Note from Jake Rivers:
This is my sixth semi-annual "invitational." The initial one was based on the Statler Brother's song, "This Bed of Rose's." The second used the Marty Robbins El Paso trilogy: "El Paso" "El Paso City " and "Faleena." The third had stories based on the various versions of "Maggie May" or "Maggie Mae." The fourth invitational was based on any Country & Western song and the fifth on songs by Merle Haggard.
The current invitational is based on any song written or performed by Willie Nelson.
I have chosen 'Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain'. A big 'Thank You' to Mistress Lynn for editing the story and making it a much better read. There is very little sex in this story, so if that is what you are looking for, you may want to look elsewhere. For the rest of you, I hope you enjoy the story.
My wife of forty-five years was lying there on the bed. I was resting in the reclining chair right next to her. She had taken a turn for the worse, with only days to live.
I wasn't going to let her die alone. I promised her from the day we were married that I'd be by her side, till death us do part. The extended care unit of the hospital told me I should go home and get some sleep, but I let them know I wasn't going anywhere; I was staying with Mary.
Mary is and has always been the love of my life and the most wonderful person on God's green earth.
"Love is like a dyin' ember
Only memories remain
Through the ages I'll remember
Blue eyes cryin' in the rain"
I first remember meeting Mary way back in high school so many years ago. She was a cheerleader and a choir member. In the yearbook, she was 'Miss Congeniality', and she deserved it. She was even the homecoming queen our senior year.
Everyone thought the world of her. I believe half the guys in school had a crush on her. She did date a couple of the football players. Mark always said she was his girl, which kept most of the guys from asking her out.
Mark was the quarterback, like that's some kind of surprise. It seems all the cheerleaders liked quarterbacks. He fit the picture of what everyone imagines for that position; tall, handsome and muscular from working out all the time. I guess he was a decent guy, but to me he seemed a bit cocky.
Now Mary had it all, looks, personality and a smile that would make every guy smile back and wish he could be with her. Some people would say they made a perfect couple, all but me of course. With me, it was love at first sight with Mary. She was the kind of girl you dreamed of but could never have.
A little about me. My name is John and everyone knew me as a troublemaker. I got in a number of fights at other schools so my parents moved to the suburbs to help me get into another one. I only went to Eastmoor High my senior year.
I was always quick tempered and reacted too soon. I had a few friends but mostly kept to myself. My parents told me to try and not get into any more fights. I just had to get through my senior year and then would enlist in the army. I had to keep my nose clean if I expected them to accept me. At least that's what I was told at the enlistment center.
I didn't play sports in school. I guess I was too busy getting in trouble. I met Mary the first day of school. She was walking down the hall with two other girls and I couldn't take my eyes off her for some ungodly reason. She looked at me and smiled.
"Hi, I'm Mary. Welcome to Eastmoor High." As I mentioned, her smile would brighten up a room.
"Hi to you too. I'm John, John Davis. Glad to meet you."
She introduced her two friends and then they headed down the hall. I swear a lightening bolt struck me right there. I'd had feelings for girls before but never like this.
I went into our homeroom where we had to sit in alphabetical order. I couldn't believe it. The old coot of a teacher treated us like kids.
"Please sit down when your name is called," he said.
I glanced around the room and saw Mary talking to a guy who I later found out was Mark. I already felt jealous; what was the matter with me?
I watched as Mary took a seat. Darling, her name fit her like a glove.
I was surprised that I would be spending homeroom every day sitting next to Mary. Maybe this seating arrangement wasn't so bad after all.
I talked to Mary every day. I didn't know a better way to start one either. We just talked about things in general. That's how I found out all about her. When I asked her out, she told me she had a very busy schedule and was sorry but that she was seeing someone, that being Mark. I remember telling her I wouldn't give up on her.
I took up jogging to help keep in shape since I was going to join the service after graduation. I ran past the school every day just so I could see Mary practicing her cheers. Whenever she saw me, she gave me that beautiful smile.
I did my best to stay out of trouble and keep my nose clean and grades up. I asked Mary out a number of times but she'd always say she was sorry, she couldn't. Sometimes she even looked sad when she said it.
I had some friends in school, both male and female. We hung out at the local burger joint but I guess we weren't part of the so called 'cool group'. Most had brains and belonged to the band and other clubs, but not sports.
Some were dating each other, which was nice. They all knew I had a crush on Mary but did their best not to talk about her and Mark. I went out with them as a group but not single dates. The girls in our group were all pretty and nice but they weren't Mary and I wasn't about to use my friends.
I didn't go to the prom. The only girl I wanted to take was Mary and of course, she was going with Mark. A couple of weeks later, a few of us went to one of the local dances.
It wasn't bad and I was having a pretty good time until Mark and Mary showed up. I walked over and asked Mary to dance.
"I don't think so," spouted off Mark.
I ignored him and asked Mary again. She looked over at Mark and said, "Why are you like that? John's my friend and I'll dance with him if I want to." I never saw her like that before but I think she was quite mad at Mark.
"I'd love to dance with you John," she said and smiled. She stood up and we went out to the dance floor.
"I'm sorry if I caused a problem between you and Mark."
"He has no right to tell me who I can and can't dance with," replied Mary.
I held her close and sort of hugged her. "Mary, whatever happens in the future I want you to know that I really like you."
"I kind of like you too John," she said and gave me that smile again.
We didn't say anything else as I thanked her for the dance and walked her back to her seat. Mark remained silent but I could tell he was fuming. I went back to where my friends were, and soon we all left.
It was a couple of days later when I was leaving school that Mark and a couple of his friends accosted me. "Stay the fuck away from Mary. Next time I won't be just talking. She's my girl."
I stared at him for a few seconds. "Listen Mark, I'm not the least bit afraid of you. Any time you want to have it out, let me know. Of course, if you're afraid and need two guys to help you, I'll probably get my ass kicked, but it shows what kind of a wimp you are. As for Mary, I'm going to marry her."
I have no idea why I said it. The words came out of nowhere, I swear. I was ready for Mark to come out swinging at me but instead, he and his buddies starting laughing.
"Just stay the fuck away from her, understand?" Mark said as they walked away.
I couldn't believe this shit. One week of school to go and the asshole wanted to start trouble with me. I really couldn't afford to lose it all now so I did stay away from Mary. I only said hi to her in the morning, not much more. Mark smirked, but he had no idea that I just had to make it through graduation.
My parents were proud of me on graduation day. It was nice seeing them happy knowing I had finally made it. All the classmates were hugging and kissing each other on the cheek. Hell, all the cheerleaders gave me a hug.
Just then, I looked up and saw Mary. I took her in my arms, hugged and then kissed her. I mean a real lovers kiss with all the feelings. The odd part was she didn't pull away, even when I kissed her again. When we broke apart, she had tears in her eyes as she went to hug other friends. I stood there wondering what could have been.
Afterward, my family had a nice gathering of people and a small party for me. The following week I would be leaving for basic training. It was now time to go forward with my life.
I went to jog one evening and there stood Mark and his two friends. What the fuck did they want now? School was over.
"I saw how you kissed Mary and now you're going to pay the price," said Mark.
"Is it going to be one on one or three on one?" I asked.
Mark stepped forward and took a boxing stance. For the time being, his two buddies just stood back.
"Mark, you don't want to do this. It's over, I'm leaving for the service tomorrow. Besides, I fight dirty and I'll beat the living crap out of you."
"So, you're a fucking chicken too," he said and laughed.
That was the wrong thing to say to me. Lowering my body, I kicked Mark below the right kneecap and heard something crack. He went down with a thump and I kicked him three more times. His buddies started to come forward when I said, "Do you really want in on this? It's your choice."
.... There is more of this story ...