This is a combined story effort between Jake Rivers and me (DG Hear). Carl Smith has two great songs that are complete opposites in their story lines: "Hey, Joe" and "Back Up, Buddy"
Hey, Joe! is the story of a guy that wants his buddy's girl. Back Up, Buddy is the story of a man telling his buddy to leave his girl alone. We thought it would be interesting for readers to see these stories at the same time by two different authors. We have no idea what the other is writing.
Back Up, Buddy
Back up, buddy, don't you come any closer,
I know you want her but the answer is no, sir
Back up, buddy, don't you come any closer,
she's mine all mine.
Though we've been the best of friends
This is where our friendship ends
I gotta have that dolly for my own.
It all began years ago when I was in my senior year of high school. There wasn't anything special about me. I was one of those 'one in a thousand' you see in a crowd. I wasn't an athlete, even though I played sports like most guys. I ran on a cross-country team and a couple of the relays on our track team. I wasn't one of those 'stand-out in a crowd' sort of guys. I was just an every day Joe, except my parents called me Joseph. Even that doesn't sound very macho.
I really didn't date much but went out with groups of people. I enjoyed my life and my friends. I hated homework, I wasn't the smartest kid in the class, but I wasn't the dumbest either. As I said, I was one of those kids like most of us that was in the middle of the pack.
Late in my senior year we had some new neighbors move in next door. They had a daughter, Gloria, who was a junior. They moved here from Kentucky. She looked like a southern doll and had the cutest accent. I later found out she had a married sister and two brothers who were in college. It was over a year before I met any of her siblings. Of course she was the baby of the family. Her family came over to meet my family and we had a cookout. I couldn't take my eyes off of her.
I remember my dad saying that maybe I could show Gloria around the school so she could get acquainted. Man, was I happy with that statement. I'd love to be able to show her around.
On the next day of school we walked together; it was about a mile. I hated waiting around for the stupid bus. I preferred to walk. Gloria was so down to earth. My dad was born in Kentucky and told me that Kentuckians were some of the friendliest people. If they were all like Gloria, my dad was surely right.
We got there a little early and I walked her through the building. I saw her schedule and we didn't have any classes together, probably because I was a year ahead of her. I showed her to her locker and headed to my own. Just before I left, I introduced her to Marie, one of the cheerleaders. We were friends but ran in different circles.
I met Gloria after school at the front door and we walked home together. She said she had the most fun and met so many nice people. She was a cheerleader in Kentucky and said she was going to try out for our squad.
We walked to school together for about a week. After her cheerleading try-out, she told me she made the squad. I knew she would make it with ease. I was happy for her but sad for me. It meant she would be hanging with a different group.
A couple of the cheerleaders drove to school together and started picking her up in the mornings. Let's face it: why should she walk every day when a free ride was available. She asked me if I wanted to ride to school with them but I declined. As I mentioned before, they were classmates but we all ran in different circles.
After school when she was finished with practice or I didn't have a race we actually hung together. We would sit around and do homework or we would shoot some hoops. I couldn't believe she wouldn't be out more with her friends. She told me that her parents were somewhat strict and besides she felt she wasn't ready for dating yet. She did go to group events like ball games and dances.
I had a part-time job at the supermarket so I missed most of the games. I was putting money away to go to a trade school. I decided to become an electrician. All I needed was less than two years of trade school. I had taken some classes at the vocational school that would be credited to the trade school.
I had a younger sister who was two years behind me in school. I hate to admit it but she was a heck of a lot smarter than me. She was a lot more popular than I was too. She had a boyfriend but they really didn't date so to speak. They hung out and of course went to group events.
Sometimes when I came home from the market, Gloria would be sitting on the porch talking to my sister. There was nothing that could put a smile on my face faster then seeing Gloria sitting there. I remember one time seeing her sitting there in a pair of black shorts. She had her knees pulled up and her arms wrapped around her legs. She had a blond ponytail and when she saw me, she just smiled. I'll never forget how sexy and cute she looked all rolled up into one. I honestly didn't think she knew how beautiful she was.
The junior/senior prom was coming up in a couple of weeks. I wasn't really planning on going until I met Gloria.
"Gloria, would you like to go to the prom with me?" I asked.
I couldn't believe I asked her. Girls like her didn't hang around with guys like me. It was like beautiful people and average people don't mix. I guess that was just the way I looked at it.
I was about as happy as a guy could be. I started thinking how everyone would be jealous of me with a girl like Gloria on my arm. Especially the jocks - they always acted like they had exclusive rights to the popular girls, and believe me, Gloria was one of the most popular girls right now.
She had it all, pretty, kind of tomboyish, smart, and friendly to everyone and a personality like no other gal I've ever met. I couldn't wait to get her on the dance floor. My daydream was quickly broken.
"Joey, I can't go to the prom with you. I'm sorry. Maybe we can go next year when I'm a senior."
"It's okay, I understand. Someone else probably has already asked you."
"Well, to be honest with you, five guys asked me to go but the reason I can't go is because of my grandma's birthday. She's going to be seventy and our whole family will be going to Kentucky to surprise her. I'm so sorry; I would have loved to go with you."
"Well, maybe we can do something else together sometime. Right now you're probably my best friend, you're definitely my prettiest friend," I smiled.
"I like you too, Joey, and, yes, I consider you a really good friend too."
I didn't end up going to the prom. I don't know exactly how to say it. I felt differently about Gloria than I have ever felt about any girl. It was like falling in love with a centerfold, only Gloria was real. I just couldn't tell her. I didn't want to put her on the spot. The last thing I wanted to do was alienate her.
When I graduated she came to the party at my house. It was mostly family but I was just so happy to see her there. I couldn't believe it when she kissed me. Maybe I thought more of it than I should have but it nearly took my breath away. I remember a few of my cousins saying what a nice person she was. I knew my male cousins wanted to say knockout, but there was too much family around.
My Mom and Dad said that we should all go to Cedar Point, the amusement park. It would probably be the last time we went as a family. Dad told me and my sister Cheri that we could bring one friend along. Cheri asked if she could bring her friend Jeff. Dad agreed since we would all be together. He asked me who I was going to bring and I told him I would let him know.
I wanted to ask Gloria in the worst way but I was really afraid of being rejected. I was sitting on the front porch thinking about it when Cheri came out to talk to me.
"Joey, I know what you're thinking. I don't have any idea why but she really likes you."
"What, who, what are you talking about?" I asked Cheri.
"Hey, Goofball, I know you really care for her and I also know that if you ask her she'll say, 'Yes, ' so go over there and ask her."
I replied, "Oh, yeah, what else do you know, 'Oh thou mind reader'?" I asked.
"Quit being stupid! I talk to her all the time while you're at work. God knows why but she has been waiting for you to ask her out. Oh, just so you know that I'm a mind reader. She's a virgin, but you better not tell her I told you or I'll tell her you wank off thinking about her at night," replied a laughing Cheri.
God, this was embarrassing. How did my sister know? Damn, I didn't know what to say. If I denied it she would just talk more about it.
"How do you know she's never been with anyone?" I asked.
"I told you we talk a lot to each other and that's one thing girls talk about. You know she's just one year older than me. What she sees in you I'll never know. I can't believe the dates she turned down waiting on you to ask her out."
I couldn't believe what my sister had been telling me. I built up the courage and went next door and knocked on their door. Gloria's mother answered it.
"Mrs. Jones, is Gloria home? There's something I'd like to ask her."
It was odd. I really don't remembering going in their house even though they lived next door. We either sat on the porch or she was at our home.
Her mom called for her and she came into the room. God, I don't think she would look bad in anything. She just had on black shorts and a white blouse but to me she looked gorgeous.
"Joey, what brings you here?" asked Gloria.
.... There is more of this story ...