Abigail and Jeremy got divorced about 10 years ago. Abigail did not want to see a lawyer, worried that it might turn ugly. So she talked to Jeremy, who agreed that it was a good idea to not use lawyers. He said not to worry, he would take care of her. She said she wasn’t looking for a free ride—she could take care of herself. But, Jeremy insisted, he would help her out, then or whenever she needed money. It was the least he could do for her, since she was not taking 50 percent of his income and property.
So, Jeremy gave her $10,000 before they got divorced, because Abigail said that would be all she would need to finish getting her master’s degree and start teaching. And that was it. For the next 10 years after getting her degree, Abigail worked as a teacher. She liked her job and the people she worked with. Unfortunately, a tornado wiped out the entire school and half the town. Many teachers got laid off. Abigail spent a month visiting family and friends, but then had to find a new job.
She decided to change careers. To do so, she needed to go back to school for two years. Her tuition and living expenses would cost her $25,000. She called Jeremy. She and Jeremy had remained friendly over the years.
“Jeremy, I need a big favor,” she said over the phone.
“Sure, Abi, you name it,” Jeremy replied agreeably. Jeremy had a great job and a good life. She told him that she had been laid off, and she needed $25,000 for a degree and a new career. The friendliness left Jeremy’s voice. She reminded him of his promise ten years ago to help her out whenever she needed it.
“Yeah, Abi, but that was ten years ago. That’s history now, right? Have you tried your local bank?”