The Rex Barton Story Chapter 3

Chapter 3
Chapter 3 
Camp Fires

Teenage Years in High School

 
"Hey, mom. Where are you?" I asked.

"The laundry room." Mom replied.

"Okay. Mom, can Sheila and I go on an overnight trip up to the Cielo Mountains and the lake?"

"Tonight?"

"Yes, ma’am. I can take my books with me in the saddlebags and read this evening around the campfire."

"Are you taking Traveler with you?"

"Yes, ma’am." I answered.

"What time would you be back tomorrow?"

"I should be back around four p.m."

"Okay, make sure you bring plenty of food and water for Sheila and Traveler."

"I will."

"Anyone going with you?"

"No."

"Okay then. Be careful." Mom cautioned.

"Thank you. Gonna get ready right now."


At sixteen I had plenty of other things to do, but on this hot Saturday in July, nothing sounded so good as taking Sheila and Traveler to the mountains and down to Cachuma Lake between Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez. The lake wasn’t for swimming, but the parks did allow fishing.

There was one little beach area that allowed kids under twelve to swim in about three feet of roped-off area, before the deep water. It never made sense to me because animals of all kinds used the lake to drink and wash in. Boats with oil and gas engines leaving slicks on the water surface were alright, but not swimming. It just made no sense at all in my mind.


However, where Sheila, Traveler and I were going was a long finger of the lake where access was impossible by cars or boats. It was too shallow for boats and no roads for miles. Only deer trails down to the water’s edge. 

Right now, the water temperature had to be in the mid-seventies. The nighttime air would be sixty-six or so. Perfect for a campout. I baled enough hay for two days for Sheila along with some grain and two cans of dog food and a kibble mix for Traveler. 


Sheila was a long-time gift from my nana who knew that horsing around was my favorite pass time. Ever since their ranch, nana and grandpa knew that horses and other animals were all in my blood. The only one against it was my step-father, Sam. But, as long as my nana was alive, Sheila and Traveler were safe from his greasy palms.  I was wrong.


As usual, I started talking to my best friend, Traveler, and he knew where we were going. It was where we almost always went - the lake.  

"Do-ya want to go to the lake boy?" I encouragingly asked.

Traveler would get all excited, whine a little, bark once or twice, spin around in a circle, and then want to jump into my arms. For a short little guy, who measured in just below the knees and not more than forty pounds, he had dominance over a bunch of bigger ranch dogs in the neighborhood.  

I had taught Traveler all the basics, like sit, stay, lay down, speak, jump into my arms, and give big messy kisses. Because Traveler was so smart, it took very little training time. Even when I would tell him to stay for an extended period, he would never move until I returned and said it was okay. 

"Come!" I hollered to Traveler.

Sam hated my ability to work with and teach the animals. No matter what, Traveler would always be my best friend and obedient to me until death. Me too Traveler, I thought. 

"High five boy!" I said as we touched hand to paw.


Yes, Traveler and I had a special bond, one that would never break. I have never stopped loving that pup.  He was my one faithful buddy and my go-to guy when things at home were all screwed up between Sam, my mother, or me. Sam was always angry at something. Mostly me or anything I had that he didn’t.  

Traveler even slept on my bed every night of his life. If he needed to get up, he would wake me just to let him out the back door to do his business, but that was a rare thing. He usually would sleep through the night. He also loved to travel anywhere I was going. 

He especially loved to travel when Sheila was going too. When riding in the car, he would sit quietly watching for a while, then settle down and go to sleep until we had arrived at our destination. His demeanor told me - just wake me up when we get there.

I carried my saddle, reins, and saddlebags all on a surfboard carrier that I had made myself.  The saddlebags were filled with food, a change of clothes, school books and spurs. The ocean was about three miles southwest of my house. The corral was one mile and the lake about ten miles. 

Sam sold the car that grandpa gave me, he didn’t think I needed such an old car. It was not reliable enough or safe enough he said. Funny thing, it was such a classic car. A 1934 Chrysler Coup; one-of-a-kind hot rod. 

It didn’t matter to Sam what I wanted, who owned the car, or what it might have meant to me. His attitude was to get rid of it, especially if it belonged to me, then he could spend the money on himself. He was a real son-of-a-bitch. He would break it or sell it if it was anything that meant something to the family or me. All I could think of was, one day you’re going to regret all you have done Sam. One day! 

When Sheila saw Traveler and me approaching her pasture, she gave out a little whinny of excitement and acknowledgment. She saw my load and recognized it as her saddle and things. That meant a ride — a new adventure!

"Here we are, girl," I said as we greeted each other.

Before saddling up, I took a few minutes to clean the corral up and made sure Sheila had plenty of water for the trip. Then I brushed her with a curry comb and her beautiful golden mane. I picked her hoofs clean as the last task. I didn’t want anything stuck in her hoofs that might make her lame. The pick I would take with me along with my hunting knife just in case she picked up anything along the way. 

"Such a good girl, aren’t you, Sheila?" I lovingly asked her.

Sheila would shake her head at that comment to communicate. 

"Yes, you are a good girl. I love you." I said as I rubbed her nose.

"You talking about me again, Hawk?" Donna Sue asked as she came up behind me and slapped my shoulder.  

 

My friend Donna Sue

Donna Sue was the corral owner’s daughter. We went to the same school and had most of the same classes together. They had six family horses of their own and this is where I kept Sheila.    

A tomboy from day one, Donna Sue could outride, out pass, out throw, outrun and out tackle most all the boys. Even her older brother was game for her shellacking.  
We always had fun together, never experiencing peer pressure from other kids.

Besides being too freckly cute, she was about a foot and a half shorter than me which was a problem. It was hard to dance or get close to Donna Sue unless we were wrestling together. I would throw her over my shoulders, carry her to a place where I would gently put her on the ground.

At that point, while holding her hands together over her head, she was all mine to kiss and touch. All in fun, of course. We would then ride our horses all around the country. I'm not sure what got into her about a week ago, but something did. 

We were talking together in the hay barn when Donna Sue said something that made me nearly choke to death.  I think I was getting a clump of hay for Sheila and so I stuck a piece of straw in my mouth to chew on at the same time. Donna sue was just behind me and reached out, putting both her arms around my waist.  

“What are you doing?" Donna Sue asked.

“Nothing," I said.

Then I asked, "What would you like to do this summer?"

"Make love with you," she replied ever so matter of fact.  

"What!?" I exclaimed as her remark had taken me by complete surprise.

“You heard me, sexy boy.”  

Blushing and stammering, I sat down on a bale of hay, contemplating my destiny and responded, “Don’t mess with me, Donna Sue. We have been friends for a long, long time”. 

“I am not messing with you!" she blurted out as she climbed up the haystack to the top, then fell backward and disappeared. 

I jumped up and climbed to the top as fast as I could to look down where I could see her. I did not see a little girl anymore but a beautiful young woman. Her blouse had partially come open, and she too was sucking provocatively on a piece of straw while laying on her back.  

“We have been friends for a very long time now, and I think it is time we make our real love official.” 

“What do you mean?" I asked.

“By making love together, we would be like engaged, go to dances and shows together and hold hands all the time. Everything!"

“Donna Sue, could you consider maybe a St. Christopher instead?" I asked because that is what we used to do.  

“No. I want an engagement ring”.  

"Are you crazy?"

“No, I am not. I want you right now before I change my mind”.  

“Please Donna Sue, what are you talking about?”

“Hawk, I love you and always have. And I want you. Now!” 

How could a sixteen-year-old, native son, hormone-induced teenager ever say no to a proposition like that? I tried one more time, however, to bring a little common sense into the situation. 

“Donna Sue, you know I love you too. We have a lot of fun together, but I need to know if you are sure right now? Are you still a virgin?”

Why I asked that I don’t know. Just stupid I guess and stalling for time. Donna Sue answered my question anyway. 

"Yes, I am a virgin, and it doesn’t matter right now because I want you. Will you please stop talking and come to me?”

“What would your parents say if you get pregnant?”

“Bad girl, probably. Just shut up, Hawk, and make love to me right this minute”. 

I fell beside her, exhausted with questions and betwixt. I kissed her. I just loved her freckled face. I wanted to kiss every freckle. Her lips were moist, and our tongues met, clashing together not in war but love.  Our hands went everywhere touching forbidden areas.  

When we rode Sheila together, Donna Sue would sit behind me and wrap her arms around my waist, holding on tight as we galloped along the roadsides. I could feel her small breast poking me in the back and would laugh to myself. Always thinking how nice it would be holding her breasts in my hands. Now I was!

Sometimes I would tease her and ask if we could change riding positions so I could hold on tight to her. Meaning, of course, her breasts. Mostly, she would haul off and hit the back of my head with one of her free hands.  Not this time, though. We were not laughing anymore. 

I had managed to awkwardly remove her blouse and bra, exposing her to my gaze and touch. She was doing the same thing as we both tried to take off each other’s pants. We were almost ready to consummate our relationship at the next level when we froze in our position. 

Below us, in the barn, we could hear Donna Sue’s grandfather, Mr. Jones, getting ready to saddle up his big sixteen hands Thoroughbred horse. But he stopped. 

"Who is up there? Come down now." Mr. Jones shouted up towards the hay.

We were trying to quietly gather ourselves and stop breathing so hard. We could hear him grab for something and Donna Sue whispered to me that he got the pitchfork. He didn't know we were there. I moved in front of her and had approximately two feet between me and the hay bale that was hiding our position. We kept still.

Donna Sue decided to hold on to me in an area much like the hard-wooden handle of the pitchfork. Breaking her hold was impossible. She was going to have her way with me or else. 

"Hey, you need to let go before I do!" I urged her. 

She just smiled, giggled a little, and decided to hold on tighter. We  both heard something when I suddenly saw the pitchfork thrust through the hay toward my stomach. It missed me by a foot, and the part of me that Donna Sue was holding went limp and so did her grip. 

We heard her grandfather stand the pitchfork back up against the wall. We think he probably thought he had some raccoons in the hayloft. If he only knew. He was still trying to finish saddling his horse and get on board. 

Mr. Jones was all dressed up in his ridding best. Long Levi’s, western shirt, leather vest, leather cuff bands, Hop-a-Long Cassidy black Cowboy hat, and neck scarf. He was all set to ride. 

Then he put one foot into the strips and tried to hike himself up into the saddle. Unfortunately, he was holding one of the reins to tight, and his horse just spun in a circle. That was a dangerous maneuver for any rider, especially an old eighty-two-year-old, but surprisingly he lifted himself up and into the saddle. 

Once outside of the hay barn, he rolled a cigarette. With one hand, he held the tobacco paper while holding a small sack of tobacco in his teeth. When he was ready, he poured a small amount of tobacco into the paper, rolled it up, and lit his cigarette.

Donna Sue and I, in all of our nakedness, were watching the whole incident unfold. A few minutes went by as we settled back down to the business in hand. Kissing and touching each other everywhere, when all of a sudden Donna Sue heard another noise. A crackling noise, vaguely familiar to us both. 

Donna Sue partially leaned up on one elbow to look out a knot hole to follow her grandfather’s track, just as I was preparing to enter her hidden garden. Breathing heavily, I tried to encourage her to lay back down so we could finish our lovemaking.

"There's a fire!" Donna Sue announced.

"Yeah, you're right." I muttered still trying to make love to her. 

“No, Hawk, a real fire!"

“Oh damn! Are you kidding me?"

“No. Hurry, Hawk, get dressed and get out there.” 

“Okay, okay, hold on a minute.” 

“There's no time for that now." She yelled.

“That’s not what I mean!' I shouted back.

We both jumped up and got our pants and shirts on and were putting on our shoes when Donna Sue jumped down to the barn floor barefoot. She was running with no bra or shoes on and her pants were only half up.  

I yelled to her, "Call the Fire Department!"

She was already on it.  It was hard to turn my eyes from Donna Sue's exposed white bottom to put out a fire. I jumped down and ran around to where the fire was blazing up the barn wall and all around the two fuel tanks. One tank was gas; the other tank was full of diesel fuel.

Both pumps were now on fire. The flames were going pretty good now. I ran to the corner of the barn and opened up the spigot (hose bib) and drug the hose to the fuel tanks. By the time the Fire Department arrived, the fire was pretty much out.  There were only a couple of licks of flames burning, and they were out within seconds.

I was hot, dirty, sweaty, and wet. None of which was from fighting the fire. The entire time I was dosing it with water, I could only think of Donna Sue and her naked body under my body and what she said. Then suddenly, the interruption of a beautiful love affair. A fire. A real damn fire. My next thought was, at least she won’t get pregnant


The dispatcher at the Fire Department sent two engines because she did not understand Donna Sue's explanation of the two fuel stations which were side by side. They thought it was two stations on fire. It was that call that started the local TV news crew to race over to the ranch. They just followed the fire trucks to the flames.

Everything was being recorded on TV by a female reporter, including my pants zipper being down and my shirt wide open.  

One reporter asked me, "Were you the one who saw the fire?"

I told her, "Yes."

At that moment, the fire chief came alongside and congratulated me on putting the fire out so quickly. Then the reporter asked me who I was, and I told her that I kept my horse out back on this ranch. 

Donna Sue came up next to me and asked, "Why do you still have the water hose on full blast?"

“Because I just wanted to get you wet, I suppose. You don't have a bra on and this might be a good time to get your white blouse wet."

Donna Sue just looked at me in a frightening way, knowing that I was mischievous enough to turn the hose on her. She looked down the front of her blouse and saw what I was looking at. Her nipples were jutting out like the barrels of two guns. She remembered what we were up to in the haystack before the fire started.

I whispered in her ear, "When everyone leaves, let's go back to the barn."

I was hit again by the only female ever to try and knock my block off. After her adoring slap to the side of my head, I walked back over to the faucet and turned the hose off as the fire department mopped up the area. 

The fire chief came over to us after a few minutes and asked, "Were either of you smoking?"

“No, sir. We don’t smoke," I replied. 

“Would you know who’s rolled cigarette this might be then?"

Donna Sue and I turned to look at each other at the same moment, knowing it was her Grandfather’s rolled cigarette from the barn. 

“Good God," she said in exasperation.  "It’s my grandfather's cigarette. He rolls his own, you know.  He has done that all his life."

We mentioned to the fire chief that we had seen him riding off down the back road where we were all standing. That was confirmed when he rode back in a few minutes later wondering what all the commotion was about. One look at his shirt pocket revealed a draw-string tobacco pouch and a packet of papers for rolling cigarettes. 


Later that night, my mother was reading the newspaper and saw the article on the ranch fire. She asked me if I knew anything about it. I told her that I was out riding. I went to bed that night dreaming of Donna Sue and the fire in my pants, not the fire at the barn. 
 

Separate Ways


That was a long time ago. Donna Sue and I never did consummate our love relationship or go to movies and dances. I guess we both went our different ways as teenagers most often do. 

Basketball season and practice was soon starting, and I had lots of work to do.  Playing varsity ball was very demanding, and so were all the other girls. Everything turned out for the best, despite our ignorance.

Donna Sue and I might have ended up being the third couple at our school to be married before graduation with a baby. You see, sex education and baby management were not offered as a class or any part of the school curriculum.     
Donna Sue found another guy a year older, not too long after our near-sexual fling in the hay barn.

Sadly, this guy only wanted one thing and only one time. He broke Donna Sue's heart and she just stopped dating or going out at all. Instead, she put everything into her schoolwork and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. 

We did dance that one dance together at our graduation party. The party, of course, was at her folk's ranch in front of the barn.  The ranch was all lit up, and the drinks were flowing freely that night, and by the next morning, I was packed and ready to catch a bus to Los Angeles to join the Army.

My mother wrote me a letter later that year informing me Donna Sue had attended city college in the fall and graduated as a legal assistant two years later.  The letter also said she went to work for an attorney’s office in San Francisco and fell in love with an attorney. 

On the night of her wedding rehearsal, Donna Sue had a car accident getting on the freeway while driving her Chevy Corvair convertible. A fast-moving car in her lane of traffic slammed into her as she entered the highway. Donna Sue was killed.

I found all this out from a newspaper article that my mother sent to me while I was in Berlin, Germany. I didn’t know it until that moment, but I still had a lot of feelings for Donna Sue. She was such a good friend even though a little pushy. That night I had tears in my eyes as I finally went to sleep. Take good care of her Lord. She is such a good girl. I never knew if Donna Sue ever believed in God or not. I prayed she had. 

 

My trip to the lake


After combing Sheila and trimming her mane, I threw the saddle blanket on and then the saddle. As customary with Sheila, rather than walk around her backside, I would take a shortcut and walk under her belly or between her legs to get to the other side. To her, it was a game that she recited in kind every time. 

She would bloat her stomach out so much that the cinch belt would never be tight. Once I stepped into the stirrup and put weight on it, the saddle would be on the ground and me under it.  If she could have laughed, she did so by the grunts, snorts, and whinny noises she made.  

"Okay," I said, "this is the last time Sheila."  

After kneeing her a little in the gut, she would allow the cinch to tighten and then it was always the game of putting the harness on the donkey. Her head would go in every direction until I would grab her by her ears. You would think she didn’t want to go for a ride, but that was the furthest thing from her mind. 

She loved to go riding and see new places.  It was just all part of the routine of playing around. We had fun just being together. Even the times when all I did was comb her tail as she slowly bowed down to eat grass. I would follow behind her, talking and patting her on the rump.  

Sheila should have been in movies. I had taught her to stand quiet while I would get a running start from her rear and jump into the saddle. She would then take off in a run. I could also swing from either side at a running start to mount up. While in a smooth lope, I could stand up and ride on her back just like I used to watch the Indians do.  

Even at a full run, I could lean to one side with only one leg in the stirrup and pretend to be shooting under her neck. I could have ridden upside down under her belly, and she would have gone along with it. Going up a mountain, Sheila would let me hold onto her tail, and she would pull me up. I could rope off of her, cut cattle with no help from me. She knew how and what to do all by herself.  

Sheila was even good at barrel racing and would generally beat all comers. Fast, agile, smart, robust and probably more trusting of me than she should have been.  Traveler, Sheila, and I were a team, and I loved them so much. I learned more life lessons from them than school.  I have not met another Quarter Horse like her in all these years of looking, training, breeding and owning other beautiful horses.   
 
We finally got all saddled up and ready to go to the lake.  I even had my Alaskan Grizzly bow with me and ten arrows with hunting points.  

I asked Donna Sue, "Do you want to go with me or maybe drive up to the end of the road where I could pick you up?"

She said, "Maybe," then told me, "if you hear my car horn, then come running."

'Be careful' were her last words after blowing me a kiss into the wind as she was walking away. I watched her in amazement as her bottom wiggled so perfectly.  Her walk and flirty way reminded me of our day in the hay.

Then I remembered the fire started by her grandfather that messed up our passionate summer afternoon. Why couldn’t we try again, I thought? I yelled after her to come on up and spend the night with us in hopes that she would.  
 
It took Sheila, Traveler and me a little more than three hours to get to the backside of the lake. We were making good time taking short cuts up through the canyons.  When we arrived, I took everything off of Sheila and let her graze freely and rest. Traveler and I looked for firewood. We found enough for the night in old fallen oak trees that dot the entire area.  

I built a small fire and then smoothed out an area of ground to call my bed. After setting up the site, it was time for dinner. Good ole pork and beans, some jerky, and hot dogs on a stick, just like in the old cowboy days. Okay, maybe not the hot dogs but this wasn’t the 1800’s either. 

We were in heaven that’s for sure, regardless of what year it was. After dinner, I got up and put the front hobbles on Sheila so she would not wander off during the night or be chased away by coyotes, giant grizzles or something even scarier. I hoped Donna Sue would still come.  

Sweet dreams Hawk, I said to myself bringing Traveler in close to my sleeping bag. He loved to snuggle close. He also snored.   


I kept the flames down and a can of water from the lake ready in case the wind picked up during the night. I was taking no chances on an open range fire on my account. I was a good Boy Scout, always prepared. Traveler's food was okay, but mine was better. We both agreed about that. Now we were good and ready to sleep after a couple of toasted marshmallows.  

Watching the shooting stars and dreaming silly dreams was so relaxing. Even Sheila got into the spirit of things by slowly moving over to where Traveler and I were bedded down. I was at total peace knowing that if anything, even a curious raccoon or lizard came close, Traveler would bark to warn me.

I thought to myself, it just doesn’t get any better than this, unless Donna Sue were here. Yeah, Donna Sue, where are you? Let's finish our lovemaking." Sleep then crept in quickly...Zzz.


I awoke early in the morning, ignoring the bright sunlight and took the hobbles off of Sheila. After leading her down to the lake for a drink of water, we strolled back to the campfire. I took a little grain out and fed it to Sheila for good measure knowing the ride ahead. Plus the ride back home later today would be taxing because of the heat.    
I took my school books out, including a Reader’s Digest book. I was supposed to read an excellent literary story for English and always took a short cut with the Digest. The same stories only shortened for my attention span. The day was so beautiful and just looking out at the lake, my mind began to wonder what it might be like if I went on to college or joined the military. What would happen to Traveler and Sheila?  

"Would you guys wait for me?" I asked them.

It seemed so far away.  I laid my thoughts down while resting the back of my head on the rolled-up sleeping bag.  Looking up into the sky, I noticed there were no clouds today. However, it was a day of many questions with no answers. Why did I wonder about so many things? Somewhere too far away were all my answers, just waiting to be discovered like someone panning for gold.  

 

Man's Best Friends
 
At seventeen and in the middle of my junior year, I remember Traveler being a little restless one night, but that was all. In the morning, when I awoke, he was not on my bed. 

Getting up, I went straight to the living room and checked the kitchen and the garage. He was nowhere. Opening the back door, I noticed the side gate was open, which always had a lock on it. Traveler wasn’t anywhere. I went to the front yard and began calling his name. 

"Traveler boy. Where are you, boy?"

I went back into the house to finish getting dressed and put my tennis shoes on. Sam and mom were up by now, and I told them Traveler was gone. 

"Sam, did you let him out last night ?"

"No, of course not." Sam replied with a smirk.

I knew he was lying by that stupid ass grin on his face. All I wanted to do was smash his face in and eliminate the bastard. I was hating this man and all the crap he was getting away with, including the grin.  But Sam was not finished. Not by a long shot.    


I ended up not going to school that day and just looked for Traveler. After combing the mesa, the beach area and the little stream between us, Traveler was not to be seen. I looked for his prints, blood, or anything. I could not find any trace of him. 

Traveler was gone, and I was sure Sam had killed him. It was not beyond his pleasure to kill or destroy anything I loved or had.  My mother had to be in on the charade as well. Both were acting stupid and denying any knowledge of what might have happened.  

I called all the shelters and vets, but he was not there. I made posters with his picture on it and nailed them on every post I could find in the neighborhood.  Even the roadside trees favored Travelers picture poster. I was heart-broken. The days and weeks went by with no sign of my dog.
 
A few months later, Sam sold Sheila and the colt while I was at school.  He said it was because he and mom could no longer afford her. The hay cost had risen, and all the other bills associated with owning a horse were just too much.  

"Couldn’t we have discussed it maybe? Who are you to sell her? Nana bought her, and you had no right to do that." I asked.

Sam started to get angry and grabbed me by the front of my shirt like he was going to start a fight.

“Who the hell do you think you are, son?" Sam yelled.

I yelled back in his face, "I'm a long way from being your son. You better not miss at this range or I'll peel you off the floor”. 

Sam let go as he shoved me at the same time. I could not believe that I might have scared him a little.  I didn’t wait to count my blessings. I spun around and left the house. I took a bus downtown to see my mentor and good friend, Bill the Under Sheriff. 

Every other weekend I would go to Bill's house and mow the lawn and trim bushes. I could count on Bill for the truth and direction. What I heard was not exactly what I wanted to hear. He said there was nothing he could do and Sam had every right to sell Sheila for whatever reason he wanted. He was the adult and homeowner and my guardian.  

I knew he was right but hearing it confirmed how much I hated Sam. My goal was not to go to college but to join the Army the moment I graduated from High School. I went down to the recruitment office and spoke to the Sargent and told him what I wanted. Bill even said he would write me a letter and help me get into his old military police unit in Berlin, Germany.  Something called the 287th MP’s.


Nana came up that same day upon my request to find out what was going on. She and Sam got into a big fight, and Sam threatened to hit her just like he did to me. Mom yelled and Sam stepped back. Nana didn’t move but said a few more words that penetrated everything, including the walls in the house. 

"You do anything more, and you will have hell to pay for it. You owe me money, and I will collect it. In the meantime, if you touch Hawk, I will personally see you hang."

Nana then looked into the direction of my mother, who just walked away crying. Next, Nana tried to console me as she explained that there was nothing she could do. She kissed me good-bye, and we did not see her again for a long time.

In the meantime, in spite of being called stupid every single day, I kept my nose to the grindstone, saying very little. When graduation came, I was gone. The United States Army was my new home. 


After the all-night party at Donna Sue’s house and finally having that last dance with her, I kissed her goodnight and said I would be back for her in four years. 

"Maybe we should have our lovemaking now, before I leave?" I inquired. 

She did the usual thing and hauled off and slugged me.

"How about one more kiss for the road, lady?"

"Why not." She said as I moved closer.

Once again, I tasted her tongue and mouth, which was like the inside of a honeycomb. I'll miss you Donna Sue, I thought as I kissed her.
 
I was hoping that Sam would still be around when I returned home from the military, because I had a significant debt to collect from him, and it would be in pain.  Getting even probably kept me alive, that and just growing up. My day was yet to come!

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