The Truth Came Out
Anthony was at a loss for what to do when his wife Ade discovered his secret after months of safeguards. He’d been trying to keep it hidden for nearly a year.
But now, at long last, the truth is being revealed. What would his wife’s reaction be to the discovery? Was she going to be able to accept what he’d been up to all this time?
Things Can Be Misleading
From the outside, a family can appear to be completely perfect. One of those families was the Roberts (names have been changed for privacy purposes). Anthony, the husband, owned a restaurant, while Ade, his wife, was a stay-at-home mom. They had three children, ages three, five, and seven.
They had spent their entire lives in the Buffalo suburbs. They were well-known and well-liked by all of their neighbors. There was, however, something they didn’t realize about them.
It is common for families to keep their secrets hidden in the closet. The skeletons in the family’s closet sometimes remain hidden from the rest of the family, including those who are closest to them.
In the Roberts family, Anthony was the one who kept secrets. However, it would only be revealed after quite some time.
It was a process that unfolded over time. It all began when Anthony’s restaurant was forced to close momentarily due to pandemic regulations. He didn’t anticipate them to continue long, and he wasn’t concerned about a short-term cash flow. Years of hard work had saved him enough money.
Consequently, he waited for it to pass. He spent his newfound free time catching up on some much-needed family time and reading. But he was in for a rude awakening.
The state of the pandemic didn’t appear to be improving after a few months. For a while, the family’s savings were sufficient. But, before long, they wished for the pandemic to end so Anthony could go back to work. They needed the money to survive.
However, when Anthony would be able to reopen his restaurant, he didn’t appear to be getting any nearer. And the Roberts began to grow concerned.
He Made A Plan
Eventually, Anthony came up with a plan. He could not just sit back while his family was suffering. He needed to do something else until he could finally open his restaurant’s doors again.
He came up with the idea of selling food and related items on the internet. He sold imported wine, his homemade sauces, and even delicacies. These were all items he made use of in his restaurant, and he thought the items would fly off the shelves. Anthony hoped that everything would be okay for the sake of his family.
Things Were Going Well
It took a few months for his business to get clients, but he eventually turned a profit. The community loved his products. Many of his clients were long-time supporters of his restaurant and wanted to help him get back on his feet.
However, he also attracted a lot of new clients. The people loved his homemade tomato sauce, and it even got mentioned in a magazine. The family was thrilled. It all seemed a little too fantastic to be true.
An Influx Of Cash
Anthony was suddenly earning more money than he had ever made from the restaurant. He got a lot of calls from stores and customers who were curious about his products. What was interesting, though, is that he always left the room and went to the garage to answer those calls.
Initially, the family was unconcerned by Anthony’s peculiar tendency. They had no idea it meant so much more than they assumed.
Hardly Working At All
The money continued to flow in. The funny part was that Anthony didn’t appear to be working all that much. He continued to spend most of his time sitting at home and watching events on television. He’d go to the garage every now and again to take a few calls, but that was it.
Ade sensed there was something odd about her husband’s unexpected success, as thrilled as she was for him. As a result, she decided to study him when he was on the phone one day.
It had been a few days since Ade had started studying Andrew’s call patterns, she found he had always been on the phone around noon. That day, she rushed to prepare lunch before making her way into the garage.
She hid behind the opposite side of the garage door and waited for Andrew to answer his calls. Like clockwork, he walked in with a ringing phone and a grin on his face.
The Time Has Come
Ade ducked under a shelve as her husband settled in the garage. He leaned against his workbench, his grin holding fast as he answered the call.
Ade tried to listen to the content of Anthony’s conversation on the phone, her mind already predicting what the conversation was about. But as much as she tried, she couldn’t hear a thing. Her eyes trailed up the stairs leading back to the house, and she realized her mistake.
A Grand Mistake
Ade had gone to lengths to ensure she’d uncover what her husband was hiding. She’d made sure she was available at the right time when he received the call and that she’d be in the correct place where she could listen in unseen by Andrew.
But Ade had forgotten to factor in one crucial part in her plan. Their kids’ vocal cords were among the loudest things in the house, almost as loud as the TV on full volume. Their voices, alongside the TV, overshadowed everything that came out of Andrew’s mouth.
Ade stayed in her hiding spot as valuable information escaped her grasp. Her kids had been quiet all morning. What were the odds that they’d start chanting superhero names when Andrew was on the phone?
Ade frowned at the coincidence, knowing the day was lost. She stayed put until Andrew finished his call and went back upstairs. But although she hadn’t heard a thing, she’d collected some information from her husband’s body language.
Studying The Findings
Ade eased upstairs to the kitchen. She set to serving lunch, but as she moved around the island, her mind sorted through everything she’d seen in the garage. She noted that his grin had faded when he answered the call, only blooming after he’d started talking.
She’d seen how rapidly his lips moved and how much he used his hands while talking. His face had been so animated, and his eyes full of sparkle as he spoke. All this could only mean one thing.
What It Means
Before walking into the garage, Ade had thought Andrew was doing something that might’ve jeopardized their marriage. Although the thought had been fleeting, she knew she’d be foolish not to acknowledge the possibility of such an occurrence.
Ade and Andrew had never had such issues between them, and after what Ade had witnessed in the garage, she knew she could safely rule out the thought from her mind. One thing made her believe she was right to do so.
She Knows Him Well
Andrew only got that animated and excited when he talked to her, their kids, family, or his friends. He was usually formal with everybody else, acquaintances, employees, or business associates.
Ade also felt deep within her that after everything they’d built together, he’d never hurt her like that. Seeing that neither she nor the kids were in the garage as he talked on the phone, this could only mean one thing.
A Different Meaning
The only conclusion that Ade could come up with was that Andrew talked to one of his friends. She hated that her findings didn’t reveal much but was relieved that he wasn’t doing anything to ruin their marriage. If only she knew.
Forced to wait for the next day, where she hoped Andrew would answer another call, Ade called the kids for lunch. She also served and ate with Andrew, but as they were eating, he asked her something that made her heart stop.
“That ebook-reader you’re always talking about, honey,” Andrew began. “How much did you say it costs again?” Ade cocked her head back, remembering how excited she’d been when her favorite brand ebooks released a new entry in their latest models.
The question hurled her mind back to the crazy profits Andrew was raking in, and she immediately thought about those garage calls again. The ebook reader was expensive, but Andrew could afford it?
“I’m happy with the one I have,” Ade smiled, reaching across the table for his hand.
In His Shoes
That night, Ade found it hard to sleep. She didn’t understand how Andrew could keep secrets from her. She hated that he was acting like everything was okay in their home. Ade wanted to wake Andrew up to talk but tried to put herself in his shoes.
What if his online business had truly taken off, and they were making the profits she’d seen? How would he feel when his wife questioned the credibility of his income? She hissed out a hot breath, knowing the only way to solve this issue would be to return to the garage at noon the next day.
Returning To The Garage
Ade finished the next day’s chores and work calls by midday. She also gave the kids a pass to play on her computer in her room, given they’d close the bedroom door while inside. Seeing the hour hand inch toward noon, she calmly slipped into the garage.
As expected, Andrew walked into the garage and picked up his ringing phone. Ade was quiet in the same place she’d hidden the previous day. But today, her findings would be different.
With the kids’ voices muffled upstairs and the TV turned off, Ade heard everything Andrew said. The first thing that surprised her was that he wasn’t talking about food: he seemed to be talking about sports! She heard a few names of sports teams and players.
Anthony finally finished the conversation. And Ade hadn’t heard a single name of a food item. What was going on? After her husband left the garage, she entered the room. She was about to find out about Anthony’s little secret.
She Had A Gut Feeling
She didn’t know what she expected to find there. And at first, she didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. But for some reason, she felt some sort of call from the workbench where Anthony used to sit for his phone calls.
She looked under it. There was a notebook there! She opened it. It was all numbers and names of sports teams and players! It seemed like the notebook of a bookmaker! Ade took the notebook and immediately confronted Anthony about it.
He Was Speechless
At first, Anthony didn’t know what to say. He tried to pretend not to know what that notebook was or why it was under the workbench in the garage. But after a while, he gave up and confessed the truth.
He hadn’t just been selling food items and tomato sauce. He had also been working as a bookie.
He Had To Do It
The closure of his restaurant and the family’s difficult financial situation had pushed Anthony to take up a new occupation. He had found a way to profit from his love of sports: he had been setting up bets for months. And he had made a lot of money with it.
More than half of the family’s income during the past few months didn’t come from selling food: they came from illegal gambling.
What Did Ade Do Then?
When she finally knew the truth, Ade was conflicted. On one part, what her husband had been doing was illegal, which could have brought him some big problems. But at that time, the family really needed the money.
If it wasn’t for Anthony’s bookmaking activities, God knows what would have happened to her and the children. She spent the afternoon quiet on the couch, wondering what she’d do next.
His Biggest Mistake
As Ade wondered what her next move would be, she thought about everything she had. Her family was healthy and safely bouncing through the pandemic. As much as she hated to admit it, it was all because of Andrew’s not-so-legal business venture.
The only thing that she disliked more than the bookmaking was that Andrew kept all of it from her. Weren’t they supposed to shoulder everything as partners? To her, that was Andrew’s biggest mistake.
The Better Way Forward
Andrew came to try and talk to Ade, but all she gave him was a blank stare. She’d calmed a bit from when she found the notebook, but she still needed some time to think before deciding on their fate.
An hour later, Ade called Andrew and told him what was on her mind. She reminded him that they were supposed to be a team and that although she disapproved of what he was doing, she’d have heard him out. She also informed him that she’d decided about them and his illegal business.
Ade listened to Andrew’s part in their discussion before making her decision known. Andrew apologized for everything, telling her he’d felt useless after their savings went low and all the house’s financial responsibilities fell on Ade’s shoulders.
Although he appreciated how hard she worked, he hated seeing her bear all that burden and wanted to help. When selling foodstuffs online didn’t work out as much as he’d hoped, he had to find another way to support his family. Would she hear him out?
Ade told Andrew the idea of separating or divorce never crossed her mind. What they had was strong despite what he’d done. But she would not risk their family because of what he was doing in the garage.
She thanked him for wanting to help and assured him there were other ways to bring money into the family. As they ended their discussion, she presented Andrew with her decision.
Ade demanded that Anthony give up on the bookmaking before it was too late and the police got involved. He had made enough money with it, and the Roberts wouldn’t have any financial worries in some time.
Anthony invested most of his earnings into his restaurant and his delicacies business. And after a while, he could open his restaurant again and never needed to do anything else in his life.