Shades of Deception (Web of Pretense, page 1 of 11)

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Mark was planning to retire from his twenty-five year stint as a high school teacher in upstate New York. In two weeks, it would be his last day on the job. He always knew his calling was to teach.

He received his BS Degree in Math and a MS in Education. Following graduation, he immediately got a job teaching algebra, calculus, and geometry at a public high school and spent the best years of his life shaping the minds of young people.

Many of his students went on to attend prominent colleges and universities and became power brokers in business, law, politics, medicine, construction, science, arts, sports, and entertainment.

Because of his teaching style and commitment to education, he garnered much respect and admiration from his students and peers. Voted teacher of the year for three consecutive years, he now sensed it was time to leave and pursue other interests.

After consulting with his financial advisor, Mark knew he would be able to live comfortably on his pension and investments. His portfolio, which included stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, was worth about three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

His house, which he was planning to sell, had an assessment value of four hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, but despite all of his accomplishments, he felt isolated and unfulfilled in his love life.

He got married at a young age, but the union ended before it got started, and even though he dated often, there was never a deep love or emotional connection with any of his dates. A few of his friends and co-workers would arrange blind dates for him, but the sparks were never there.

Most of the women he dated were middle-aged divorcees or widows who were unadventurous or set in their ways. Gathering around the table, snacking on munchies and gossiping about who knows what were the ultimate high for most of these women.

Mark enjoyed going to the nightspots and being around energetic people. It was definitely time for him to meet someone who was active and enjoyed doing the things he cherished. If he did nothing else, he was going to find the love of his life and live blissfully ever after.

It has been one year since Mark left his job. He was busy getting his house in order and putting it up for sale. He had lived in his home for over twenty years. He thought about leasing the house and giving the renter the option to buy, but after careful consideration, he decided to sell the property.

He did not want to hold a mortgage or put any more money into upgrading the place as was suggested by the real estate agent.

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