Chapter 1

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, NonConsensual, Coercion, Heterosexual, Tear Jerker, .

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - After her professor "seduces" Ada, how does her life turn out? After David's wife dies of cancer, is there any happiness for him?



SAD GOODBYES

"Death, that dark spirit."

Shakespeare Coriolanus II, I,166

The rain was misty; a cold dampness that seeped into the bones — a cold enervating of both body and spirit. The gray light that seeped through the early morning overcast lay as a pall on my heart, dark already with a black despair.

A movement captured in a quick glance caught the pallbearers sliding the coffin out of the hearse. The image triggered a traitorous idle thought: what a strange word pallbearer was. A pall is a heavy cloth of black, purple or white velvet spread over a coffin, a hearse, or a tomb. Hence a pallbearer is a person carrying that pall-clad hearse. And the carriers are called pallbearers even in the absence of a pall.

Telling myself to get a grip I tried to focus on the seemingly mechanized rite taking place around me. What was in that box was not my Missy, my wife for over thirty years. Missy was free and light and beautiful... her hair was long and the color of faded straw. Her eyes were a dark, deep blue but when a strong emotion ruled her they turned a mysterious shade of purple, the color of her beloved Columbine flowers of the mountain meadows. And she was dead! Breast cancer in the end had dominated that wild spirit I had always felt was indomitable. It was a sad end to a life lived well.

I married Missy early. She was barely seventeen and I was just back from the war in the Pacific and feeling old at twenty-one. At that time in the valley along the Rogue River in Oregon marrying at that age was usual and expected for a girl. We were from neighboring ranches northeast of Medford, around Butte Falls. Everyone, especially Missy and I, knew we would marry. I'd sent a telegram from the out processing center at Camp Stoneman, about forty miles east of San Francisco in Pittsburg.

The day after I got back Missy and I were married at the small, one room school at the crossroads. I had mustering out pay so we went to Portland for our honeymoon. It was the first time my bride had been out of Jackson County. We were both only children so we wound up combining the ranches and running them as one.

It was a good life but there were too many sad times. We had two kids, Crystal and Bobbie, both active and healthy and both smart as a whip.

Crystal married when she was twenty and a year later had twin girls. Six months after they were born, the brakes on her truck failed going down a steep grade and she and the twins went over a cliff. We were devastated; she was such a bright sunny girl and the twins had grabbed our hearts with an iron grip!

Bobbie had gone to West Point — I guess I should have said I got the medal on Guadalcanal. That beautiful medal, the star with the wreath hanging from the blue ribbon; that Medal of Honor made Bobbie a member of that long gray line. But earning that piece of metal and ribbon left a dark smudge in my soul that never totally went away.

Bobbie was lost to a mortar during the siege of Khe Sanh. We buried him on the little cemetery on the hill behind the house but I knew what a mortar could do and wasn't really sure if there was anything of Bobbie in that box we were putting in the ground.

Our hearts weren't in the ranch anymore so we left it to the folks and moved to Hood River. It was a small town on the Columbia River, about fifty miles east of Portland. Our life was focused on each other then and it was a beautiful life. Losing the kids had bought us closer and our love grew deeper over the years.

A few years ago my old company commander had asked me to consult on a script for a movie on the island campaigns in the Pacific. He was hired as a technical consultant. It turned into a popular movie and then a publishing company asked me to write a non-fiction book of my experiences. That was successful enough I started writing war novels. I enjoyed doing the research and the writing proved to be a catharsis for some of the crap I had been holding on to without even realizing it. I wasn't making a lot of money but it was steady and it was enough.

I used my real name for my stories, Dave Chance. I wanted any of my buddies that might read one of my books to know who it was that wrote it. I even put a note on my short bio for readers to send a letter to the publisher if they remembered me. It was pretty neat, I'd re-established connections with a lot of the guys and they sent me their stories, some of which I used (with attribution).

And then came the cancer; death slowly creeping under the door. It was strange; I was hit a lot harder than Missy was. I think she had this sense of being with our kids again. She seemed more worried about me than about herself. We'd talked about radical surgery but Missy wouldn't agree to it. I understood how she felt so I didn't push her. I guess I knew she had never really recovered from burying both of the kids, though she hid it well. Truth be told I think she wanted to be with the kids again and wait for me to join them.

As she became able to do less and less it was clear that we needed some help; someone to help take care of her and to keep up with the house. Missy had come to be very good friends with our neighbor, Pearl. She was a kindly older woman who had outlived her husband and was lonely. Missy was so kind that she visited with her a lot over the years.

When Missy told her that she wanted to find someone, Pearl had the answer. Her granddaughter in Bend was pregnant. She was four months along now and needed a place to stay until the child was born. Missy asked the circumstances but all Pearl would say was the father was dead and they weren't married.

I was skeptical but Missy was adamant to give the girl, Ada Chandler, a chance. So we did. I have to admit it worked out really well. She was like a pixie, barely five foot tall. She was slender with very short hair. I'd guess she would be around 95 pounds... if I threw her in the Columbia and let her soak for a while.

She was just showing the baby and was due about the same time Missy's doctor expected her to die. I gave Ada credit; she was a fireball! She kept the house spotless, took care of Missy and was a great cook. She was easy to get along with. She was very friendly to everyone but she had this aura of childlike innocence that was both endearing and worrisome. I suspected that was how she became pregnant but that was one thing she wouldn't talk about. Sometimes she did seem a little nervous when we were alone together.

Once, she had fixed spaghetti for dinner and without thinking I poured us both a glass of a nice Chianti I had. She came in from the kitchen and saw the glass of wine and just froze. After a minute she ran to her room and was very standoffish for a couple of days. At first I felt stupid for offering wine to a pregnant woman but finally decided it was something more complex than that.

As Missy got worse she finally had to agree to some painkillers — she fought taking them for the longest time. She didn't like the idea of taking drugs. So as time went on she would sleep more and more and I got to know Ada a lot better. Remember, as a writer I was working at home!

She was fun to talk to and was intensely interested in my writing. I was amazed — she read all my books in a couple months. By then she was around seven months but she had the most amazing body. I swear she didn't gain an ounce except for the baby and its complex support system. She was like a short pixie that had swallowed a bowling ball! She laughed at herself so we laughed with her.

A couple of weeks later, Missy had me sit on the bed for the talk.

"Honey, I'm worried about Ada. I've grown to love her and I want to make sure she is okay. Will you promise me to let her stay here for a while, at least until the baby is a year old or so and Ada gets on her feet. I know this is an imposition but could you do this for me?"

I leaned over and held her, partly so she couldn't see my tears. "Babe, you know you have had me wrapped around your finger since you were four years old. Why would it change now?"

"I know, Davey. It's important to me so I want to make sure there is no confusion. I know how messy it gets when someone dies! I want you to bring her up later today and let's talk about it together. Okay, hon?"

I just nodded; there seemed to be something wrong with my throat.

Teasing then, she continued, "Besides, honey, I've seen how she looks at you — I think she has a crush on my man!"

I had the grace to blush as she continued.

"I'm actually serious, Dave! I worry about what's going to happen to you after I'm gone. I don't know if she is the one but you aren't the kind of guy to live by himself. You need a woman! Besides, since we had to stop with our lovin' you must be going nuts!"

I didn't want to answer that so I got a washcloth and slowly wiped her face off, then massaged her hands gently until she fell asleep. As I left her room I passed the guest bathroom and Ada hadn't completely closed the door. She had just stepped out of the shower and was reaching for a towel. We made eye contact... she blushed furiously and grabbed the towel.

I went to my office and poured a large Jack Daniels. She definitely avoided me for a few days after that. It was harder that I expected to get rid of the image of her body glowing with health and the baby looking so large. Maybe it was just me but I have always found pregnant women very erotic.

Two weeks later Missy passed away in her sleep, joined again with her kids she had missed so much. I was left with my memories: the wonderful, the bad and the dark. I was also left with Ada and 95% of a baby!

MY INDISCRETION

"Experience is not always the kindest of teachers but it is surely the best."

Spanish Proverb

My daddy, Hal Chandler, told me to never mix men and booze. I guess I didn't listen to him or I didn't understand and that's how I became pregnant. I'm Ada — I don't know how I got that name since no one else in the family had it.

I didn't think I was particularly smart but I got real good grades in high school in Bend. When I finished my momma kept hammering at me to get an education so I started going to the Central Oregon Community College. I'd always been a tomboy and hated being inside so the only thing that sounded good was the Forestry program. I liked it a lot and it seemed like a good career.

About two months before graduation we went on a field trip to look at a replanted burn. There were three cars of us and we tramped around for a couple of hours while the professor talked about the forest fire and its impact on the forest. A lot of the old growth had survived but there were big patches that had to be replanted.

One of the cars had to go back early - a couple of the students had a test to take in another class. We got ready to go and somehow I wound up alone in the truck with the professor. I didn't think anything about it; he was just a guy.

We started down the logging road in his F-250 4x4 and he started telling me about this lake.

"Ada, this is the most beautiful lake you will ever see. It's small but it has more wildlife around it than anything else I've seen. It's not very big but it's surprisingly deep. I need to take a couple of pictures for my class next fall. Is it okay if we stop by?"

I was in no hurry and it sounded interesting. "Sure, I guess we can do that."

So he turned down another fire road and drove for about twenty minutes. When he pulled into the small parking lot I was stunned. This was the most breathtakingly beautiful place I'd ever seen! It was a small lake and surrounded by a large stand of old growth fir. The lake was about two or three acres and the trees made a horseshoe around it, with the open end to the west.

We got out and walked around, the professor taking pictures. After a bit we sat down on the picnic table there.

"Ada, I need to take a few more pictures at sunset. You won't believe how the lake looks then!"

I was in no hurry so I just nodded.

After a bit he pulled out a flask and took a snort. Since my dad did this all the time I didn't think anything about it. He handed it to me but I didn't really want any.

"Ada, this is really good. This is the real stuff — a guy up in the mountains has his own still. Try a little."

So I did. He was right; it was good stuff. It didn't mean anything to me; I was used to sipping from my dad's flask when he wasn't lookin'.

So we passed the flask back and forth. What I didn't see was that he wasn't drinking much... and I was!

'Bout thirty minutes later we got up to take the pictures. I staggered a little but he put his arm around me and held me steady. As he got his camera out of the car he handed me the flask for a sip... but I didn't notice it was a full one. He would take a couple of pictures, then put his arm around me and hand me the flask again. My face was a little stiff but I was feeling pretty good.

By the time he finished with the camera I was kinda staggering around. I saw he was leaning over the side of the truck but I couldn't see what it was. By this time I was getting a little woozy.

The professor took my arm, saying, "Ada, you don't look so good. Come lie down for a minute."

He led me over to the truck and picked me up like a kid and put me in the back of his truck. I was lying on something soft; I later realized it was a sleeping bag.

He jumped in the back of the truck and sat down beside me, looking at me kinda funny.

"Ada, honey, you don't look so good. Here, try this; you'll feel a lot better!"

He put his arm around me and brought out his flask. Holding it up to my lips he poured it down my throat until I sputtered a little. I could feel the raw spirit dribbling down my chin but I didn't understand why. He tilted the bottle up again and poured until I choked. He put his hand on my face but I couldn't feel his fingers as they wiped the whisky away.


"Seduction is often difficult to distinguish from rape. In seduction, the rapist often bothers to buy a bottle of wine."

Andrea Dworkin


He just kept moving his hand over my face, caressing it, I guess. I felt a cool breeze on my front so I looked down. My white blouse was undone and his hand was holding my breast. He wasn't moving it around or anything and it felt sorta pleasant, like when I would stand under the shower and let the hot water run over them while I soaped them up.

Gradually it came to me that my teacher was doing something wrong, very wrong! I tried to jump up but felt really dizzy and collapsed back down. I must have passed out for a bit 'cause all at once I felt the truck bed moving and tried to get up again. I couldn't because he was on top of me. I felt squashed — he was a big man — and I tried to push him. It felt like I didn't have any strength... he couldn't even feel me pushing.

Now I could feel a sharp pain down below and I started panicking! I tried to scream but my throat felt dry. My mind was coming more awake and I knew then what he was doing to me. I couldn't get him off and I started crying... the drops running down the side of my face and down my neck. Suddenly he grabbed my face and stuck his tongue in and started moving faster. He leaned his head back, his face twisted into a passion I couldn't understand; the muscles on his neck corded like a heavy rope.

He collapsed on me so that I was having trouble breathing. I was crying somethin' terrible then and it finally got through to him. He must've thought I was having fun. He stood up and started pulling his pants up. We both looked down at the same time and saw the blood between my legs! My stomach rebelled and I started retching violently. It felt like the whisky was on fire as it came back up my throat and the vomit spewing all over me, the sleeping bag and his legs. The smell was terrible and added to my nausea.

I finally was able to get out of the truck and stumble over to the lake. I cleaned myself up as best I could but I felt unclean inside in a way that felt like it would last forever. My dreams, my childish, girlish dreams, my dreams were ashes scattered over the detritus that was the remains of my life!

Getting back to his truck he was staring at me in the fading light, a nervous tic in his eye. God knows what he was thinking about.

He suddenly yelled at me, "God damn, girl, why didn't you tell me you were a virgin?"

I was recovering; maybe I drank the whisky so fast that when I got sick that not too much was in my blood. I gave him a dirty look and opened the truck and got in, looking out the window. He got in and started up. I refused to look at him the whole trip home.

About the time we got off the logging roads and onto the highway he started mumbling, finally sputtering, "Ada, it will be better next time. When do you want to get together?"

I slowly turned to him, somewhat amazed at his stupid audacity and gave him a dark, dark look with hooded eyes and turned back to the windows. I thought of the poem I had read last year in American Lit. by W. H. Auden:

"I and the public know

What all schoolchildren learn,

Those to whom evil is done

Do evil in return."

This somehow comforted me and I started thinking on what to do. Maybe making him pay would be a small start to healing.

I suffered on the way back, still feeling vomitous, a queasiness of both body and soul. I tried not to cry — I didn't want to give him the satisfaction. Periodically though, I would start whimpering followed by a savage shivering.

When we got home there was no one there, which is what I expected. My dad was off fishing with a buddy for a couple of days and my mom was doing something at the church, some kind of a potluck dinner.

I had decided on the way home what I was going to do and I was going to make it happen. Not many people realized it but I could be stubborn as hell. I clamped down on my feelings and felt an icy strength coursing though my veins. I called Anne Dean, a neighbor a couple of blocks away that had been one of my teachers in grade school. She was the only one that I could think of that could give me what I wanted, what I needed.

I walked down to her house without cleaning up any more or changing clothes. When I walked in, she looking at me and started crying; I cried along with her. I didn't start telling her what had happened, because we were waiting for Robert Conrad, the school president. I didn't think I could go through it twice. I'd asked Anne to call him.

He was a local guy and started out in the Oregon State Police, kept going to school and received several advanced degrees in criminology. He started teaching and eventually started the criminology program at Central Oregon Community College. He still taught some courses and knew everyone in law enforcement.

When he arrived we sat down in the kitchen and went through all that had happened as best I understood it. There were parts that were hazy. I wasn't crying then but that would come later.

I told them what I did and didn't want, "I don't want the police involved. I'd die if this became general knowledge. I don't want to talk about it in a courtroom. I just want to get on with my life and I want to take the three things away from him that are the most important in his life.

Robert called him and told him to come over to Anne's immediately. Bend isn't a huge town so he would be there in ten minutes. He didn't want to come but Robert said in a steely voice, "Be here in ten minutes or I'll have the police pick you up. What do you want to do?"

Anne gave him a couple of minutes and then she called his wife and asked her to come over. She told her to quietly walk to the back porch and just listen until Anne called her in. Anne opened the kitchen windows wide so she would be able to hear.

Robert waited with the professor in the living room, telling him to sit and shut up for a few minutes. He stood looking out the window watching for Professor Franks' wife, Terry to show up. Robert looked at Franks while he was waiting, thinking to himself, "What a shit head! He has a great job, a lovely, very nice wife and a boy and a girl, both in their early teens."

He saw Terry's car park and waited a couple of minutes more and then took Billy Franks back to the kitchen. He froze when he saw me there. I must have been a pathetic sight, even to Franks, even with him knowing he had done this to me.

There was blood at my crotch and several splotches scattered on my skirt. My face was streaked with tears, the top button of my blouse missing, showing my small cleavage. Standing there, smelling of my vomit, my hair wildly mussed up, I must have looked like a small child, a broken doll.

Robert spoke sharply, harshly to the soon to be ex-professor, "That's right, you piece of shit! Look at her!"

He reached over and grabbed Franks by his chin, squeezing firmly. "Look at me! Did you do this to her?"

The suddenly spineless teacher slumped and looked at the floor, tears coming to his eyes, slowly nodding his head, not able to look at anyone.

Robert grabbed his shirt and, speaking coldly, told him, "If I had my way you would spend the next ten or fifteen years at the state pen in Salem," pausing a bit for emphasis he continued, "... where we send the murderers and rapists! Ada, for her own reasons, doesn't want that to happen. So you are going to sign this letter of resignation, to be effective immediately. Part of what's in the letter is a statement that you will never teach again!"

"You will not go back to the school for any reason. Any personal stuff we will send to you. If word of this ever gets out, I promise I will personally come looking for you. Now Ada has something to say and then one more person will want to talk to you."

I walked up to him, my lips twisted in anger, "I trusted you! You were my professor. You stole something from me today that can't ever be returned. More than that you stole my pride." I walked up close to him, looking in his eyes, seeing a beginning of blankness setting in, his eyes seeming to become opaque.

"I just have one thing to say to you. My dad gets home tomorrow afternoon and I'm going to tell him what you did. If you are smart, you will be at least two states away by then." I spit in his face and with all the strength of a lifetime as a tomboy in the outdoors, raised my knee to his crotch as viciously as I could.

I thanked Robert and Anne and started to walk out when I saw the professor's wife standing there, looking crushed with tears streaming down her face.

She stepped up to me, put her arms around me and held me tightly and muttered, "You poor, poor child," several times.

I walked out the back door, taking a shortcut home. I put my clothes in a bag for the trash and took a long shower and went to bed. I had a terrible headache, I guess from the booze, and took several aspirin. I lay there silently crying, crying for my lost dreams of love and children.

The next morning I walked over to Anne's to thank her again; she had always been very nice to me. She told me about what happened after I left.

"His wife was furious! I won't go through the gruesome details but she's leaving him and taking the kids. She's going back to Memphis where she's from and she told him that she was telling her family what he had done - without mentioning your name, dear. They will beat the crap out of him if he ever comes near her or the kids again. She is going to get a divorce in Tennessee on grounds of desertion."

Anne gave me a hug and continued, "It doesn't make up for what he did to you but it should stay quiet and you got what you wanted. He lost his job and will never teach again, he lost his wife and at the right time she will tell his kids what he did, just in case he ever tries to contact them later. If he does he will find that he has also lost the respect and love of his children! So you have taken from him the three most important things in his life."

That afternoon I sat down with my mom and dad and told them everything. This was the hardest thing I'd ever done. Daddy was furious and wanted to call the police, then wanted to go kill the miserable son of a bitch! I calmed him down, explaining why I had done what I did and what had happened to him. They hugged me tight and we all cried a lot. It hurt me to see them so sad.

I was able to finish the term and get my Associate Degree in Forestry. It was bittersweet to stand up on the dais and get the degree. I had worked so hard and was proud of what I had done but I had tears in my eyes for what had happened to me and for what I didn't have anymore.

A couple weeks after that I missed my period. The shock was almost as great as what happened at the lake. We worried about it for a few weeks and I finally decided to have the baby. I would not make any final decisions about keeping it now; I'd just wait and see. Shortly after that Grandma Pearl called mom and told me about this nice woman in Hood River that needed someone to help take care of her until her time ran out. I agreed to go up and meet them.

What had I learned from all that had happened? I remembered a quote one of my teachers wrote on the blackboards one day, I guess to inspire the students. It was from Mary Barnett Gilson, "... every experience in life enriches one's background and should teach valuable lessons."

Well I learned! I had two new rules to guide me in my life as I struggled for a direction:

1. Don't trust men.

2. Only drink with men I trust (see rule one).

On the bus from Bend to Hood River I was reading a novel by Oliver Goldsmith, written in 1762. I found a certain peace in reading the old classics. It was both fun and interesting to try to picture what life was like at that place and time. I ran across a stanza that would provide me with food for thought for months to come. At odd times the image of the words came to me:

"When lovely woman stoops to folly,

And finds too late that men betray,

What charm can soothe her melancholy,

What art can wash her guilt away?"

Looking out the window, thinking of those words, I came to the decision to keep the baby. My life would be with little Silvia Marie. Somehow I knew it would be a girl; the name was one I picked out as a child for one of my dolls. I would protect Silvia from a disaster like mine; I would forego men and their treacherous ways. I knew of folly and betrayal; I already had melancholy and guilt. My dreams of marriage died in the back of that pickup truck. My family would be Silvia.

LIFE AFTER DEATH

"If it is not a tragical life we live, then I know not what to call it."

Henry David Thoreau

Missy died in the days between Christmas and New Years and the funeral was on New Year's Day. We had Missy buried on the ranch outside Medford. She wanted to be next to the kids. The trip would have been too much for Ada so she stayed with her grandmother, Pearl, for the two days I was gone.

Driving home I had this sense of an ending and a starting anew. I couldn't keep my mind focused enough to really grab hold of the thought but it was there.

When I got back I walked over to Pearl's house to let them know I was back. I thought Ada would walk back with me but she looked at me funny, like she was scared of me. She asked if she could stay with her Grandmother for another day or so. Later over dinner I really started to wonder just what had happened to her. From things that Missy said, I knew that Ada had finally confided in her but Missy never gave any details. I realized then that having Missy with us had provided a buffer between Ada and I, a sort of security blanket for Ada.

I thought about it for a while and wished Missy had clued me in on what had happened to Ada. I decided I'd better be very gentle with her and give her the space it seemed she needed.

That night I had the dream again. The last time I had it was the day we heard about Bobbie's death at Khe Sanh. The dream was of blood... blood on my face and hands. In the dream I could not wash it off and it kept spreading, covering more and more of my body. My body and soul was stained with a suffocating redness that turned black in my mind.


"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he today that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother."

Henry V, IV, iii,60

We had taken Henderson Field from the entrenched Japanese forces. Somehow they had no front line troops holding the field — just the construction workers and support elements. The company commander, Captain Hewitt, called the officers and NCOs together for a briefing. The latest intel said the Japs had moved major combat elements to Guadalcanal to take the airfield back.

What was making it look bleak was that the navy had taken off before we got much of our heavy artillery unloaded. I was a corporal then and our platoon was tasked with finding out the enemy strength and troop dispositions.

The platoon leader, Lt. Zimmerman, led us out quietly at 0100. The second squad had point and my squad was bringing up the rear. We were going in the jungle at the edge of the clearing at the top of the ridge. After about 500 yards we turned off down a path towards the river. We were specifically looking for infiltrators trying to bypass the ridge.

About 200 yards down the trail the point squad was met head on with what sounded like a company of the enemy and the other two squads were hit from the uphill side of the trail by what sounded like another company. Both of the attacking forces had machine guns. I signaled my men to drop off the downhill side of the trail and led them slowly forward. We needed to get into position to see what we could do to help.

We were a heavy weapons squad with a BAR and a couple guys carrying ammo for it. We got close enough we could see from the firing which side was which. Johnny, the guy with the BAR, was a big kid from Arkansas. The Browning Automatic Rifle was a heavy son-of-a-bitch, weighing almost sixteen pounds. It took someone with a little heft to handle it. The ammo is really heavy too. Given that the BAR could shoot around 450 shots a minute made it a definite team weapon, considering the total weight of weapon and ammo.

We spotted a small group of the Japs trying to encircle what was left of the platoon so I told Johnny to take them out. He opened up and I could see from the flashes some of the enemy soldiers going down. Suddenly, not more than fifty yards from us and down the hill a little, a Japanese machine gun opened up. From the sound it was a Taisho 11 Light Machine Gun. It was fairly light for a machine gun and easier to carry in the jungle. Its downside was a smaller cartridge.

Their first burst took out Johnny and the two ammo carriers... it just cut them to pieces. I grabbed the BAR — none of the guys left were big enough to handle it — and took off to the right of them a bit. I dropped down and threw a grenade, more to distract them than anything else. As soon as I saw the flash I jumped up and ran at them as fast as I could holding the BAR down and spraying them. Just as I got to their position I ran out of ammo. It looked like they were all dead so I turned back to see if anyone was bringing ammo.

While I had my head turned one of them with a dying strength jammed a knife in my calf. I spun around, yanked the knife out of my leg and sliced his throat with it. In the dim light, lit only by intermittent weapon flashes, his throat looked like an evil grin... blood spurting out in waves. Jerry arrived first carrying one of the ammo cans. I had him tape my leg as tight as he could and we edged uphill to the LTs position. We were able to make contact and moved in with the rest of the platoon. Out of the original 44 guys in the platoon there were only 13 effectives left.

The Japs had backed off and were just laying down harassing fire. I guessed they were waiting for reinforcements. Lieutenant Zimmerman had a nasty scalp wound and was bleeding heavily in spite of the bandage around his head. The platoon sergeant and the other three squad leaders were all dead leaving me in charge. There were too many wounded to carry back. I made a quick decision to carry the Lt. back and get reinforcements.

I told the guys that were still able to fight what I wanted them to do. I put the LT's pistol in my belt — anything else would be too heavy to carry. I picked him up in a fireman's carry and started back, returning the same way I came. Just before I got back to the trail at the edge of the clearing I almost bumped into a sniper that was getting ready to climb a tree. He looked over and saw me... and froze! His hands were both hanging onto a tree limb. I grabbed the pistol and put a round in the middle of his back. I guess I was just quicker than him. With the stopping power of the .45 I wasn't worried about whether he would come back at me.

Even at 150 pounds I was staggering with the LT's weight. What bothered me more was his blood dripping down my face and neck, some of it getting in my eyes. I was starting to panic from getting his blood all over me. I felt like the blood was running into my nose and my mouth, suffocating me.

I picked up the pace and got close to our line. I shouted out the challenge word and when I heard the response I hustled in. I was limping pretty badly by this time. The battalion XO was with my company commander and made a quick decision to send two platoons out with some stretcher-bearers. They tried to get me to stay behind but I knew I could get them there faster and safer. I showed him on the map where they were and asked him to fire some mortar rounds in a hundred yard semicircle past their location.

The Japs had backed off with the mortar fire and we were able to get in and get out fast. I helped one of the walking wounded back with his arm around my neck. We were able to bring all the dead back also.

Lt. Zimmerman lived and was out of the war. I wasn't so lucky. The bayonet went through the fleshy part of my calf. I bled a lot but there was no major damage. I got a month in Pearl and was back for the mop up of Guadalcanal.

For what I had done I got a piece of ribbon and metal that got Bobbie killed in Nam.

"I thought of all that worked dark pits

Of war, and died

Digging the rock where Death reputes

Peace lies indeed."

Wilfred Owen


The next morning after the dream I felt out of sorts. Missy's death was expected but even so it was still a shock and a surprise. I guess I was feeling a little depressed, certainly down.

Ada came back over that afternoon. I guess she would have just stayed at her grandmother's house but it was a tiny place with only one bedroom. It was okay for her to stay for a short time but it was in no way big enough after the baby was born.

My office was in the basement. The house was on a hill, with the back on the downward slope, facing the morning sun. I had a large walkout sliding door so the room was very light. When I had remodeled it for the office I had also added a library — I had accumulated a huge number of books for research — and a good-sized bedroom with bath. The bath just had a shower but that was all I ever used anyway.

While Ada had been at Pearl's house I moved all my stuff downstairs. The room Ada had been using was pretty small and she had been using the upstairs guest bathroom. I thought this would give her more privacy.

When she got back I had put the small amount of clothes she had in our old bedroom and put all of Missy's stuff in bags. I thought about giving some of it to Ada but realized that Missy's stuff would be way too large for Ada.

I thought she would be really happy but when I told her when she walked in she looked upset. When I pointed out how much better it would work for the baby she blushed and stammered, " I... I thought it was about me leaving the bathroom door open. I swear that was an accident. I pushed the door closed but didn't notice it came back open a bit.

I laughed and said, "No, this will make it much easier for me since I spend a lot of time down in the basement when I'm writing anyway. This will give you more privacy and I'm sure you will appreciate that."

She didn't say anymore so I guess it was okay.

I wanted a dog for company and one that would be good for protection and if I was away and a dog that would be good around kids. A friend of mine from Portland was moving to England and wouldn't be able to take his four-year-old white boxer with him. The dog had been around kids his whole life so it should work out great. I asked Ada and she was excited about it. Her dad had always had two or three working dogs for his hunting of various types of fowl.

The dog's name was Sammy. When I talked to Ken, he said it was actually Samuel Adams but his wife refused to call him anything but Sammy. It was funny the way it worked out. I got the dog as a companion for me but within a day it was Ada's dog. I guess dogs are smarter than we think.

It was a strange interlude. It was in the middle of January and the rainy/snowy weather bleak and dark added to my depression. Ada was worn out and mostly slept on the sofa in the living room. It changed suddenly when her water broke. I've always been level headed and had gone through this a couple of times. The hospital was on 13th Street just above Jackson Park. My house was about two miles west of there so it was only a five-minute ride.

After we got her admitted and into a room I went in to see her. She was a surprisingly strong-will girl but she looked scared.

"Are you okay, Ada? Is there anything I can do for you?"

"Mr. Chance... David... I don't know if I can do this. I thought I was okay. I guess — I mean that I thought - I hoped Missy would be here to help me. Mom is coming up but they won't get here until tomorrow. If I asked you to do something for me would you do it?"

I didn't have a clue what she was talking about. Making a joke out of it I told her, "Ada, it's okay with me if you name the baby after me. At least it's okay if it's a boy."

Looking cross at me, she replied, "No, don't be silly," she answered. "Besides, it's going to be a girl and her name is Silvia. What I want - what I need is for you to be with me when the baby is born. I'm afraid!" she finished as she started crying.

I was stunned! I hadn't even thought about that. I had no general problem with doing it. After all I had been with Missy for both of our kids' birth back when it wasn't done very often. Those had always been my most treasured memories. But for Ada?

"Ada, I'm honored that you ask me and if you need me... well, sure! But I have to ask, why me? Sometimes I think you fear me or are at least uncomfortable with me. Don't you have anyone else?"

"I know, David, and I'm sorry. I can't talk about it yet but I have some problems... with men! Someday I'll tell you about it but for now, could you help me please?"

She was crying again and my heart melted. "Sure honey, I'm here." I whispered this as I took her hand.

It was a difficult delivery and took a long time, almost ten hours. The doctor was ready to do a C-section because Ada was so small but she preferred not to. I was doing the things I'd done before, calming her, talking soothingly and wiping her forehead with a damp cloth. It was a wonderful experience, one I thought I'd never experience again. The thought came to my mind as I watched Ada labor — maybe it was time to stop writing war novels and start writing love stories. Since Missy had died I hadn't felt like writing anyway.

Finally, the baby was delivered. Ada was right. It was a girl. The nurse handed her to me thinking I was the father and I held her looking at her as she struggled to open her eyes. At that moment I fell in love — a different kind of love than I had for Missy but just as deep. I cried thinking of the daughter I lost and knew I had a love for Silvia that would last and grow for the rest of my life.

I handed her to Ada and she started crying too. I was afraid to but I had to ask. "Ada, this might not be the time to ask but you are going to keep her, aren't you?"

Turning red and whispering furiously, "How dare you even ask that? This is my baby."

Grinning at her intensity, I replied, "You will let me love her a little, won't you?" I walked out to call her mom and Pearl. I knew my life had changed in an unexpected way and changed forever.

End of Part One. Part Two to follow in a couple of days.

For the rest of this story, you need to Log In or Register