Annie, my older sister, had once again fallen in love. This time it was a pipe fitter who worked the same night shift as her at Electric Boat.
Kevin Hartigan was a tall man at six one or so and was what people called "wiry" back in the 50's. He had too much muscle to be called skinny, but his build was still on the slight side. It was 1957 and Annie was 21 years old. She'd gotten a broken heart a year or so earlier when she'd been engaged to be married, and then, unceremoniously dumped a month before the wedding.
This Kevin was fairly new to the area, having grown up in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He was very quiet when you first met him, but would open up a bit after he got to know you and was comfortable with you.
He had started coming to the tool shed where Annie checked out specialized power tools. The two of them would make small talk while Kevin waited for Annie to sign off on his returns or Annie waited for Kevin to complete the check out paperwork.
After a couple weeks of this, Kevin started taking his dinner breaks at the same time as Annie and he'd always sit somewhere where he could look at her.
Annie was a very sweet girl, even tempered and nice. She would do anything to help out a friend. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that Annie wasn't very pretty, but she made up for it with her personality and disposition. She wasn't ugly or even homely though, just not pretty. Her figure was OK, a bit more weight in her hips than she'd like, but womanly too.
Soon, Kevin got up the nerve to ask to sit with Annie on their dinner breaks. After a week or so of that, he asked her out to breakfast after they got off work at 6:00 A.M. All the time this was taking place, from first meeting until their first real date, I noticed that Annie was perking up from the depressed funk she'd been in ever since that ass hole had dumped her a year or so before.
She started caring more about her clothes, and began taking more pains with improving her general appearance. She made an appointment at the beauty parlor for the first time in a long time, treating herself to a new hairstyle and a facial. After that first breakfast date, Annie drove over to New London and bought herself almost a whole new wardrobe. She got the bounce back into her step and was almost the whole way back to how she'd been before her heart was broken. For those of us who loved her, it was a welcome treat seeing her happy once again.
Annie wasn't a girl who liked to play games with people. She had a long, serious, discussion with Kevin, almost from the very start of things, telling him about her one serious romance, and how it had ended badly for her. She told him that she'd slept with the old boyfriend too.
Annie didn't hide anything. She wanted it all out in the open. In her mind, she was damaged goods, since she wasn't a virgin anymore. Kevin told her that he didn't mind, because he wasn't a virgin either. So they began to seriously date. Kevin got his days off changed to match Annie's and the two of them began spending most of their free time together, a lot of it over at our house.
I got out of school early one day for some reason, and came home to find the two of them curled up on the couch almost naked. It was pretty obvious, by the look of things, and from the smells in the room, exactly what they'd been up to. Annie covered up as best she could and ran back to her bedroom. Kevin gave me a pleading kind of look, like he hoped I'd understand or something.
I didn't say anything, I just went into my room and changed into play clothes and left. Annie must have said something to my mother about me barging in on them, because my mother had my father give me the talk.
I was a week shy of my 16th birthday and my mother thinks I don't know about the birds and the bees. So my dad takes me in the bedroom and gives me his version of the talk.
"Listen Yutch, your mother told me about that thing you walked in on, and she was worried that maybe you were upset, or might of had some questions about some things?"
"You talking about Annie and Kevin doing it on the sofa?"
"There's no call for you to be jumping to any conclusions about what Annie and Kevin might or might not have been up to. We just wanted to make sure we could answer any questions you might need answered."
"Oh sure, I understand. I guess I really only have one question to ask you about it then."
My dad smiled, appearing relieved that I only had one thing I needed to have clarified.
"What's your question?"
"OK, here goes. Don't you think that Kevin should wear a rubber when he's slipping it to Annie? And not just so she don't get pregnant. There was cum all over everywhere when I walked into the living room. It was on him, on Annie, and all over the sofa. I like Kevin fine, you understand, but I gotta admit to you that I do get more than a tad squeamish about having to sit in another man's pecker tracks. Especially when I'm sitting in my own living room watching the television."
I knew that by saying that to him the way I did, I might wind up getting my ass handed to me. I was relying on his perverted sense of humor, and on the fact that he was just as scandalized by the whole sordid living room thing as I had been. He started out first by giving me the look, just to let me know that the ice was getting awful thin where I was standing.
"I can see your point Yutch, and I'll let your mother know of your concern. I'll expect that you won't be mentioning things like this to your sister, or doing anything to embarrass her further?"
I nodded quickly, letting him know that I agreed on the need for discretion around Annie. Two years before, if anyone had caught Annie getting plowed by some guy on the living room sofa, there would have been hell to pay for everybody involved. We were all walking around now on egg shells around her, trying not to do or say anything to send her back into the gloom and sorrow she'd just started coming out of. I think if my parents had caught her fucking a whole bowling team on their own marriage bed, they'd have found some way to either overlook and ignore it. In those days, once a girl had already lost her cherry, what happened to her after that was only of secondary in importance.
Things were going really good for Annie and Kevin for the next few months, and they were starting to talk about wedding plans and where they might go on their honeymoon. They had gotten more discrete in their sexual activities, but we all knew that they were screwing whenever they found a few minutes alone together. Annie was as happy as I'd ever seen her.
She'd taken off about ten pounds, mostly from her hips, and, because she had a smile on her face all the time, she was starting to look prettier to everyone. My sister, Joan, was busy making plans for how she would decorate their bedroom after Annie got married and had moved away.
Things were really going great, right up until the time when Kevin tells Annie about them needing to hold off on getting married until after he gets his divorce.
Annie didn't take the news as well as Kevin might have hoped she would. In fact, she took it rather poorly, hauling off and whacking him on his noodle with a sixteen inch spanner wrench. Her sudden attack sent him off to the hospital with a hairline skull fracture and a torn scalp that required forty stitches to close.
Several of Annie's co-workers had to pull her off of Kevin, because, after she laid him out with that big wrench, she was sitting on his chest, beating on his face and neck with her little clenched fists. The people who saw what had happened waited to pull her off him until after the cops and an ambulance had arrived.
Everybody liked Annie, and more than one threat on Kevin's life was heard uttered while they loaded him up in the ambulance.
Annie was crying and wailing to beat the band when they took her out of the lunch room in hand cuffs and hauled her off to jail. They booked her in on attempted murder charges and bail was not set until they found out whether or not Kevin would die.
It took all of our combined will power that night not to try to go down and break Annie out of jail. As I remember it, it was my mother who brought our focus back to what was really important.
"You'll be after killing that slimy bastard now I expect, won't you John?"
We all snapped our heads around to stare at her. Was this really our own mother? Even my father stared after her, astounded by what she's said.
"Mary Kathryn, have you totally lost your mind? You don't ask me a question like that in front of the children."
After he finished speaking my mother gave him the look. I'd wondered where he'd learned how to put that dead eyed stare on people that could almost freeze the blood of the one being stared at. Now I knew.
"If you're not man enough to get it done, then kindly stand aside and I'll do it for you!"
Holy shit! Not only was my mother talking like some kind of an axe murderer. She was also belittling my father's manhood in front of three of his children.
"He's stained the honor and broken the heart of the dearest, sweetest girl in the whole wide world, and you just sit there, feeding your face as if nothing had happened? Annie is sitting in a jail house somewhere, probably being groped and humiliated as I speak, and all you can think about is needing another helping of potatoes? Well here you go John, have some more potatoes!"
.... There is more of this story ...