Not another Notch

Note: A young woman named Candice ('Candy' for short) discovers her boyfriend Adam's dark secrets, decides to kick him to the curb and move on with her life.

Chapter 1—Respectfully, I Say to Thee, I'm Aware That You're Cheatin'

Candice had been dating her boyfriend Adam for a year now, and felt confident that she had finally met her prince. Yet, when asked about marriage, the brunette declined, reminding her she had nothing to worry about. The redhead became concerned, wondering why he would be so flippant about the topic. Before, her rugged, intelligent beau would've gladly accepted her hints, but she was becoming suspicious about Adam's habits. He seemed to be ignoring her, and withholding affection. He had never done that in the past, and she feared for the worst. Without any hesitation, she decided to get a hold of the host of Cheaters to investigate Adam and see what he was actually up to.

It was a typical day, and Candice had come home from a hard day's work, and she called Adam at home.

"Hey, Candy ! How are you doin' sweetie ?", he said in that seductive Jersey tough guy tone.

"I've been missing you, Adam. I'd love to see you…", she said, longingly.

"Oh, honey, I'd love to, but I'm busy.", Adam lied, though he wasn't being deceitful about being 'busy'. Currently, the brunette had his hands full with some rather buxom ladies who were teasing and tickling him over the phone.

"You'll come home later though, right ?", Candice questioned, the loneliness causing her heart to ache.

"Of course, my love. You're my little bon bon.", Adam answered, sweetly.

"Magnificent. I love you !", she said, giving him a kiss on the phone. He gave her a kiss in response, and hung up the phone, returning to his previous activity with the girls dressed as French maids. For some strange reason, Candice felt like crying, even though she wasn't certain why.

Fairly soon, the camera crew of Cheaters came to the front door and had some rather bad news for Candice.

"When did you first notice Adam's change in behavior ?", Joe questioned, noticing Candice was already distressed.

"It's been current and ongoing in the last few months since January. I had asked him about marriage rather casually. I wasn't pushing him in considering it. I have always been patient with Adam.", Candice answered honestly. Joe Greco had remembered getting complaints about this man before and it wasn't the first time he had been featured on Cheaters. Joe's facial expression grew more and more concerned remembering his past encounters with Mr. Adam Borden.

"This is all going to come as a huge shock to you, but this isn't the first time that Mr. Borden has been alerted to myself and the staff of Cheaters…", Joe began, rather straightforwardly. By the time Joe listed all of Adam's "outings", Candice was prepared to give him a peace of her mind, but she wouldn't have to wait to come to him. He would come to her.

Chapter 2—Confrontation

As soon as the brunette arrived home, the redhead was irate.

"Welcome back, Adam.", she said, vehemently.

"Baby, why so angry ?", Adam said, starting to grasp her arm softly, but she jerked it away roughly. She folded her arms and seethed.

"Don't baby me, jerk.", she answered, turning away from him.

"Why is there a camera crew in our house ?", Adam asked, trying to play dumb. Fortunately, for Adam, he was a consummate actor, but no one believed his deceit.

"Same as before, Mr. Borden. The first time, your girlfriend had been suspicious of your 'activities' and we find you in the arms of some rather exotic dancers in a gentleman club, second time with cosplayers getting your freak on, thirdly at a hot tub with women half your age, and let's not forget the con where you were hitting on oodles of ladies that seemed to be taken in by your charm.", Joe stated, reading the list of grievances. "Ms. Trent has seen to it that your relationship be terminated.", Joe added, coolly.

"Allow me to do that myself, Mr. Greco.", Candice said, thanking him with a nod and beginning to rant and rave. She had been upset that Adam hadn't accepted that she wanted to remain a virgin until her wedding day, and she was still a virgin and proud of the fact, though she didn't blurt it out to everyone. Adam was growing more and more uncomfortable, and he tried to explain his way out of the situation. The evidence the Cheaters crew had compiled had been enough to dig Adam into a hole and bury him deep within the dirt. Nothing Adam could do would save him from his predicament.

"I'm sorry, Adam, but it's over between us. I don't want to see you ever again, not even as a friend. I am not going to become another notch in your belt, mister. And that's FINAL !", she said, and with that, she walked into her room, slammed the door and sat down on her bed, weeping loudly.

Chapter 3—Starting Over

Soon, the crew had left, Adam was gone and Candice was alone. There was nothing to watch on television and she was feeling rather lonely. Come to think of it, she simply felt crappy. She had her reasons to feel depressed and morose. Yet, she was spent from crying all night and just wanted to sleep. Not changing her clothes, she turned over her comforter and sheets, settled down into the covers, snuggled up and sniffled as she went to sleep. Tomorrow was another day after all, and besides, she had forgotten how liberating it was to be a single woman.

Candice Trent didn't feel awful like she had the day before. She respected that Adam had the decency to leave her be and move on with his life while she took the same course of action. Candice now had more time to spend with her best friends and reconnect with them. She learned quickly that she had been remiss to neglect her friendships, but she was glad she reconnected quickly and had forgotten all about being hurt.

As the years passed, Candice had developed new hobbies she had never considered before, like crocheting, and thanks to this new passion, she had been able to open up her own shop apart from her first job in working for an environmentally savvy company called Green Pointe. Candice was elated with how her job was progressing and recently had been promoted to administrative assistant. This would mean more responsibility, but Candy was the type that could handle anything. Besides, her coworkers supported her the entire way, and always looked to her if they needed counseling or advice.

Chapter 4—Office Romance

It was a chilly autumn day when Candice had come in to get Green Pointe up and running. There had been a newly hired employee named Drew Washington who would be learning the ropes from her. The young bespectacled man was a little awkward but had a rollicking sense of humor, a superb wit, sparkling intelligence and sublime eloquence of tongue. She couldn't help but feel a little smitten with him, even though she had only met him. He was an intellectual being, a blonde with green-hazel eyes and a melodic voice. She learned quickly Drew and she held many things in common, and didn't want to admit it, but she was falling in love with him. They were apart by one year in their age, and even though they were in their 30s, it didn't really matter.

Outside of the office, Drew and Candice often shared dinner together before returning to their homes in the suburbs. As the months sped by the two grew closer and Drew unexpectedly gave her a kiss on the cheek after work one day. All the other employees had left, so no one had seen or caught on to the fact that they were dating. Even if there was one intuitive enough to have caught upon the vibrations of the two young lovers, there would've been support for her and Drew as usual. Candice was already pleased with her lot in life and didn't expect love to enter it. Yet, now that it had, she was enraptured, and hoped her relationship with Drew would remain strong and continue growing.

Epilogue

After a few years of dating, Drew caught Candice off again by proposing to her. They married and settled down into married life, enjoying each other's company on and off the job. It was a lot easier working with someone she loved, Candice admitted to herself, and besides that, her love was nearby, so if she felt lonely, during a break, she could get a shot of sugar from her love on the cheek anytime, not caring about if anyone saw her husband kissing her cheek within "polite society". The gesture was purely a romantic one, and innocent at that.

Drew and Candice lived a happy life together, and it became more blessed as children came into their lives. They all loved them equally, even though they had been born together as fraternal twins. Patricia and Peter were easy to tell apart, but the two were closely knit as the rest of the Layman family was. Though the two were only kindergartners, the future was open to them both. The Laymen looked forward to what their children would accomplish, their ups and downs, helping them through all of life's tribulations and celebrations with love, faith and hope in their favor.

The End