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Man arrived to meet his future bride’s parents and was surprised to find out that her father was actually

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Josh wheeled his mother out onto the stairwell in a wheelchair. “I’ll be quick, Mum. Just need to grab my jacket, and we’ll go,” he assured her. Helen nodded and smiled, saying, “Don’t rush. The weather is beautiful, and the evening is just beginning. We’ll have time for a walk.” She wanted to say more, but at that moment, Sarah, the nosy neighbor who knew everything that happened in the apartment building, appeared from the neighboring apartment. It was impossible to hide from her curious eyes, and all the neighbors had resigned themselves to this. Helen also knew that it was almost impossible to escape from the ubiquitous Sarah and prepared herself for questioning.

“Well, Helen, are you going for a walk or to the hospital?” asked Sarah. “What hospital at this hour?” Helen shrugged. “It’s already evening. Josh just got back from work and suggested we take a walk.” “Well, well,” nodded Sarah. “Your son is really something. Everyone should have a son like him. He didn’t abandon you. He takes care of you and earns good money. My good-for-nothing son only learned how to hang out with his buddies, and you know that this won’t lead to anything good. I’ve told him so many times, used you as an example, but he doesn’t care. And if something happened to me, he wouldn’t lift a finger. I feel like the nursing home is gonna be my home in my old age.”

“Stop it, please,” Helen tried to calm her neighbor. “Everything will be fine for you, okay? Sorry for complaining.” Sarah said and then perked up, “When is your Josh getting married? Why’d you keep him tied to your wheelchair all the time? He’s a good guy, and you’ve tied him to your wheelchair. It’s not good. Helen, he needs to start his own family and have children.”

At that moment, Josh emerged onto the stairwell with a warm blanket in his hands. He had heard the neighbor’s last words and frowned. “Ah, Sarah, good evening. Let us figure out how we live our lives,” he said as he sat down in front of his mother and carefully wrapped her feet. Then he smiled and said, “So, are we going?”

“We’re off,” Helen laughed, no longer paying attention to the neighbor. Sarah snorted contemptuously and muttered something under her breath as she disappeared behind her own door. Helen silently gazed at the yellowing maples in the alley for a while, then turned to her son and said, “Josh, but our neighbor is right. You have no personal life because of me. You don’t go anywhere or meet any girls. It’s time for you to get married.”

Josh smiled at his mother and said, “Mum, maybe it’s just not my time yet. I don’t want to get married just to have a wife. I want to love and be loved truly, you know, in sorrow and in joy.” Helen didn’t respond and just sighed softly. Once upon a time, she had dreamed of this herself.

After meeting the handsome Harris, she had fallen madly in love with him. He knew how to court her beautifully, was the soul of any company, loved to make people laugh, and did so infectiously that everyone around him started to smile. “Why do you need this chatterbox?” Helen’s mother worried when her daughter told her about the upcoming wedding. “He’s like an empty box, pretty on the outside, but there’s nothing inside.”

“Mum,” Helen protested, “how can you say that? Harris isn’t like that. He’s cheerful and kind, and he loves me very much. And we will definitely get married.”

“Yes, please, get married. Who’s stopping you?” her mother shrugged. “But just don’t regret it later. Life is long and complicated. Candy and flowers are only temporary things, and often love disappears with them if it wasn’t real, of course.”

“Mum, why do you say that?” Helen asked.

“Because I’ve lived enough, and I know this life from different sides. I see people under a microscope. Of course, God forbid that I’m wrong, but still, your Harris is not a reliable guy.”

Helen only waved at her mother’s words, and soon she and Harris became husband and wife. The first years of their life together were the happiest for Helen, but gradually, she began to notice that Harris was not as perfect as she had thought. Helen was particularly unhappy with her husband’s frequent meetings with his friends on various occasions. When she told him about it, Harris retorted, “You’re acting like an old woman. Relax. We’re young and should make the most of life.”

“Tomorrow is Ben’s birthday, and all my friends are going to his summer house. They’re expecting us to go,” Helen pointed to her belly and said, “Where should I go? I’m going into labor in two weeks. I don’t want anything to happen.”

Harris frowned and said, “You’re always complaining and thinking of bad things. Okay, I won’t go. Do you feel better now?”

“No, I don’t feel better,” Helen replied. “I just want to be with you. You know how worried I am. After all, this is our first child together.”

“Alright,” Harris finally agreed, with great upset on his face. “My father told me not to hurry into the wedding and have a good time, but I just, like a fool, didn’t listen to him. Now I’m sitting near your skirt.”

Helen looked at her husband, who looked so unhappy and hurt that she involuntarily smiled. “Well, you’re like a child.”

“Alright, Harris, go yourself, congratulate Ben for me too. Only please don’t be long. I’ll be waiting for you.”

Harris tried to object, but then he left and disappeared for the whole weekend. He didn’t even know that his wife had gone into labor and had been rushed to the hospital. Next to Helen was her mother. She did not say a word about her good-for-nothing son-in-law to her daughter, but Helen already saw everything with her eyes.

“Mom, he’ll come, you’ll see, and everything’s going to be okay. He didn’t know Josh would be born in such a hurry. It’s still two weeks away. And don’t look at me like that. Harris and I are really doing great.”

Harris didn’t show up until the day he was discharged. Helen immediately noticed the blue shadows under his eyes, and he apologized, “My men and I learned that I became a father and could not stop to celebrate. Well, you understand, it’s such an amazing occasion.”

Helen wanted to yell at her husband, but she held back and kept silent. After all, Harris’s face shone with happiness when he took their son in his arms. She immediately forgave him everything. She loved him sincerely and did not yet know how many times she would have to forgive him in the future. Her mother only shook her head and said, “No, you can’t change my mind. I see what a bad husband you have, and he’ll throw something else at you, as you’ll see. But your son will be a good boy. Take care of him , You have a wonderful son, Joshua.”

17 years passed, and when Helen’s mother’s prophecy came true, she herself did not live to the tragedy that happened to her daughter a few years later. She could not learn about what happened, but Helen always remembered that black day. However, it began quite ordinarily. Harris offered Helen to drive with him to his friend’s cottage in the village or spend the weekend there. “We’ll have a barbecue, go to the sauna, everything will be fine.”

“Harris, let’s stay home. I don’t feel very well. I don’t want to go anywhere.”

“There you go again,” exclaimed Harris. “Aren’t you tired of grumbling all the time? Am I resting that often, or have I become an alcoholic, as your mother prophesied? No, I have a good position, I earn good money, and I support my family quite well. Or do you need something?”

Helen shook her head. “So why can’t I get together with friends a couple of times a month and relax?”

Harris raised his voice. “Helen, I don’t want to quarrel with you. So just hurry to calm him down. After all, Harris did not drink often. Maybe she was just overreacting and nagging him in vain.

“Alright, let’s go,” she said to her husband. “Only please don’t drink too much. Tomorrow, Josh returns from the competition, and we need to meet him on the train.”

“We’ll meet him, don’t worry,” Harris grumbled and promised, “and I won’t drink. Well, maybe only a couple of cocktails.”

But once he was in the company of his friends, he completely forgot about his promise, and late in the evening, he headed for the car. “Are you crazy?” Helen asked, worried. “You’ve been drinking this afternoon, and you’re still drunk. Let’s sleep here, and tomorrow morning we’ll go straight to the station.”

“I’m normal, I’m sober now. I can feel it. So, let’s go home.”

Harris tried to convince her. His friends supported him and laughed at the woman’s fears. Helen was angry, swore, and refused to go. However, when Harris shouted at her in front of everyone, she cried and sat next to him. Nevertheless, her premonitions did not deceive her. While driving from the village where they were staying to the city, Harris drove normally. But he got disoriented in a large stream of cars and missed his exit. On the first lap, attempting to regroup, he cut someone else’s car, confused the gas with the brake in fright, and crashed into a pole at tremendous speed. The impact was on the right side where Helen was sitting. Shocked by what had happened, Harris got out of the car and began to inspect the damage, forgetting about his wife in the cabin. She lost consciousness from the painful shock because her legs were clamped in a vice of mangled iron.

Witnesses called an ambulance, but in rush hour, the car had difficulty reaching the site. Time was hopelessly running out. When the rescuers cut the woman out of the car, they tried to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible. The surgeon did almost the impossible; he saved Helen’s life but could not save her legs. She remained an invalid for the rest of her life.

Harris cursed himself for what happened and begged his wife to forgive him. He promised to quit drinking forever and swore that he would never leave her. However, one year passed, and he packed his things and left his wife and son, declaring that he could not live like that anymore.

“Could you?” Helen asked him with a disappointed look. “Can’t you understand it yourself?”

“Sorry, but I found someone else. I love her, and I only want to be with her.”

“Josh, but our neighbor is right. You have no personal life because of me. You don’t go anywhere or meet any girls. It’s time for you to get married.”

Josh smiled at his mother and said, “Mum, maybe it’s just not my time yet. I don’t want to get married just to have a wife. I want to love and be loved truly, you know, in sorrow and in joy.”

Helen didn’t respond and just sighed softly. Once upon a time, she had dreamed of this herself. After meeting the handsome Harris, she had fallen madly in love with him. He knew how to court her beautifully, was the soul of any company, loved to make people laugh, and did so infectiously that everyone around him started to smile.

“Why do you need this chatterbox?” Helen’s mother worried when her daughter told her about the upcoming wedding. “He’s like an empty box, pretty on the outside, but there’s nothing inside.”

“Mum,” Helen protested, “how can you say that? Harris isn’t like that. He’s cheerful and kind, and he loves me very much. And we will definitely get married.”

“Yes, please, get married. Who’s stopping you?” her mother shrugged. “But just don’t regret it later. Life is long and complicated. Candy and flowers are only temporary things, and often love disappears with them if it wasn’t real, of course.”

“Mum, why do you say that?” Helen asked.

“Because I’ve lived enough, and I know this life from different sides. I see people under a microscope. Of course, God forbid that I’m wrong, but still, your Harris is not a reliable guy.”

Helen only waved at her mother’s words, and soon she and Harris became husband and wife. The first years of their life together were the happiest for Helen, but gradually, she began to notice that Harris was not as perfect as she had thought. Helen was particularly unhappy with her husband’s frequent meetings with his friends on various occasions. When she told him about it, Harris retorted, “You’re acting like an old woman. Relax. We’re young and should make the most of life.”

“Tomorrow is Ben’s birthday, and all my friends are going to his summer house. They’re expecting us to go,” Helen pointed to her belly and said, “Where should I go? I’m going into labor in two weeks. I don’t want anything to happen.”

Harris frowned and said, “You’re always complaining and thinking of bad things. Okay, I won’t go. Do you feel better now?”

“No, I don’t feel better,” Helen replied. “I just want to be with you. You know how worried I am. After all, this is our first child together.”

“Alright,” Harris finally agreed, with great upset on his face. “My father told me not to hurry into the wedding and have a good time, but I just, like a fool, didn’t listen to him. Now I’m sitting near your skirt.”

Helen looked at her husband, who looked so unhappy and hurt that she involuntarily smiled. “Well, you’re like a child.”

“Alright, Harris, go yourself, congratulate Ben for me too. Only please don’t be long. I’ll be waiting for you.”

Harris tried to object, but then he left and disappeared for the whole weekend. He didn’t even know that his wife had gone into labor and had been rushed to the hospital. Next to Helen was her mother. She did not say a

word about her good-for-nothing son-in-law to her daughter, but Helen already saw everything with her eyes.

“Mom, he’ll come, you’ll see, and everything’s going to be okay. He didn’t know Josh would be born in such a hurry. It’s still two weeks away. And don’t look at me like that. Harris and I are really doing great.”

Harris didn’t show up until the day he was discharged. Helen immediately noticed the blue shadows under his eyes, and he apologized, “My men and I learned that I became a father and could not stop to celebrate. Well, you understand, it’s such an amazing occasion.”

Helen wanted to yell at her husband, but she held back and kept silent. After all, Harris’s face shone with happiness when he took their son in his arms. She immediately forgave him everything. She loved him sincerely and did not yet know how many times she would have to forgive him in the future. Her mother only shook her head and said, “No, you can’t change my mind. I see what a bad husband you have, and he’ll throw something else at you, as you’ll see. But your son will be a good boy. Take care of him.”

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