Family, God, Country, Corps ... All men should live by a code. You just heard mine and the order I live it.
Family is a gift from God so they go above ALL. Any man worth shit would lay his life and happiness down for them.
God is second. Live by his commandments, period. Some people, mostly religious nut bags, would have me burned for not putting God first, but he is a big boy and can take care of himself.
Country is third. All good men and women should leave their country better than they found it for their children. Everyone can do it just by living a decent life.
Corps is last. That's the U.S. Marine Corps; like there is any other corps. Yeah you guessed it, I was a Marine. The corps helped to make me the man that I am.
I'm married to an incredible woman now for over 26 years. We have two grown daughters and a grandson we don't see enough of. My wife and I are empty nesters living our lives best we can. We still love each other with a passion even after so many years. I thank God everyday for my wonderful wife. By the way, my wife's name is Sandy and I'm Dennis. We're not rich nor hauntingly gorgeous, but Sandy is more beautiful than any woman I know. She is my life. I trust her explicitly and I know she trusts me the same.
So you see why a certain ex-angel has a problem with us.
Now Satan isn't all evil. Besides being wanting to rule heaven and hell, he just doesn't like happiness. Chaos is more his thing for a Saturday night, but for the other nights of the week he just wants to create havoc with the lives of people by tempting them into making poor decisions. He'll use an individual's weaknesses against them, but only through their free will. Satan cannot make a person do anything. A person chooses.
Now that you know the main plot of this story, let's get to it.
To pay the bills I have a small marketing business specializing in upscale apartment complexes. It's more of a finder business really. I have an unusual knack of getting select clients for some of the harder to rent higher priced luxury apartments in town. I've been at it long enough to have made a name for myself. And with the economy picking back up I've been in demand by company executives who are coming back into the area. They're finally reopening the manufacturing plants after they were shut down back in 2008.
On one sunny day not long ago I was between appointments taking a break at a coffee shop downtown when I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. "Hello, mind if I sit down and join you?" asked a man that appeared to be around 60 years old. He offered his hand to me as the usual greeting between men, but I refused to shake his hand. A look of surprised satisfaction came across his face instead of disappointment.
Turning up my palm pointing toward the chair across from me, "Go ahead and sit. So what does Satan want with me?" I replied. To say he was now shocked was an understatement.
"How do you know I'm the Devil?" he asked.
"I was born KNOWING there is heaven and hell. I KNOW good from bad. Most people believe or have faith, I KNOW! That's the difference between me and others. Besides, I smell shit!" I could tell he really disliked that last part.
"OK, you got me, I am Satan."
"Again, what do you want with me?"
"Well, first I came in here for a cappuccino, then I saw you here and I wanted to wager your soul and tempt you with riches or desires, if you get my drift, but I realize that you already have me at a disadvantage. You cannot be tempted by such earthly items and you are not scared by me at all. So I now find myself intrigued instead. If I asked other people what is the most powerful force in the world is I would get answers like nuclear bombs, wind, rushing water, shit like that. If I ask you I'll get a different answer, won't I?"
"You would. But before I answer your question, you and I both know I'm far from perfect. No man is. I have sinned and done things that shame me to this day. You know how hard I fought when I was in battle. That being said, the most powerful force in the world is ... love ... pure and simple love," I said sincerely.
Satan laughed so hard he had tears running down his face. After he calmed down, "First off, yeah I know how you handled yourself when you were at war. It was glorious! Very few were more ruthless than you. You sent many souls my way than most of your fellow Marines. Thanks by the way. Terrorists are the worst kind of scum.
Now to your proclamation that love is the most powerful force on earth, I figured that would be your answer. You really are pathetic. God would say the same damn thing." He paused long enough to order himself another coffee handing the waitress a $20 telling her to keep the change made the waitress thank him affectionately. Her name was Mary according to her name tag. "She'll be mine soon, very soon actually, she just doesn't know it yet," he said non-nonchalantly.
"Tell you what, I won't wager your soul or cause you any physical pain for denying me. But, let's say we put that statement of yours to the test. Let's find out IF love is most powerful of all. Knowing is different from believing. Knowing God exists or knowing I exist doesn't mean a thing. So I'm asking you to prove your belief that love is the most powerful force on earth. You will not be putting your soul at risk." He seen my hesitation and started his sales tactic again, "What do you say? Come on, you don't have anything to lose. So, do we have a deal?"
I really didn't like dealing with the original asshole sitting in front of me, but proving that simple love is the most powerful force on earth had me wondering, could I do it? Since my soul wasn't at risk what did I have to lose? And getting one over on no nuts here wouldn't be a bad thing. "How do you suggest we find out?"
"Well that's the rub isn't it? How do we prove or disprove your belief that love is most powerful. That is up to you. But if your willing to do your part, I'll do my mine and setup the situation." The way he said his last little part made me uneasy but figured God hates a coward.
"OK, I'll do my part. I'll do what is humanly possible to prove that love is most powerful."
All of a sudden Satan got an evil grin on his face. "Deal! I'll set up the situation before the end of the day. This is going to be fun."
I started to get really worried. "What are you going to do?"
"You'll find out," Satan had a sinister laugh going that really creeped me out. "We'll be seeing each other soon, but for now..."
Next thing I knew Satan was gone. The little red tailed fucker just disappeared. All of a sudden I realized I just fucked up huge. I'm committed now whether I liked it or not.
I left the coffee shop and headed off to my next appointment. I wanted to get it over with so I could go home and talk to my wife. There was no way she was going to believe what I was going to tell her.
After my meeting concluded I headed home. As soon as I entered the front door I knew something was wrong. "Honey, you home?" No answer. She should be home. Was he here? This place feels funny, but not the same as when I was talking to ... him. Louder, "Honey!" "Sandy! Are you here?"
Faintly, "Yeah, I'm in the kitchen."
As I was walking into the kitchen, "Sandy, you'll never believe what happened to me today..." I stopped in my tracks. Sandy had tears running down her cheeks.
"Whats wrong honey?"
"Oh, you won't believe what happened to me today either. I had a visitor here at the house, DEAR."
Now I'm beginning to be a little scared, "Honey, something happened, something I agreed to that may have been a bad idea with someone bad."
"Yeah, and I know who! Your fucking girlfriend came here today you bastard! She came here to tell me how you two spent the afternoon fucking each others brains out you bastard! How could you?!"
"Whoa! Hold up! What the hell are you talking about! What girlfriend? I don't have a fucking girlfriend! Sandy, listen to me very carefully, I have never cheated nor have I ever wanted to cheat on you. I DON'T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND! Calm down and tell me what happened here," now pleading with her.
"A girl came her today and said she was your girlfriend. She was younger and prettier than me with blond hair bigger boobs wearing a waitress uniform and said you two have been together only a few times, but those times were life altering. So today you fucked her brains out told her you were leaving me and starting a new life with her and that I better not cause any trouble or I'd be sorry! Damn you! What did I do? Why don't you love me anymore?" She was yelling, crying and pacing around the kitchen, desperately worried about what I would say next.
"I swear to God that I do not have a girlfriend! I haven't looked at another woman since our first date. YOU ARE MY LIFE, MY WORLD! Please believe me!" Tears were now running down my cheeks. "Today I had two appointments and took time out in a coffee shop. Here's the receipt, you can see the time stamp when I was there. I went to my second appointment after and came straight home to tell you about my stop at the coffee shop. Sandy you have to believe me, please!"
I could start seeing here eyes relax a little. She was looking in my eyes the whole time and she started to see the truth in them. The receipt with the time stamp helped. From Sandy's description of the girl, I knew it was Mary from the coffee shop that came to my home. Now I know what asshole meant by "she'll be mine very soon."
"I think I know what is going on, but it will take a little explaining and an open mind on your part. Please come with me and sit down."
.... There is more of this story ...