It was 7:30 on a Monday evening in May. I had just finished my last class of the semester at the community college. At 42, I was going back to school to learn a new career being unemployed during this economic downturn. I had to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things for my supper that evening. I don’t know why I decided to stop at this particular Wal-Mart instead of the one in my hometown twenty miles away, but I did. I felt a sense of dread pulling into the parking lot: I used to work at this store six years ago, and there were a lot of bad memories weighing very heavy on my mind. Six years ago, I had completely made a mess of my life, and the Wal-Mart was the epicenter of what I had done. Six years ago, I entered into a sexual and emotional relationship with Renee, a co-worker that ended badly because she couldn’t tell me the truth, and used me to break up her marriage. To make matters worse, I was in management, and she was one of the people under my direct supervision, a serious violation of the company policy. Basically, I was offered the option of quitting and the company wouldn’t say anything about my violation of the rules, or be terminated and every prospective employer told of my transgressions. I took the first option. I spent the next six years trying to pick up the pieces and move on, but being lied to completely by someone I cared about, finding out about that from her jealous husband with a baseball bat one evening in the parking lot threatening to rearrange my face or anywhere else he would decide to smack me, did a lot of emotional damage to me. In the last six years, I had tried to get back on the horse that threw me a few times, but I couldn’t trust anyone. Every relationship would fall apart, one woman telling me that I was on an emotional island no one could get to, which was the truth. I was hell-bent on hurting someone like I was hurt, getting my revenge for what had happened to me if not on the one that hurt me, then on somebody, and I didn’t give a damn who it was. Even my best friend and roommate was a victim of my anger. Amazingly, Mary understood and forgave me for what I had done to her. I found a parking place for my Blazer and shut the engine off. I pulled a Camel Light out and my Zippo, and with shaking hands lit up. I sat in the seat and smoked, trying to force the dread and anger down. Finally, the cigarette was burned to the filter and I stubbed it out, rolled my window up and got out of the truck. All you have to do is get what you need, pay for it and get out. It’s only ten, maybe fifteen minutes at the most. You can do this, I thought. The entrance doors slid open and I walked in. As I walked in, the first person I saw was Carrie, and I smiled. Back a lifetime ago, when I first started there I was a cashier, and Carrie was my trainer. Over a short period of time, Carrie became one of my best friends. She was about an inch taller than I was at five feet eleven inches, and from what I remember from what she told me one night at work seven years ago, weighed one hundred seventy five pounds, and she didn’t look like she weighed any more or less. But here’s the thing: she didn’t look like she had an ounce of fat on her; she was a workout freak, working out on her home gym four nights a week after work. She was a year younger than I was. The first thing most men would remember if they saw her would be her chest, with what I would guess was at least DD size breasts, or her spectacular heart-shaped rear end. Yes, her titties and ass were spectacular, but what most men neglected to see was the area above them. With long, dark curly hair, brown eyes, and a pair of full very kissable lips, and what I thought was the most beautiful face I had ever seen, Carrie had an aura of sex appeal shining around her very brightly. I joked with her once that she could give a saint a hard-on. She could be an outrageous flirt, especially with me. In my defense, I could give it back just as well. She had been married when I first met her, to her high school sweetheart. I had met him once, and took an instant dislike to him; he seemed a little too slick, always having a good excuse for the terrible things he had done to her, like his numerous affairs he had that Carrie found out about and more than likely more than that. I guess the final straw for me was the one night I caught him making advances on another cashier. Meanwhile, Carrie had always been faithful to him. Carrie and I both knew and understood that our flirting was never going any further than that. And until the ill-fated relationship with Renee, I had never had made a move on a married woman. She was working at a register. Tonight, she was wearing a pair of tight black Levi’s 505 jeans and a dark blue knit sweater over a black turtleneck. I quietly walked up behind her and whispered in her ear, “Take me to bed or lose me forever,” one of our cheesy lines we used to flirt with each other. She finished with her customer, and then turned to me and said with a smile, “You couldn’t handle me, stud,” then hugged me tightly. “How are you, Douglas James?” she asked me when she let me go. Carrie was the only person who called me by my given name; everyone else called me DJ. I smelled her perfume; it was the same scent that drove me nuts one night, threatening her that I was going to drag her to the back room and have my way with her. Her response was, “You couldn't handle me, big boy,” and stuck her tongue out at me. After six years, it still had the same effect. “I’m better now that I’ve seen your beautiful face, Carrie. How are you doing, babe?” I asked her. “Well, as you see I’m still here. And, single. I’ve been divorced for a year now,” she replied showing me her left hand which looked bare compared to the way I remembered it with an engagement ring and wedding band. “My shift is over in thirty minutes, are you busy?” “I’m open, especially for my best girl. I’ll wait for you. I just need to get something to eat for supper,” I replied. “No you don’t, Doug. You’re coming with me. Don't even think about waltzing in here after being gone for six years and only seeing me for thirty seconds and then disappear again,” she said sternly, but with a smile. How could I refuse that offer? “Okay,“ I said softly. “I’ll be right outside.” Carrie squeezed my hand and said, “Don’t disappoint me, Doug, and not be there in thirty minutes.” “I won’t, Care-Bear,” I said and kissed her cheek.
----------- Thirty minutes and another cigarette later Carrie walked out of the store. “Where are you parked?” she asked me. I pointed in the general direction of where my truck was at. Carrie took my hand and said, “Come on, I’ll drive you over there, okay?” I smiled and we walked hand in hand to her car. Before she unlocked her car, she turned to me and said, “I’ve wanted to do this for nine years,” as she moved in and kissed me tenderly. I could feel the electricity pass between us. I kissed her back. My tongue slipped inside her mouth and tickled her tongue. She moaned into my mouth. When she pulled away, we were both out of breath. “Was it worth waiting nine years for, honey?” I joked. She kissed me again and said, “What do you think, baby?” “I’m thinking I could do this all night, Carrie,” I said. She smiled sexily and said, “I know we could do more than that all night, darlin’.”
----------- I followed her to where she lived. She unlocked the front door and we went inside. I asked her, “So, what happened between you and um........what was his name again?” Carrie laughed and said, “Does it matter what his name is? I should have listened to you and my mother; Mom didn't like him at all, and you were half right, he wasn't just slick, he was slime. The last straw for me was when I caught a STD from his cheating ass. I threw him out and took him for as much as I could get. Thank goodness we didn't have children, I wanted him out of my life completely.” “Oh hell, Carrie, I'm sorry,” I replied. “Don't be sorry, Doug. That was then. And this,” she said as she wrapped her arms around me and kissed me, “is now. Come into the kitchen and help me with supper. And molest me a little, stud.” “I'll molest you a lot, babe,” I chuckled. “Good, because it's been a while for me, and I seriously need to be wanted again,” Carrie said softly. I followed her into the kitchen. I hugged Carrie from behind and kissed her where her neck and shoulder come together. She threw her head back and moaned softly as I trailed kisses up her neck to her earlobe. My right hand was caressing her DD cup tits, while my left hand was unbuttoning and unzipping her jeans. My hard dick was rubbing against the crack of her ass. When her jeans were loose, Carrie took my hand and thrust it inside to feel her soaked panties. “Imagine working an entire eight hour shift like that, baby. I was like that at work just wanting you. I’d have to finger myself at lunch so I wouldn’t go insane for wanting to feel your hard dick inside my pussy, your tongue licking my clit, your hands on my titties, and wanting to swallow your hot cum. I was like that five nights a week for three years, just hoping and praying for tonight. I want you; I need you to fuck me senseless, Doug. Please, baby, I’m begging you!!” she cried. I turned Carrie around to look her into her brown eyes. I saw the fear of rejection in her eyes. I couldn't reject her if I wanted to, and I didn't want to. I kissed her tenderly and said, “Carrie, I need to tell you something. I haven't been with anybody for six years; after what happened between Renee and I, I couldn't open up to anybody, no matter how hard I tried. I couldn't trust anybody. Hell, I couldn't even trust myself. I hurt a lot of people, especially myself. “But, as you said, that was then and this is now. And this isn't going to be a one night stand for me, Carrie. I care too much for you to do that to us. If you're willing, let's let this go wherever it goes. If it means we're together for the rest of our lives, that's okay, if you want me.” With a tear in her eye, Carrie said softly, “Yeah, I want that. I missed you so much, baby.” I wiped the tear off her cheek and said, “Shh, Carrie. I missed you so much as well, honey. I was a mess back then. I made a mess of my life. I'm sorry I left the way I did. I thought it was better that way, but it wasn't. I didn't mean to hurt you. I'm here and I'm not leaving you again.” Carrie whispered, “Doug, I’m going to hold you to that,” and broke down crying. As I held her, the floodgates in my soul crashed down and I was crying too. I felt the pain of the past wash away and it was replaced with a feeling of peace I had not felt in a very long time. -----------
We finished making supper and Carrie went to her bedroom to change clothes before we ate. She came back wearing the same jeans, but wearing a white button down man’s dress shirt. Damn, but she looked good. Hell, she could make a burlap sack look good. After we ate, we cleaned up the kitchen, laughing and joking all the while. When we finished, Carrie looked me in the eyes. She took my hand and said smiling, “Take me to bed or loose me forever, Doug.” I said with a chuckle, “Lead on, babe!” She led me into the bedroom. We stopped at the foot of the bed. My heart was beating fast and loud in my chest. I whispered, “I don’t want to disappoint you, baby.” She kissed me and said, “You won't disappoint me, Doug.” I unbuttoned her shirt and caressed her breasts in her bra. Her hands went to the front of my shirt and started to unbutton it. Then she ran her hands lightly over my chest. “You feel so good, Doug,” Carrie whispered. Meanwhile I unbuttoned her shirt and caressed her tits which made her groan with need. My left hand went around her back and unsnapped her black bra while I continued to softly squeeze her left tit with my right hand. I could feel her nipple stand up under the lace cup. I pushed her shirt off her shoulders and it fell to the floor. I slipped the bra straps off her shoulders and kissed where the straps had been. Then I stepped back and the bra fell to the floor. Amazingly, her breasts did not sag at all. They were capped by brown aureoles that were half-dollar size with quarter inch nipples that were standing very proud. Carrie’s stomach was very tight. “Carrie, you are beautiful,” I said in awe. She smiled and grabbed my hand to pull me closer to her. Her hands slid a cross my shoulders and my shirt fell to the floor. Then they moved lightly down my back to my ass. She cupped her hands under my ass and said, smiling, “Have I told you that you have a very nice ass?” That was one of her favorite flirt lines with me, but this was the first time she had ever touched it. “Yeah, you have but flattery will get you everywhere with me, babe,” I chuckled and cupped my hands under her ass and said, “Have I told you that your ass is superb?” With a smile she said, “No, you used to say, ‘Wow’, whenever you were behind me, you perv.” “Well, then I apologize for being a perv,” I chuckled. “You can perv on me all you want, baby. But the first time your eyes wander I’ll dig them out with a rusty spoon, lover. Got it?” she said very seriously. I looked in her eyes and said, “I promise I won’t look at another woman, Carrie.” She smiled and said, “Good, just so we understand each other. And I promise to never look at another man. You are the only man for me.” She reached between us to my belt and unbuckled it then unbuttoned and unzipped my jeans. Then she reached into my boxers and grabbed my dick. “Careful with that, babe; it’s on a hair trigger right now,” I said. With a sexy smirk on her lips, she said, “Well, then I better defuse this monster then, huh?” She dropped to her knees and pushed my jeans and boxers down. My seven inch dick popped out like a jack in the box. I heard her gasp then say softly, “Holy shit, I’m the luckiest woman in the world.” Then she kissed the head and licked the shaft. I gasped out, “Oh Carrie, I’m cumming!” She engulfed my cock in her mouth as I came hard in her mouth. She swallowed my semen and cleaned me off. Carrie then said, “You weren’t kidding about a hair-trigger, were you, lover?” I hung my head in embarrassment and said quietly, “I’m sorry, Carrie.” Carrie stood up, kissed me and said, “Doug, it’s okay, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. It was wonderful. And I’m touched that you waited so long.” She kissed me again and said jokingly, “I knew I was a talented cocksucker, but I didn’t know I was that good!” I laughed and held her close. I could feel her nipples pressing into my chest. I moved my hands to either side of her face and kissed her tenderly. My right hand moved down and cupped her breast. My thumb rubbed her nipple softly. Carrie moaned in my mouth and broke the kiss. She arched her back; giving me more room to manually worship her twin mounds of womanhood. I pinched her nipples between my thumbs and first fingers softly. Carrie gasped and said, “I knew you were good with your hands; I had no idea just how good you really are with them.” I looked into her eyes. There was a very wild, burning look in them, a look that I had never seen before. Those twin fires looked like they could consume me completely, and in my mind I welcomed being burned by them, and they kind of scared me with their intensity, but in a good way like a thrill ride at an amusement park. I thought, This is going to be one hell of a ride, and I want to ride this ride forever. I let go of Carrie’s right breast with my left hand and moved it down to the button of her Levi’s. I unbuttoned and unzipped them. I moved both hands to her hips and slid her jeans off them. What I thought earlier was panties were in fact a jade green thong trimmed in black. On the front of her left hip was a small rose tattoo. “You’re full of surprises, aren’t you, babe?” I said quietly. “You haven’t seen anything yet.” Carrie giggled. She stepped out of her jeans and turned around. On the right cheek of her ass was another tattoo, this one of another heart, but at the top of it, there was a gold halo, and at the bottom of it there was a black forked tail! I chuckled and said, “So tell me, how much of an angel are you?” Carrie looked over her right shoulder at me and said huskily, “How much of an angel do you want me to be?” I laughed and said, “Just enough to love me, babe. Otherwise, let the wild child run.” She shook her ass and said, “Hell, yeah!!” Then Carrie bent over and untied her sneakers. I saw her pink asshole peeking at me from behind the string of her thong. When she straightened up, she turned and put her hand flat on my chest and pushed me back so I was sitting on the bed. Carrie dropped to her knees again and lifted my left foot up and pulled my boot off, then did the same with the right foot. She moved closer to me, grabbed the waist of my jeans and boxers and pulled them off. While Carrie did that, she licked me from my stomach to my neck. My eyes rolled back in my head and I shivered. “Oh god.” I gasped. Then I felt her lips on mine. Her kiss was butterfly soft. Then she whispered, “Doug, look in my eyes.”
I opened my eyes. I saw a very sweet softness in them. I would do anything for her, no matter what it is, just to see that look, I thought.
Carrie said softly, “I can't remember the last time I was this happy, Doug.”
There was a tear at the corner of her eyes. I kissed the tears away.
“I can't either, Carrie. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you, just to make you happy,”
I said just as softly. I felt a rush of emotion blow through me like a soft summer breeze. My eyes filled with tears and I cried, overwhelmed by the depth of my emotions. She ran her fingers through my hair and kissed me softly.
Finally I was drained. I raised my head off Carrie’s shoulder. Carrie smiled and said,
“Look at us, crying like babies. But they’re tears of happiness, not sorrow or pain. We’re one hell of a pair, aren’t we?”
“Yeah, we are. A perfect pair,” I said. “But, we’re here crying instead of what we came in here to do, which is having wild sex. What are we waiting for?”
Carrie stood up and said,
“For me to finish losing my clothes, it looks like.”
She stood up, hooked her thumbs in her thong, and peeled it off. I stared at her in awe. Her brown pubes were trimmed in a heart shape. Carrie’s clit and inner lips was peeking out of her outer lips.
“Oh my god, absolute perfection, like the rest of you,” I said. Carrie smiled sexily and said, “I’ll take it you like?”
“Just come here and I’ll show you how much, darling.”
I lay down in the middle of the bed. She crawled on the bed towards me like a cougar stalking its next meal. I grabbed her hips and pulled them to my head. Carrie straddled my head with her legs, and then squatted down, bringing her pussy to my mouth. I smelled her arousal; it smelled better than her perfume ever could.
I kissed her outer lips, which made her jump and gasp. Then I wriggled my tongue between them and French kissed her opening. I sucked on her lips and licked around her clit, carefully avoiding it.
Carrie wiggled around trying to aim her clit to hit my tongue. We played this cat and mouse game until Carrie growled,
“God damn it Doug, quit fuckin’ teasing me already!”
I chuckled and gave my lover what she wanted and more. I sucked her clit between my lips and flicked it with my tongue. My hands were holding her ass cheeks tightly. I felt her start to tremble, and then I heard her scream out my name.
“Jesus, Doug!!! I’m…………CUMMING!!!” The last word came out like a wail. I thought, Mission Accomplished. Her legs collapsed and all of her weight was centered on my head. I pushed up on Carrie’s ass and pulled my head out. Carrie’s hands were holding the headboard. Her head hung down between her shoulders, and she was panting. Her whole body was trembling.
I moved her down to lay her down. I lay down beside her. She put her head on my chest. I held her against me with my left arm and stroked her hair with my right hand. Finally, she lifted her head to look at me.
“You OK, babe?” I asked her.
Carrie slowly smiled and said,
“I’m better than OK, lover. That was fantastic. Honestly, I’ve never cum that hard or that quickly ever.”
“I guess I inspired you, huh?”
“Smart ass,” she giggled.
I chuckled and kissed her forehead. Her left hand moved down to my cock and stroked it gently. In a few minutes I was hard as an iron bar.
Carrie got up and straddled my hips and lowered herself on my love pole. We both groaned as her wet pussy gripped me tightly.
“It feels as good as I dreamed it would,”
Carrie said with wonder. She ground her hips against mine, rubbing her clit against my pelvis. Her breathing got ragged as she approached another orgasm. I felt the muscles in her pussy contract and grab me almost painfully as she came again. Carrie collapsed upon my chest, her face against mine. I caught her bottom lip in my mouth and sucked on it. Somehow, I flipped us over. Now I took control of our fucking. I pulled almost completely out, and then slammed back in. She grunted and wrapped her legs around my waist. I alternated between long slow strokes and fast short strokes.
“Fuck me, Doug. Fuck me hard!!”
Carrie said through gritted teeth. I started pounding her cunt hard. I went crazy on her. I heard the slapping sound of our skin as I was drilling into her pussy. I felt my balls tighten up. I grunted,
“I’m gonna cum, Carrie!”
“In me, Doug, YES!” Carrie screamed.
With a furious growl, I emptied my balls into her. My eyes rolled back into my head and I saw stars. I must have blacked out for a second because I opened my eyes and Carrie was smiling at me. I rolled off Carrie and flopped on the bed. She pulled me into her arms and kissed me.
When I could breathe again, I said,
“I’m sorry, Carrie, I just went crazy there.”
“It was what we both needed, Doug, a whole lot of crazy. It was good. No, it was great. I don’t want to sound cheesy, but thank you.”
“It wasn’t cheesy, Carrie. I’ve never had it so good.”
“Neither have I. Now, get us a smoke out of the nightstand. We need one, don’t you think?”
“Yes we do.”
I found her pack of Marlboro Lights and a lighter and lit up two of them. Carrie took a deep drag and said,
“I’m sorry, I wanted tonight to be romantic, you know, with candles and rose petals. Or so I dreamed. I wanted to seduce you like in those romance novels you used to give me shit about in the break room.”
I took her face in my hands and said,
“Look at me and listen, okay? It wouldn't matter if you seduced me or tried to force me, which wouldn’t have happened because I would have been too willing, by the way.
“It was special for both of us. It was perfect. Honestly, this was the first time I’ve made love, understand? With anybody else, it was just fucking.
“But with you, this was more than physical actions for me. For the first time in my life, this was an together. I love you like I haven’t loved anybody before, ever.”
Carrie’s eyes filled with tears. She whispered,
“Oh god, Doug, I love you too.”
I kissed her tenderly then whispered,
“You’re my angel, Carrie.” I held her until we fell asleep. Sometime during the night we woke up and made love slowly and tenderly, and fell asleep with her head on my chest. The next thing I remember was the insistent beep of an alarm clock. I looked over at the nightstand and saw it said 5:30 am. Carrie raised her head and smiled at me.
“Good morning, sweet thing,” I said.
“Hi, baby,” she replied.
She got up and shut the alarm off.
“Come on lazy bones, time to start the day.”
She grabbed my hand and pulled me up and off the bed. We went to the bathroom, where she sat on the toilet. I heard the sound of piss hitting the water. I turned to leave, but Carrie grabbed my wrist and said,
“Where are you going?”
“I was going to give you some privacy,” I replied.
“After what we shared last night, we don’t have anything left to hide from each other, baby.”
She wiped herself, stood up and said,
I stood in front of the toilet and started to piss. Carrie grabbed my dick and aimed it into the toilet, which was getting difficult quickly because I started to get hard. We both laughed like hyenas at this.
Carrie started the water in the shower and we got in. I grabbed the shampoo and stood behind her and washed her hair.
“Doug, you’re spoiling me,” she sighed. I kissed her neck then said to her,
“That's what I'm going to do every day. How did you sleep, darling?”
“I slept very well, because the man I love fucked me senseless last night, how did you sleep?” Carrie asked.
“Better than I have ever slept, because the woman I love was next to me.”
Carrie kissed me and said,
“Today is my day off, baby. What’s going on with you today?”
“Well, there are some things I’d like to show you today, but not until this evening.”
“Doug, we don’t have to make love just in the evening, you know,” Carrie giggled.
“No, silly, these things we kind of need to have clothes on,” I replied with a smile.
“Besides, I want you meet some of my friends, and check out what we do when we get together. I think you might like it.”
“Sounds good, do I need to get dressed up for this occasion, or what?”
“Whatever you decide to wear is all right baby, it’s not like we’re going to a ball or anything. I do have to ask you if you have to work tomorrow, because it will be a late night.”
“That is perfectly all right, Doug. I could call in sick, if you want to," Carrie said. After we ate breakfast, I said,
“Come on, there is somebody you know that would like to see you.”
We drove in my truck to my hometown and pulled up in front of Mary’s Music World. We walked in.
Jeff Healey was playing over the speakers in the ceiling. Eve, my roommate’s niece was at the counter.
Eve was 19, standing at five feet even and had a pierced lip and dressed up Goth. Her pixie face lit up and said,
“Hi, DJ!! You are in big trouble, mister. Mary is mad as hell that you didn’t come home last night and didn’t call her. You better go see her; she’s in the guitar room playing that new Les Paul that came in last week.”
I introduced Carrie to Eve as my girlfriend, which made Carrie smile. Then I led Carrie to the guitar room and heard Mary playing the opening to Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train, and I knew I was in for it. Mary never played Ozzy unless she was pissed.
Mary turned around and saw us. Mary was five feet five inches tall, had a petite build, long curly blond hair, green eyes and a very bad temper when crossed.
Mary and I had been friends for fifteen years and we worked at the same Wal-Mart at the same time.
Mary quit after I had and opened Music World and it was very successful. She abruptly stopped playing, put the guitar down and said to me,
“You know how to dial a phone, fucker? I ought to put my foot in your ass, but I won’t, because, finally, Carrie and you finally figured out you were supposed to be together.”
Mary turned to Carrie and said,
“It took you two long enough,” then hugged Carrie.
Carrie hugged Mary and said, “Well, we weren’t too smart about that, until now. And it was my fault he didn’t call; I had him rather occupied last night.”
Mary chuckled and said, “Well, I forgive you. Him, not quite yet.”
I hung my head and said, “Mary, I apologize for not calling you and telling you I wasn’t coming back. Please forgive me.”
She hugged me and said, “Well, all right. You are forgiven. Go and sin a lot with this woman, you silly man.” The three of us sat and talked and laughed over people we all knew and some of the crazy things we had seen at the World of Wally.
I got up and picked up the guitar that Mary had been playing, turned the distortion knob on the amp it was plugged into all the way up and the tone knob all the way down and played the introduction of Black Sabbath’s Ironman.
The instant I hit the first chord, Carrie’s head jerked up and she watched me with wonder. I put the guitar down, shut off the amp and said,
“Nice. The strings are a little heavy for my preference, but I like it.”
”Wow. Now who is the one full of surprises?”
“He’s actually quite good. I’ve tried to get him to join the band, but Mister Shy over there thinks he sucks at playing. What do you think, Carrie?”
“You’re in a band? That is so cool!! And yeah, my man is pretty good with that guitar, among other things.”
Mary laughed and said,
“I don’t even want to know, girl!! Well, at least not in front of him, anyway.”
I hung my head in embarrassment. Mary laughed and continued,
“The band is rehearsing tonight. Well, that and a jam session. DJ usually comes with me and goofs around on a couple of songs. Will both of you come tonight? No pressure, if you’re busy that’s all right.” I replied,
“We’ll be there.”
Mary smiled and said, “Great!! It’s the usual time and place, DJ. And I’ll bring your Strat from the house, okay? Now, I’ve taken up enough of your time and I’ve got to run the store so Eve can get a break. I’ll see you later!” Mary hugged me and whispered in my ear, “You be good to her, DJ. I’ll kill you if you fuck it up.” I believed she would, too. I knew she could. -----------
That evening, we pulled up in front of Jerry’s Bar and Grill. Jerry and I had been friends for as long as I could remember, been in more trouble than either one of us would ever admit to, and at one time dated the same girl. Jerry got lucky and married her, though, the bastard! Anyway, Tuesday nights Jerry closed up at 7 and let the house band, Box of Rox, rehearse, jam with their friends, and have a good time. Mary, as you probably guessed, was the lead guitar player. If there was one thing she could do better than play guitar, it was singing; she had a soaring voice that would make an angel cry. Eve, her niece, played the keyboards and sang backup vocals, although she could handle lead vocals pretty damned good as well. John was the rhythm guitar guy, but he could trade licks with Mary, and often did. He worked in Mary’s store doing instrument repair and between him and Mary, taught me how to play. Jerry’s younger brother Bob was the bass player. He was a very intense person, being known to stop a bar fight with just a stare. Plus, Bob stood nearly seven feet tall and could bench press six hundred pounds. Bob didn’t say much, he let his bass talk for him.
The final person on stage was Jeremiah, the drummer. He was a little guy; he barely stood five feet four inches tall and thin as a rail, but strong as an ox. Drummers have a reputation for being wild and crazy, and Jeremiah used to live that way. Until that day he met Eve in the store two years ago and they fell in love at first sight. He quit drugs, cut way back on his drinking, and pounded out his aggression on the drum set instead of breaking noses and legs. Jeremiah and Eve got married last year and were devoted to each other. I introduced Carrie to the band. Carrie walked over to Bob and asked him for a hug. Bob picked her up and hugged her. One look at his face and everybody knew his heart melted. Carrie had made a friend for life. ----------
Six months went by. In that time I had moved from Mary’s house to what by now Carrie called our home. Our sex life, if anything, got even more fantastic. And our love for each other deepened even more.
But, to me there was something missing. I wasn't sure what it was, until one Friday in October Mary came knocking on the front door. I gave Mary a hug and said, “Hi Mary, what brings you to my door?” “Doug, we've known each other for fifteen years. We've been each other's drunk dial phone calls, we've cried on each other's shoulder, you saved my ass more than once, and every time we needed a friend, we've been there for each other. I love you like a brother. You're the only family I have, Doug.” I knew she was serious when she called me Doug. Mary continued, “I'm going to ask you something very serious. Why haven't you asked Carrie to marry you yet? You love each other, and you already live here with her. What's the holdup?” I felt like I had been hit between my eyes with a hammer. Then I felt stupid. How come I couldn't figure out what the missing piece of the puzzle was? Finally, I answered Mary. “You know, I haven’t the slightest clue why I haven’t done it yet. But, now I feel stupid for not doing it. You’re pretty smart about these things; you figured out that Carrie and I should have been together before we did. I, dear Mary, bow before your feet as an unworthy fool.” Mary laughed at me and said, ”You may kiss my ring, fool. So, are you going to ask her?” “Yes I am, but I want to do it right. I want to surprise her, completely blow her away with this. But I haven’t an idea that’s original.” Mary said, “I have an idea, but let’s eat first. Then let’s work on this. Why don’t you order us a pizza, if that’s okay?” As we ate, Mary told me her idea. It sounded fantastic, but it I would need a lot of help to pull this off, and a lot of luck. Mary said, “You’re damned right you need my help, DJ. Don’t worry about a thing; I’ve got it under control. Congratulations, my brother from another mother, for getting your act together, even though you needed your sister to get you off your ass.” I laughed and said as I hugged Mary, “Thanks, sister. You're the greatest.”
--------- After Mary left, I drove across town to Carrie's mother's home. I knocked on the door. Amy, Carrie's mother said, “Hello, Doug. This is a surprise, come in.” We went into her living room and I came right to the point. “Amy, I want to ask Carrie to marry me, but I want your permission to do that. I know that normally I’m supposed to ask her father, but he’s dead. So, I’m asking you.” “Doug, I’m touched and honored that you are doing this. And yes, you have my approval. Do you have a ring yet?” Amy asked me. I admitted that I didn’t, that Mary had only set me right an hour ago. Amy smiled and said, “Well, I need to meet Mary and thank her for setting you straight.” She left the room, and then came back with a ring box. “This was my mother and father’s wedding set. I would like you to have them and give them to my daughter.” She kissed my cheek and said, “You’re a great guy. I feel blessed that my daughter found you, and that you’re now a part of my family.” With a lump in my throat, I said, “Thank you, Amy.” “Call me Mom, Doug, you’ve earned it.” “Thanks, Mom.” ----------
It was two weeks later that I set the plan in motion. It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The band wouldn’t be playing the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but Jerry wanted them (and us) to come out and have a good time there; he considered them a part of his family, and wanted to do something for them for the holiday. Jerry and his wife would smoke a couple of turkeys, and make all the trimmings for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Mary let me borrow her favorite acoustic guitar, and I practiced what I wanted to do, sneaking down to Music World to do this. When I put that guitar in the back of the Blazer, Carrie asked me, “Why are you bringing that one for?” I replied, “I heard a song that I think the band could use, and there’s a lot of acoustic guitar in it.” I was nervous, and it showed. Carrie asked me what was wrong, and I told her it was because I had to sing the song. “Oh, come on, DJ. I’ve heard you sing in the shower, and you’ve got a good voice,” Carrie said as we drove down the highway. “Well, I thank you for thinking that. I just hope everybody else thinks that,” I replied. “The only one that matters is you, Doug. If you think you’ve got a good voice, that’s all that matters. Even if you sucked, you still would sound good to me,” Carrie said. “Thanks, Carrie, I love you too.” ----------
When we got to Jerry’s, Eve hugged me and whispered in my ear, “Are you ready?” I whispered back, “I sure as hell hope so.” She smiled and said, “You’ll do fine.” I said to the band as I plugged into Mary’s wireless amp and put on Mary’s headset microphone, “I told Mary about a song I heard on the radio I think you could use. She wanted me to play it for you to see what you think, okay?”
That was the cue to Eve. She counted out loud to four, then began to play, her keyboard sounding like an accordion as she played the intro to Maria Elena by the Smithereens. I began to play as she sang in her contralto voice, “Little girl, little one, he gave his heart to you. In this world you’ll never know, a love that is so true. I sang the bridge: “I will love you all my days, that’s how it got to be. I believe in true love ways, Maria Elena.” Eve and I continued to play and sing the song the same way, Eve singing the verses and I was singing the bridge. As Eve sang the last verse, I stepped off the stage and walked to the table where the only women in my life was sitting. Carrie’s eyes were as wide as saucers. Jerry was standing behind the bar holding a video camera taping the whole thing, wearing a shit-eating grin. I sang the final bridge and the song ended. As I dropped to one knee and reached in my pocket for the ring, there was silence; everybody else in the room was in on this. I opened the ring box and said, “Carrie, you’re the first woman I’ve ever truly loved. And you’ll be the last. I’m only going to ask you this one time: will you marry me?” Carrie’s hands flew over her mouth and she gasped. Her eyes were full of tears as she lowered her hands and whispered, “Oh my god……….YES!!!” She screamed the last word. Mary took the guitar from me as Carrie jumped up and ran into my arms. We stood in the middle of the dance floor holding each other, kissing and crying tears of joy. The bar broke out in cheering and clapping. Mary hugged us both then said to me, “I hate to say I told you it would work, brother, but, I told you it would work!” I kissed Mary's cheek and said, “Damn, Mary!! Thanks for everything. Love you, sister!” Mary said softly, “I love you too. Don't fuck this up, or I'll kill you.” Carrie and I laughed. Jerry yelled out, “Gather around, everybody!!” Jerry grabbed a bottle of champagne, poured glasses for everyone, and said, “I propose a toast. To the happy couple!”
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