Rachel Baker was born with a silver spoon. Her father, Oliver Baker, was a professor at a well-known university, and her mother, Judy Baker, was an interior designer.
Rachel and her parents had a lot of money, but they made their daughter understand that money should not define her. They warned her that people tend to value others for their money and not for who they really are.
Therefore, even after growing up and going to college, Rachel kept her lifestyle simple. She rode the bus to her university, wore modest clothes, and never bragged about how rich her family was. In fact, no one — not even her friends — knew she was rich. Who would have thought that this simplicity would ever help her test the man she fell in love with?
Rachel was in her second-to-last year of college when she fell in love with Joshua Sutton. Joshua was the leader of the university’s basketball team. He was brilliant in his studies, excelled in debate, and was a complete package with his charming looks and incredible wealth from his famous businessman parents.
However, two days later, she ran into him in the university cafeteria, and this time Joshua walked up to her table and sat across from her. Everyone in the cafeteria was stunned that Joshua was hanging out with an average-looking girl like Rachel.
«Are you ready to be friends with me now?» he asked with a smile.
«Look,» she said, disguising the fact that she had liked him since the first time she saw him. «I already told you no. Stop bothering me unnecessarily. I know… well…» She wanted to tell him that she knew a guy like him would never be with her, but she didn’t.
«Why do you want to be friends with me?» she asked. «I don’t come close to meeting your standards. Tell me honestly…did someone challenge you?»
Joshua laughed. «What? Why would I do that? We’re not in high school! Honestly, I find you smart and attractive, Rachel. And I’d like you to go out with me, but I know you won’t agree right away, so I figured we could still be friends.»
She blushed, «And why would I trust you?»
«So… you like me too? That means you’re interested in me!» he gushed.
«Shut up!» She locked her gaze on him. «People are all around us!»
«Okay, okay… Okay, so are you ready to be friends with me? You’ll see that I’m not so bad!»
«All right, then, we’ll see. But only friends for now!»
«That’s fine with me. I’ll see you after basketball practice,» he said with a smile, then left with his coffee.
From that day on, Rachel and Joshua became friends, but before they knew it, they were in love and started dating. Rachel felt bad for hiding from Joshua that she was born into a rich family, wore shabby clothes, and pretended to be poor in front of him, even though he was always open and honest with her.
She wants to be just as honest with him. So she decides to tell him the truth and tells her mother over dinner. Her father is out of town for an important conference at the time, so she thinks she can talk about it more openly with Judy.
«Mom,» she says. «I really like Joshua. And I don’t want to pretend to be so poor in front of him. If we love each other, we have to be open and honest. He’s never hidden anything from me.»
«How do you know he’s being honest with you, Rachel? You know we all have secrets. Maybe he hasn’t told you something, just like you haven’t told him you’re not poor.»
«No mom, he never hides anything from me. He told me about his childhood, his parents, and….» Rachel abruptly paused at the mention of her parents. She instantly remembered asking Joshua one day if their parents could meet for dinner and how nervous he had been. Since then, he’d done everything he could to avoid talking about his parents, and they’d never mentioned it.
Rachel looked down at her plate and pushed the spaghetti with her fork. «Well, I guess he doesn’t want his parents involved. Maybe he’s not that invested in our relationship?»
«If he really loves you, Rachel, he’ll accept you as you are,» Judy remarked, placing her hand on Rachel’s as she rested on the table. «Your heart will be more important to him than your money. If he refuses to introduce you to his parents, it’s time to reconsider that relationship. But remember, either way, I’m on your side.»
Rachel couldn’t sleep after dinner that night. She couldn’t get her mother’s advice out of her head: if Joshua loved her, he should love her for who she was and introduce her to his parents. So the next day at school, she was determined to go to his house and hoped to meet his parents for the first time. She did not tell him her true intentions and only said that they could finish their homework there.
Joshua immediately agreed because his parents were not home. However, he and Rachel were in his room going over their notes when Joshua’s mother stormed in and pulled Rachel out.
«Who do you think you are to come into my son’s room like that? Have you ever seen yourself in a mirror? Do you think my son is going to spend time with a poor girl like you?»
«Mom? Aren’t you and Daddy supposed to be abroad? How come you…»
«Well, I decided to cancel because I forgot some documents at home. I’ll go there tomorrow. Who is it, Joshua? I knew you weren’t alone when I walked in and heard voices!»
«What?» Rachel looked at him, her eyes brimming with tears. «You brought me here because your parents weren’t here?»
«Mom, please! We can talk somewhere else!» Joshua took his mom into the kitchen and explained everything. «We’re dating mom! I love her! See, I was afraid you’d be mad, so I didn’t tell you and Dad about our relationship. But I really love Rachel.»
«If you love that trash, get out of my house, Joshua! There’s no room for roadside filth here! We…»
Rachel heard everything from outside the kitchen and left Joshua’s house sobbing. She went home vowing to be done with Joshua and cursing herself for falling in love with a man who hid their relationship from his family.
She was furious when she arrived home. She was running to her room when her father stopped her. «Rachel!» he yelled. «What’s going on? I’m back, and you didn’t even notice me? Not even a hug?»
«Sorry, Daddy!» she said, turning around. «I’m not in a good mood.»
«Let me get right to the point. Did you get into a fight with Joshua?» he asked.
«What?» She looked at her father, shocked. «Mom told you about him?»
«I don’t think you need anyone to tell you anything when you get a random bouquet of flowers with an apology note where the sender’s name is clearly mentioned,» he added, pointing to the living room table where a pretty bouquet sat.
«What’s the point, Dad? I’ve decided to break up with him.»
«How about you read the note first?»
Rachel reluctantly walked over to the table and picked up the note to read it.
«Hey Rachel, I’m really sorry, honey. Look, I can delete everything. Please check your phone!
Rachel noticed at least 50 missed calls and more texts from Joshua. Her phone was silent, and she didn’t know Joshua was calling her. She called him immediately, and he apologized to her. He asked her to meet him at the restaurant with his parents the next day.
«Just be yourself, Rachel. See, I really do love you for who you are. And I promise I’ll make it right tomorrow,» he said over the phone.
Rachel wore a pretty green dress and arrived at the restaurant in her parents’ luxury car. Outside, Joshua was waiting for them, and when he saw Rachel, his jaw dropped. «OMG! I can’t believe it’s you, Rachel!»
«This is the real me, Joshua. I’m not poor. In fact, I belong to a rich family. I’m sorry I kept the truth from you, but…»
«Wait a minute, Rachel,» he said. «I don’t care where you come from or how much money you have. I love you exactly the way you are. Come on in. There’s someone waiting for you. Please,» he said, gesturing to Rachel’s parents.
When Joshua’s mother saw Rachel and her parents, she was taken aback. She hadn’t expected them to be dressed so well!
«Oh, please, sit down!» she said softly.
Ms. Sutton looked embarrassed:
«I’m sorry about what happened, Rachel. I shouldn’t have been so mean to you. I apologize to you and your parents. When I talked to Joshua yesterday, he told me how much he loved you. He said he’d do anything for you. I’m not going to lie… I hesitated to meet you and your parents, even after Joshua convinced me… But I realized it would be wrong to separate my son from the girl he loves. I cancelled my plans just for you and Joshua. His father couldn’t make it today, but I’m sure he’ll be with us in the future. I’m sorry…»
«Mom basically gave us a pass, Rachel, and if she did, Dad will too. All I wanted was for our families to meet and…» Joshua got down on one knee and pulled a box from his pocket, which contained an old vintage ring.
«My grandmother gave this ring to my mom and mom wants to give it to you. Rachel Baker, will you marry me?»
Mrs. Sutton chuckled and said:
«Tell her yes before I change my mind, Rachel.»
Rachel nodded, her eyes brimming with tears.
«Oh my God,» she whispered, «Of course! I love you!»