Jacob, a middle-aged car mechanic, noticed unusually expensive earrings on his wife’s ears one evening. As he attempted to discover their origin, he realized she was concealing something. This realization led him to follow her one day, a decision that would forever alter the course of his life.

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After a successful week at the auto repair shop, Jacob felt a sense of accomplishment and came home early to an empty house. He indulged in a moment of solitude with a beer and his favorite basketball game on TV. It was moments like these that he cherished—simple, unburdened, and peaceful.

When the game ended, he went outside, feeling the breeze in his face as inspiration hit. It was time to clear some things from the garage. But as Jacob started to tidy up, his wife, Elizabeth, arrived home, looking tired. Jacob greeted her warmly and noticed she was wearing new, expensive-looking earrings. Curious, he asked, “What kind of earrings are those?”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

Elizabeth, hesitantly touching her ear, replied, “Oh, these? They’re…um, not mine. They’re Katie’s. She let me borrow them. I’ve always wanted earrings like these.”

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Jacob sensed her discomfort and frowned. But he chose not to question further despite her strange demeanor. “Nice of Katie to lend them to you,” he said, forcing a smile. “Let’s get inside. I bet you’re tired after work.”

They went inside, and he resolved to stay alert and watchful, feeling unsettled by her unusual response. After a typical dinner and bedtime routine for their pre-teen daughter Amanda, Jacob found himself lying in bed, plagued by doubts about his wife’s new earrings. Strange thoughts entered his mind. Had someone else given her the earrings? Was she cheating?

Despite these doubts, he didn’t bring it up with Elizabeth. He was scared of what he might discover. He waited, listening to her steady breathing until it became deep and even, signaling she was asleep. At last, he stood and sneaked her phone into the bathroom to check the messages.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

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Jacob hadn’t found anything after a few minutes of scrolling. Nothing seemed amiss, but suddenly, he felt eyes on his back. Elizabeth stood in the doorway. “What are you doing?” she asked, her voice high and squeaky. “Why did you take my phone?”

Jacob, unable to contain his frustration, confronted her. “How could you think I’d believe that story about the earrings? Kate, letting you wear them? It’s absurd! Who are you really seeing? How long has this been going on?”

Elizabeth wrinkled her nose and retorted, “Are you actually accusing me of cheating? Have you lost your mind?”

Jacob was about to insist, but in a moment of pure clumsiness, he accidentally dropped Elizabeth’s phone into the toilet.

Distraught, she exclaimed, “My phone! You’ve ruined it!” She tried to salvage it, but it was too late. In her frustration, she said, “You’ve changed… You’ve become someone I don’t recognize.” She left the bathroom and briskly walked to the hallway.

Jacob was breathing heavily, but her words hadn’t placated his doubts. So, he acted before she could return. His hands were quick on his wrist as he dislodged his fitness bracelet and threw it into her bag to check her movements later.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For the rest of the night, the house was filled with the echoes of Elizabeth sobbing distantly on the sofa and Jacob lying in bed, wrestling with his own pounding heart and need for the truth.

The next day, his shift passed in a haze as his mind fixated on Elizabeth’s whereabouts. A text from her arrived unexpectedly: “I need space after yesterday. I’m spending the evening at Cynthia’s house. I’ll be home late.”

Suspicious, he asked his colleague Willy for a favor. “Hey, Will. Can you cover for me for the rest of the day? Something urgent came up.” Willy agreed, and Jacob left to follow the location indicated by his fitness bracelet.

It was immediately apparent that the directions led him somewhere strange, not his wife’s usual hangouts or frequented spaces. A luxurious estate appeared in the distance, and his heart sank, feeling too heavy in his chest.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

This explains the earrings, at least. For a second, Jacob wondered if he should storm in, demanding answers. But instead, he peeked through the windows. It was a mistake. His worst fears were confirmed when he saw Elizabeth in an embrace with his boss, Peter.

Stunned and hurt, Jacob thought again about storming in and confronting them but reconsidered and returned to his car, driving quickly home. He spent the entire evening thinking, strategizing the best way to gather evidence of Peter’s affair with Elizabeth and what to do with it. Finally, the solution came right before he fell into a restless dream.

The following day, determined and heavy-hearted, he came to work with a small recording device, planning to gather incontrovertible proof of the affair. He spent his morning at work anxiously waiting for an opportunity to execute his plan.

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When Peter finally seemed to have a moment, Jacob approached his large office. “Hello, sir, may I come in?” he asked.

Busy at his laptop, Peter welcomed him, “Hello, friend. Yes, of course, come in!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

Inside, Jacob discussed his vacation plans in a casual conversation. “I’m thinking of taking two weeks off next month,” he said.

Peter replied warmly, “Of course. You’ve been working hard. You definitely deserve some time off to relax.”

Jacob subtly placed a small recording device under Peter’s desk as the conversation continued. Before leaving, he confirmed his vacation time, “Just one more thing, Peter, I can count on that vacation time, right?”

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Frowning slightly, Peter assured him, “Absolutely, Jacob. Anytime you need.”

Later, using special headphones connected to the bug, he listened to a conversation between Peter and Elizabeth. Peter’s words completely destroyed Jacob’s pride…and his marriage.

“Hello, Lizzy… Are you going to go somewhere on vacation with your husband? No? Well, then, maybe we can spend tomorrow night at my house? Tell him that you were called on a business trip. Ok, I’m waiting, and I love you, Lizzie!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

But he couldn’t let them carry on so easily. With shaky hands, Jacob uploaded the recording and anonymously sent it to Peter’s wife.

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As Jacob drove through the darkening roads after his shift, the colors of the sunset did little to ease his troubled mind. Suddenly, his phone rang, displaying Peter’s name. With a sinking heart, he answered, bracing for the worst.

“Listen to me, idiot,” Peter’s voice came through, seething. “First, you’re fired! Secondly, you failed. My wife and I have not been in a romantic relationship for a long time… You think I wouldn’t know it was you, idiot? And thirdly, if you try to break me and Elizabeth up again, I will go to the police and charge you with espionage and illegal surveillance on me, understood?”

Reeling from the shock, Jacob tightened his grip on the steering wheel, speechless. The call ended before he could say something in return, leaving him alone with his helpless thoughts.

As he arrived home, the familiarity of the streets offered no comfort. But worst of all, he found his wife packing. “Elizabeth? What’s going on?” Jacob asked, his voice laced with panic.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

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“Peter called me,” Elizabeth responded, her tone steady. “I think you understand what’s happening.”

Jacob’s stomach churned. “Are you leaving me for him?” he asked, the words barely audible.

“Yes, Jacob. We can’t be together anymore,” Elizabeth replied, avoiding his gaze.

He stepped closer. “Please, babe, don’t do this. We can work things out,” he implored.

Elizabeth shook her head, stepping back. “It’s not just about what happened with Peter. There’s been no love between us for a long time. We’ve been drifting apart, and now… this is the end.”

Jacob struggled to accept this. His desperation brought sweat to his forehead. “Babe, please, let’s talk about this. We can fix whatever’s wrong. I know I’ve made mistakes, but we can work through this, can’t we?” he pleaded.

Elizabeth remained firm. “It’s not just about the mistakes. It’s about how we’ve been with each other. We’ve been distant, living like strangers under the same roof. I can’t keep pretending that everything is fine.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

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Still grasping for hope, Jacob continued, “But I love you, Elizabeth. We can try to find that spark again, can’t we? For the sake of our family, for Amanda.”

With wrinkling eyes, Elizabeth replied, “I’m sorry, but it’s not just about trying. The love… it’s just not there anymore. And we can’t force it to be.”

Their daughter, Amanda, unexpectedly interrupted them, and Jacob’s jaw dropped as he stared at the bag in her hands, which confirmed that she was going with her mother. “No, my daughter is not going with you!”

“Yes, I am, Dad,” the pre-teen girl said, shrugging.

The pain in his chest got too intense, and Jacob angrily yelled, “Traitors! All of you! Fine! Go then! But when I come back here tomorrow, I don’t want to see any of you here!” His words echoed through the house as he stormed out.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

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His car led him to the only place he knew as home: the mechanic shop. As he stepped into the garage, he encountered Willy, who expressed surprise and concern upon learning of Jacob’s dismissal.

“I heard from Peter you’re not working here anymore. Is that true?” Willy asked.

Jacob strongly affirmed, “Yes, it’s true, Will.” But he wanted to change the subject quickly and offered to look at the car, masking his true intentions. “I owe you for covering for me yesterday.” His friend agreed quickly, as he had been working extra hours on the boss’s car and was ready to leave.

Once alone, Jacob followed his intrusive thoughts, and despite his better judgment, he tampered with Peter’s car, cutting the brake fluid supply hose. As he left, he casually asked Willy when Peter would pick up the vehicle, learning it would be in about an hour.

Back home, Jacob’s wait for news about Peter was interrupted by a call from Willy, who revealed that Elizabeth and Amanda had taken Peter’s car instead. No! Panicked, Jacob tried to contact them but received no response. No! No!

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

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Suddenly, another call came. It was an unknown number, but the ringing felt ominous. Somehow, Jacob knew what would happen as his finger clicked on the screen. It was a nurse from the local hospital…. Elizabeth and Amanda had been rushed into the emergency room and straight to surgery.

“They’ve been in an accident. They’re both in critical condition,” the nurse expressed. “Can you please come? I have some forms…”

Jacob felt the room spin around him as the nurse’s words disappeared. The phone slipped from his grasp and clattered to the floor.

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

Roman worked as a janitor in the later years of his life. When he dies, he dies alone – he and his wife are separated, and his children live with her. But what happens when they discover a large sum of money transferred into their accounts? Here’s the whole story.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to [email protected].

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