God I love mojitos. It’s my favourite drink. For now, anyway. That’ll change. Things always do. I’ve always known that. That’s why I’m always ahead. It’s also how I came to be sitting at this outdoor bar in Cuba sipping this damn fine mojito and admiring the view down the boardwalk to the beach with it’s shaded oasis and sparkling aquamarine wonderland just beyond. Because things always change and I always keep that in mind.
My name is Reg and I’m…well, an entrepreneur, I suppose. Well, I was anyway. Now I’m a man of leisure. Let me tell you how that came to be.
It started back in 1996. That was the year Mel and I graduated from university. Both of us with computer degrees. A couple of sharp guys, that’s what we were. I still am. Mel, well, not so much. He’s not breathing anymore, and you can’t be sharp when you’re dead. At least that’s the way I figure it. More about that later.
See, we had this idea for a software program that would revolutionize online security. The world wide web had just broke wide not long before and we realized that security was going to be a bigger issue than it ever had been and we decided we were gonna get in first, so that’s what we did. We both had some money and we poured it into starting up a company and getting our product out there. It went over big. I’m sure you’d know the name. So that was us. A couple of sharp guys with a good plan and the drive to make it happen. We made a fortune. More money than we ever dreamed we’d have.
Anyway, enough about the business. What matters; what led me to where I am now, sitting on a beach in Cuba was the bet. It came about one night while we out on the town celebrating reaching our first million each. Money does things to people. Makes them foolish. Well, when you’re not used to having heaps of it, anyway. So there we were, sipping Dom Perignon. A ’78 as I recall. You don’t even want to know that stuff costs. We had both been lady’s men since high school and we were checking the talent at the club and Mel leans in and gets this serious look on his face and says, hey, man, let’s make a bet.
So there we are, drunk, happy, on top of the world really, and what would you do if your best friend said let’s make a bet? That’s right. So I said what’s the bet. He says first one of us to get married is the loser. The other guy gets the money. How much money? A quarter of a million dollars. Man, even though we were officially millionaires that night, and even though I was drunk I had to do a double take on that. But you see, Mel, he’s always had this way of getting under my skin. Always made me feel a little less if I didn’t go along with his schemes. So what was I to do? I said okay.
The next day we formalized it even. Took it to a notary public and everything. Even then I knew. It was no good. But I told myself what I always do when I’m thinking things through. Things always change.
Part 2 tomorrow.