When the President announced the coming of the Sa’arm I really was surprised. I was a twenty-one-year-old male computer science student at a local university. I was a strong practicing Catholic and among other things believed in the Church’s views on sex before marriage. I can’t say that I felt as positive about the Church’s stance on almost everything else. Of course, I was a virgin much to the delight of many of my non-Catholic friends. That does not mean I didn’t have a sex drive. I did and it was a constant fight. I lost several girlfriends over my unwillingness to have sex. I had to settle for what I saw on TV and in magazines.
When the Pope declared that we should cooperate with the Confederacy I was somewhat surprised, given that extraction for anyone married meant instant divorce. Still it was not the first time the Church had changed its mind.
I went to a CAP testing center the day after it opened downtown, was tested and received my CAP card. I figured I would get a decent score, though I was not sure what the criterion for a good score was. I had watched Average Joes but I really did not see myself in that male role. My CAP test was interesting if only because I remembered nothing about it. I was handed a card and discovered my score was 8.6. I was asked if I wanted to volunteer and when I said yes, which service I wanted. I chose the Navy, I was not the physical fighting type. I’d rather beat the tar out of someone on a chess board than in a boxing ring. I did have some self defense Karate training, but I was out of practice and had not used it in years.
My life began to change the minute I walked out of the testing center. As I approached a street crossing I noticed a woman walking up to the crosswalk. She was not paying attention and was walking with the pedestrian traffic. She didn’t see the bus coming and stepped out onto the street right into the path of a bus. The bus driver saw her, hit the brakes, and blew the horn. She screamed and froze. I was only about two feet from her. I guess it was instinct, because I jumped forward, grabbed her coat by the collar and yanked her out of the street. I tried get clear myself but the bus clipped my foot as I dove out of the way. The bus skidded to a stop and the driver jumped out to make sure the lady and I were okay.
The bus had not been going very fast but I was pretty sure I had broken something. The lady I had saved was being given a good dressing down, by a police officer, who was intent on making sure she paid attention to what she was doing.
I was watching the lady though. She was gorgeous and crying her eyes out. Whatever she was crying about it was not about her accident. Soon she was in the cop’s arms crying into his shoulder. About then I was carted away to the hospital. All I could think was I would not mind being that cop.
Once at the hospital, I was diagnosed with, surprise of all surprises, a broken foot. The X-ray confirmed it and eventually I was in a foot and ankle walking cast, with directions to see my doctor tomorrow. I was sent home with crutches, anti-inflammatory pills and some pain killers. Somewhere during the process a policeman appeared. Investigating the incident, he needed to talk to me and complete his report. He mentioned something about people suing the city and bus company. He took my vital information and story down.
As I was wheeled to the exit of the hospital, a woman came up to me. She introduced herself as Barbara Walker and when I had a blank stare she said, “That memorable am I? I am the lady whose life you saved this morning.” I did not immediately realize it was the woman I had saved from being hit. She had on a different coat and her hair was not in a bun like it had been earlier that day.
“Oh nice to meet you. My name is Jackson Theodore Lee, nice to meet you formally. You may call me Jack,” I replied.
“You may call me Barb. I came by to thank you after the police let me go. Thank you!”
“You’re welcome. I hate to say this, because I’d like to talk longer but I am exhausted. I need to call a taxi and to get home.”
She looked at me a second, then said, “Nonsense, I’ll drive you home, let me get my car.”
Usually, I would have said no, but I was really exhausted. I was also worried that the cab fare would cost too much. Fighting help was the last thing on my mind. She drove her car to the hospital entrance and helped me in putting my crutches in the back seat.
We talked on the way to my house. She said she was divorced, or at least that’s what the Confederacy and her lawyers said. Her husband had been picked up two nights ago and had taken her children with him. She was all alone now.
I could see she was having trouble talking about it so I changed the subject. I did not want her crying and driving. Personally I considered that as bad as drinking and driving. I changed the subject to me. “I was born in Ohio, near Cleveland. I am finished working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and I am just waiting for commencement. I am Catholic, but don’t hold that against me. I love dogs. I breed tropical fish.” I went on for a while.
When I ran out of things to say she said, “Thank you, and don’t even try to deny doing anything. You are a very kind person.”
About then we pulled into my drive and I extracted myself from the car. It was not easy.
She asked, “Do you have food in the house? You are going to be there a while.”
I responded, “I have enough for tonight. I’ll need to go shopping tomorrow.”
“Good! I’ll pick you up at ten o’clock okay?”
I was about to do my independent guy thing when I realized, that I was going to need help and I really wanted to get to know her better. I said, “Sure that sounds great.”
I managed to feed the fish and eat. I eventually ended up in bed sleeping. With the pain pills, it did not take long to fall asleep.
I usually get up automatically about 7 AM, but the next morning I was awakened by an insistent ringing of the doorbell. Barb was at the door, she looked absolutely gorgeous. It was past 10 AM. I told her I just woke up and would be with her in a few minutes.
That turned out to be much longer. I had no idea of how to take a shower with a cast on my leg. It took forever. After about twenty minutes Barbara was back at the door. She said I should let her in so she could help me. I was desperate by that time and agreed. She gathered my clothes and started breakfast. She turned out to be an outstanding cook.
Finally, I was dressed and ready to go shopping. On the way to the market she said, “Thanks for letting me help you. You seem like the type to do everything yourself, but you have been gracious enough to let me help without complaining. I need to feel useful right now.”
When she pulled into the parking lot I was surprised about where she parked. It was about as far from the store as you could get. She said, “I need to talk some and if I don’t something in the market is going to set me off and I will turn into a blubbering ninny.”
I said, “Talk away.”
“My husband and I were not doing well in our marriage. We are also Catholic, so you know the rules of the Church, no divorce. We were still trying to make it work. I have three children. As I mentioned yesterday, my husband took the children with him to the stars two days ago. I had just finished arguing with the desk sergeant at the CAP center. My lawyers tell me there is nothing I can do. The sergeant said the same thing. I fear for their safety, not because he might hurt them but because he is so neglectful.
“I was crying when I walked out of the center. I was not paying attention to my surroundings. I was trying to hold it together at least until I arrived home.
“That’s when I stepped in front of the bus. Thank you for risking your life to save me, again.”
“You’re welcome!” I was glad that she realized I had risked my life for her. I’d do it again for anyone, but to have her acknowledge it made a big difference.
“I owe you my life, as the police officer said. He was making sure that this was not a suicide attempt on my part because of the loss of my family. That’s why I ended up at the police station with him.
“After dropping you off last night, as I was driving home, I realized that I liked you. You cared. I want to get to know you better. Would you mind that?”
I said, “No, I would not mind that at all.”
She continued, “I cannot believe I was so careless. My daddy would have me over his knee whipping me with his belt until I bled. My husband would still be spanking me twenty hours later. I would have deserved it for putting you in danger as much as myself.”
At that point the faucets turned on and the tears started flowing. She was crying again. I slid over and held her as she cried. Once she calmed down I asked her to explain what keeps setting her off.
“I have no one to care for my needs, now. My father used to spank me when I did something wrong. My husband took up the challenge when he married me, but was often way too rough. My dad went to the stars months ago, and now my husband too. They have both abandoned me. They have left me all alone. Being raised as I was, someone spanking you meant that they cared about you. I hate to actually say it but I miss and need those spankings. I must be crazy!”
.... There is more of this story ...