THE SITUATION WAS as follows. I grew up as Hal, the captain of the Central High School football team, state champion wrestler, etc. I went to college on an academic scholarship and graduated with a degree in engineering. I got a good job, with Aardvark Engineering. I worked hard and I was doing well. I got a promotion to project manager and my future looked bright, although the area in which I worked was maybe a bit shaky.
Hannah was the Central High School Cheerleader, Homecoming Queen, Girl Most Likely, etc. After Hannah and I graduated from college, we got married. Hannah then stayed home to be a housewife.
Bert grew up with a platinum (not just silver) spoon in his mouth. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in business. Bert then went on to earn an MBA. Bert worked for a few companies and then went to work as a manager for Aardvark Engineering. Bert married Brooke.
Brooke grew up with a platinum spoon also and graduated from Wellesley with a degree in psychology. Brooke then went on to earn a Masters degree. Brooke had top grades and got a very good job with a different firm, in the same city as Aardvark Engineering.
Bert turned out to be my big boss at AE. I don’t work directly for Bert, but the people that I do work for report through Bert.
I’m a damn good engineer, but I normally wouldn’t have any real contact with someone on Bert’s level. Hannah and I did meet Bert and Brooke at the AE company picnic. We had a pleasant conversation and that normally would have been the end of it. However, a turn of events led the four of us into a most unusual situation.