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Dear John

“Life is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

CHAPTER 1

1994

 

She arrived at Emmett J. Carlson high school on the third day of classes, and on that day I fell madly in love with her. Love at first sight? Don’t tell me that there’s no such thing! Oh, and didn’t I say? Today is the third day of classes I alluded to. I closed the distance between us with as much confidence as I could muster and tapped her on her shoulder.

“Hi, I’m Sam,” I said.

“Huh? Who?” she said.

“Sam, Sam Bradshaw: one of the captains on the football team; I play wide-out. Oh, and I’m your future husband,” I said.

“Oh really? I mean a proposal even before our first date?” she said.

“I like to be on top of things. No procrastinator, me,” I said.

“Hmm, well, you are handsome, sort of. Okay, you can pick me up after school. I like pizza, so does that work for you?” she said. “But oh, as for the marriage thing, don’t be counting on that one.”

“Oh, okay,” I said. “I’ll meet you in the quad at 3:00, and I’ve got a car. Okay?”

“Good,” she said.

The next six hours were a trial for sure, pure hell actually. But the bell releasing us from academic incarceration did finally ring, and we were outta there.

 

****

 

The ride to Milano’s was quiet. Well, I was still confident, but maybe not as confident as I had been earlier in the day. I pulled into the parking lot and ran around to her side of the car to help her out. She snickered her surprise that I was being such a gentleman.

“Let’s get a table kinda in the back if that’s all right with you,” I said.

“Sure, okay,” she said. I chose a booth next to a window; well, the view of the road traffic was at least somewhat more romantic than the view of the foot traffic.

“So Mister Bradshaw, you fell madly in love with me as soon as you saw me, that about it?” She said.

“Pretty much,” I said. “You don’t know me at all, I understand that, but I promise you that I will do my best to be your very obedient boyfriend and really your eventual hubby.”

“Boy you are smitten!” she said. “Kinda scary, actually. Lighten up a little okay. We can date. Like I said you are a cute guy, and I dig it that you are planning to obey me, but too fast is a bit of a turnoff. Okay?”

“Yes, for sure, you got it,” I said. “Oh, but one thing . . .”

“Hmm?” she said.

“Your name, I still don’t know it,” I said.

She laughed, “Right, my bad. Abigail Williams, age eighteen, senior, straight-A student, dad’s a master-mechanic; mom’s a housewife, just arrived in state, used to live in Illinois. I’m looking to hook up with a guy with a future and who is willing to work hard to get it. I really mean that; I am not into couch potatoes or party boy losers; I want to be very clear about that from the getgo. So, am I clear, and are you that guy?” she said.

“Absolutely I’m that guy,” I said. “Okay. And like I said before, I’m Sam Bradshaw, also eighteen, senior, mostly As and Bs, an all-league jock, mom’s deceased, dad’s an insurance salesman, lived here in Arizona my whole life; looking to hook up with a goddess, and I don’t have to ask if you fit the bill because you clearly do.”

“A goddess, huh,” she said. “Look, Sam, Yes I’m pretty, I know it. I know it and I flaunt it because it’s fun. But there’s a whole lot more to being a person than looks alone. I hope you get that. I will undoubtedly disappoint you in the future and you me as well. That is if, in fact, we do have any kind of a future ahead of us.”

The pizza we’d ordered almost as soon as we’d gotten our seats arrived and interrupted us: straight cheese.

“So, you’re one of those straight-A nerds?” I said. She gave me a look the basic element of which was 'how dare you stereotype me!

“No, no,” I said, realizing my faux pas, “I meant that as a compliment.”

“Yeah, right,” she said.

“No really. For me, the definition of a nerd is he or she for whom the rest of the world will one day work!” I said.

“Hmm, nice save,” she said.

We ate and talked for a while and made a date for the following Saturday: dinner and a movie. And then there were a few dozen more dates and then we graduated.

 

****

 

Our wedding was held at Saint Genevieve’s. We were eighteen and “we’d only just begun” as the lyric went. There were upwards of two hundred and fifty people in attendance.

I did have a job at Ames Brothers Transport; I was part of the maintenance crew. We did clean up, minor electrical, plumbing when called upon, and just about anything the drivers and the loaders didn’t do. The pay was shit, but the gig itself wasn’t bad, and I got along good with my coworkers.

Yeah, I had a job, but one that wasn’t all that appreciated by my wife. A fact that she very often took pains to make abundantly clear to me.

I was a wannabe techie, but the problem seemed to be that without a degree in something, getting a job in my favorite field wasn’t happening, well, so far it hadn’t. And then it was two years since our hook up, and one year since we tied the knot.

 

1996

 

“Don’t worry; I’ll sign on for a couple of extra shifts. Arnold always needs guys to cover for the lazy bums who never show up. We’ll be fine,” I said.

“Sam, you need to get a serious job. Maintenance for a warehouse isn’t going to cut it forever. We just can’t keep going on like we have,” said Abigail. “We’ve been married for over a year, you need to reach your potential. You promised me. If you don’t do something pretty soon, husband mine, I’m going to divorce your pretty pink butt and find a guy who can support my very high maintenance self! Got it!” she said, she was smirking, but she did expect me to get my butt in gear.

“Honey, Abby, I’ll take care of things. Give me a few days without going off on me, and I’ll get it done. Okay?” he said. She nodded. But it was a nod with narrowed eyes.

“Okay, I love you Sam, and I know you love me; and I’m not going to divorce you, but I am going to nag you into living up to your potential. You can count on that. We do need to get to a place where we can see light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

“I know, and you’re right. And, you’re right about something else, goddess mine, I do love you more than my life. I’ll do better. From now on my number two priority will be finding a better job,” he said.

“Good,” she said, “but number two?”

“Well yeah,” I said, as if I were confused that she didn’t get it. “You’re number one.”

“Oh,” she said, and smiled.

 

****

 

I didn’t want to do it, but there seemed to be no choice. I gave my dad a call. He was going to be my fallback position if I couldn’t find a better job than the one that I had. Selling insurance was the absolutely last thing I wanted to do. But, I’d do it to save my marriage. That and only that was a reason for me to be visiting Aaron Bradshaw, sales agent for Lacy Insurance brokers on this particular fall afternoon.

I pulled into the driveway, parked, and sat still for a moment. He didn’t know why I was coming, though I had called to let him know I was coming. I figured he might be reasonably happy about my reason once he did find out. He’d wanted me to join him at his firm where he did fairly well overall: $45K or $50K annual: way better than I did at my job. Yeah, he’d wanted me to join him, but he’d given up asking. He was going to be more than surprised by my qualified change of heart.

“Son,” he said, opening the door smiling. “Glad you called? What’s up?”

Over the next hour plus and two cups of coffee I let him in on my predicament.

“So basically, you’re saying that unless you find a job doing techie soon, you’ll be asking me to get you on at Lacy Inc.?” he said.

“That’s about the size of it, dad. I know I can do the job for you guys. I probably should have talked to you before, but well this just came up,” I said.

“Meaning that Abby put the screws to you,” he said.

“Pretty much. She’s been on me to find something better. Me working at pretty much minimum at maintenance is putting a crimp in our home life,” I said.

“Okay, son, I can get you on. But do me one favor. If you do sign on, you sign on for the long haul. I don’t want them to think that I’m using them for some kind of short-term solution to a family problem,” he said.

“You got it, dad. I should be able to let you know in a couple of weeks most,” I said. He nodded.

We talked a bit longer then parted company me to shop for a job him back to the Dodger game on TV.

 

****

 

“I don’t know, Harriet. He is a very hard worker but an almost hopelessly ineffective one. The man just doesn’t seem to get it that he has the potential for doing a whole lot better. I’m the woman. I’m supposed to inspire the little shit. I need to get him off and on somehow,” said Abigail.

“Look, Abby, you’ve got a good guy. When you’re a hundred years old you’ll still be a sex object to him. Do you have any idea how rare that is?” said Harriet.

“Yes, I’m fully aware of everything you say. And the man is a hard worker. As a matter of fact, he just got himself a second job, if that’s what you want to call it,” said Abby.

“What! He’s working two jobs now! Doing what?” said Harriet Bridger.

“Security at the Milford Building: it’s part-time: midnight to 6:00 A.M. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,” said Abby. Her friend sank back into her seat.

“I can see false pride doesn’t enter into his choice of career goals. Still, the man cannot be considered a deadbeat by any wild-ass stretch of the imagination,” said Harriet.

“No, I have to give him that. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. But, do you know, the man is actually good with computers; he actually learned a lot about that kind of stuff in high school and on his own since we graduated. If he’d just sign up to go to community college he could maybe get himself a career in that kind of thing. I mean you know?” she said.

“Well, encourage him to do that then,” said Harriet. “Of course, working two jobs might make college a non-starter.”

“I have encouraged him! But all he says is that college and him don’t mix. It’s very frustrating,” said Abby. “But at least with him working two jobs, the bills will be a little more on time than has been the case lately. Of course, our sex life is going to be shit, not that it’s been all that fucking wonderful lately in any event.”

“Oh boy, I see a serious storm of stuff on the horizon with you feeling the way you do,” said Harriet.

“Yes, well it’s hard to argue with you there,” said Abby. “But no, I love the guy, and I’m sticking with him, but I do have to do something to get him off and on.”

 

****

 

Tuesday, well tonight I’d get some sleep: just have to work eight hours today. Tomorrow not so much, tomorrow it’ll be fourteen hours.

“Your home on time,” said Abby.

“Yes, yes, short day,” I said.

“Well, for goodness sakes come on in. I have a little snack prepared for you,” she said, “for my hard-working man.”

I smiled. I sure did love this woman. She was all any man could possibly want.

She led me by my company supplied shirt collar down the hall to our bedroom. Entering, she told me strip and lie down on the bed. I did as she commanded me. Oh, and I was smiling. I sure didn’t have to guess what kind of snack she’d a minute before alluded to.

“Play with yourself,” she said. My smile evaporated.

“Huh? What? I thought that..” I started.

“Don’t worry, just do as you’re told, okay?” she said.

I nodded and began playing with myself. While I did as she told me, she shucked her panties, but left the yellow sundress she was wearing on. She kept her eyes on me the whole time.

I was close to cumming. I didn’t want to cum, not yet. I wanted to cum inside of her.

“I want to see you squirt,” she said. “Hurry up.”

Once again, I did as she said, reluctantly. I began actually bucking as I came and came and came again. I’d squirted all right, halfway across the bed and onto the front of her dress. She smiled.

“Okay?” I said.

“Yes, good, now you should be able to last a while instead of doing your usual two-minute drill,” she said.

She joined me on the bed. She squatted on her knees straddling my chest her butt to my face and began playing with my five and a half inch squirt gun. It took some minutes, but my cock was soon once again at full mast.

Satisfied with her success, she backed up and sat on my face. “Now, bring me off with your tongue.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said.

Her clit was right over my mouth and I did my best to torture it. My nose was flat against her anus the whole time, and I was so turned on by the smell of her that I was afraid that I might cum prematurely—again.

She began to shudder as she was overcome by a shattering orgasm. She fell forward and rested for a moment or two. She spun around and made to impale herself on my still steel hard cock.

“Now, big boy, you need to fuck this girl and make her cum with your dick,” she said.

I began slowly but after a couple of minutes of that I sped up and she helped out by playing with her clit while I rammed her from beneath. It took me a good eight to ten minutes, but she made it and so did I, again.

She rolled off of me gasping for breath. I thought that was fair, so was I.

We rested for a few minutes and she surprised me, no shocked me, by swiveling and taking my shrunken penis in her mouth, intent on raising the dead. I’d cum twice, but she was determined to make it a hat-trick.

Satisfied with her progress, she switched, rolled over on her tummy, and smiled at me. “From the rear, stud, now!”

I was hard again, but could I cum again. I’d done it in the past but not often and number three was always a challenge. I rolled on top of her and used my knee to spread her wide. She cooperated in the effort. I didn’t need to lubricate her; the sea of cum I’d unloaded inside of her vagina made her more than ready for the finale.

I slipped into her and bottomed out in a single thrust. I screwed her for some minutes, I don’t know how many; I was totally concentrating on not having a heart attack from all of my exertion. I felt her stiffen. I unloaded but a minute or so after her.

I collapsed on her back. She didn’t even try to dislodge me. But I did finally roll off of her and onto my back. If I’d been breathing hard before, I was gasping now.

“Good for you?” I said.

“The best in a long time,” she said. “Don’t forget the formula.”

“Promise!” I said, “for sure I promise.”

We slept. Dinner was forgotten. I’d have to sleep longer before going to work tomorrow, that was a sure bet. Oh yeah.

 

****

 

Thinking about it after the fact, Abby’s interest in having demanded a really hardcore evening of sex—and she was the one making demands—was kinda surprising. After all of the serious pressure over the weekend to get me to find a better job, her ebullient mood didn’t quite fit.

But, she was a sexual person and we did do good when we did do it. So in hindsight maybe it was not so surprising after all. The one result from my side of things was the reality that I was becoming hyper-motivated to get out there and do some furious job hunting.

 

CHAPTER 2

 

Job searching was the focus of the moment. Still, I was feeling good, yeah working my ass off with two jobs, but on some level feeling real good regardless. And in actuality, for all of her hyperventilating about me getting better situated, better career-wise, she was feeling good too.

Yes, she was still hot for me to get a better job, one that wouldn’t keep me out to all hours like the two I had were doing, and I was working on that. I was good with computers my lack of college notwithstanding; I’d be getting me a job sooner or later. That was my goal: to work with computers and tech in general.

I hadn’t told her, not explicitly, but I had been looking and looking hard. I’d made what seemed like a hundred calls and half that many in-person interviews over the past year, but nada. I needed a resume if not a college degree and I had neither.

My day job was maintenance for Ames Brothers Transport, Monday through Friday 9:00 to 5:00. My second job was easier, a security gig at the Milford Building watching monitors on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday midnight to 6:00 A.M. And, with my getting the second job, I’d let my dad know that he didn’t have to go to bat for me.

Still, my biggest problem, apart from trying to find a better job, was my lack of time with my wife. She appreciated my work ethic well enough but did not appreciate my work hours. And, she’d made it more than clear that she wasn’t exactly happy with my job choices either.

On the rare occasion, and it was rare anymore, that we went out with friends, I could see that she was loath to hear other women talk about their husbands’ jobs or say very much about mine. Janitor and security guard just didn’t sound as sexy as assistant store manager or insurance salesman or what have you.

She wanted me in a suit and tie, oh, and making twice the money that I was even with two jobs. Did her attitude bother me? Of course, it did. A man wants to believe that his woman is proud of him, and, the fact was she wasn’t proud of me. Being good looking, and I was that, was just not good enough, not for my woman.

At any rate, pulling down $26K take home annual was getting us by. Sometimes things got a little thin, but we did have a nice two bedroom apartment and two three-year-old cars: hers a Civic mine a Silverado pickup both ‘93s. But I was sure things would be getting better. I just had to be patient and I was.

****

Traffic was bad, but I was enduring. I turned the corner onto our street and sighed. Our place was just a quarter mile ahead. I slowed, and arriving, pulled into the resident lot. Her car was not in its usual place. She had to be shopping for groceries. She was always home when I got home from work. I parked and strode inside the complex to our place.

I headed for the bathroom: forty cups of coffee per day had their downside; okay well it seemed like forty.

I peed, splashed water on my face and made a mental note to be extra nice to the woman tonight. I had plans, after dinner plans. I was hornier than a truckload of rabbits.

I heard the back door slam. She was home. I smiled. She almost bumped into me as I turned the corner into the kitchen.

“Whoa, you’re home,” she said.

“As usual,” I said, glancing up at the clock for support.

“Yes, yes of course,” she said. She looked, something, stressed, something.

“Abby?” I said. She sighed. She looked up at me and didn’t smile.

“Sam, we’re pregnant. I just got back from the doctor’s. It’s for sure,” she said. I hadn’t had a clue that she even might be. I sat down at the kitchenette table.

“Okay, great,” I said, my look not as calm as my words, not nearly so, I was sure of that. “Do we know what...? “

“No, not yet, but soon,” she said.

“Honey, you don’t seem as happy as I thought you’d be if we ever...” I started.

“It’s going to be expensive, Sam. I guess I’m going to have to get a job, and working at the same time I’m—growing—well...” she said.

“No, I’ll get a better job. I haven’t told you, but I’ve been looking real hard. Nothing yet, but I will be pushing it now for sure. You will not work and that’s that,” I said.

She sighed, shook her head. “Sam, you say you’ve been looking real hard, but no luck so far? What...?”

“Yes, I’ve been trying to get a job doing something with computers. But now, with us being pregnant, I’ll be looking for anything that pays better not just computers only,” I said. “There’re jobs out there, and I won’t be settling for any minimum wage shit either. We’ll be fine, and it won’t be long either. Okay?”

“Okay,” she said. She looked concerned, but at least she was cutting me some slack on the pressure which did surprise me.

I knew that I could again ask my dad for a job doing what he was doing, but I really had a hard time imagining myself selling insurance. But, what the hey, he made twice what I did working my two jobs. I could do it if I had to.

Abby knew it too, and up to now had never pressured me to try it. She knew, as well as I did that sales was not my thing. But now, only making more money was important not the how.

One good thing was that my day job’s medical insurance was good and did cover pregnancy and almost all of the costs associated with it. To be clear, my medical coverage was mostly an 80/20 thing, but not when it came to pregnancy; I didn’t know why, I was just glad that it was covered.

I had a little time. The baby wasn’t due for an estimated seven months. I’d get the job we needed; I had to.

 

****

 

“Yes, Harriet, I’m pregnant. And yes I’m worried,” said Abigail. Her friend shook her head slowly.

“Boy, that is something. Well, congratulations anyway. I know the timing isn’t the best. But, I thought you were on the pill,” said Harriet.

“I was, but I ran out, got lazy, and took a chance. I wasn’t due, but I guess I was,” said Abigail.

“Clearly,” said Harriet.

“Harriet Bridger, what am I going to do? We can’t afford another mouth to feed and all of the other costs that go along with having a baby,” said Abby.

“You said your man is out looking for another job a better one,” said Harriet.

“That’s what he told me. Said he’d even ask his dad for a hand up if he had to. But, Harriet, he’d be no good at selling insurance. He doesn’t even believe in insurance,” said Abby.

“He could join the army,” said Harriet, laughing.

“Yeah, right and leave a pregnant wife at home to do it all alone. Not a good option,” said Abby.

“Hmm, yes, you do have a point there,” said Harriet.

“Well, at least we have a little time. He should be able to find something in these next months that pays better than what he’s got going now,” said Abby. “At any rate that’s the hope.”

 

****

 

She came through the back door as she had a thousand times before, ever since she’d been able to walk. She called out.

“Mom? Dad?” said Abigail Bradshaw.

“In here, Abbs,” answered her dad.

She headed through the kitchen and into the dinette where her mom and dad were going over what looked like the monthly bills.

“Hi, honey,” said Cecilia Williams, as she fell into a seat across from them.

“And to what do we owe the pleasure of this unexpected drop by?” said Gregory Williams.

Abigail Bradshaw nee Williams sighed. “I’ve got some news,” she said.

“News?” said her mom. Abigail nodded.

“I’m pregnant, mom,” she said.

“Huh?” said her dad.

“That’s wonderful, Honey,” said her mom.

“I guess,” said Abby.

“Abby, why the long face,” said her dad. His daughter sighed.

“We really can’t afford it, dad, me being pregnant. But it is good news I suppose,” she said.

“Honey girl, yes it is good news. And if you guys need help; we’re here for you,” he said.

“Dad, we don’t want help from you. My husband has to find a better job than the two he’s currently got. He’s promised to do so. To be fair, he has been trying. But he wants to work with computers, and those jobs are hard to find if you don’t have a college degree. Well anyway, that’s what Sam told me,” she said.

“I can believe that what Sam told you is true,” he said. “Well, let’s just hope that that man of yours does find what he’s looking for,” said Gregory Williams.

 

****

 

I was finally able to find a job that made some sense for a guy like me. It kicked up my annual to $32K and except for the fact that the hours sucked, I only had to work forty of them instead of the fifty-eight that I had been for $26K annual.

My schedule was 3:00 to midnight five days a week with Tuesday and Thursday off. Oh and the job? I was now a stock clerk at a grocery store, benefits about the same as I had with my other jobs. One downside was that the special pregnancy coverage I’d had was no longer the case.

I was draggin’ when I got home.

“You looked positively dead on your feet,” she said.

“I am a little tired,” I said. Well, it was half past midnight. “We unloaded two forty-footers tonight and stocked ‘em,” I said.

“That does sound like a lot,” she said.

“But, how are you doing, honey?” I said.

“Well, only five more months and we shall be a club of four,” she said, brightly. “And yes, we were having twins, twin girls.”

“Wow!” I said. “Well, and I’ve got some good news too, well, a little: I will be getting a five percent raise at the end of the year: I’ll have twelve months on the job by then.”

Things were still tight financially, but we’d be getting by okay. Abby was frugal and so was I.

“We’re gonna need that extra money you’re gonna be getting when they get here,” said Abby.

“Yes, and it will be a help.

“Honey, tomorrow’s my day off. Let’s go down to the river and kick back, whaddya say?’ I said. “We can pack eats and make a day of it.”

“Can’t Sam. Harriet’s coming over to do my hair,” said Abby.

“Can’t she do it another day?” I said.

“It’s when she’s free. She’s doing it for nothing, so it’s kinda hard for me to ask her to change her schedule,” she said.

What she didn’t say was that we couldn’t afford for her to go to the salon where Harriet worked to get it done because we were too poor.

“Oh, okay, I understand,” I said. “I wasn’t thinking. Maybe on Thursday then if you’re clear.”

“Yes, Thursday would be better,” she said.

 

****

 

I’d packed the lunch myself. She was only four and a half months along, but I was doing my best to make things as easy for her as I could.

The drive down to the Verde River was nice, it was hot outside, but not intolerable and I knew just the place for our picnic: lots of shade and kinda private. I’d just have to be helping her down the little incline that fronted the river.

“Wait here for a minute while I take the stuff down and then I’ll help my beautiful wife down,” I said.

“Okay,” she said. She smiled. She liked the river too.

I hauled our little portable table and folding chairs down as well as the lunch stuff and set up camp.

I came back up to her and helped her navigate the semi-cliff that guaranteed that the spot would be private.

“Nice,” she said.

“Yes, it is,” I said.

We ate and talked and the shade kept us from being fried by the direct sunlight. She walked, with help from me, out onto a rock in the middle of the slow-moving stream and sat immersing her legs up to her knees in the tranquil pool.

We were happy. I just knew that things would be breaking good for us soon. I just knew it.

We were like a couple of teenagers for the next hours: me feeling her up and her telling me how handsome I was; well, she was right on about that.

When the sun got lower in the sky, I packed us up and we headed on home. We were tired, but it’d been a good day.

****

She heard him pull into the apartment’s lot. Their place was close to where he always parked. She would pin him when he got up in the morning. She actually felt good and that for the first time in a long time: it was time for a full court press as he was always saying.

He was showering; she could hear him in the hallway bathroom. It was past midnight, so he always tried to be as quiet as he could so as not to wake her. He always did, of course, wake her that is, but she pretended to let him succeed in his goal, so he wouldn’t feel bad. She really did love the man. He was loyal and hardworking and loving; and, she was certain that he was going to make a great daddy.

 

****

 

Being the genius I was, I had had her hospital bag packed for a month. It was in the back of her car, her Nissan. We’d be taking it to the hospital. And I was on the stick for the whole ball of wax: I made sure the car always had enough gas in the tank. The seat on the passenger side was adjusted for easy ingress and egress.

Hospital and insurance info was in a manila folder under the driver’s seat. I was not leaving anything to chance. Was I nervous? Was I paranoid? Hell yes, I was and so fucking what!

And then it was 10:30 p.m. on the 13th of October 1997. We’d just gone to bed.

“Sam, something’s wrong. Oh fucking no!” she screamed. “It’s time!”

We were on the road in no more than three minutes and at Finnley Memorial in thirteen more.

I did the pacing. I did the dribbling at the corners of my mouth, and three and half hours later a smiling nurse, came through the employees only door and announced, “Twin girls, the doctor will be out in just a moment,” she said.

I collapsed on the chair I’d been using off and on the whole time.

 

****

 

Over the next few years, things were wonderful around the house. Mia and Sarah were beautiful and noisy and mine! Well, we were doing well other than the fact that we were still kinda struggling moneywise. The pressure to do better was on; it was always on. She was always nice about it, but she was pushing. And, I was trying. I was pushing too.

But I wanted to be in computers, not insurance or some other career path. I was good at the techie side of things and I knew that I was meant to be in that line of work—period. Things would break for me; I could feel it.

 

CHAPTER 3

2000

 

Milano’s pizza parlor in the middle of town had been their favorite place to eat fattening food ever since high school. It had been the venue of their very first date. Cecilia Milano, daughter of the original owner was now that, the owner.

She settled into the booth and checked the paper placemat cum-menu that was Milano’s trademark: its list of goodies was in both English and Italian—go figure.

“Missus Bradshaw, it is good to see you,” said Cecilia Milano. “How are you?”

“Good ,Cecilia. Good, good. And you?” said Abigail. The babies are with mom today; I’m shopping.

“Also good. My son, Aaron, just joined the Army. They gave him a bonus of $25,000 can you believe it!” she said.

“The Army?” said Abigail.

“Yes, the pay is good, and they will pay for his college in addition to the bonus. He’s very good with technology and they made him a really good offer. Plus he is going to be stationed in Europe as soon as he finishes that basic training thing they require,” she said.

“Really,” said Abby.

“Yes, the kids today have it a lot easier than my generation did,” she said.

“Sounds like,” said Abby.

Her order taken, all of a sudden she had something to talk to her husband about. He could do it. He was good with computers. Maybe he could get a bonus too.

Sam had always been good in high school, not straight “A’s” but close. And she knew he’d taken some kind of Army test too. She, they, had his transcripts. She’d be getting them out and looking to see if maybe she could make a case for him to join the Army.

 

****

 

It was 7:00 a.m. I could see she was wanting to tell me something. I was sure that I knew what it was about.

I looked over at her as she put the food on the table. “Honey?” I said.

“Sam, you’re a hard worker, but not too good at finding the right job to support us. This will do it.” She handed me a brochure. “You're good with computers and the Army will train you so you can make a lot of money for us, for our family.”

Oops, I was wrong about what I thought she was going to want to talk about.

“Where are you getting all of this stuff?” I said.

“I was at Momma’s yesterday and Cecilia told me that her son just joined the Army,” she said.

“Abbs, the Army would not be a good fit for me. But, more than that, I would be away from you and the kids for long periods of time. I need you near me. I need you!” I said. “And, Abbs, you need me.”

“And, I do need you,” she said. “But we need to be able to do for our children, as well as for each other. Please, Sam, you need to consider this. It may be just the thing for us to put us on easy street. And why would you think that it wouldn’t be a good fit for you? You used to be a jock for goodness sakes. This will be a piece of cake for someone like you.”

“Abbs, I just can’t do this one. Anything but this. I’ll think of something. Okay! I promise. Besides, we aren’t doing that badly even now. I mean the job I got pays more than both of my old jobs combined and I work fewer hours to get it. Plus I will be getting another raise in a few more months. We’ll be fine,” I said.

“Sam, I insist you at least think about it. Maybe talk to a recruiter about it. See what they are willing to offer a computer whiz like you. I bet it’s a lot. Cecilia said her son got $25,000 for signing up, and he doesn’t have a college degree either,” she said. She had stopped me with that one.

“You talking about Michael?” I said.

“Yes,” she said.

“Michael Milano’s into electronics not computers,” I said.

“Okay, maybe, but computers are maybe more important to the Army than electronics,” she said. “You never know until you ask. I’m just asking you to consider the idea. Please.” I nodded, reluctantly nodded.

“Okay, I’ll consider it, but don’t be assuming that I’m going to be going for it, Abbs. It really isn’t my thing marching around and wearing uniforms and all of that stuff,” I said.

 

****

 

I’d been waiting for some time before the man, the sergeant, called me over. There were six or eight guys trying to sign up. A couple of them were taking the ASVAB but they were in a separate room. He waved me over.

“Hi. Your name?” He said.

“Sam, Sam Bradshaw,” I said.

“So, Sam, you looking to join up like your compatriots here today?” said Sergeant Miller.

“Mostly here to find out what’s what,” I said.

“Smart,” he said. “Good you want to know what you're doing before you commit to something that will change your life.”

“Exactly,” I said. The man across from me smiled.

And then it was on: question-answer, question-answer, question-answer; it went on for a good half hour.

“So, anything else you’d like to know?” he said.

“So, I’ll get the bonus?” I said.

“You’ll need to pass the test for what you’re asking, but yes if you do pass the test, which hearing you this past while, I’m gonna say that you likely will,” he said, “so, again, yes.”

I was nodding. It did seem like a good deal. Did I want to do it? No, I did not. But, my wife had made a good case: this was going to put us on easy street.

Twenty-four years old and I was signing the paper the man pushed across to me like it was nothing and joining up with the freakin’ Army. I’d be talking to my woman in an hour. But, I was going to get me a drink or two before I subjected myself to that particular hurricane of distaff joy, maybe more than two!

 

****

 

“Okay, so,” she said.

“You were right, I guess. There is a bonus to be had,” I said.

“So are you going to sign up like I suggested? It would be the best thing you’ve ever done for us, Sam, really,” she said. “And I love a man in a uniform.”

She was giggling, and I had it in mind that I’d be getting lucky for sure once I let her know the whole of it.

“I already have,” I said. I was deadpanning, and she didn’t quite get what I was saying at first.

“Huh?” she said.

“I’m already signed up. I’ll be leaving for boot camp in a couple of months. Problem with that is  I’ll be moving all over the place, and I’ll be away from you and the kids. I ain’t gonna be liking that too much. And, I especially ain’t going to be liking not being together with you,” I said.

“Oh, my! Samuel Bradshaw, I love you. You have made me so happy and so proud,” she said. “I mean a soldier..!”

She came at me and planted a kiss on my lips that actually hurt, but in a good way. The sex was going to be good; I was sure of that.

“You’ll get to come home sometimes and everything, right?” she said.

“After boot camp, I’ll be getting some time off, and then I’ll be assigned to some base or other. The recruiter wasn’t sure where, but it’ll be here in the states. It might make sense for you and the babies to move to wherever it is. But, I’ll have to see about that,” I said.

“No problem, honey. If we can work it out, we will,” she said.

“The bonus, you said that we’d be getting the bonus?” She said.

“Yes, and it is $25,000. I set it up to be direct deposited to our bank. Not sure when it will hit, but soon,” I said.

Her smile was as wide as the Grand Canyon. “The kids are at mom and dad’s,” she said.

I was feeling good, I guess. But I wasn’t going to be liking being away from her. Still, I guess the career move was the right move, and the Army was going to be paying for some college courses too. Plus the recruiter did guarantee that I would be able to do stuff with computers. That had been the final straw that convinced me to sign up.

It was late in the day and she told me to go up and wash up that we’d be having an early dinner. That was good news. Whenever we had an early dinner, we always had late nights. This night figured to be a very late night. Well, and grandma was watching the kids.

 

****

 

I’d washed up and changed and now I was sitting at the table across from her and she was actually humming while she ate. Oh yeah, this was going to be a very late night.

With the dishes done, she literally dragged me into the front room and ordered me to strip. Well, I’d be following orders for a long time in the Army for sure. Following hers would be a helluva lot more fun. I did as she told me.

She watched me as I got naked. She was still dressed in her gray skirt and the white blouse she’d been wearing when I’d gotten home. Oh, and the skirt was kind of tight. Jesus, she was a sexy looking woman.

“Get on your knees, Mister,” she said. I did what she said. She turned around presenting her still covered buttocks to my view. “Kiss me,” she said.

I leaned in and kissed her ass and loved doing it. I tried to push my face through her skirt and panties and she giggled at my obedience.

“You want me?” She said. “You want to kiss my naked butt?”

“Oh yes,” I said.

“Then lift my skirt and pull my panties down and get to it,” she said. I was actually drooling as I lifted the skirt and slowly pulled her underpants down and off of her. She stepped out of them.

Lifting her skirt again, I gazed at the prettiest butt in the world. I kissed both globes and then buried my face in the crease between them licking and sucking on her anus.

“Good boy,” she said. “I love it that you know your place.”

I spun her around and pulled her down on the floor with me. I’d pushed her skirt up high up on her waist and her naked and hairy mound was open to me. I pressed my knee between her thighs and she spread for me. I slid down her body and began licking and sucking on her pussy the way I had her anus. She began to jerk and spasm as I did her. It was but a few more minutes before I mounted her and pushed not quite six inches of steel deep inside of her.

I screwed her slow and long. I wanted it to last. I needed this woman; I needed her badly. She came and I came and I rolled off of her, for the moment content.

 

****

 

The morning after talk was about when I would be quitting my job and how I would be direct depositing my monthly Army pay and all of it. Well, she would have to be taking care of the bills, some of which we were behind on, and she would be able to because the pay would be about the same as I was making now, but plus the bonus. Most of the latter would be sitting in the savings account until we found out for sure where I would be stationed.

I knew I was going to be assigned to the 3rd division from Fort Stewart Georgia, but beyond that, I’d be waiting till after boot camp to finally know exactly what it was I would be doing and where I would be doing it.

 

****

 

Boot was a pain in the ass. But nine weeks were gone and it was finally over. I was home and the kids, my twin girls, Sarah and Mia, were astounding and beautiful and three years old and still noisy and still mine! I’d never been so happy. Now all I had to do was support and raise them. I’d signed up for four years, well two+two, not sure what that meant. But, I did know that at the end of my tour if I re-upped I’d be getting another bonus and a bigger one.

The bad news was I wasn’t going to be stationed in the states as I’d been told; well, I was but I was also going to be doing a tour in the Middle East first, Afghanistan actually. I had the month’s leave before I would be flying out.

In country, I would be assigned to headquarters. I was informed that it would be mostly gofer work at first, but I would be on the computers a lot of the time; well, I really was good with the things. And, I would be getting a good bit of on the job training.

Oh, and I was going to be with the 4th brigade, 3rd division. It was a combat unit, but my company would be stationed at a rear echelon field base not in the field per se; well, somebody had to see to support and supply.

 

****

 

I looked over at my wife. Three days I’d been home. I was at pains to spend every waking hour with my wife and my twin girls. I had to get my fill. It would likely be a year and a half before I’d get to see them again. That reality actually scared me. I did take solace in the fact that I was being assigned to headquarters.

No place, as I’d been informed, and that more than once, was safe in country; but at least my exposure to the bad guys would be somewhat minimized. That said, I was in a combat brigade and one could never be sure of what might be going down.

“You look, something,” she said. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I guess. I’m just, well, already missing you guys. I know the kids need their sleep time, but I actually feel jealous of the Sandman! Oh my, how I’m going to be missing them,” I said. She smirked.

“Well, we’ll be here waiting for you to return,” she said. “And when you do return we will be having one seriously big party for our hero.”

“Oh boy, a party! Can’t wait,” I said, not too snarky. “And I’ll be holding you to that.”

“You know in these days since I’ve gotten home from boot, those little hearts have absolutely stolen my heart—again,” I said. “You’d think that I would have gotten used to that. I mean you having stolen it from me first.”

“Hmm, I love you, Mister. I just need you to come home safe and sound and take care of us. Oh, and no Purple Hearts. I know what those are, and I don’t want you to get one. Any other medal will be fine, but no Purple Hearts! Got it, young man,” she said.

“Got it, no Purple Hearts,” I said, repeating what she said.

 

****

 

Milano’s was busy. I saw Cecilia come toward us. She was smiling.

“Hi guys, Sam I hear you signed up like my Michael,” said Cecilia Milano, owner, and operator of the place. She was nodding toward my wife who clearly had clued her.

“Yes, my wife decided that I needed to be all I could be,” I said.

“Yes I did,” said Abigail. “Oh, and the bonus was a big incentive I have to say. We sure are glad that you turned me on to it.”

“Yes, well it is an incentive as you say,” said Cecilia.

“So, has Michael shipped out?” I said.

“Not exactly, he’s stationed here in the states for now. But he’ll be going to Germany pretty soon. But, he is on duty as he says,” said Cecilia.

“Hmm, he got lucky, I guess,” I said. “I’m heading to the Middle East, but I got headquarters duty, at least there’s that,” I said. “Anyway, I have the next few weeks before I gotta leave.”

“Well, good,” said Cecilia. “Be safe.”

“That’ll be the goal,” said Abigail, responding for me.

 

****

 

“Thirty days,” she mused.

“Yeah, then I get to be all I can be in the Middle East,” I said.

“Well, my hero, we’ll definitely be making the most of our time these next days.

“Sam, you okay with this?” she said.

“Huh, I guess so,” I said. “But I am going to miss the three of you a lot, an awful lot. You gotta be writing and emailing me, sending me pictures and everything. Okay?” I said.

I was feeling kind of emotional right at that moment. I was going to be an office geek, but who knew what dangers might be coming my way regardless.

“Honey, I will, you can depend on it,” she said. “And just stay safe.”

“That’ll be the goal,” I said.

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