Today’s prompt is one of those prompts that was easy to think of things to write about but harder to think of something different or interesting. For someone who writes books and short stories, and has been for twenty plus years, coming up with a half decent short about someone cheating in a relationship isn’t a huge challenge, even for someone who has never and will never cheat. So I decided to approach it from a different angle. It’s still essential a male/female scenario but not the cheating that comes to so many minds when the word Cheat is thrown about.

So here’s my approach. By the definition of the word we’ve all cheated on something. Some of us have cheated on meaningless (in the big scheme of things) school assignments. Some of us might have cheated our bosses out of a few hours when we wanted to go home early for a long weekend. Some of us will even have cheated at Scrabble while our opponents weren’t looking. So what is your best cheat? Here’s mine.

Twenty something years ago I was dating a girl who, I’m sorry to say it girls, but it’s true, hadn’t experienced life away from her mother’s apron strings long enough to share a life with anyone else. At the time my writing career was non-existent. I wanted to write but I’d only been out of secondary school five years and the six years prior to that had been spent being told by my teachers that my writing was terrible, would not amount to anything and that I should give up. It might have had something to do with the dirty limericks and sea shanties I used to write in the back on my folder instead of listening in class but that remains to be seen.

At the time the internet was so young that even school kids hadn’t figured out how to use it for cheating at school assignments and there I was trying to be a romantic boy friend. I was just starting out in web design and I was doing all manner of practice sites to ‘get my eye in’ so I decided to be Mr Romantic and make a page for my girl friend and what better way to do that than write a poem and publish it online. Well one thing that would have been better was if I had half a clue about writing poetry.

So off I went onto the net, spent five minutes hunting for a poem I could substitute her name into and bang it was published. Needless to say the poem was a hit, the gesture was accepted and suddenly my girl friend of the time was thinking that I was some sort of poet. In three years the cheat was never questioned, but the poem was often mentioned.

The website is long gone, the girl friend is long gone and I’ve been happily married for more than half the twenty years since and the one thing I have never done for my wife is give her a poem as a present.

The reason for that? My wife is a lot smarter, knows me a lot better and I’d wouldn’t get away with the ruse for a minute, let alone three years.