Alex looked at the screen, overcome with emotions. He could barely hear his brother’s words.
Alex finally realized that this was the secret his brother was keeping. He started tearing up, he could not believe it. Everyone will soon find out what his brother had done.
Alex Burkemper graduated in 2017 and instantly started his search for employment and a place to call home.
He knew he couldn’t spend much because he had a mountain of student debt hanging over his head. Nonetheless, he was eager to become self-sufficient and leave his parents’ home.
Alex’s brother went through a similar situation and understood how difficult life after graduation can be. Understanding his brother’s situation, Todd decided to open his home to him.
From the outside, it appeared to be a typical situation: a brother attempting to assist his younger sibling. Alex had no idea that his brother was plotting something.
After his years of independence at college, Alex dreaded the idea of moving back home.
He was now an adult and the idea of living by his parents’ rules and regulations seemed humiliating. He needed to be able to fend for himself. As a result, Alex agreed to his brother’s offer. But there was a catch.
In exchange for Todd’s younger brother moving in with him, he had to start paying rent after staying with him for six months.
This provided Alex with some time to find a job but that also meant that he would not be able to prioritize his student loan debt. His brother had a comfortable life and it was not like he needed the money, so Alex was confused.
Todd had gotten off to a better start than his younger brother. He had landed a fantastic job with outstanding compensation shortly after finishing his studies in 2011.
A few years later, he was able to pay off his student debt and buy himself a house and car after working for a large company as a software developer and application designer. Todd was miles ahead of others his age.
6 months had passed and Alex had to start paying rent. Alex had to pay $350 in rent to his brother, which was a reasonable amount.
Alex had gotten entry-level employment by that time, but a big portion of his earnings went toward rent, student debt, and daily expenses. He had little to no money left after paying all these things. But he was unaware of what Todd was truly up to.
Alex intended to stay with his brother temporarily until he found his own feet. But between rent and his debt, Alex could not move out of his brother’s house and stayed with him for years. Despite the debt being immense, Alex felt thankful for university because without that he would most likely be unemployed.
Alex had a choice between paying rent to his brother or moving back home so he chose to pay the money to his brother monthly. Alex did not complain, but what could his brother possibly need his money for?
In 2 and a half years’ time, Alex had given him a total of $10,500. However, Todd did not use that money, he put it away in a secret place.
Alex had no idea what his brother did with the money. It turns out that everyone knew what was going on… Everyone except Alex.
Todd, despite the fact that he could have used his brother’s money for his own expenses or sunk it into an investment that might make him a lot of money, decided to keep it in a savings account.
The two and a half years the brothers lived together went smoothly but all of that suddenly changed.
Alex began to get restless. Living as a tenant is difficult, even when you’re living with family. He wanted to strike out on his own – paying rent for so long made him realize just how much money he was throwing away every month instead of investing in a house of his own.
Even though he wasn’t much more financially stable than he had been when he graduated, he decided to move out. Todd tried to talk him out of it. He was thinking about the money.
Now that Alex wanted to move out, everyone in the family tried to discourage him. But why?
“Todd told us he was doing this from the start but asked us to please not let Alex know. It’s very hard for me to keep a secret. So every time Alex mentioned looking for a home, I would talk him down telling him it was not the right time to buy,” their mother, Barbara, confessed.
By May 2020, Alex had reached the end of his tether. He was ready to move out of his brother’s house, and nothing was going to stand in his way.
Todd knew it was finally time to reveal the secret they’d been keeping for almost three years. He invited their parents over to witness the big reveal.
“This time, I knew he was serious, so my husband and I could not wait until Todd told Alex,” said Barbara.
Barbara brought a camera to film Alex’s reaction to the big secret. Todd began by showing Alex his phone’s screen. It was the accumulated balance of all the rent money Alex had paid over the years. “This is yours,” Todd said.
“So, you know how I started making you pay rent a couple of years ago? I just saved all the money and put it in a savings account,” Todd said.
“That’s for you, for your new house. I didn’t want you to have to struggle like I did.” Alex felt like he was on a rollercoaster of emotions. Then, he burst into tears of gratitude.