When his wife Ade found out about his secret after months of taking precautions, Anthony didn’t know what to do. He had been trying to keep it concealed for almost a year now.
But now, the truth is finally coming out. How would his wife react to the finding? Would she be able to accept what he had been doing for all this time?
Sometimes, a family can look absolutely impeccable from the exterior. The Roberts (we won’t disclose their real names to preserve their privacy) were one of those families. Anthony, the husband, had a restaurant; his spouse Ade was a housewife. They had three kids, aged 3, 5, and 7.
They had been living for all their lives in the suburbs of Buffalo. All the neighbors knew them and appreciated them. But there was something they didn’t know about them.
More often than not, families keep skeletons in the closet. Sometimes it’s only one member of the family who keeps those skeletons concealed from everyone else’s eyes, including those of their own family members.
And when it comes to Roberts, it was Anthony who had a secret. But it would take some time to be brought to the light.
It was something that happened gradually. It all started when Anthony temporarily closed his restaurant due to the pandemic restrictions. He didn’t expect those to last for too long, and he wasn’t worried about a temporary lack of income. He had enough savings from years of hard work.
So he decided to just wait it out. He spent his time relaxing at his home, playing with his children, and watching sports on TV. But he was in for a surprise.
After some months, the situation with the pandemic didn’t seem to be getting any better. The family’s savings lasted for a while. But soon enough, they found themselves praying for the pandemic to end so Anthony could go back to work.
But the moment when Anthony would finally be able to reopen his restaurant didn’t seem to be any closer. And Roberts started to worry.
Finally, Anthony came up with a solution. He couldn’t afford to just sit with his arms crossed and wait until the situation got better. He would need to start a different business venture, at least until he could reopen the restaurant.
So he decided to start selling food items online. Delicacies, wine, and even his own special bottled tomato sauce. They were all products that he used for the meals in his restaurant, and he expected them to have good reception in the market. Anthony hoped everything would work out, and his family prayed for the best.
Anthony’s new business took a while to take off; but soon enough, he started to see a profit. People were interested in his products! A lot of his clients were die-hard fans of his restaurant who felt sorry to see him struggle.
But he also got the attention of plenty of new customers. His special tomato sauce was even featured on the recommendations page of a magazine for gourmets! The family was delighted. Everything seemed too good to be true.
Anthony was now making even more money than he ever did with the restaurant. He received plenty of calls from shops and clients who were interested in his products. And for some reason, he always took those calls in the garage.
At first, the family didn’t think anything of that particular habit of Anthony. Little did they know that it meant more than what they thought.
The money kept coming in. And the funniest thing about it was that Anthony didn’t even seem to be working that much. He was still spending most of his time relaxing around the house and watching sports on TV. Sometimes he would go to the garage to take some calls, and that was it.
As happy as she was for her husband’s sudden success, Ade thought there was something fishy about it. So one day, she decided to observe him while he was taking one of his calls.
Ade had studied Andrew’s call patterns for a few days now, and she knew he’d always be on the phone at noon. That day, she made lunch as quickly as she could and sneaked into the garage unseen.
Standing by the other side of the garage door, she waited for Andrew to come to answer his calls, and like clockwork, he walked in with his phone ringing and a broad grin across his face.
Ade ducked under a shelve as her husband settled in the garage. He leaned against his workbench, his grin holding fast as he answered the call.
Ade tried to listen to the content of Anthony’s conversation on the phone, her mind already predicting what the conversation was about. But as much as she tried, she couldn’t hear a thing. Her eyes trailed up the stairs leading back to the house, and she realized her mistake.
Ade had gone to lengths to ensure she’d uncover what her husband was hiding. She’d made sure she was available at the right time when he received the call and that she’d be in the correct place where she could listen in unseen by Andrew.
But Ade had forgotten to factor in one crucial part in her plan. Their kids’ vocal cords were among the loudest things in the house, almost as loud as the TV on full volume. Their voices, alongside the TV, overshadowed everything that came out of Andrew’s mouth.
Ade stayed in her hiding spot as valuable information escaped her grasp. Her kids had been quiet all morning. What were the odds that they’d start chanting superhero names when Andrew was on the phone?
Ade frowned at the coincidence, knowing the day was lost. She stayed put until Andrew finished his call and went back upstairs. But although she hadn’t heard a thing, she’d collected some information from her husband’s body language.
Ade eased upstairs to the kitchen. She set to serving lunch, but as she moved around the island, her mind sorted through everything she’d seen in the garage. She noted that his grin had faded when he answered the call, only blooming after he’d started talking.
She’d seen how rapidly his lips moved and how much he used his hands while talking. His face had been so animated, and his eyes full of sparkle as he spoke. All this could only mean one thing.
Before walking into the garage, Ade had thought Andrew was doing something that might’ve jeopardized their marriage. Although the thought had been fleeting, she knew she’d be foolish not to acknowledge the possibility of such an occurrence.
Ade and Andrew had never had such issues between them, and after what Ade had witnessed in the garage, she knew she could safely rule out the thought from her mind. One thing made her believe she was right to do so.
Andrew only got that animated and excited when he talked to her, their kids, family, or his friends. He was usually formal with everybody else, acquaintances, employees, or business associates.
Ade also felt deep within her that after everything they’d built together, he’d never hurt her like that. Seeing that neither she nor the kids were in the garage as he talked on the phone, this could only mean one thing.
The only conclusion that Ade could come up with was that Andrew talked to one of his friends. She hated that her findings didn’t reveal much but was relieved that he wasn’t doing anything to ruin their marriage. If only she knew.
Forced to wait for the next day, where she hoped Andrew would answer another call, Ade called the kids for lunch. She also served and ate with Andrew, but as they were eating, he asked her something that made her heart stop.
“That ebook-reader you’re always talking about, honey,” Andrew began. “How much did you say it costs again?” Ade cocked her head back, remembering how excited she’d been when her favorite brand ebooks released a new entry in their latest models.
The question hurled her mind back to the crazy profits Andrew was raking in, and she immediately thought about those garage calls again. The ebook reader was expensive, but Andrew could afford it? “I’m happy with the one I have,” Ade smiled, reaching across the table for his hand.
That night, Ade found it hard to sleep. She didn’t understand how Andrew could keep secrets from her. She hated that he was acting like everything was okay in their home. Ade wanted to wake Andrew up to talk but tried to put herself in his shoes.
What if his online business had truly taken off, and they were making the profits she’d seen? How would he feel when his wife questioned the credibility of his income? She hissed out a hot breath, knowing the only way to solve this issue would be to return to the garage at noon the next day.
Ade finished the next day’s chores and work calls by midday. She also gave the kids a pass to play on her computer in her room, given they’d close the bedroom door while inside. Seeing the hour hand inch toward noon, she calmly slipped into the garage.
As expected, Andrew walked into the garage and picked up his ringing phone. Ade was quiet in the same place she’d hidden the previous day. But today, her findings would be different.
With the kids’ voices muffled upstairs and the TV turned off, Ade heard everything Andrew said. The first thing that surprised her was that he wasn’t talking about food: he seemed to be talking about sports! She heard a few names of sports teams and players.
Anthony finally finished the conversation. And Ade hadn’t heard a single name of a food item. What was going on? After her husband left the garage, she entered the room. She was about to find out about Anthony’s little secret.
She didn’t know what she expected to find there. And at first, she didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. But for some reason, she felt some sort of call from the workbench where Anthony used to sit for his phone calls.
She looked under it. There was a notebook there! She opened it. It was all numbers and names of sports teams and players! It seemed like the notebook of a bookmaker! Ade took the notebook and immediately confronted Anthony about it.
At first, Anthony didn’t know what to say. He tried to pretend not to know what that notebook was or why it was under the workbench in the garage. But after a while, he gave up and confessed the truth.
He hadn’t just been selling food items and tomato sauce. He had also been working as a bookie.
The closure of his restaurant and the family’s difficult financial situation had pushed Anthony to take up a new occupation. He had found a way to profit from his love of sports: he had been setting up bets for months. And he had made a lot of money with it.
More than half of the family’s income during the past few months didn’t come from selling food: they came from illegal gambling.
When she finally knew the truth, Ade was conflicted. On one part, what her husband had been doing was illegal, which could have brought him some big problems. But at that time, the family really needed the money.
If it wasn’t for Anthony’s bookmaking activities, God knows what would have happened to her and the children. She spent the afternoon quiet on the couch, wondering what she’d do next.
As Ade wondered what her next move would be, she thought about everything she had. Her family was healthy and safely bouncing through the pandemic. As much as she hated to admit it, it was all because of Andrew’s not-so-legal business venture.
The only thing that she disliked more than the bookmaking was that Andrew kept all of it from her. Weren’t they supposed to shoulder everything as partners? To her, that was Andrew’s biggest mistake.
Andrew came to try and talk to Ade, but all she gave him was a blank stare. She’d calmed a bit from when she found the notebook, but she still needed some time to think before deciding on their fate.
An hour later, Ade called Andrew and told him what was on her mind. She reminded him that they were supposed to be a team and that although she disapproved of what he was doing, she’d have heard him out. She also informed him that she’d decided about them and his illegal business.
Ade listened to Andrew’s part in their discussion before making her decision known. Andrew apologized for everything, telling her he’d felt useless after their savings went low and all the house’s financial responsibilities fell on Ade’s shoulders.
Although he appreciated how hard she worked, he hated seeing her bear all that burden and wanted to help. When selling foodstuffs online didn’t work out as much as he’d hoped, he had to find another way to support his family. Would she hear him out?
Ade told Andrew the idea of separating or divorce never crossed her mind. What they had was strong despite what he’d done. But she would not risk their family because of what he was doing in the garage.
She thanked him for wanting to help and assured him there were other ways to bring money into the family. As they ended their discussion, she presented Andrew with her decision.
Ade demanded that Anthony give up on the bookmaking before it was too late and the police got involved. He had made enough money with it, and the Roberts wouldn’t have any financial worries in some time.
Anthony invested most of his earnings into his restaurant and his delicacies business. And after a while, he could open his restaurant again and never needed to do anything else in his life.