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A mother and daughter arguing | Source: Shutterstock
A mother and daughter arguing | Source: Shutterstock

I Transferred $24K to My Daughter for Her College Tuition, Only to Discover She Never Enrolled — What She Spent It On Made Me Pale

Prenesa Naidoo
Jul 01, 2024
04:05 P.M.

Caroline had been saving for her daughter's college fund since Angela was born. But after a classmate of Angela's reveals that Angela is not actually enrolled in college, Caroline must uncover what her daughter is doing and what she used the money for.

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Children are always going to break your heart. This was something that I learned the hard way after trusting my daughter, Angela, completely.

A close-up of a smiling girl | Source: Midjourney

A close-up of a smiling girl | Source: Midjourney

Since Angela was born, I have been saving for college. I needed to know that irrespective of what life threw my way, I would be able to educate my child.

"I think you can wait until she's a little older," my husband, Holden, said. "We can do it together."

"You can add to her college fund later," I said, looking at my baby girl. "But I'm going to start from next month. I wasn't able to study, Holden. And it was because we didn't have the opportunity to do so. Angela is going to get that opportunity."

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A smiling baby girl | Source: Midjourney

A smiling baby girl | Source: Midjourney

"Okay, Caroline," my husband said. "You start it now, and I'll add to it in a year. The house will be paid off, and I'll be able to put that money into the fund."

He squeezed my hand in reassurance, and I knew that we would both do anything to give our daughter the entire world.

But maybe I should have paid more attention to Angela when she graduated from high school.

A smiling couple with a baby | Source: Midjourney

A smiling couple with a baby | Source: Midjourney

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"Are you sure you don't want me to help you with your college applications?" I asked my daughter when we went grocery shopping one day.

"Yes, Mom," she said, adding a bottle of juice to the cart. "I can handle it by myself. But thank you for offering."

So, I left her to handle the application process by herself. She was an ambitious and responsible kid, so I thought that she could handle it with her eyes closed.

A smiling girl in a grocery store | Source: Midjourney

A smiling girl in a grocery store | Source: Midjourney

"I may ask you to read my application essay, Mom," she said one evening as I was cooking dinner. "But there's still time to get it done."

I didn't think much of it and gave my daughter her space to navigate it.

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And then one morning, she came into my bedroom and asked me to transfer all the money that we had been saving for her college fund.

A woman wearing an apron | Source: Midjourney

A woman wearing an apron | Source: Midjourney

"Sure, darling," I said. "I'll go down to the bank later today and sort it out."

"Thanks, Mom," she beamed. "You're the best!"

Looking back, that was my first mistake.

A woman at the bank | Source: Midjourney

A woman at the bank | Source: Midjourney

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Recently, I ran into her classmate, Trina, who I knew went to the same college as Angela. They had also gone to the same high school. She was in the company of her mother.

"How's my angel doing?" I asked Trina as she eyed a dress in the clothing store where we had bumped into each other.

"Excuse me?" the girl asked, looking completely confused.

A young woman in a clothing store | Source: Midjourney

A young woman in a clothing store | Source: Midjourney

"Angela?" I asked, trying to figure out if I said something wrong. "She said that she's only going to come home at the end of the semester, so I haven't seen her in ages!"

"Caroline, I have no idea," she said. "Angela and I met a few times before I left for college, and I thought that we were going to be roommates. But when I got there, I found out that she didn't enroll."

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A college dorm | Source: Midjourney

A college dorm | Source: Midjourney

I was too stunned to think.

My daughter, the model child who never skipped class all through high school, had been lying to the whole family.

"How much of her college fund has been used?" my husband asked me when I told him about meeting Trina.

A middle aged man holding a cup | Source: Midjourney

A middle aged man holding a cup | Source: Midjourney

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"$24,000," I said. "But if she didn't use it for college, then what has she been doing with it?"

"That's what I'd like to know," he said. "Call her, Caroline. Get to the bottom of this."

I called Angela as soon as I got home, hoping that it was some kind of mistake. But what she told me made me question if I ever knew who my daughter truly was.

A woman holding a phone | Source: Midjourney

A woman holding a phone | Source: Midjourney

"Angela, it's Mom," I said the second she answered.

"Mom?" she replied. "Is everything okay? Why do you have your anxious voice?"

"I ran into Trina and her mother today. And she said that you've never enrolled in college. What's going on, darling? I need you to talk to me."

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A young woman holding a phone | Source: Midjourney

A young woman holding a phone | Source: Midjourney

There was a long pause before she replied.

"Mom, can we talk in person? There's something I need to show you," she said. "It's important, and everything will make sense."

"Angela, darling, please just tell me now," I insisted. "Where is the money? What did you use it for?"

A worried woman | Source: Midjourney

A worried woman | Source: Midjourney

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"Mom, please," she repeated. "Just meet me at 5th and Main in an hour. I'll explain everything."

What other choice did I have? I took two of my anxiety pills and got into the car, ready to meet my daughter.

As I drove, my mind raced through the countless possibilities. Was Angela in trouble?

Two white pills | Source: Midjourney

Two white pills | Source: Midjourney

When I arrived at the address she had given me, Angela was waiting for me outside a quaint little building. My daughter looked nervous, biting her nails as I parked and got out of the car.

"Mom," she smiled. "It's time I showed you something important."

A woman driving a car | Source: Midjourney

A woman driving a car | Source: Midjourney

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We stepped into a cozy, beautifully decorated coffee shop. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee filled the air, and the walls were lined with books and canvas art. There were customers scattered around, sipping their drinks, reading books, or even writing.

It was an introvert's haven.

My daughter turned to me, her eyes wide with anticipation.

People reading in a coffee shop | Source: Midjourney

People reading in a coffee shop | Source: Midjourney

"This is my place, Mom," she said. "I used the money to open my dream coffee shop. I live in the apartment upstairs."

I was too stunned to remember any words.

"You used your tuition money for this?" I gasped.

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A shocked woman | Source: Midjourney

A shocked woman | Source: Midjourney

"Yes," she said, her voice slow and steady. "I know it was wrong to lie, but I've always wanted to open my own business. I was scared to tell you because I knew how much college meant to you. And I know that I'm young and inexperienced. But I wanted to try and do it on my own."

As she spoke, I wanted to be the supportive mother I thought that I was. But my trust was broken, and the main thing that ran through my veins was anger.

A mother and daughter duo sitting together | Source: Midjourney

A mother and daughter duo sitting together | Source: Midjourney

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"Angela, do you have any idea how much trust you've broken?" I asked. "I worked so hard to save that money for your education."

"I know, Mom. And I'm so sorry," she said. "But I felt like you never listened to what I really wanted. I thought that this was the only way to show you."

A girl with a backpack walking to a building | Source: Midjourney

A girl with a backpack walking to a building | Source: Midjourney

I looked around the coffee shop, taking in the little details that I missed the first time. It was clear that she had put her heart and soul into this place.

"Why didn't you just talk to me?" I asked.

"Mom, I've tried," she said. "But every time I brought up anything I wanted, you'd change the subject to college. What other choice did I have?"

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A close-up of a young woman | Source: Midjourney

A close-up of a young woman | Source: Midjourney

I sighed, the weight of her words sinking in.

"You should have trusted me enough to have that conversation, Angela. There's no such thing as you tried to talk to me, and then went ahead and did your own thing."

"I know, I'm sorry for lying and using the money without your permission. But look around, Mom. This is my passion. This is what I want to do with my life."

A frowning woman | Source: Midjourney

A frowning woman | Source: Midjourney

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As I looked into my daughter's eyes, I saw the determination and passion that had driven her to take such a bold step. It was hard to stay angry when I could see how much this meant to her.

"I'm proud of what you've accomplished. But I'm hurt and disappointed that you didn't trust me enough to share your dreams."

"I understand," she said quietly. "I promise to earn back your trust."

"What next?" I asked her. "As well as this business may do, you need to have an education."

Two women sitting together | Source: Midjourney

Two women sitting together | Source: Midjourney

"I know," she replied, serious. "And I'm going to use the money that I make from the coffee shop to enroll next year. I'm going to do distance learning, but I'll be studying irrespective."

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I nodded at her.

We stood in silence for a moment, the air heavy with unspoken words. Then I pulled her into a hug, feeling the tension melt away.

A smiling woman | Source: Midjourney

A smiling woman | Source: Midjourney

Angela gave me a tour of the shop, introducing me to her business partner and showing me the ins and outs of their operation. By the end of it, I was impressed by what they had accomplished in such a short space of time.

I could only hope that my daughter knew what she was doing.

A cup on a table in a coffee shop | Source: Midjourney

A cup on a table in a coffee shop | Source: Midjourney

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What would you have done?

If you enjoyed this story, here's another one for you |

My DIL Secretly Ruined My Place after I Refused to Trade Houses with Her - I Had Nothing Left but to Teach Her a Lesson on Respect

A few months after her husband, Adam, passed away, Anne's son, Charlie buys her a new home closer to him. Initially hesitant, Anne finally decides to move. But then she has to deal with her jealous daughter-in-law, Angela, who just wants the house. After Angela pulls a stunt that results in the house being fumigated, Anne has no choice but to teach her a lesson.

After my husband of 53 years passed away six months ago, I felt heartbroken. Everything in the house reminded me of Adam and the memories we had made there.

An old woman sitting down | Source: Pexels

An old woman sitting down | Source: Pexels

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Sometimes it was comforting, but at other times, the loneliness felt too suffocating, making me curl into a ball and sleep on Adam's side of the bed for some form of comfort.

My son, Charlie, saw how difficult it was for me, and he wanted me to move closer to him and his wife, Angela.

An elderly woman sitting on a blue couch | Source: Pexels

An elderly woman sitting on a blue couch | Source: Pexels

"Mom, I've already found a place for you. It's about five minutes away from us, and I've already put in an offer," Charlie said.

"Honey, I can't ask you to do that for me," I said, speaking to him on the phone. "I cannot ask you to buy me a house."

An old woman on a phone | Source: Pexels

An old woman on a phone | Source: Pexels

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"You're not asking," he replied, chewing on trail mix on the other end. "I'm offering. Mm... and we can have it ready for you to move in at the end of next week if you'd like."

I was initially hesitant, but I eventually agreed to move. I knew that Charlie and Angela were trying to have a baby, and I thought that the most healing thing for me would be to care for that baby when it arrived.

A person holding a pregnancy test | Source: Pixabay

A person holding a pregnancy test | Source: Pixabay

So, Charlie helped me pack all my things, and soon, I was ready for a new chapter. Despite missing Adam, I knew that I needed to move on.

I moved into my new home easily, because my son had sorted everything out for me.

A pile of packing boxes | Source: Pixabay

A pile of packing boxes | Source: Pixabay

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"Anything for you, Mom," Charlie said when he came over on the first night in the new house.

Read the full story here.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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