promise to give them that. We'll figure it out. There's honestly no need to stress over this."

Leslie stamped her feet in frustration. She hated this.

"There's no need to make a big deal out of his, Les. You worry too much. We've got time. We'll get those cars fixed. Trust me."

Leslie watched as her father slid himself back underneath the car. She needed to do better. Her father needed to do better.

Why is he taking this so casually? And for the hundredth time, why won't he listen to me and just call his sponsor?

But she didn't want to keep hounding him; his angry side was the side she never wanted to see again.

Instead, she began to work on another car.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


While Leslie worked, she allowed herself to calm down. She wiped her face with the back of her hand, knowing that grease was most likely smeared across her face. She bent down to grab a wrench when the sounds of footsteps and the distant purr of an expensive engine signaled the arrival of a high-profile client.

Mr. Parker, a prominent lawyer known for his sharp wit and quick temper, stormed the garage with a scowl etched on his face. Leslie thought his finely tailored suit seemed out of place amidst the grease and the tools, but his presence demanded attention.

"Eugene!" Mr. Parker barked, his frustration evident. "I brought my car in two weeks ago. It was for a simple fix, and it's still not fixed. I have been patient, but this is unacceptable."

Leslie saw her father wipe his hands on his overalls and approach Jude calmly.

"Mr. Parker," he said. "I apologize for the inconvenience. We've had some unexpected delays, but we are working on it. Your car will be ready soon."

The lawyer's face twisted.

"I don't have time for your excuses, Eugene. I left my car here for an extra week, assuming it would be done. I've got meetings, court appearances, and other things going on. Do you even take this work seriously? Because I'm not going to pay you a cent for slacking off."


Leslie watched her father's eyes flash. She sensed the tension in the garage, and she stepped forward.

"We understand your frustration, Mr. Parker," she said. "We're doing everything we can to expedite the process. We're truly sorry for the delay."

She watched as Mr. Parker's face softened when he turned to look at her. He smiled for a second, but quickly brought back his stern expression when she looked away without acknowledging his smile.

"Sorry doesn't really solve the problem, or make up for the time I have wasted," he said. "I'm going to have to sue you and your father for his incompetence."

Leslie looked at her hands and then down at the ground – anything to avoid eye contact with either of the men.

"Please, Mr. Parker!" her father's voice got heavier with desperation. "We're committed to resolving this issue. We value your business and are taking steps to ensure that your car is ready as soon as possible."

"You are just repeating yourself," the angry customer said, running his hands through his hair. "I've recommended your services to colleagues, Eugene. But if this is the kind of service I can expect, I'll ensure they know about it. I'll see you in court."


"Please, give us a little more time," Leslie said. "I won't rest until your car is fixed up tonight."

The man wanted to ignore her, but his eyes kept drifting to her on their own accord.

What is happening? Why is she so...compelling? I look at her and...it feels like I could be with her forever.

Leslie watched as he looked at her, running his eyes across hers.

She tried to imagine what he was thinking. She hoped she looked like a woman to him, not just a girl dressed in overalls with dirt all over her hands.

Eugene studied Mr. Parker's expression, and from his half-drunken mind, an idea began to spill out of his mouth.

"Oh, by the way. That's my daughter. Leslie. You should take her out!" her father said suddenly.

"Huh?" Mr. Parker asked, never taking his eyes off her.

"Take my daughter out," her father said.

"What?" the young man and woman asked in unison.

"I know you're upset by my actions, but don't take it out on the both of us. Go on, have a date! I'll be here fixing up the car. Mr. Parker, your car will be ready for you by the time you bring her back. And nobody gets sued!" Eugene said, the alcohol making him more and more oblivious to the inappropriateness of what he was suggesting.


"Mr. Parker..I-I'm sorry. Just give us a-a minute," Leslie requested awkwardly, grabbed her father's hand and yanked him several steps away.

"Dad! What the hell?" she exploded, whispering.

"Les. The man likes you! Oh, I've just had the BEST idea, Leslie-girl! He gets to take you out, you get a nice break from all this. It's a win for you, too! Plus, woah, if you get him to fall in love with you, you end up marrying rich, and this stupid legal problem goes away!"

Leslie didn't know whether to be angry or to let the tears out.

"Are you listening to yourself, Dad?" she tried to speak through the disgust of his rum-laden breath.

"Question is, are you listening, Leslie-bear? We could get sued! This is the perfect plan!" He pulled at the sleeves of her shirt and shook her in excitement.

"What's wrong with you? This is the alcohol talking, Dad! I'm not going anywhere. And you really think he's going to fall for this devious pla—"

"Hello? I don't have all day!"

Mr. Parker's voice interrupted Leslie's free-flowing tears.


Mr. Parker had decided to take advantage of Eugene's drunken idea. True, it felt like he was buying his time with his daughter, and it felt like a privilege he had only because he was rich. But it was still a chance he wasn't willing to let go.

Leslie froze, wondering how to salvage this situation.

"Listen, Miss. Are we going out or not?" the young man asked in a serious tone without looking into her eyes.

This man is a creep!

Leslie was turning to run towards the house, but Eugene stopped her, a madness and desperation sparkling in his eyes.

"Leslie, this is the perfect solution," he said. "Go. Let me work in peace. This is how you save our family business today!"

She stared at him in disbelief and could not move – as if she were frozen to the spot. Eugene removed the hairgrip from her hair and smothered her hair around her shoulders.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook


"Do it for us," he repeated, pushing her toward the door, back to Mr. Parker.

Leslie walked over to him and stood silently until he got off the phone. As much as she wanted to run upstairs and lock herself in, she knew her father would retaliate. She was terrified of him, and once again, it seemed like his addiction had taken control of his life.

Only this time, it didn't feel like she could come back from this.

Feeling like a mere puppet, Leslie surrendered and walked up to Mr. Parker.

"Wow, you look beautiful—s-sorry—I mean—"

"Look, I'm doing this for my father. I'm not going to get into your car, or hold hands next to you at the movies, or indulge you in anything. Don't get any ideas. There's a new restaurant nearby - it's the only one that's within walking distance. That's right, I'm going to walk there. 30 minutes of dinner, with me choosing the seats and the topics of conversation is all you get. And you will NEVER bother my father ever again, and you'll take your business elsewhere from now on. Do you understand?" she asked.

"Woah, okay. I'll be on my best behavior, I promise. I'll see you there at eight?" Jude said, trying not to smile. He was genuinely excited at the thought of taking her out.


Leslie nodded tightly and watched the man walk away. As she retreated back home, she saw her father sprawled across the old couch, muttering something, barely conscious.

"Leslie," her father called out to her as she walked past him.

"If that man tries something, I'm gonna knock his teeth out. And take out the brakes from his car. I won't...let anything..."

Mid-sentence, Eugene gave in to sleep, leaving Leslie conflicted about her father once again.

For the man who wouldn't even let her get a degree and secure her future, she was about to humiliate herself.

This is the last thing I will do for you, Dad. Maybe I'll pack up and leave tonight.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook


At exactly eight p.m., Leslie was at the restaurant's entrance.

"Miss, I think you are in the wrong place," a waiter said, looking at her mockingly from head to toe as she walked in. "The welfare office is around the corner."

The place was swanky, and Leslie hadn't bothered to dress up for the forced date.

Leslie was about to give the rude waiter a piece of her mind, when Mr. Parker joined her.

"She's with me. Is there a problem here?"

"Mr. Parker! Of course not!" the waiter cried, his face lighting up.

"Sorry for the misunderstanding," the waiter said sheepishly, looking at Leslie. "Let me show you to your seats."

Leslie stared daggers at the waiter before turning her attention to Mr. Parker. The man was dressed to a 9.5, he had put on his best suit, his hair was perfectly groomed, except for one wavy lock that settled lower on his temple. And his breath smelled refreshed.

This man was clearly trying to impress her, or worse. He could have easily been a creep, but his body language said otherwise.


He was unusually polite and well-mannered, his fingers trembled ever-so-slightly, his face was almost pink with nervousness, and he never locked eyes for too long.

His eagerness and excitement almost made Leslie smile.

They were seated by the waiter.

"Welcome to our gorgeous restaurant," he said.

"So, Leslie, what would you like to eat? Do you have any favorites?" Mr. Parker asked her gently. She hadn't noticed until then how deep yet sincere his voice was.

"Well, Mr. Parker, I have favorites, but they definitely won't be found here. How about something 'gorgeous'?" she asked sarcastically, trying to keep up her serious demeanor.

"Call me Jude, please," he requested Leslie before turning to the waiter.

"Your best champagne and whatever you recommend as 'gorgeous,'" Jude told the waiter.

Leslie smiled at him, and he smiled back. She didn't feel fear this time, as she had earlier in the workshop. This time, she was comfortable being around him.

He's a lawyer, wealthy, and powerful. And I'm just a mechanic's daughter. What could he possibly see in me? she thought, looking at him across the table.


When the food arrived, the waiter carried over a plate of oysters.

"They could have taken their time and cooked whatever this is," Leslie said, looking at the oysters.

"These are oysters," Jude said. "This is how they're served."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

"How do you eat it?" she asked, picking up a shell and sniffing it. "Do I need a spoon?"

"No, no," Jude said. "They're eaten that way. You just slurp it back. So, you haven't eaten any before?"

"No. Okay, that's enough," she said, kicking back the chair, ready to run out of the restaurant.


Leslie felt ashamed of herself. She did not belong in fancy places like this and knew it well.

And it only reminded her of how she felt like a misfit in almost everything she tried to be a part of.

Wait, has this man invited me only so he could mock me?

"Wait!" Jude said, getting up from the table. "You know what? Let's get out of here."

"What? Why?" Leslie was caught by suprise and began to rise from her chair.

"I don't care for 'gorgeous.' How about some French fries?"

Leslie looked at him for a moment and then nodded.


Later, they sat in the parking lot at a fast-food place. Jude handed the fries to Leslie.

"Better?" he asked.

"This is my food," she said. "Hot and easy to eat."

"Hey, watch out!" Jude said, reaching to save a strand of her hair from getting dipped in ketchup.


Leslie pushed him away.

"Sorry," he said. "Best behavior. I haven't forgotten."

They ate in silence for a few minutes.

"Wow, I could take these guys to court for their potatoes," he chuckled.

"Are you going to take us to court?" Leslie asked.

"It's getting cold out here," he said, changing the topic. "Here, take my jacket."

"I always thought that suits were loud and arrogant," she said, allowing Judd to put his jacket around her shoulders.

When he smiled at her, she finally let her guard down.

Maybe this won't be so bad, she thought.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook


When Leslie returned home that night, she felt a strange sense of happiness and hope - and while her father was asleep in the same position on the couch, seemingly without a care in the world, it somehow didn't bother her anymore.

Maybe I'll stick around...maybe Dad will get better soon, Leslie rationalized.

After that, Jude visited the garage every day. The young man's life had changed, thanks to a cute young woman with greasy clothes and a laughter that made his heart sing. Jude had never been happier!

For once, he felt more like a person than a goldmine women were waiting to exploit.

Eugene, on the other hand, was confused by Jude's sudden frequent visits. At first, Eugene thought it was to complain about some issue with the car. But when he saw that Jude continued to visit, he assumed that Leslie had held her end of the bargain. He fell for it!

Jude would surprise Leslie with little notes around the garage, and when she saw them, she always smiled, thinking that he saw her for more than she saw herself. He visited the garage with a car full of pink birthday balloons on her birthday.

I've never experienced this treatment before, she thought to herself. He must really like me. As much as I like him.


Jude made her try new things, and in doing so, he made her feel like a person worthy of love and attention, not just another woman tucked away in a garage working on other people's cars.

She felt different. And she felt seen.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

But then, one day, as Leslie was finishing up her paperwork, sorting through the cars that had been released and the vehicles that had just come in. When her father walked visibly stressed.

"Leslie-girl," he said.

"What?" she asked. Although things with Jude had taken a surprising turn, she still hadn't forgiven her father for pushing her toward Jude in the first place.


"I need your help once again. You know … like how you helped me before with the lawyer?"

"Are you out of your mind?" she asked him, shocked that he would even ask a second time.

"Leslie, sweetheart. I need you. You need to save us again. You need to save me, your father."

"What have you done?" she asked, not thinking about him but about the business.

"There's this one client. He is very angry with me. He is threatening to shut us down because I didn't make the deadline for his car. The car is fixed now, but he doesn't want to pay us. And he's probably not going to rest until he shuts us down. But you can fix this for us. You can go out with him, just like with Mr. Parker."

"Dad," she said. "Who do you think I am?"

"You are my daughter and saving our legacy," he said. "Save your father, or I will lose everything. We will lose everything, Leslie."

"No, I am not going anywhere," she said.

"If you love your father, you will do this one thing," he said. "This is the last time. Please, I am begging you."


Eugene stepped closer to her, kneeling before her as he begged. She could smell the alcohol on his breath.

"I'm begging you. You wouldn't leave me like this. You wouldn't destroy our chance at success. You wouldn't leave me in trouble, would you?"

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

"So, old man," he sneered. "Do we have a deal or what?"

Leslie's skin crawled as the man looked at her. With Jude, she felt uncomfortable about the whole thing, but she hadn't felt like she was in danger. With this man, she thought she and her father would be in trouble if she didn't do exactly what he said.


"Oh, she is beautiful," the man told Eugene. "Come on, sweetie. Let's have some fun. I'll be waiting in the car."


Leslie wasn't going to take this lying down.

"Dad, you've done it. You've made me hate you! If I'd known you were going to throw away everything we had, everything we healing from, I wouldn't have put myself through this pain of being your good little daughter. There's a reason you have no friends, no one to rely on. You walk all over anyone who tries to help you. I'm the fool for believing you could actually get better. Not anymore! I'm getting out of here before the sun sets today. And that sleazy man waiting outside...he's got another thing coming!"

Leslie stormed towards the car where the man was waiting.

"Let me get the door for you," he said.

"Get in your car and leave right now!" Leslie screamed in the man's face.

"Oh, you're cute," the man chuckled before gritting his teeth and forcing her into the car.

What followed was a tussle between the two. Leslie successfully overpowered him at one point, but at just that moment, she saw Jude walking to the garage with two hotdogs – probably from her favorite street vendor, which she had pointed out previously.


Her strange impulse was to duck below the windshield. She didn't want him to see her like this.

In that moment of weakness, the man saw an opportunity and touched her hair, tucking it behind her ear, inching closer.

"We can have some fun here," the man said, touching her face.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

Looking back at Jude, Leslie found him looking straight at her. He stopped and stared momentarily before throwing the hotdogs to the ground and walking away.

"Unlock the door!" she demanded before landing a punch straight to his gut.

She opened the door and ran to Jude, running past her father.


"Jude!" she screamed, running after him.

But it was too late.

How could she do this to me? I thought...I thought she liked me! Jude struggled to breathe as he escaped the scene.

He had tried to buy his way into getting a chance to date her, and he had paid a heavy price for it. The price of a broken heart.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

That night, Leslie moved out of her childhood home. She found a place on the next block, and she found a job at a smaller garage in the neighborhood. It wasn't much, but it had to do for now.

She hoped Jude would come looking for her. But part of her knew it was too good to be true. So Leslie drowned herself in work. That was the only way she could avoid thinking about her father.


He treated you like a piece of meat, she told herself while she was beneath one of the cars.

She wanted to speak to someone but knew Sav would drive her crazy with her comments. Sav would judge her, and she would expect Leslie to tell her every single detail. But she didn't have much to say. And for the things that she had to say about Jude, she wanted to keep to herself.

"Are you ever going to forgive me?" her father showed up at her door one day and asked her.

"I don't think so, Dad," she replied.

"I'm sorry, Leslie. I don't deserve to be forgiven. I just wanted to tell you that I'm checking myself into rehab again. I want to get better. For you. For us," her father said. "I'm leaving you the keys to our house. Just in case you miss home."

Leslie didn't want to say a word. She was too hurt to be supportive or emotional right now.

"I'm sorry I ruined things with Jude. I...I didn't know..."

Leslie turned her face away, as if signaling Eugene to stop pressing on a nerve.

"Leslie-girl, you won't see me again, unless I'm a changed man. I want to try to be half as loving as you were to me. I love you."


When Eugee finally turned his back to her and walked away, she let her tears fall.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

She picked up the spanner and began to work. After a few minutes, she heard the side door open, the bell above the door signaling to her.

"We're closed," she said, not looking up.

"For me, too?" Jude asked, walking toward her. "Maybe your heart is still open?"

"Jude," she said, feeling as though all the air in her lungs had been sucked out.

"I'm so sorry for everything," she said.

"Don't say a word. I know everything. Your father told me. And honestly, I figured something was wrong when I first saw the two of you interact. I figured he was tormenting you, and I wanted to snatch you away from that. He explained that it was all he was doing. And I was happy I could convince him to check in to rehab. Things will look up for you, Leslie. I promise."


Leslie's arms flung around Jude into the tightest embrace. And when he hugged her back, it felt like the world made sense again.

They stood in that embrace, motionless, but feeling every heartbeat.

"So, shall we go somewhere to eat?" he asked her.

"Right now? Like this?" she asked, gesturing to her overalls and the grease she knew was on her face.

"Yes," he said, lifting his hands to her face and rubbing some of the grease onto his fingers, which he wiped onto his face. "Exactly like this."

Leslie laughed, feeling a relief she never thought she would feel again.

"Your father told me that you are interested in doing some courses at the community college?" Jude asked as he took her hand and walked toward the door.

"Yes," she said. "It was something I wanted to do."

"Come, tell me all about it," he said.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Facebook


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If you enjoyed this story - here’s another one | When a father talked to his daughter about her wedding, she asked him not to walk her down the aisle. Feeling hurt, the man decided not to pay for her wedding and took to social media to ask strangers if his decision was correct. Read the full story here.

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