*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.
He was a married man, but he didn’t let that slow him down.
I was in need of a job when I stumbled upon a new retail store that was in need of employees. It was a perfect match. This store was part of a national chain popular for reselling used goods it got through partnerships with multiple non-profits.
It was literally a dirty job. I sorted through other people’s trash in search of treasure that I could wipe down, polish up, and sell for my employer’s profit.
One manager was a man who closely resembled an actor famous for playing an attractive inebriated pirate. All the women were smitten. Not me. I thought he was a jerk.
One night after work, my coworkers and I all went to a local comedy club. That manager was there, too. He didn't bring his wife with him, and for good reason. On the following day, about a half dozen of my female coworkers confided in me he had kissed them the previous night.
Somehow, without his other love interests noticing, this man had walked each woman out to the parking lot one by one, engaged in a brief kissing session, and then returned inside to choose his next target.
Without exception, each of these women thought she was the only one.
They all knew he was married. They all knew he and his wife were raising two teenage daughters together in the same house. They all knew he should have been off-limits. Yet they all took part wholeheartedly in the kiss, and they all hoped it might lead to a relationship with this man.
One of the women was married with five children. Another had a boyfriend who worked at the same job. A third had just turned eighteen, which was only a few years older than his own teenage daughters.
With only one of him and at least six of them, a fairytale ending would be virtually impossible.
In the end, he chose one woman, and it wasn’t his wife. She was a close friend of mine, and she filled me in on every detail of their blossoming relationship right until the day it ended. She was the youngest of his admirers, the one who was barely eighteen.
My friend and I fell out of touch not long after all this took place, but I like to think she was able to find someone better for her than him. Their short relationship was strained by his marital status, and she never knew whether he would choose her or his wife from one day to the next.
I don’t know whether he and his wife reconciled or divorced after he and my friend called it quits. The last I heard, they had split, but they were trying to work out their differences. I imagine they had a lot of obstacles to overcome if they wanted to enjoy a loving and healthy monogamous relationship.