It was summer, and the sun was blazing in the sky.
Rhonda Horton was handing out leaflets at the entrance of a shopping mall.
Just then, she saw a young man and woman walking hand in hand into the shopping mall nearby.
Rhonda's eyes widened when she realized it was her boyfriend, Santino Byrne, and her best friend, Cristina Grey.
Santino had told her that he was going for an interview today. She wondered what he was doing here.
Rhonda's lungs constricted. She hurriedly followed them.
However, she lost sight of them when she entered the mall.
Rhonda frantically ran around. Just then, her phone rang with a message. It was a transaction notification of her credit card.
Santino had bought a piece of jewelry worth 49, 998 dollars.
Rhonda let out a startled gasp. It was almost half of her annual income.
She soon darted to the jewelry counter and saw a saleswoman sliding a flashy diamond ring on Cristina's slender ring finger.
The diamond on the ring was big and exquisite. It was the same one Rhonda had been dreaming about for a long time.
Her mind went blank when she saw the contented smile on Cristina's face.
Santino had gotten fired six months ago. He had been staying in her place, using her money to meet his needs. Bile rose in Rhonda's throat. How dare he use her money to buy a diamond ring for another woman?
She wasn't a pushover.
Rhonda sprinted over, grabbed the ring from Cristina's hand, and handed it to the saleswoman.
"Sorry. I want to return this ring."
"What the hell are you doing, Rhonda? I just bought this ring. What right do you have to return it?" Cristina bellowed.
Rhonda lost her cool. She glared at the woman and slapped her across her face.
"What are you doing?" Meantime, Santino returned from the cash counter. He protectively held Cristina in his arms and shouted at Rhonda.
"What's the matter with you? I spent only a couple of dollars from your account. Aren't you ashamed of being so stingy?" Santino looked at her with undisguised disgust.
Rhonda looked at him in disbelief. Betrayal, anger, and humiliation surged within her.
"You hooked up with my friend and spent my hard-earned money on her. Now you are asking me if I'm not ashamed of myself?"
"Yes, I'm with Cristina. What can you do? Look at yourself." He scrunched his nose up in disgust. "No man will love you!"
Rhonda had been saving up every penny for the past six months to support Santino. She had stopped buying skincare products and new clothes. Her clothes were old, and her skin had lost its glow. But for all the sacrifices, she only got heartbreak and betrayal in return.
A crowd of people gathered around them. Santino angrily threw the credit card and receipt at Rhonda's face.
"Here! Take it! It's obvious you only care about money. I've had enough of you!"
Rhonda's face hurt as the card grazed her skin, but it was nothing compared to the pain in her heart.
"Rhonda, a woman like you will only end up dying alone. No man can stand you." With that, Santino took Cristina's hand and left the mall.
Rhonda picked up the card and receipt on the floor, completed the refund procedure, and went straight back to the apartment she and Santino lived in.
This apartment had two bedrooms. She and Santino had been living in separate rooms all this while.
Rhonda used to think Santino was a gentleman who respected her. Thinking back, it all seemed ridiculous.
As soon as she returned to the apartment, she began packing Santino's luggage. Rhonda was determined to kick him out today.
She angrily pulled the bed sheet. Just then, her gaze fell on two used condoms. It looked like they were used recently.
Her last ounce of love and admiration for Santino vanished in an instant.
She packed his luggage and threw them out of the door one after the other.
Just then, Santino returned with Cristina.
He became furious when he saw the luggage piled up on the floor.
"Rhonda, are you crazy? How dare you touch my things?"
Rhonda ignored him and calmly sat on the sofa in the living room. In the past, she thought Santino was the most handsome man in the world, but now, the mere look of him made her sick.
"You've come back just in time. Give me the key to the door, and don't set your filthy foot into my place ever again!"
"Rhonda, are you out of your mind? I used to pay the rent before. How can you ask me to move out?" Santino roared.
"Yes, you're right. You used to pay the rent before!" Rhonda snapped, stressing the word 'before'. "What about the rent for the last six months and the living expenses for the past two and a half years? Did you pay for all that?"
Rhonda glared at him and eventually took deep breaths to calm down.
Seeing that many neighbors had gathered around, gossiping about him, Santino felt embarrassed. He wanted to handle the situation first.
"Rhonda, all you want is money! The rent for six months is at most twenty or thirty thousand dollars. It is just what I make in two months. After I find a job, I will pay you back the rent."
"We don't have to wait until you find a job. We can give her the money right away." Cristina took out her phone and walked to Rhonda. "Let's make a deal. I will pay you back the rent for six months, and you must move out today."
Cristina calculated that the rent was a piece of cake compared to how much Rhonda had spent on Santino over the years. Cristina believed Santino would be grateful to her all his life if she paid the money now.
Santino graduated from a prestigious university and had a promising future. In the past, he used to make 30 thousand dollars a month.
Seeing Rhonda nodding happily, Cristina transferred the money to the latter through an online payment.
Then, she complacently pointed to the door. "Hurry up! Pack your things and get out!"
"No hurry." Rhonda turned around and took out the grant deed.
"Read this carefully." Rhonda showed the grant deed to Cristina. It clearly stated that Rhonda Horton was the sole owner of this property.
"I own this apartment. I don't want to rent it to you now."
"Rhonda, you swindled me!" Santino flew into a fit of rage. "You own this apartment, yet you made me pay the rent all these years!"
"You were living in my place. Shouldn't you be paying the rent?" Rhonda shrugged innocently.
"God, you're a treacherous witch! I underestimated you before," Santino growled, pointing his finger at her.
"You're despicable!" Cristina's heart sank. She regretted spending the money for nothing. Moreover, Santino had no place to live now!
"Oh, please! I'm nothing compared to you!"
Rhonda went to the door. "Take your things and get out!"
Cristina was unwilling to admit defeat. Noticing that more neighbors were gathering to witness what was happening, Santino hurriedly dragged her away.
Before leaving, he looked back at Rhonda, thinking about how to get the apartment from her soon.
After successfully driving the duo away, Rhonda leaned against the wall and let out a weary sigh.
The only thought in her mind right now was that she didn't have to do the tedious part-time jobs anymore to support him in the future.
Just then, Rhonda's phone rang. She took it out and found it was a call from her younger brother.
"Rhonda, Grandma has been diagnosed with cancer. The surgery will cost five hundred thousand dollars. I don't have so much money. I..." Her brother choked with sobs.