Ella was a widow in her 60s, scrambling to become a working citizen again. After finally finding a job, she gets unfairly fired by her new boss. She sets her heart on revenge, but circumstances change when love comes knocking.

Ella nervously sat in the office waiting area with the other, much younger candidates. This was her third interview that week alone. It had been a long two months of rejection after rejection. By this point, Ella had heard all the possible rejection phrases for a 58-year-old former housewife as herself:

“I’m sorry, but we can’t afford to hire someone your age. I hope you understand,” one interviewer said.

“Your last job was more than 20 years ago? I’m sorry, but we simply can’t experience someone with so little experience, especially at your age,” another interviewer told her.

“Yikes! All I can say is, good luck! You’re going to need it!” another crudely retorted.

Ella had almost lost all hope at this point. The saddest part of it all was that none of it was her fault. How could she possibly have known that her late husband, who had always been the family breadwinner, would suddenly pass away from cancer?

“What the..?! Are you blind! Do you know how much this suit costs?!” an infuriated Sam barked at her.
Her last job must’ve been a couple years after she finished college. And even that was short-lived as she and her husband decided she would be a housewife. And now, here she was, trying to secure a job and a pension.

If her lack of experience wasn’t enough of a setback, her age was another one. Ella had very little time to collect the necessary number of credits to receive a normal pension.

“Ella… Is there an Ella here?” the secretary called, as she read her name from a note.

“Oh!” the secretary said, throwing Ella a stunned glance. “Alright. You’re up next. This way,” she concluded, ushering Ella towards the door.

Unlike the rest of her interviews, this one actually panned out for Ella. While she didn’t get the bookkeeping job she was originally applying for, she did get a job as a cleaner. It wasn’t much and far from what her college degree in accounting qualified her for, but it was the only position anyone was willing to give her.

Several years passed and Ella continued working in her cleaning position. She figured if she stuck it out with the cleaning position, she would eventually be able to accumulate the required credits for her pension.

It was about a month before Ella’s 64th birthday and she was a step closer to achieving that goal. Unfortunately for Ella, a new young boss, Sam, had joined the company and their first encounter was anything but pleasant.

Ella was mopping the corridors as she did every morning. It was Sam’s first day and as he was walking down the corridor to his new office, Ella turned around and hit him with the mop by mistake. The mop left a soiled stain on his expensive grey suit and white shirt.

“What the..?! Are you blind! Do you know how much this suit costs?!” an infuriated Sam barked at her.

“I’m so sorry, sir. I…I didn’t hear you coming,” Ella explained in a stammer.

“Of course you didn’t! What are you, 80 years old?!” Sam snapped, desperately trying to wipe the dirt off his suit. “Do you know how much this suit costs?!”

“I’m so sorry. Please, it was an honest mistake,” Ella pleaded.

“Ah! Just get out of my way!” Sam said, rushing off.

The rest of the day saw Ella in a state of constant anxiety, particularly when she found out from one of the other cleaners that Sam was the new guy in charge. However, Ella’s day managed to end on a good note after an encounter with a stranger in the elevator.

Ella got into an elevator with a man around the same age as her. He was elegantly dressed in an expensive suit. Ella figured he must have been a company client or consultant. While she did find him attractive, she knew better than to meddle with executives and the likes. Their ego was never worth the trouble.

“Hi, sir,” Ella said softly, turning to the side shyly.

“Good afternoon, ma’am,” the man, Thomas, replied. Out of the blue, the elevator stopped.

“Oh, no! Are we stuck?” Thomas asked, hitting the emergency button sporadically.

“I think so… But don’t worry, it does this sometimes. We should be good in about 10 minutes,” Ella explained before looking away, trying to mind her business.

Ella expected that, like most individuals of his status that she’d come across, he would never give her the time of day. But, to her surprise, Thomas continued in conversation.

“So, you enjoy working for the company?” Thomas asked.

“It’s been a pleasure. It’s one of the only companies that would hire me, so I’m eternally grateful,” Ella responded.

“That’s good. My son is the new CEO, so I’m glad to hear he’s doing a good job,” Thomas said.

“Nope! That’s it! I’ve had enough out of you. You’re fired! Never lay a foot in my building again!” Sam scolded her.
“Oh, interesting,” Ella said softly, feeling awkward about her recent interaction with her boss. She then noted a familiar book in Thomas’ hand.

“Is it your first time reading that?” Ella said, pointing at the book.

“Oh, this?” Thomas said, raising the book. “No, I’ve probably read it about a million times. Never gets old. I know, some people may find it childish, but I couldn’t care less,” Thomas said.

“I disagree. I think it’s one of the most brilliant masterpieces of our time. Every time I read it, I come across something new,” Ella said.

“Oh, really? You’re a fan?” Thomas asked, intrigued.

“A fan?” Ella said with a scoff, beginning to quote the book. “When you want something, all the…” Ella started as Thomas joined in to finish her sentence, saying, “…universe conspires in helping you to achieve it,” Thomas and Ella concluded simultaneously.

The pair continued to share their love for books for almost 30 minutes. The elevator maintenance took longer than expected, but neither of them minded. They went on and on about their favorite literature. Thomas quoted multiple random authors, trying to test Ella’s knowledge. But she knew every quote.

Thomas was in utter disbelief. In as little as thirty minutes, he’d come across an instant chemistry he hadn’t experienced in years. An unexpected spark flashed between the two, finally finding themselves gazing into each other’s eyes. Suddenly, the elevator doors shot open.

“Well, I guess our little book club has come to an abrupt end,” Thomas said.

“Yeah…I guess so,” Ella said as people began to approach the elevators. Thomas left, stealing one last gaze at Ella, the bookworm from the elevator.

Three weeks passed, and Ella and Thomas hadn’t seen each other since that fateful encounter in the elevator. After a long day, Ella decided she’d take a couple of minutes to rest on one of the couches in the lobby. As she lay there, Sam suddenly appeared.

“And what’s this, princess? You forgot you had a job?” Sam said sarcastically.

“Sorry, sir. It’s just been a long day, and I thought I’d try to get a little rest,” Ella responded, nervously getting up and grabbing the mop.

“A little rest? On company time?!” Sam said, infuriated. “Not on my watch! You’re lazy, you’re old, you’re sloppy, and you clearly don’t deserve to work here, let alone ‘rest’ here,” Sam snapped.

“Apologies, sir,” Ella said in an anxious stammer.

“Nope! That’s it! I’ve had enough out of you. You’re fired! Never lay a foot in my building again!” Sam scolded her.

“Please, sir! I’m only a week away from qualifying for my pension. After that, you’ll never have to see me again. Please, I’m begging you!” Ella pleaded.

“Listen, you better not be here when I get back,” Sam concluded, storming off and leaving a devastated Ella near tears. As Ella went upstairs to collect her things, she came across Thomas in the corridor.

“Hi, Ella! Are you okay?” Thomas asked, noting her somber demeanor. Ella paused, considering her next words carefully. Thomas’ words from the elevator rang in her head,

“My son is the new CEO, so I’m glad to hear he’s doing a good job.”

She suddenly had an epiphany. It was far from Ella’s character to enact revenge on someone, but Sam had taken everything away from her. Not just her pension but all the time and energy she had put into serving the company.
“Uhm…yes, I’ll be alright. It’s just been a long day,” Ella said.

“Oh, okay. I’ve been wondering when I would see you next,” Thomas confessed.

“Me too… Thomas, I know you’re a busy man. But would you, by any chance, have time to grab some coffee?” Ella asked, seductively batting her eyelashes.

“I can make time for you. Sure,” Thomas said with a kind smile.

Thomas and Ella went out for coffee later that day. She put on one of her best dresses and activated her feminine charm. Before they knew it, coffee turned to dinner, and by the end of the night, Thomas was completely enchanted by Ella.

“Don’t you dare talk to her like that! I bought this company for you so you could build your knowledge and help society with the opportunity you were given.”
The two exchanged numbers and continued to communicate from that day on. The more Ella talked to Thomas, the more she fell for him. While her heart was still set on getting revenge on Sam, it began to dawn on her that the man she was growing to love may just be a casualty in her lust for vengeance.

Ella and Thomas sat at the restaurant table having lunch as Ella contemplated her next move. She was at a crossroads, faced with the decision of either wrecking her relationship and getting even with Sam or letting Sam go and salvaging what she had built with Thomas. But then, Ella thought to herself, why can’t I have both?

“Thomas…I have to tell you something,” Ella said anxiously.

“What’s the matter, my love?” Thomas asked, grabbing Ella’s hand with concern.

“I never told you… I lost my job a week before qualifying for my pension,” Ella said.

“What?” Thomas asked, shocked. “Don’t worry, I’ll talk to my son. He’ll sort you out,” Thomas said, beginning to type on his phone.

“No!” Ella said, grabbing Thomas’ phone. “You don’t understand… Sam fired me! He started at the company only a month before my pension was due. I was ready to quit once I’d secured that. Unfortunately, I mistakenly stained his suit on his first day. Then, a few weeks later, he found me taking a break on the couch in the lobby…” Ella explained.

“I was worn out from work, Thomas. I tried to explain to him that it was just a little break in a long day. But he wasn’t hearing any of it. He fired me on the spot. I tried to explain that I had only a week left before my pension credits were done, but he wasn’t having any of it,” Ella explained, teary-eyed.

“I’m sorry, I should have told you sooner,” Ella said, almost in tears. At this point, Thomas’ blood was boiling.

“That’s it! Let’s go!” Thomas said furiously, getting up.

“Where?” Thomas asked, confused.

Thomas grabbed Ella’s arm, and they immediately left, heading to Sam’s office. When they eventually got there, storming into Sam’s office, Sam was utterly shocked.

“Dad, what are you doing here?” Sam asked, confused. He then turned to see Ella yelling, “And what is she doing here? Didn’t I tell you I never want to see you here again?” Sam said, turning to Ella.

“Don’t you dare talk to her like that! I bought this company for you so you could build your knowledge and help society with the opportunity you were given. Not so that you can trample over innocent people trying to procure their livelihood,” Thomas said, furious.

“You don’t understand, Dad! She’s obviously just using you just to get back to me! Can’t you see that?” Sam insisted.

“Enough!! Get out of my building! I should have done this a long time ago. But this…this is the last straw. I’m stripping you of the company, and I’m closing all your accounts! I want you outside of the house I pay for first thing tomorrow morning! I don’t have a son anymore!” Thomas snapped. Ella was just as shocked as Sam. She wanted Sam punished, but she would have never guessed it would’ve been this bad.

As Thomas and Ella made their way back home, her conscience wouldn’t let her go. Look what you’ve done, Ella. Can you live with breaking a family apart? Can you live with hurting the man you love? Was it worth it? she thought.

“Don’t worry, Ella! I’ll protect you from anything and everything!” Thomas assured her. Ella could not take it any longer. She had to confess.

“Your son was telling the truth. I did it to pay him back, but I didn’t want to destroy your family and his life,” Ella confessed.
“What?” Thomas said, instantly stopping on the side of the road.

“I’m so sorry, Thomas! It all started as a ploy to get back at him. But after the time we’ve spent together, I fell for you, Thomas. Please, you have to believe me!” Ella confessed in tears.

“Ella, if I wasn’t the man I’ve worked so hard to be, I would let you out right here. But that isn’t who I am. So, I’ll drop you safely at home. And after that…I want nothing to do with you,” Thomas concluded. They drove in silence, Ella trying to hold back her tears and Thomas his anger.

The next day, Ella was at home in a weeping mess. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. When she answered, to her surprise, Sam stood at her door. Sam explained that Thomas had returned everything the night before and told him that Ella had confessed everything.

Sam apologized for having behaved in the manner he did, particularly for calling to her age when she had worked tirelessly all those years for their company. He asked her to return to work and promised to raise her salary so that she would receive a larger pension. Seeing Ella’s devastation as she met him at the door, Sam also sincerely thanked her for being honest.

“It’s alright, Sam. As wrong as you were to me; you didn’t deserve what I did either. Thank you for rehiring me. Have a good night,” Ella said, dejectedly closing the door in Sam’s face.

While it was painful, Sam understood where Ella was coming from. He was overwhelmed by guilt and shame for everything that had transpired. Still far from consoled, he headed home determined to make things right.

The next day when Ella got to work, Sam invited her to his office for a meeting. When she entered his office, she found Thomas sitting at his table. As Thomas turned to the door at Ella’s arrival, he was immediately fuelled with anger.

“Is this what you brought me here for?!” Thomas yelled at Sam. “I have nothing to say to her!” Thomas said, about to leave, but Sam stopped him as he was about to reach the door.

“Listen, dad. I don’t understand why, but since you’ve been with Ella, you’ve been happier than I’ve seen you in ages. I had no idea she was the reason you were so happy. But I know I’m the reason you were robbed of that happiness. Please forgive her! I treated her horribly, and I deserved her trying to get even with me. But, she confessed her fault. And she’s a good woman. You both deserve to be happy.”

Thomas stood there for a moment, moved by his son’s words. He then turned to Ella, who was almost in tears. “I’m sorry, Thomas. I took advantage of your kindness. My agenda was impure. But I fell for you deeply. I know you don’t want to hear this, but it’s the truth. I’m sorry, Thomas. I really am,” Ella said, breaking down in tears.

Thomas couldn’t bear seeing Ella in this state. As much as her betrayal broke his heart, he couldn’t deny how much he loved her. Furthermore, seeing his son and Ella both making an effort to make things right. He felt compelled to do the same.

“It’ll take some time to get back to where we were. But I forgive you, Ella,” Thomas said, hugging her.

Ella and Thomas decided to start things from scratch. They continued dating and fell deeper in love. After six months, Thomas and Ella got married. And even Sam himself, who was once Ella’s sworn enemy, was grateful to have her as a stepmother.

What can we learn from this story?

Good deeds make a person happy, but bad ones destroy. Sam had treated Ella badly, and it eventually became his own misfortune. However, in showing her and his father kindness by reconciling them, he gained a loving mother. Likewise, Ella’s lust for vengeance brought her pain, but her confession brought her peace.
Love has no age. Thomas and Ella both found each other at an age where love seemed like a far-fetched fairytale. But, as fate would have it, they were made for each other.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a woman who gets a call from her husband saying, “He wants revenge!” only to see a mysterious man’s silhouette at the door.

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