Paula, 25, had recently completed her university studies. She was a hardworking woman preparing to run her parents’ company.
While she knew she had to gradually become involved in the business, she was eager to apply her ideas to the company. So as soon as she returned home, she immersed herself daily in the work.
She also founded a charity project to help people in need in her hometown. This project fulfilled her and kept her in touch with the people in the community who needed help the most.
Paula’s parents were very proud of her. They saw their daughter’s passion for the business and the charity project. But they were concerned about her personal life.
“We think it’s time for you to lessen your workload and start socializing,” Paula’s mother said.
“Relax, Mom; I’ll make time eventually. I want to make sure all these projects, especially the charitable ones, are sustainable,” Paula replied.
“But we’d like to have grandchildren,” her father added, “and the sooner the better.”
“It’s funny that you’re both talking about grandchildren when you were never satisfied with the boys I used to bring home before I went away to school,” Paula said.
“Yes, but those boys weren’t good enough for you; you’re older now and have better judgment, so we trust you,” her mother replied.
Paula assured them that she would consider looking for a partner.
“But don’t think it will happen tomorrow; I have to fix the business first,” she said.
A week later, Paula was hurrying to a meeting across town when she came upon a gentleman giving food to a homeless man. She noticed how nicely he was dressed and the kindness he showed. She approached him and introduced herself.
“I’ve never seen you around town before,” she told him.
“My name is Carlos; I just moved here to set up an office for my business,” he said.
As they were introducing themselves, another beggar approached them to ask for some food. Carlos immediately pulled some bills out of his wallet and handed them to her.
Paula was surprised; she had never seen such generosity before.
“How about lunch together when I get back from a meeting today?” she proposed.
Carlos accepted the invitation and Paula was eager to get to know him better. She was fascinated by his generosity, and wanted to know more about him. The lunch date was exciting. She couldn’t remember the last time she had had so much fun with someone.
She learned that Carlos had taken care of several orphanages and animal shelters with part of the profits from his business. He also told her that he helped the homeless.
“I never thought I would meet someone with such a generous heart,” Paula said.
“I simply believe that my success means I also have a responsibility to care for those less fortunate,” she said.
Paula was falling in love with Carlos. They exchanged numbers and started talking daily. A few weeks later, he officially asked her to be his girlfriend and she accepted full of excitement. Besides, she knew her parents would be thrilled that she was finally dating someone.
From then on, they started spending almost every day together. Carlos planned extravagant dates for her and showered her with gifts. And while that was great for Paula, what she appreciated most were their conversations about helping people.
Six months into their relationship, Paula introduced Carlos to her family.
“He’s amazing. I hope he marries you soon,” Paula’s mom said.
“I didn’t think you’d make it, Paula. He’s a great guy,” her father said.
His parents asked Carlos if he planned to marry Paula. He told them he would propose very soon. True to his word, he did so at a formal dinner a month later. She accepted, and they immediately began planning their wedding.
When preparations were in full swing, Paula met with some of her friends in town. One of them told her that she had seen her fiancé, Carlos, arguing with a homeless man who was asking for money.
Paula laughed and said Carlos would never do something like that. “He’s a charitable and generous man,” she said.
The woman drove home reflecting on what her friend had told her. There was no way Carlos would hurt someone in need. She had seen him be generous to people all the time. But as the night wore on, her words took on more weight.
To reassure herself, she contacted all the organizations that Carlos had said he worked with. To her utter surprise, none of them had heard of him. This frightened her. She was sure he was a good man. But what if he wasn’t?
The next day, she decided to dress as a homeless person and went begging near where her fiancé worked. As soon as Carlos passed by her, she asked him for food and money. But instead of turning around and paying attention to her, he had ignored her.
So Paula decided to go after him and insist. That’s when Carlos turned around, angry, and pushed her down. “Get out of my way, you beggar!” he shouted at her with contempt.
Immediately, another homeless man came to Paula’s aid. He helped her up and yelled at Carlos for being violent to her. “Ma’am, are you okay?” he asked her. He said his name was Jorge and offered to help her whenever she needed it.
She got up and ran, and as soon as she got home, she told her mother she was calling off the wedding and told her what had just happened. The woman decided to run a background check on Carlos.
Paula couldn’t believe what had just happened.
It turned out that Carlos did not have the wealth he claimed. Worse, he had planned an act with the homeless to gain access to Paula and eventually take her money. She was heartbroken.
When she returned to work, she remembered the beggar who had helped her. She went back to look for him and helped him get a job. Jorge began to do very well and was very grateful to Paula.
A year later, Jorge went to Paula’s office to thank her. He was unrecognizable. He looked healthy and happy and was very grateful to her for all she had done for him.