Love and Courage
Chapter 1: Peanut Butter & Jelly

Caution: This Drama Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/ft, Coercion, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Crime, Mystery, Tear Jerker, Uncle, Niece, Sadistic, Spanking, First, Slow, Violent,

Desc: Drama Sex Story: Chapter 1: Peanut Butter & Jelly - A Marine grunt returns to civilian life and is faced with a new mission to bring hope to an innocent girl. Sexual abuse, a horrendous crime, and a stunning revelation eventually lead them to an unexpected ending.

I felt like a stranger in a foreign country arriving at the city bus terminal. People were dodging people, crossing in front of each other’s paths, nearly tripping over luggage, talking loudly on their cellphones, running to catch their bus, or simply lost and confused in the mêlée. I was out of place in this chaotic environment. That’s what happens when you spend six years in the military where everything is done in a more orderly and timely fashion. Now, here I was returning to civilian life, without any plans for the future, no mission.

I was eighteen when I graduated from high school with no idea what to do with my life. I wasn’t college material and even if my parents had been alive at the time, they didn’t have the resources to send me to college anyway. So, I immediately joined the Marines and here I was after three deployments in combat zones and two to disaster areas.

I grabbed a taxi to go to my older brother’s house. He was the only immediate family I had. When we were small, our parents moved all the way across to the other side of the country, and we lost contact with relatives. Our parents never talked about our grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. They didn’t even have pictures. Although my brother was older, he had no recollection of them, nor did he ever show any interest. I would sometimes ask my mother, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but she always made sure to steer the conversation elsewhere. Over time, I forgot about the possibility that such relatives even existed.

The last time I saw my brother, he was married and had a little girl of eight years of age. He now lived alone with his daughter, Susan, or Susie Sweet as I used to call and tease her. I couldn’t remember anything about her, the color of her hair or eyes. All I had was a fuzzy, blurred memory of a little girl who ran around in her panties, giggling and having fun.

My brother’s marriage was rather turbulent and one day for no apparent reason his wife disappeared. According to him, she ran off with another man, leaving my brother with a “shit load” of credit card debt and the “burden” of raising a daughter all alone. Those were his words at the time.

The taxi finally turned into the neighborhood where my brother lived, a working class section of town of mainly two-story houses with front porches and small lawns. Most of the houses proudly displayed the Stars-and-Stripes and, on a few porches, yellow ribbons honoring a family member who had fallen in combat.

The taxi slowed down and pulled over in front of the address I gave the driver who sported a beard and turban around his head and spoke with a foreign accent. My brother’s house was the only one on that street that looked dilapidated, in need of a fresh coat of paint, with a lawn that looked like a war zone. There was no flag to welcome me home or to remind me of the country I had fought for.

The taxi driver knew from the moment I hopped into his cab that I was fresh out of the military. My three-foot camouflaged duffle bag, weighing over 120 pounds, made it quite obvious. He had a son that was still serving in the Army. When I asked him how much I had to pay for the fare, he refused to charge me, saying he was thankful for my service and this was his way to help a returning soldier. I thanked him in return and told him to be proud of his son.

I walked up the front porch to knock on the door. There was a saggy, torn up couch sitting under the front window. It was piled high with stacks of old newspapers, magazines, empty pizza boxes and other unidentifiable junk. The screen door was hanging to one side and there was a gash in the bottom portion. I knocked a couple of times, but no one answered the door. I tried the wobbly door knob, but it was locked. Then I remembered my brother saying he would be at work and Susie at school, and that he would leave a key under the hood of the barbecue grill in the back yard.

The driveway on the side of the house leading to the garage and around to the back yard had more cracks and pot holes than the streets in Fallujah after we retook that unforsaken city. The garage doors were closed with a heavy chain and lock, but not entirely, and I could see it was being used only to store old lawn mowers, rusty barbecue grills, busted up toys and broken tools - junk. There appeared to be so much of it piled up near the doors that it had been impossible to shut them completely.

The back yard was a total mess with piles of empty beer bottles and cans, a broken bicycle, a clothes line all frazzled and torn, the garden patch infested with tall weeds. There were two banged up trash cans filled to the hilt with garbage that looked like it had been there for months, flies swarming all around them. I lifted the hood of the barbecue grill which looked like it had never been cleaned since it was purchased. Sure enough the key was there, stuck to the greasy grills. I tried to clean off the key, but ended up having to scrape off the grease with a beer can.

I unlocked the front door and was met with an odor of stale beer and cigarette butts reminiscent of some old beer joint in a dinky little cow town out west where I was stationed for a while to get additional training for desert combat. The living room looked like it hadn’t seen a vacuum cleaner in years with dust and debris piling up all over the place, old faded wallpaper peeling off in some places, and paint cracking in others. The short corridor leading to the kitchen looked about the same. The kitchen smelled greasy, the countertops felt sticky, and there were piles of dirty dishes along with empty cartons, torn wrappers, and dirty, crumpled paper towels in the sink, on the counters, and on the kitchen table. I was hungry, but for the first time I feared for my life, ingesting something nasty, dying of diarrhea, and becoming a non-battle casualty.

I decided to head upstairs to first put away my things in the guest room. There were only three bedrooms. Mine was on the right down from the landing. The master bedroom was on the opposite end of the hallway from the guest room, separated by a hallway closet, Susie’s room and the bathroom.

I removed the faded pink bedspread from the bed in my room; it was out of step with my military sense of fashion. I folded it very carefully to avoid the dust from going airborne and adding more to what was already finger deep on top of the dresser, night stands, and other surfaces.

The hallway closet was partially open when I walked past it and I remembered seeing a vacuum cleaner. There were also some rags and a pink training potty which probably belonged to Susie when she was a baby. I vacuumed the floor in my room, then filled the potty with water, and moistened the rag to clean off the dust from the furniture. Only then did I open the window to let out the stale, musty air.

Before heading back downstairs to the disaster area waiting for me in the kitchen, I did another quick inspection of the bathroom. The latrines in the Marine barracks were cleaner and smelled better than this part of the house. The inside of the toilet bowl was completely stained in dark brown and greenish colors and looked like it hadn’t been flushed in a while. The bathtub was discolored with soap scum and multiple yellowish brown rings all around, making the whole bathroom look grungy. There was no shower curtain, the faucets were all rusty and I couldn’t find toilet paper anywhere.

I looked next door into the master bedroom of my brother. It reeked of cigarette smoke, dirty laundry, an acrid smell of sweat and foul body odors. There were socks, underwear, and other clothes on the floor, on the chair, on top of the dresser and hanging from the drawers. The bottom bedsheet had multiple cum stains and was worn out in the center; it apparently hadn’t been changed in months, maybe even years. The ashtray on the nightstand was overflowing with cigarette butts. My brother wasn’t the neatest one in our family, but I was disappointed and aghast with what I saw.

The door to Susie’s room was closed. I didn’t want to be snoopy, especially considering it being a girl’s room, and if the whole house was a dirty dump, I sure didn’t want to see dirty panties of a fourteen year-old lying all over the room. I braced myself and slowly opened the door. I was pleasantly surprised and amazed at the same time. Susie’s room was like an oasis in a desert storm. It was impeccably clean. The bed was made, there were no clothes lying around and the room had a fresh, girly smell which was better than the stench of cigarette butts. As I closed the door, I noticed one more thing. The window was partially open and I knew right then that Susie Sweet was an outstanding kid just like her uncle.

My stomach was growling and I headed for the kitchen. There was some milk, jelly and bread in the refrigerator, plus a jar of peanut butter in one of the empty cupboards. But I lost my appetite surrounded by the trash and stacks of dirty dishes. “Safety Depends on Cleanliness” was a constant reminder in the Marine Corps. I made another reconnaissance of the area and went to battle. I washed all the dishes, pots and pans, silverware, the stove top. I disinfected the table and mopped the floor twice with the same disinfectant. I opened the window and the back door to allow fresh air inside.

I was so gung ho with my mission I decided to mount an assault on the living room. I filled two garbage bags with empty pizza cartons, some even containing leftover pizza harboring yellow, green and black mold, newspapers, junk mail, empty cigarette packs, more cigarette butts, and other indescribable pieces of trash. I vacuumed the floor, and was about to finish dusting and polishing the furniture when I heard the front door open. I turned like I was about to be ambushed and scared the living daylights out of the girl that entered. She shrieked and, with a tremble in her voice, asked, “Are you my Uncle Charlie?”

“You must be Susie Sweet,” I said.

She smiled from ear to ear and ran towards me with open arms. We hugged and she was excited to see me. She started talking 100 miles per hour asking me all sorts of questions. I could hardly keep up with her. All I kept thinking was how she had grown into a pretty young adolescent. She was about 5 feet tall, maybe 95 pounds, her light brown hair was braided to one side, she had hazel brown eyes, and her cheeks had a natural color of pink probably from walking home from school.

“Hey, you must be hungry for a snack?” I asked. “I haven’t had lunch yet and am starving. If you hear my stomach growl, you’ll know.” She giggled and it melted my heart.

“Wow, did you do all this?” she said with astonishment as we entered the kitchen. “I gave up a long time ago cleaning up after Dad. I sometimes wonder if that’s not one of the reasons why my mom left him. I hate her for leaving me behind though.”

“I’m sorry this happened to you, but right now what about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk?”

“Yeah, that’s my favorite snack.”

“I noticed there is no other food in the cupboards or the fridge. What do you usually have for dinner?”

“Dad usually brings home a pizza or a bucket of fried chicken. Whenever there are leftovers I put them in the freezer. He sometimes forgets to buy food. So, I sneak to the kitchen while he’s asleep in front of the TV to warm up something for me in the microwave.”

“It must be rough for you.”

“Yeah,” she looked despondent. “But you’re here now.” She smiled and her face lit up.

We talked a little more, but then she remembered she had a lot of homework to do and ran upstairs to her room. I went outside to sit on the steps of the front porch to wait for my brother. I was hoping he would bring plenty of food, because the sandwich didn’t fill the empty spot lingering in my stomach. As I sat there, I observed the comings and goings in the nearby houses. I waved to the lady next door who rolled out a garbage bin to the curbside.

“Hello, ma’am. My name’s Charlie. I’m Susie’s uncle.”

“Oh, you’re the soldier she’s always talking about. I’m Harriet. I live alone since my husband died ten years ago. Susie often comes over for cookies and milk, sweet girl. She admires you so much, like you’re the prince in shining armor, coming to rescue her.”

“Well, she is a sweetie. But tell me, is there a number one can call to have the city pick up trash, not garbage, but things like rusty bicycles, broken lawn furniture, and the like?”

She told me there was no need to call anyone, and that the city comes around on the first Monday of every month to pick up junk, old furniture, and broken appliances. For garbage, the residents had to have a garbage bin like the one she had just rolled out. The recycling company would not collect garbage if placed in any other kind of container. That explained the garbage accumulating in the back yard.

“If you need anything,” she said, “don’t hesitate to come over.”

As I walked back to the porch, I heard the sound of a horn and a car entering the driveway. My brother had finally arrived from work. He swung open the car door and came towards me like a bear. He was always big and burly even as a child. We used to call him Brutus, after the big bad bully in the Popeye cartoons. In school, he was always getting into trouble, especially on the playground pushing kids around. If he and I did something wrong, even if I was an accomplice to the crime, our mother would blame him. Our father had two belts: one to buckle his trousers and the other to make my brother’s britches sing.

“So you finally made it, little brother,” he said giving me a hug that almost knocked the wind out of me. I wasn’t sure if it was the bear hug or the strong, sour smell of someone who hadn’t taken a shower or bath in months.

He brought two large pizzas and a six pack of beer to celebrate my homecoming. We entered the house and I was dumbfounded that he didn’t notice that the living room and kitchen were clean. He devoured nearly a whole pizza and chugged down three cans of beer while he insisted I tell him the gory details of war. At one point I asked him if he wasn’t going to call Susie to join us for dinner.

“Oh yeah,” he said like it was some kind of afterthought. “Hey Susie, get your butt down here for some pizza,” he yelled at the top of his lungs and then amended it with a wry comment. “Girls ... you gotta be firm with them.”

Susie came to the kitchen wearing a night gown. Her hair was unbraided and it glistened and flowed as she walked. It was combed towards the back and nearly covered her backside.

She took a slice of pizza, poured herself a glass of water from the kitchen faucet, and sat down at the far end of the table like she didn’t belong to the conversation between her father and me. She was quiet and didn’t look at either one of us. I couldn’t help but notice the change in her demeanor from before when we were alone together. It was as if she was on guard, cautious and tense.

My brother didn’t talk to Susie, didn’t ask her about school, nor did he offer her anything. He didn’t even acknowledge her presence like she was invisible. It reminded me of how the men in Iraq and Afghanistan treated the women.

“Let’s go watch some TV,” he said getting up and letting out a long, loud belch. Disgusting.

I heard Susie in the kitchen putting away the leftover slices of pizza in the freezer. Then without a word, she quietly slipped by us and trotted upstairs to her room two steps at a time.

Within several minutes, I heard my brother snoring, slumped in his recliner chair. It had been a long day for me since 4:00 a.m. in the morning and I needed to get some sleep. I left the TV on and thought it would be better to leave him sleeping on the chair. At least it was cleaner there than his bed upstairs.

I crawled into my bed thinking about the condition in which my brother was raising Susie and his apparent lack of interest in her. I tried not to prejudge. After all, it wasn’t my house, or my daughter. Moreover, this was just my first day. Maybe there was an explanation for all this. The best thing for me to do was mind my own business.

The mattress was comfortable and inviting after a long, tumultuous day. My thoughts began to ramble and the last thing I remembered was the non-stop barking of some dog several houses down the block.

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