He always thought of himself as a man of principle, and strived to make things right according to his own virtues. Like last month, at that used car lot. He didn’t let that waste of a man Vicks Misstoman sell junk cars to an unsuspecting woman. She was just looking for a car to take grocery shopping, but that garbage wouldn’t have made it halfway back to her house. He sold Janine Larson his own second car, even though he loved it, just to ensure her safety. Things like this always reminded him of what a good guy he was. Mrs. Larson sure was a great lady herself. He thought of her as a wonderful wife, and a respectable woman for that. She didn’t feel the need to stir up any controversies in town, and her house was always one where safety was valued.
Marcus Greeley knew this because he was around pretty often. He felt quite at home in her house. Gregory Larson and he were golfing pals. Marcus was sure that they were such good friends because even though he always outplayed Greg on the course, he never gave him any trouble for it. Only subtle encouragements. A little advice here and there, but never a quip or bite of sarcasm escaped his lips. Sometimes he would chuckle a little chuckle to himself, but never audibly. Even last Saturday, he remembered, he had outplayed Greg by 40 strokes, and not an ill word! Marcus did wish that Greg would take his counsel, if only to improve his game, but Greg was a prideful man. He would always push away at Marcus’s tips. Marcus really enjoyed Gregory’s self-assertiveness; it made him just the right kind of man for Marcus’s company.
Afterwards they would always hit the “19th hole” to get a couple of beers and relax. The unstated rule had always been that the player who played their personal best for the day bought drinks, because he would feel a bit happier about how the round had gone and the day been spent. Marcus could always spend a little more on drinks, so he always made a point to. Sometimes he would pitch in a bit more when it wasn’t his turn to buy, so the two of them could get something nicer. He just wanted his friends to have the best and the safest. He felt it important that they never drove after golf because it wouldn’t be very safe to drink and drive. Janine would always pick them up.
Sometimes he wondered why he didn’t have the best of everything. He aimed for it, but he felt that he would never have as good a family as the Larsons. He looked at them with such envy. They had a little boy on the way, the most adorable cat Whisper, and the most loyal dog, Yeller. Named after the classic, of course. The Greeleys might never reach such a harmonious balance. His son was always off to a bit of mischief, and his daughter was with a new boy every few weeks. He tried to raise them right but he was always so busy with his work as the city commissioner he never got to be home. Being a single father, parenting was quite the challenge for him.
His wife was dearly, dearly departed, leaving only a note behind. The note appeared long yet was made nearly illegible by dark crimson stains. Only one segment could even be called readable.