Marcia, who had foregone paid work for a few years based upon Charles' unkept promises and lies, determined that since Charles felt he was owed money in their divorce, she deserved to be compensated for all of her own labor put into the household. She thus sent Charles an invoice for the ample amount of housework she had been responsible for over the years, which amounted to quite a bit more than Marcia had imagined…
Marcia Was Fiercely Ambitious
Marcia was a fiercely ambitious woman who had grown up in a working class neighborhood in Queens, New York. Her parents had always instilled in her a strong desire to pursue her dreams. She decided from an early age that she wanted to be a business owner and there was nothing that could stop her.
She Worked Hard
She decided she wanted to own her own boutique clothes store one day, so she began working at other people’s stores to learn the ropes. Her parents were proud of her drive and ambition. And although she loved her new career, it did wear her out mentally and physically.
Finding a Balance
Marcia struggled, as her career blossomed, with finding a balance between working hard enough to achieve her goals while also enjoying her life. There were many nights she wanted to go out with her friends but worked late instead. She wondered if one day she would regret always prioritizing work.
Then, Her Life Changed
Then, out of the blue, her life changed. She met a man named Charles who worked in finance. She and Charles seemed to share the same drive but also the same desire for some kind of satisfying personal life as well. They bonded quickly and began dating soon after meeting.
She Falls in Love
Marcia was happy with the direction her life was headed in. She had prioritized her work above all else for years, but now she’d met someone who provided some balance. She spent more time enjoying life with Charles. They’d go out to nice dinners, spend weekends at the beach, and laugh more than they ever had before.
It wasn’t long before Charles proposed and Marcia of course said “yes.” Her life was at an all-time high. She realized that she didn’t need to burn the candle at both ends to succeed. In fact, her career was progressing incredibly well. She’d found an investor interested in backing Marcia’s own store. Finally, she could be her own boss and achieve her dream of owning a business.
Then, The Unexpected
Just as everything was going according to plan, Marcia was hit with a surprise: she was pregnant. She did want to have kids someday but frankly didn’t plan on it occurring so soon. As the reality of her situation hit her, she began considering different plans for how to accommodate a child into her life.
Charles is Thrilled
When she told Charles the news, he was thrilled. He’d always wanted a child and was ready to be a father. But the timing was tough for Marcia. She was on the verge of opening her own business. How would she manage a child and this business at the same time? She began discussing options with Charles.
Charles Is Insistent
In Charles’ mind, the answer to all of Marcia’s problems was simple: she should stay home and raise the baby. There would always be future opportunities to open a business. And Charles was convinced that with his salary continuing to go up, he could finance Marcia’s business himself. He insisted that she didn’t need any outside investors.
Marcia is Skeptical
Marcia was skeptical of this whole plan. In her mind, the solution was that she take some time off work and then hire a nanny while she got her business up and running. She also wasn’t sure about the idea of her husband’s salary financing her business. It wasn’t a sure thing and she didn’t know if they’d work well together in business.
Charles Tries to Convince Her
Charles tried hard to convince Marcia of his plan. He insisted it was bad for the baby to be raised by a nanny instead of its biological mother. He was confident his salary would continue to rise and provide the necessary funds for opening a business. Plus, he said, if they financed their own business, they could make more money when it was successful.
Marcia agreed to this plan. She was reluctant to pass on an offer to finance her own business but decided that her husband’s plan was not unreasonable. Ultimately, she felt, if she wanted her marriage to be successful, there had to be some trust and compromise. If Charles was willing to put in the effort to secure funds for her business, she was willing to put her professional dreams on hold for the moment.
Marcia Has a Baby
The day Marcia’s child Betsy was born was one of the happiest days in Marcia’s life. Despite not planning on having a child, she had nonetheless wanted one. The experience of giving birth had been stressful and painful but she’d emerged on the other side intact. Charles was thrilled beyond words.
Marcia Raises the Baby
Marcia began diligently raising her new baby girl Betsy. This was a new experience for her and certainly brought on a lot of stress but ultimately she found it rewarding. Despite her dedication to being a mother, her mind often thought of work. She wanted to get back to work at some point and knew she wouldn’t feel satisfied until she did.
Marcia Tells Her Plan to Charles
Marcia told Charles that she was eager to get back to work and that they should discuss when she might begin working on launching her new business. Charles got annoyed and said that it was too soon to discuss such things and that he was buried in work at the moment. Marcia found his response frustrating but decided to table the conversation for the time being.
Charles Has Difficulties at Work
Despite his confidence and optimism before Betsy’s birth, Charles was now struggling at work. He was exhausted and regularly coming home late. Not only was his salary not increasing but he was constantly worried about losing his job. At the time, Marcia couldn’t have known that Charles’ problems were far more serious than he let on.
Marcia Continues to Raise Betsy
It had now been over two years since Betsy was born. Marcia was as devoted to raising Betsy as she was to her old job, but she still yearned to open her own business. Every time she tried to set a timetable with Charles, he refused to discuss it. Marcia began to wonder if Charles ever even wanted to finance a business.
Then, A Shocking Development
Then, as Marcia became increasingly frustrated by her situation, Charles made a shocking announcement. He’d been fired from his job. Not only that, but he claimed he was fired wrongly. He said he was being accused of selling fake stocks but that it was all a misunderstanding. Marcia was aghast as she realized their lives were coming apart at the seams.
Was Charles a Criminal?
Not only had Charles lost his job, two years after he said he’d be making enough money to finance a business, but now he was also being accused of breaking the law?! Marcia was in shock. It felt like everything was disintegrating before her eyes. She didn’t know what to do or say next. Should she support her husband through this difficult time? Or should she be skeptical that he was telling the truth?
The World Finds Out
It wasn’t long before the world found out about Charles’ situation. An investigative journalist at a local newspaper wrote an expose about alleged criminality occurring at Charles’ firm. The article even named Charles specifically and said he’d been one of the worst culprits of illegal behavior. Marcia was stunned to see the newspaper report but knew what she had to do next.
She Hires a Lawyer
Marcia immediately hired a lawyer. Whatever was going on with Charles, she needed to protect herself and, more importantly, her daughter Betsy. If Charles really had been committing crimes, it was only a matter of time before law enforcement investigated the situation, if they weren’t already. She knew she had to act fast.
Charles is Irate
Charles became irate that Marcia hired a lawyer. He said that Marcia should always defend him and that the accusations against him weren’t true. Marcia said that she didn’t know for sure if the accusations were true or not, but she had a daughter to protect. If Charles was innocent, there would be no need for the lawyer and everything would work itself out.
The Investigation Continues
The newspaper reports about alleged fraud at Charles’ company continued to come out. Local news stations began reporting on the story as well. Charles and Marcia were barely speaking, only occasionally discussing simple, practical matters. They lived in the same house but it felt like they lived two different lives.
A Witness Emerges
Then, another newspaper story came out declaring that not only was the FBI investigating the case but they’d found an important witness. Allegedly, this witness knew that Charles had been committing fraud. This witness claimed Charles had discussed the fraud in detail. And this witness was fully cooperating with the FBI.
The Witness’ Identity
As time went on, there was much speculation about who this witness could be. Marcia didn’t even bother discussing it with Charles since they rarely spoke. Then, a bombshell report in the local paper revealed the identity of this witness. When Marcia heard the news, her life changed forever.
The Witness Revealed
It turned out this valuable witness for the FBI was named Susan and Susan had been having an affair for the past two years with Charles. Marcia was floored and livid. This was the absolute last straw. Not only was her husband likely lying about his business activities but he’d also been having an affair throughout their entire marriage.
Marcia Files For Divorce
In Marcia’s mind, it wasn’t a hard decision: she filed for divorce that same day. She couldn’t waste her life sitting around hoping all these allegations weren’t true. Charles had obviously been living a lie and seriously hurt Marcia and Betsy as a result. Marcia was done with Charles for good.
Charles Explodes in Anger
Of course, Charles exploded in anger when he heard that Marcia was filing for divorce. He considered it a massive betrayal. Marcia decided she would simply ignore his anger. He was likely a criminal and a philanderer. He really had no standing whatsoever to criticize her, as far as she was concerned.
Marcia Moves Out
Not long after her decision to file for divorce, Marcia moved out of the house she shared with Charles. She took Betsy with her. Marcia went to live with her sister until she could figure out what to do next. She figured she would have to get a job to support herself, at least for the time being.
Charles is Arrested
Then, Charles was arrested and officially charged by the FBI with serious financial crimes. Marcia wasn’t surprised. But she dreaded how long it would take for this whole situation to resolve itself. Meanwhile, she was living in her sister’s spare bedroom with a young child, rapidly running out of money.
Marcia Goes Back to Work
Marcia found a job at a local department store. Although she was in a difficult situation, a part of her was grateful to get back to work and begin what would hopefully be a new phase in her life. Charles seemed totally uninterested in Betsy or Marcia’s lives. Instead, he seemed to spend all his time angrily declaring his innocence.
The Divorce Proceedings Begin
As the divorce proceedings began, Marcia was determined to let bygones be bygones. She wanted to resolve everything quickly, especially considering whatever money Charles might have earned would likely be taken away if he was found guilty. Charles responded by firing all sorts of accusations at Marcia.
Her Husband Seeks Revenge
In Charles’ mind, he was being wronged by Marcia because he was innocent. According to Charles’ attorney, Marcia had abandoned him the second things became difficult. Charles was not willing to go down without a fight and it became clear that this divorce would be anything but amicable.
Charles Seeks Financial Compensation
Charles was seeking money from Marcia. He claimed that Marcia’s refusal to help him during his time of need had resulted in him having to spend money on housekeepers. He claimed to be too busy with his upcoming trial to spend time on housework. This set Marcia off and she responded with a request of her own.
She Sends a Bill
Marcia decided that since Charles thought he was owed money for housework, then she was owed money for housework as well. Because she had chosen not to work for the past few years thanks to Charles’ empty promises and lies, she’d done years of housework. So she sent Charles a bill for all the housework she had done.
Meanwhile, The Trial Begins
As Marcia and Charles exchanged angry proposals back and forth via their lawyers, Charles’ trial began. It seemed pretty clear from the start that Charles didn’t stand a chance. Despite his claims to the contrary, there was a mountain of evidence against him. Charles was all but guilty and his defense sounded weaker with each passing day.
Charles is Declared Guilty
Then, it happened. Charles was declared guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Charles had sold fake stocks to elderly people, essentially robbing them of what little money they had left in their life savings. It was a despicable crime. And it was Susan, the woman Charles had an affair with, who helped provide much of the damning evidence.
The Government Fines Charles
Along with his sentencing, Charles was ordered to pay back as much as he could to the victims. This meant that because Charles had convinced Marcia not to work for the past few years, she was left with nothing. So she dedicated herself to her job and her daughter. It was all on her now.
Marcia Finalizes the Divorce
Marcia and Charles finalized their divorce. In the end, there was no money to exchange hands. So Marcia and Charles simply signed the divorce papers and went their separate ways. Although she was now dedicated to starting her new life, she still held a tremendous amount of anger for Charles in her heart.
Marcia Rebuilds Her Life
Marcia slowly but surely rebuilt her life. Thanks to her sister’s generosity, she was able to live rent free in the spare bedroom for a while. It wasn’t long before Marcia’s boss at the department store realized how dedicated and talented Marcia was. A promotion was in the works, accompanied by a significant pay raise.
Marcia began thriving now that the whole mess with Charles was behind her. She enjoyed her new job and began diligently saving up money. Her daughter Betsy adjusted to their new life surprisingly well. Although Marcia was pleased that her life was back on track, she still had one big thing left to accomplish.
Marcia had never forgotten about her dream to own her own business. Charles had convinced her to put the dream on pause right when it was within reach. Of course, in retrospect, she regretted this decision. But there was nothing she could do about that now. All she could do was focus on the future.
Years Go By
Several years went by as Marcia continued to work and save. Her daughter Betsy was slowly maturing into a wonderful young girl. Betsy loved being with her mom at work in the department store. Marcia was more determined than ever to get her own business off the ground. All she needed was an investor.
An Investor Emerges
As Marcia planned for her future business, an unlikely investor emerged: Susan. Marcia really had no interest whatsoever in meeting Susan, the woman who had the affair with her ex-husband. But the two happened to meet one day via a mutual acquaintance. Although awkward at first, they found they shared a lot in common.
Susan Reveals Something
After they had talked for a while, Susan confessed something to Marcia that she had to get off her chest. She had no idea Charles was married. If she had known, she never would’ve been with him. Part of the reason she testified against Charles at trial was because she found out Charles was married with a daughter.
Marcia is Shocked
Marcia was shocked to hear this but also glad that Susan seemed like a decent person. Once the awkwardness of their past went away, the two found themselves becoming friends. And it just so happened that they shared a love of fashion. Susan found Marcia’s business plans to be quite smart.
The more Susan thought about Marcia’s plans for a business, the more she believed it was a great idea. She told Marcia that she wanted to invest. Susan had made a fortune in finance and had always wanted to be a part of the fashion business but didn’t know anyone involved with fashion. But now she did: Marcia.
Marcia Makes a Big Decision
Marcia had a big decision to make. She liked Susan and they had become friends. But she now had to consider whether or not it was a good idea to go into business with Susan. What if the business strained their friendship? What if the awkwardness of their shared past caused future issues? Marcia had a big decision to make.
Ultimately, Marcia realized that she’d had this opportunity once before to open her own business and turned it down, thanks to Charles. She wasn’t about to do that again. Plus, there was a certain appealing irony about Susan being the one who ended up being Marcia’s investor. So she decided to open her business with Susan. The two of them would own the store.
Marcia’s Dream Comes True
And with that, Marcia’s dream that she’d had since she was young finally came true. She co-owned and operated her own business, with Susan as an investor. The business quickly took off and it wasn’t long before the profits started to pour in. And right there beside Marcia in the shop was her daughter, Betsy. In the end, Marcia couldn’t imagine her life getting much better than this.
The events of this story are entirely fictional and are products of the author’s imagination. Images included are meant for illustration purposes only. Any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.