Teaser 024: No Cheater with Five Aspects of a Human Life

I can't help how I feel about Serena and I can't change it either. Only Serena can change it. I came here and a part of me hoped she would be a prima dona, a complete bitch. It would be a total release. She'd go from the most desirable to the most despicable. I'd feel better. But she's not that way, far from it, and I never really expected less. I think I know her too well to expect less and I can prove it if she'll only be honest with all of us, but it won't be anything she wouldn't really want to share either, so I'm going to dive right into it. In every relationship she ever had, back to her teen years, when she perceived she had a commitment to a boy or a man, she never, ever cheated on him. Not once did she ever cheat on any one. Oh, some have cheated on her, probably too many to painfully count, but she can count the times she cheated quite easily. This number would be zero. She's never cheated on anyone. I asked Serena if my theory was true.

When I locked onto Serena's face it was filled with a stunned admiration. It was clear and distinct. “How can you know that, Gregory? How can you be so certain?” She was making a very obvious reference to how I made the proposal, with such an adamant force of resolve and righteousness.

It had no effect on me. “Because I truly believe I know you, Serena, and if I'm wrong, it will crush me.” I proclaimed it as truthfully as I could and my voice nearly cracked. It probably did.

“I have never cheated on any man or boy...ever!

I counted them on each successive digit of my right hand, starting with my thumb. “True, loyal, dependable, faithful.” I looked around at my audience. They were all married, every one. “Oh, those are sorry qualities,” I smirked. “Gee, what else has she got? Please, she's gotta have something else.” Everyone smiled, eased up. I could feel tension evaporating, but I wasn't through, far from it. “You'd be lucky, extremely lucky, perhaps once in a lifetime roll of the dice lucky if you married one who turned out to be true, loyal, dependable, faithful, because that package doesn't roll around very often, and you simply can't know when you walk down the aisle and make those vows. You take it on faith because you simply cannot predict the future, but if that package does exist, it will demonstrate its existence every day and when it does you better recognize how lucky you are. Because if you throw it away, you may never get another chance. It may be the only time you ever put your hands on it in your lifetime.” I had to stop and create a diversion. I could feel my eyes watering, my nose filling. I hit home and it was hitting me too. I grabbed my bottle of beer, sniffed as imperceptibly as possible, and sucked down some brew. “So, what should I do, Drake?” I tried to move past it as quickly as possible. “And, let's assume for argument's sake, Serena's not married, she's single and available. What should I do, Drake?” I picked on Drake because, honestly, he was following this with rabid attention. The man has that way with him. Try to put something past Drake at your own peril.

“If you were me, Gregory, and I felt that strongly about her, I'd go for her, assuming she was single and available, which she's not.”

“I'll get to the married part, but it's a good answer, so let's examine what would probably happen, because I already know what would happen. There are essentially five major aspects of every human's life, so let's compare Serena's to mine. Compare her career to my career. No comparison. Compare her lifestyle to my lifestyle. Really? Is there any comparison to be made? Her homes versus my no home? No comparison. Her family versus mine. Could be a toss-up, until you consider she simply has more of her family still alive. I'm down to a half-brother. And friends? Oh, I'm sure she has a shitload more friends than I do, considering I can count my friends on one hand, but it's because I understand what a friend is, and I can't depend on what anybody else might think. A friend never abandons you and never excuses your behavior when you both know it was wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone does something wrong. No one's perfect, but a friend never defends you when you both know you're wrong. That's just blind and stupid. A friend says, 'Yeah, I know he/she was wrong, but we're friends and will be friends forever, and I will help he/she make this right. It's what a friend does, you know, or maybe you don't. Well, you do now.' I don't know anything about your friends, Serena. You probably have a lot of 'em, but if they're more than you can count on both hands, you have a lot masquerading as friends, and when things turn bad for you, when you hit some hard times, those masquerading friends will disappear like cockroaches in the light. You better never let 'em back in your life when you right things. You tell 'em, 'You're where you want to be now, out of my life. Stay right there, because you're not welcome back.' Friends don't abandon you…”

- Just Desserts, Segment ThreeA Taste of Mexican Hospitality” by Gregory R. Schussele, © 2021

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