Thank you to LadyCibelle and Techsan for editing my story and making it a better read for all of us.
Chapter 1: Life hasn't been the best
Dad and I were returning from our hunting trip. We had just bagged an eight point buck, and I did the actual shooting this time. It was nice walking through the woods with my dad. A chance to get back to nature after a rough couple of years.
As dad pulled up at the general store I got out to check in the deer. Dad said he would wait in the truck. Chuck, the store owner, was checking in my deer when I was heard loud voices outside.
"Leave me the fuck alone," said a female voice.
"Come on, Millie, don't be like that," a man laughed.
"Please just leave me alone. I wasn't bothering you, Brad."
Then I heard a truck door slam and then my dad's voice.
"Leave the lady alone." It was my dad's voice.
"Mind your own business, old man, and get back in your truck."
I headed to the door and glanced out. There were three guys - Brad and a couple of his friends. They had Millie, an old friend of mine cornered by her car. Dad was coming to her rescue. I can guarantee that Brad didn't know it was my dad or he would have run in the opposite direction. I opened the old screen door and stepped out on the porch of the country store.
"Is there a problem out here, dad?"
Brad looked up and saw it was me. "Oh, fuck, I didn't know is was your dad, Jerry."
"Still up to your old ways, Brad? Will you ever learn?"
Brad looked at his buddies and said, "Come on, guys, let's get the hell out of here."
One of his buddies asked who I was and as Brad whispered to the guy all three of the chicken-livered guys jumped in their truck and took off.
You see, in this town I was labeled a mental case. I killed a guy when I was a teenager. I'll tell you more on that story later.
Millie came running up on the porch and gave me a big hug.
"Jerry, you're home. God, it's so good to see you. Peggy said you were moving back. How long have you been home?"
"Been home going on a month. I started a welding shop in the old brick garage. If you got anything that needs welding, you just stop by."
I liked her ever since I was a kid. My kid crush, I guess. Hell, we might have been together if I wasn't sent away at fourteen.
Millie looked over at dad. "Thank you for helping me out, Mr. Jones, I really do appreciate it. Those guys just won't leave me alone. I'm glad you and Jerry showed up."
"Anytime you need anything, Millie, just give us a call. You're one of Peggy's best friends, after all."
Peggy was my older sister by about a year and a half. Millie and she always hung together. Peggy used to write me and said that Millie had a crush on me. Of course that was ten years ago when I was around fifteen or so.
"Millie, Peg's coming over tonight with her family. Why don't you stop over? We still live up on the ridge; we can all get together and talk over old times, or at least the better ones."
"I'd like that, Jerry. I'll see you tonight. Bye, Mr. Jones, and thanks again."
As she got to her car she turned around, "Oh, what time, Jerry?"
"Around six would be fine," I answered. She smiled, closed her door and headed up the road.
Dad smiled at me, "I always liked that girl," he said. We got into the truck and headed home and hung up the deer from a tree to let it bleed out.
Well, I guess it's about time to tell you about my wonderful life. Yeah, it was wonderful alright, if you like pain and suffering. Some of it maybe I deserved but not all of it.
I'm a country boy, and I always was. I loved living the country life. I wasn't big on book learning and the like. Don't get me wrong here - I am actually pretty smart. Maybe my English isn't the best but who gives a shit? I sure don't. I love hunting and fishing and repairing things. When I was just a kid, me and dad would repair the old cars and trucks. We had a small farm with a few chicken and cows. We didn't have horses. Peggy always wanted one but dad always said, "No, we couldn't afford one."
Peg has a few horses now. She and her husband, Roger, own a ranch about twenty miles from us. I guess she's still a country girl too. They have three little ones - kids, not horses - all under the age of seven. She had it hard for awhile after I was sent up but Roger was a good guy and took care of her. Now they have a nice family, a ranch and a pretty decent life.
The trouble all began when I was about thirteen. We didn't have much but we did okay. For some reason, guys thought because we were somewhat on the poor side that my sister would be easy. Well, she wasn't. She was a happy teenager and she, unlike me, did good in school. One day after school Peg was going down the holler - that's just a valley between two hills - to go see Millie. I was out with my 22 rifle hunting for squirrel when I heard Peg's voice.
"Don't touch me, Jed, leave me alone."
"Come on Peg, you know you want it."
"Please, guys, just go away and leave me alone."
I looked down over the hill and there stood Peg with Brad behind her and Jed in front of her. I started climbing down the hill when Brad grabbed Peg's arms and Jed reached forward and started to unbutton her blouse. Peg was kicking at Jed and he told Brad to hold her tighter. Jed reached out and squeezed Peg's tit. I heard Peg scream out, "Don't do this, guys. Just let me go."
They were both laughing when I got to the bottom of the hill. For some strange reason I put down my rifle and pulled out my hunting knife and ran up to Jed and buried it into his back. He screamed out as he fell to the ground. I held up the knife and looked at Brad.
"Please, Jerry, we weren't going to do anything. We were just playing."
Peg stopped me from going after Brad as he ran down the valley. She was crying as she hugged me. Jed was lying there on the ground unconscious, maybe even dead. Peg and I ran home to tell mom and dad. By the time we got there the county sheriff was there. Brad must have gotten hold of them and told them some lies. The sheriff took my knife and called an ambulance and he put me in the back seat of the cruiser as we headed back to where Jed laid.
Jed was dead. I had killed him. My knife penetrated his kidney and he died. I was taken into custody and charged with second degree murder. In court Peg told the jury her story and how her little brother protected her against the two older and bigger guys.
Brad said that he and Jed were just playing. They weren't going to harm Peg. Of course the only proof was our testimony and Jed's dead body. I was convicted on a lesser charge of manslaughter and sentenced to juvenile prison. The court thought I was unstable and I spent three years in a mental institution and then two more years in the prison system. I was released after my eighteenth birthday.
My mom was one of these sickly women. She was always coughing and was extremely skinny. I loved her. There wasn't a nicer or kinder woman on this universe. I know what I had done took years away from her life. I cried every time I was alone. I might have been a brave kid but I wanted my mom. I really missed her.
The reason I spent so much time in the mental ward was because while I was there my mom died. I went into hysterics. I wanted my mom and now she was dead. I was released into police custody for one day for the funeral. Other than my dad or sister, I wasn't allowed near anyone. I remembered seeing Millie from a distance. I didn't even get close enough to say anything. She smiled at me while she had tears in her eyes. I didn't break down at the funeral. I only cried when I was alone.
It was hard on my dad. He was alone then. He had Peg there for a few years but you know it's not the same thing. But, if it wasn't for Peg taking care of him, it would have been a lot worse.
At school Peg had to put up with a few hecklers but that's when she met Roger. They started dating. Roger's family had money even though not rich. At first his parents didn't like him dating Peg because of me. Peg sat down with his mom and dad one day and told them the truth - the real truth - that she was being molested and I came in and stopped it.
Roger's parents saw Peg in a different light after that. They realized that, even though we were poor, our family meant everything to us. Peg and Roger were married right after high school and of course now had their family.
I spent my time in the mental ward and then prison. When I got out, I went to a half-way house and studied for my GED, then I went to a welding school. I met Maria while attending the school. She was taking classes to become a cosmetologist, a fancy name for a barber or hair dresser.
We were dating and of course we had sex. Maria was my first and only woman. She got pregnant so we got married, and rented a little apartment. I wrote home and told my dad and sister. We didn't tell them till after we got hitched. We just went to a local judge and got married. Not a whole lot of fanfare.
Maria didn't have any family. She was raised in foster homes. I think her parents were put away for doing drugs. I never liked the big city. I told Maria there was too much crime when she looked at me and smiled. She didn't have to remind me of my past. I knew it all too well.
.... There is more of this story ...