A big THANK YOU to Blackrandi for agreeing to clean up my mess.
It was the last thing that I needed at that point in my life, but it was the one thing to which I could not say no. My mother called me and told me that I needed to come home to run the family business because my father had suffered a stroke. Someone needed to keep the business running, and she said she couldn’t do it and still take care of Dad.
Home was six hundred miles away, and I hadn’t been there in almost two years. Frankly, I could have gone another ten or fifteen years without going back. The only immediate family I had back there were Mom, Dad and my sister, Sarah, and so far, their coming out to visit me had worked out fine as far as keeping in touch went.
My original reason for leaving town was to avoid going to jail for the assault and battery that I had committed on Jackson Murphy, an assault severe enough to require hospitalization. I had expected Murphy to take his beating like a man, to accept it as his just due for the sin he committed against me. I was extremely lucky on the day I found out that he wasn’t going to ‘man up’ and accept what I did to him as what he had earned and had coming.
I was home, and my mom didn’t know it when the police came looking for me. They told her that they had a warrant for my arrest, and when Mom told them that I wasn’t at home, they accepted that as the truth. Mom was well known and respected in town, and everyone knew that Ms. Emma wouldn’t lie to save her life. The two officers who came for me had more than likely been her students when they went through the seventh and eighth grades. There was no “Mind if we check and see for ourselves?” because no one who knew her would ever doubt her word.
I had overheard them when they told her what they were there for, so as soon as they were gone I packed up the bare essentials and two hours later, I drove past the city limit sign. I stopped once I was a hundred miles away and called home to let Mom know I was gone and didn’t expect that I would be back in the foreseeable future. Then, of course, I had to tell her why I was running away.
“You must be wrong, Brad. Susan would never do that to you.”
Problem was that Susan did do it and couldn’t deny it because I’d caught her red handed. Susan and I had been an off and on couple since the seventh grade. I say off and on because we would argue and break up and then eventually get back together. By the middle of the twelfth grade, we were a steady couple and everyone knew that that we were going to end up married when we graduated from college, and that wasn’t all that far off.
We were both attending the local community college where I was learning metal fabrication and welding, after which I would go to work for my father. Dad was looking forward to the day he would change the sign on the shop from Erickson Welding to Erickson and Son Welding and Fabrication. Susan was taking the courses that would make her a para-legal.
I didn’t know about Susan, but I wasn’t getting a whole lot out of it. I’d been working in Dad’s shop since I was thirteen. As far as the mechanics of it went, I could have taught the class. Working for Dad, I’d learned Tig, Mig, Arc and oxy-acetylene welding. I knew how to use brakes, metal shears and punch-presses. To be honest about it, I thought it was a complete waste of time and money, but Dad insisted that I needed that degree framed and hanging on the wall in the office, and since he was paying for it, I hung in there.
I considered my relationship with Susan to be solid. We had been sexually intimate since her eighteenth birthday (I was a month older), and we were in our last semester and already trying to settle on a date for our wedding.
Then it all came crashing down. My folks and I had left town to attend a family reunion. I had tried to get Susan to go with me so she could meet the rest of the family she would be marrying into, but she said she couldn’t because she had already promised her parents that she would attend some function with them.
The reunion was in Haleyville, which was just seventy miles away. I drove over by myself since I wouldn’t be out of class until a couple of hours after my parents had already gone. The reunion was a two-day affair covering Saturday and Sunday, and we would be staying with my Aunt Mary and Uncle Louie while we were there. I had a good time with all of the relatives on Saturday, but about six o’clock I had the sudden feeling that something wasn’t right with Susan. I can’t explain it. Suddenly it was just there in my mind. It was a strong enough feeling that I left the reunion and drove home.
I got there about a quarter after eight and drove to Susan’s place. It was dark and no one answered when I rang the bell. I remembered that Susan had mentioned the Elks when she told me about her promise to her parents, so I headed for the Elks club. As I was driving down Main Street I saw Susan and Jackson Murphy coming out of the Rialto. It upset me! It upset me greatly because they were holding hands and laughing about something. The girl wearing my engagement ring holding hands with another guy? Damned straight I was upset!
I pulled to the curb and watched them in my side and rearview mirrors as they walked to Susan’s car and got into it. Susan pulled out and drove by me, and I gave her a little distance and then I pulled away from the curb and followed. I left enough distance between us so that she wouldn’t suspect that she was being followed. Not that she would probably even consider it in the first place. All she would see was a pickup truck and in our town, three out of every five vehicles was a pickup truck.
After about five miles and a couple of turns it dawned on me that that the route she was taking would take her out to Steven’s Point. The Point was a favorite make out spot for teens. Once I figured that out, I fell farther back knowing that a car right behind them when they reached the Point would be noticed. When she turned left on the dirt road that took you to the Point, I pulled over, parked on the shoulder and stopped. I gave them five minutes, and then I followed. I stopped, pulled over and parked just before the curve that opened onto the parking area.
I got out and walked the rest of the way. They were the only car parked there, and I quietly walked up to them. Susan and Jackson were making out and I stood there in the dark right next to them and watched. Murphy played with her tits and Susan didn’t stop him. When he put his hand on her leg and started moving it towards her pussy and she didn’t stop him I’d had enough. I saw that the lock button on her door was up and that meant that her door wasn’t locked. I opened the door quickly, grabbed a handful of Susan’s hair and yanked her away from Murphy. I grabbed her left arm and pulled it to where I could get take hold of her left hand. I wrestled the ring I’d given her off of her finger and then I let her go.
While I was trying to get the ring off Susan’s hand, Murphy got out of the car and came charging around the back of the car at me. Bad move on his part, because he was rushing toward a man who was pissed off, angry and full of rage, a rage that needed an outlet. The ring came off Susan’s finger and I turned to meet Murphy. He threw a right, which I blocked, and then I proceeded to stomp his ass. I’ll admit that I got a bit carried away and went farther than I should have. When he was down, I should have just walked away instead of kicking him a couple of times, but that’s the thing about anger and rage; they don’t allow you to think, just react.
When I finally stopped, Murphy was lying there whimpering and clutching his stomach and Susan was sitting in her car and sobbing out “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” I walked back to my truck and drove home.
Susan called me several times the next day and as soon as I heard her voice, I hung up on her. Then she decided that since I wouldn’t take her calls she would come over to the house. When she got there, she rang the bell and when I answered it and saw that it was Susan I closed the door in her face. She stood there and rang the bell for another twenty minutes before I’d had enough. I went out the back door, crossed through the neighbor’s backyard and went for a long walk. When I came back, Susan was gone. I got in my truck and moved it around the block thinking that if Susan didn’t see the truck there she would figure that I wasn’t home.
It was a move that saved my ass.
I was upstairs in my bedroom when my parents came home. Twenty minutes later the cops showed up and Mom, since she saw that my truck wasn’t in the drive, told them I wasn’t home.
I stopped running when I got to the town of Castle Rock, in Colorado. I had only intended it to be a food and fuel stop, but things changed. I was having breakfast in a small café and the previous occupant of the booth I was in had left a copy of the local paper behind when he left.
While waiting for my order, I started reading it and in the want ad section, I noticed an ad that said, “Experienced welder wanted. Apply in person at 1234 Caprice Court.”
When I finished my breakfast, I asked the cashier if she knew where the place was and she gave me directions. It was less than three minutes away, and it turned out to be a trailer sales and repair business. I walked in and was interviewed by the shop foreman (Mark), and he took me into the shop area and pointed to a Miller 250 and asked me if I knew how to use it on both steel and aluminum. I said yes, and he had me show him. I did, and he hired me.
.... There is more of this story ...