A Bone of Contention

“So, what are you waiting for?” Cheryl asked Joe.

He stared at her blankly. “What do you mean?”

“I mean you’re not getting any younger. You’re going to be 56 years old in January and you’re still not married. What are you waiting for?”

He sighed. “Why is everyone so interested in my personal life?”

“I’m not everyone. I’m your sister and I just want to see you settle down before you reach 60.”

“Well, would it make you happy to know that I am in a relationship?”

“Good. That’s a start. Who is she?”

“Kalisha. She graduated from Stanford about four years ago.”

“Dare I ask how old she is?”

“She’s twenty-five.”

“Joe, she’s thirty years younger than you.”

“I know.”

“What were you thinking, getting romantically involved with one of your students?”

“We didn’t become involved while she was still at Stanford. Besides, she had a boyfriend at the time.”

“What happened to him?”

“She broke up with him after she graduated.”

“Did she break up with him because of you?”

“Yes.”

“Was he also a student at Stanford?”

“No, not at the university but at its Law School. He passed the Bar exam on his first try.”

“Good for him. That is quite an accomplishment because I read somewhere that the bar exam given in California is considered the toughest in the country.”

“Yes, that’s why his mother, Marianna is so proud of him.”

“He fared well in his academic life but not in his love life. Poor, unfortunate boy.”

“Why is he the poor, unfortunate boy?”

“His girlfriend dumped him for you.”

“Are you saying that because she dumped him for a much older man?”

“Yes. Why would a girl in her twenties dump a guy her age for a man old enough to be her father? Does that make any sense to you?”

“It does if she happens to be in love with him.”

“And she’s in love with you?”

“Yes. I don’t see why you should be surprised about that. It doesn’t always follow that young women would fall in love with young men.”

“It seems to me that the older men get the younger the women are whom they set their cap at. Couldn’t you have found a woman closer to your age?”

“Look, I’ve told Marianna and I will tell you the same thing, I wasn’t looking to fall in love with Kalisha but, it happened. When I saw her, I knew that I wanted to be with her even though I didn’t think I stood a chance. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that my feelings for her were reciprocated. We embarked on a relationship which has brought us both tremendous joy. If you truly want me to be happy, you will accept our relationship, regardless of the age difference.”

“It will be hard for me to do that. This girl is five years younger than Georgianna.”

“I’m sure she and Georgiana will get along when I bring her to the wedding.”

“You’re bringing her to the wedding?”

“Yes.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“I’m very serious.”

“What will everyone think when they see you with her?”

“Do you really think that I care what they think?”

“What about Georgiana?”

“She already knows. I told her and she didn’t have a problem with it but said that you would and she was right.”

“Well, what about the others?”

“They will just have to suck it up.”

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“You’re being very flippant about this, Joe.”

“I’m sorry, Cheryl. I don’t mean to be rude but I’m sick and tired of having to defend myself when it comes to my relationship with Kalisha. I love her and she loves me. We make each other happy. Isn’t that what really counts?”

“It isn’t as cut and dried as you make it out to be. People will get upset and they will talk. I don’t want any unpleasantness at Georgiana’s wedding.”

“So, you’re asking me not to bring her.”

“Yes. Perhaps one of these evenings, I will invite you and her to have dinner with me but Georgiana’s wedding is not the place for you to flaunt your relationship.”

“Georgiana told me that she was looking forward to meeting Kalisha.”

“She agreed to let you bring her?”

“Why shouldn’t she?”

“You know why. I’m going to have a word with her.”

“It’s her wedding, Cheryl. She can invite whomever she pleases.”

“Well, we’ll see about that.”

He got up. “Tell you what, if Kalisha is prohibited from attending the wedding, you will have to get someone else to give the bride away because I won’t be attending either.”

Cheryl gaped at him. “You can’t mean that,” she exclaimed. “Georgiana’s counting on you to step in for her father.”

“I want her to be able to count on me but, I can’t agree to your terms. Either you allow me to bring Kalisha to the wedding or someone else will have to give Georgiana away. Let me know what you decide. Goodbye.” He strode out of the room, leaving her staring after him, aghast and distressed.

Sources: LSAT; University of San Diego; Crush the Bar Exam

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