Susan was so happy. She had two boyfriends and they didn't even realize they were competing over her. For as long as she could remember she and her parent's had to scrape to get by. True, none of the family wanted for anything but there was no money for all the "necessary" extras. Long before Susan had listened to her mother when she told her a woman had to sell what she had dearly.
When she questioned her mother she was told, "Honey love is fine when you are considering a man but you also need to look at what he will become. It is easier to live with a rich and important man who loves you than one who is not."
Susan thought about her mother's statement and others like it many times as she grew older. She began to always use these criteria to assess the boys that would call on her and flirt with her at school. All her young life she had been best friends with John Stevens and just a little less friendly with Timothy Geitner. Both boys were fun to be with and they were friends to boot so she could spend a lot of time with both of them at the same time.
Susan watched the two boys and thought. It went without saying that they were the most well to do boys in the small town in which they lived. John was sure, confident, considerate and smart. Timothy on the other hand was something more. He was so sure of himself he was almost arrogant. His family was, perhaps, a little less well off than was John's but he seemed to have more of what Susan was looking for. He exuded that 'Bad Boy' attitude many girls find desirable. He seemed to want to direct his life along the path Susan found most desirable. Timothy stood to inherit and run the local grain elevator. John was going to inherit almost 2000 acres-one of the largest and best farms in the area. Discounting Timothy's arrogance both boys treated her well and were willing to spend money on her.
Susan made sure to keep both of them on the string and by the time she was 16 they were the only two boys in her life. She was sure she would marry one of them. Well she would marry one of then unless someone better happened to cross her path in college. Tim had a little lead because he wanted to go into politics and Susan really wanted to be married to a famous and important man as well as a rich one.
Susan and the two men in her life had played together since grade school. Before she became more modest about her body they would skinny-dip in the swimming hole near John's home. She would tease the two boys and let them touch her as she would them. She always promised more than touch but they never seemed to get to 'home plate'. She always left them wanting more. Susan wanted to use her femininity to coerce John or Tim to the alter. Keeping that in mind she kept them at arms length sexually speaking for quite some time. Besides, she did not want to get the reputation of being easy and everyone knew how boys that age talked.
Many happy days were spent enjoying the stream and yard at John's home. Tim's parents didn't have nearly as nice a home and he had nowhere near as nice to relax so she, they, spent significantly more time at John's. The summer she was 16 Susan decided it was time to start reeling in her man. She quit skinny-dipping with the two boys in her life and almost quit hanging out with them in a group.
The only time the three of them were together was when one or the other of the boys insisted. Since she had begun dating each of them officially it was rare they wanted to take her to spend time with the competition so she was happy. Of course after she started dating both of them they weren't nearly as friendly with each other either.
The year Susan was 16 she dated each of her suitors once then made it a point to date most of the other boys in their class and in the senior class. She really wasn't too interested in any other boys but wanted it to seem that way. She refused to swim and skinny dip with John and Timothy. She completely quit letting them see the "secret" parts of her body. She really loved to see their frustration. It made her little cunt so wet to know how she made them suffer. Just to keep them interested she would agree to meet one or the other of them somewhere occasionally. Sometimes when they were kissing she would let them touch her under her clothes but that was all they could do. They were so cute when they tried to make her interested in doing more with them!
Finally in the spring of her senior year of high school Susan began to show interest in John and Timothy again. It was amusing to watch as they once again began panting around her. They would offer to take her places and help with her homework. It was so pathetic also. Finally they each got up the nerve to ask her out again and she went. She was careful to never break a date or burn bridges with either one of them. She would not make a date with either of them before Thursday evening. She always asked them what they would do on the date so she could pick the best date for the weekend. It was surprising how much fun she had doing things with the two boys-especially after they realized the activities they planned for her influenced her decision on who to go out with.
On one of the dates she had with Tim things got out of hand. They were parked near John's home and along the stream that ran through his parents land. It was one of those perfect evenings. Timothy had brought a blanket and some ice-cold beer. Susan had drunk her three cans and was feeling a nice buzz. It was very hot and she complained about that. Tim said, "So, Susan, let's cool off. We can sneak up to the swimming hole and take a nice moonlight swim."
"You know we can't do that Tim. I don't have my swim suit," Susan responded.
"So. It won't be the first time we saw each other naked. You used to skinny dip with us all the time. What's the difference now? Besides, it will be dark and I can't see much anyway. Come on."
Tim stood and pulled Susan up from the blanket. After he bent and picked up the blanket Tim began leading Susan up stream toward the swimming hole. Susan pulled back a little but finally let herself be persuaded. When they got there she made Tim get in the water first and turn his back. Susan carefully undressed and waded out into the stream. The water felt so cool and nice. She became very aroused feeling the water and gentle breeze caress her body. She was much more aroused than she had been when she and Tim were making out on the blanket. The water and gentle breeze were tickling her nipples and cunt so deliciously. Susan shuddered.
Tim was close enough to see and came up behind her. Before she realized what he was doing he had wrapped his arms around her and was nuzzling her neck. She felt his fore arms nudging the underside of her breasts. Then he slowly moved his hands, sliding them up and over the swell of her breasts cupping them while he rolled her engorged nipples between his fingers and thumbs.
Susan felt her knees get weak and she moaned. She turned her head back and they kissed deeply and urgently. Susan never realized when she turned to face Tim. She nearly swooned when she felt her little nipples crushed against his chest. She and Tim were straining together as they kissed more and more wildly. She could feel his turgid tool throbbing against her belly. He squatted lower in the water and then stood. Susan could now feel the tip of his cock teasing her outer pussy lips. She moaned once more with her need.
Tim led her to the bank and pushed her back on the blanket he had obligingly brought along. Susan lay back and looked up at Tim as he raised himself over her. She felt him crawl between her raised, splayed legs. He bent to kiss her and she felt his cock head nudging once again against her lubricious pussy lips.
All she could think about was putting out the fire between her legs. She was ready. Susan felt the head of Tim's cock stretch her open as it began its first trip down her love canal. All at once she felt a sharp pain. Susan gasped and Tim hesitated. She saw him grin, then he pulled back and she relaxed a little. Before she could say or do anything Tim slammed his hips forward tearing through her hymen and slamming his dick deeply into her tender young cunt.
Susan screamed when she felt Tim thrust so callously into her virgin cunt. She felt the tears stream down her cheeks. "Owww Tim. That hurts. Stop it. Please stop now."
Tim stopped thrusting a moment and Susan felt him shifting his knees. She felt his hips withdraw slightly and she heaved a sigh of relief. She hadn't really wanted to do this yet and was glad Tim was going to stop for her. She would have to do something nice for him later. Maybe whack him off or something.
Susan was looking up into Tim's eyes. She couldn't see well because it was so dark but in the moonlight she thought she saw Tim's face set. He had a smirk on his face that she didn't like at all. She saw his abdominal muscles tighten then he slammed deeply into her once again and began madly thrusting into her. He was fucking her so hard it hurt where their pubic bones were hitting.
Susan tried to push him off and he said, "Relax Honey. This is good. Just hang on and I'll make sure you have a good cum. I was afraid you'd give this to ole Johnnie before I could tap it but I see I beat him."
Slowly Susan felt her loins begin to tingle. She began thrusting back against Tim. Just as she was climbing the hill toward her orgasm she felt him slam deeply into her and hold himself tightly against her cunt. He groaned and said, "Unh!" Susan felt his cock throbbing as he emptied himself into her.
Tim leaned down to give her a kiss and said, "Damn that was good. Guess we'd better go now though. Don't want ole Johnnie or his parents to catch us here do we?"
Susan almost cried when Tim pulled from her. She had been so close and he left her hanging. She looked at him while he dressed. He looked down at her still on the blanket and said, "Aren't you ready yet? Come on. We need to get out of here before we get caught." He reached out and pulled Susan to a sitting position then onto her feet. While she was trying to dress Tim wadded the blanket up and began walking toward the car. Susan had to run to keep up with him.
Susan was pissed. This time Tim's arrogance had gone too far. She didn't even sit beside him on the way home. When they got to her house he turned to her and said, "I'll pick you up at 6 tomorrow. Bring some drinks and stuff and we'll go back to the creek and do it again."
Susan looked over at Tim and he just sat there. Finally she got the hint and opened her own door. Just before he drove off Susan leaned down and looked into the passenger window. She looked into Tim's eyes and said, "I'm busy tomorrow. Don't bother coming by."
Tim said, "Bullshit. What's your problem anyway?" Then he watched Susan walk toward her home.
Susan was crying quietly when she cleaned up. She took a shower and cried again when she saw the slightly bloody semen draining down her legs. She had to wear a pad that night. It wasn't until she was in bed trying to go to sleep that she realized Tim had fucked her bareback and neither of them had worried about birth control. Now she was scared. What if she got pregnant?
Susan was ecstatically happy when she got her next period. She decided that the fear she had felt after Tim screwed her bareback was never going to happen again. She borrowed a driver's license from her sister and laminated one of her pictures over her sisters. She then went to the next town over and saw a doctor. She got on birth control pills even though she had no immediate plans to screw anyone for some time. She hadn't planned to let Tim fuck her either and look what happened. Never again did she want to live with the fear of an unplanned pregnancy.
Susan never dated Tim again. It was three weeks to graduation from high school and she took a date or two with other boys but they never got anywhere with her. After all, they weren't marriage material. She did meet John a time or two in town and even gave him a couple of dates. They never talked about Tim. She had decided she was through with Tim. John was just so much nicer than Tim she would go with him even though he didn't have as exciting an attitude to life as did Tim.
All three of the friends were going to college but Tim was going away to school. John and Susan were going to the local junior college. Susan had applied for a full ride scholarship at Texan A&M. She hadn't told anyone except her parents and the school guidance councilor about that though. She decided to go there if they would accept her. She was sure there would be a lot of good looking well to do men there. She wanted to see if she could maybe snag one that was better off or had a higher social standing than John or Tim.
That summer Susan ran around exclusively with John. It was obvious he thought he had the inside track. Most of the townspeople thought it was just a matter of time until John and Susan got married. After all they had been a couple off and on all through school and she was never seen with any of the other local boys now. Susan began letting him officially date her instead of just meeting him somewhere for fun.
One day Susan found out John's parents were gone for the weekend and she drove over to his house in mid morning. John was swimming when she found him. Susan had planned on swimming so was wearing her suit. She walked to the bank and cannon balled John before he saw her. After he got over his fright he began chasing her. They wrestled and dunked each other for several minutes. He was kissing her when she pulled back and tripped him, once again dunking him under the water.
John came up spluttering and reached for Susan. She almost got away from him but his hands snagged her top and it came off. She gasped and then just stood there while John stared at her.
She could feel herself blushing, and then before she realized it they had leaned into each other and began kissing. It was gentle at first then became more passionate as their need rose. They kissed for an unknown time then Susan felt John leading her from the water and onto the bank. Several times they stopped for more kisses.
John began touching her. She moaned when he gently pinched her nipples. She felt her knees weaken when he rubbed her mound through her swimsuit bottoms. He just barely flicked her clit and it sent an electric tingle through her cunt.
They held hands and walked back to John's home. Susan didn't remember entering the house at all. One moment they were walking toward the house then they were inside. When she realized they were standing in the hallway of John's home she pushed him away and ran into his bedroom. She could hear him tromping along behind her.
When John came into his room Susan was standing beside his bed, chest heaving and trembling slightly. She felt how hard her nipples were. Her pussy felt wetter than it had ever been before. As John walked toward her she smiled and pushed her bottoms down. She stepped out of them and stood proudly staring at John. He had stopped and was just staring back at her. "My God, you're so beautiful," he said.
Finally John closed the distance between them and began kissing her again. His fingers were rubbing all over her body. She felt so hot, so sexy. While they were kissing Susan pushed John's trunks down. OMG, his cock was so hard and it was even a little larger than Tim's had been. There was something about Tim that drew her as a moth to a flame but she now wondered why she had taken so long to decide to go with John instead of Tim.
Susan knelt and took John into her mouth. She rubbed his cock while she licked up the under side and all around the head. It wasn't long before she felt him tense up and begin to thrust into her mouth. When she thought he was about to cum she stopped and crawled up onto the bed. She turned and laid on her back, knees drawn up and legs splayed out.
Susan laughed to herself and watched John stare at her cunt. She licked her lips and gave him her most sultry look. John just stood there so Susan raised her arm and made a come here gesture with her finger. John actually looked frightened when he crawled onto the bed beside her. He was so cute.
They began kissing once again and Susan felt John's hard cock against her thigh. While they kissed he thrust it repeatedly against her thigh leaving a wet spot there from his pre cum.
John was suckling her nipples and playing with her clit while he thrust against her. Finally Susan had all she could take and she said, "Dammit John, come on."
She pulled him toward her and he got the hint. John smiled and rose above her while Susan gently guided him between her legs. She tilted her pelvis up and smiled at him when she felt him thrust, then thrust again trying to find her hole. She gave an exasperated sigh then reached between them and guided John into her. "Slowly John. You have to work it in slowly please," she said.
John was so much more considerate than Tim or the other boys had been. Twice he had seen her grimace when he had pulled skin on the initial insertion. Both times he stopped and asked, "Are you ok? I'm not hurting you am I?"
Susan reassured him and said, "No, you're just so big. Now please, do it."
After he was fully inserted John began that age old thrusting. He was careful and considerate. He asked Susan if he was doing it right. "Oh, yes Honey. It's great." She said.
Susan felt her orgasm approaching and began to thrust madly against John. She locked her heels behind his thighs and slammed her cunt up against him. She began grunting out "Unh, Unh, Unh" every time he slammed into her and bottomed out. She came with a scream and held herself tightly against John while her cunt clasped and released him repeatedly.
As her final contractions were occurring Susan felt John slam into her one more time and hold himself tightly against her. He said, "UNNNNH" and she felt his cock pulsing as he pumped his load into her drooling cunt.
John was starting to relax and pull from her when he said, "OH, NO. Oh, god Susan, I forgot the rubber. Oh, Shit, Shit, Shit. I'm sorry Honey."
Susan struggled up beside him and wrapped her arms around him. She gave him a gentle kiss and said, "Don't worry about it John. I'm on the pill and everything's ok." John relaxed and collapsed back onto the bed. Susan lay beside him and snuggled against him. They drifted off into an after sex nap. When Susan woke she thought, 'this is perfect. I intend to wake up beside John like this for as long as I can.'
Two days later John saw her in town at the local hang out and they shared a booth while they drank cokes. John said, "I was so scared when we ... uh, well, I'm so sorry I didn't think about protection. I didn't know you were on the pill. When did you... ?"
Susan laughed and said, "Oh, John. That's just one of the things a girl does now. I got so scared after my first time. Tim wasn't as nice as you were. He just plowed into me and didn't ever even ask if he needed protection. You were so much more considerate..."
Susan stopped talking when she saw John's face. It had gotten red and he was almost shaking. "Tim? You mean you" he started to get up and Susan reached out and held his hand to keep him with her.
"John wait please. Yes, Tim copped my cherry. I'm sorry but we had sneaked up to your parent's swimming hole and he talked me into skinny-dipping. We had each drank three beers and I wasn't thinking straight. We went swimming and he kept playing with me much like you did the other day. He led me back onto the bank and pushed me down. I didn't really want him to but he just pushed me back and got between my legs. Before I knew it he had it in me. He was so rough I really didn't enjoy it but, well, I did sort of let him even if he didn't stop when I asked him to later. After that I got on the pill."
"I let a couple of other guys do it too because I liked them and because I ... Well, I really don't know why I let them but I did. But so what if you weren't my first? John I'm not a slut or anything. I'm with you now and that's where I'm going to stay if you let me. Does it really matter if we did something before we became a couple if we are true to each other now?"
John sighed and said, "No Susan I guess it really doesn't matter but I don't like the idea of you and some other guy doing it." Changing the subject John asked, "Have you got your class schedule yet? I pre enrolled the other day when you said you couldn't make it and a lot of the sessions were full already."
Susan sighed in disappointment. Her scholarship from A&M had been denied. The letter was nice and suggested she reapply later. She intended to reapply after her first semester but once again didn't tell John. She only said, "Yes. I enrolled yesterday and my schedule sucks. I think I got every session no one else wanted. I have mostly 8 a.m. classes or the last ones of the day."
The school year wasn't much. Both young people found that college was a lot different than high school. No one made you do homework or attend classes. Susan worked very hard and made straight A's. She secretly applied once again for A&M.
John on the other hand got a "gentleman C" in most of his classes. He finished his freshman year with a 2.68 GPA and was so embarrassed. He had been a 3.8 student in high school. Neither of his parents was too pleased with him either but his father only said, "Son, you're a man now and it's your life. You can make of it what you want but we know you are so much better than this. Your mother and I are very disappointed in you. I will only say you did not live up to your potential and you did not get your money's worth out of your tuition. You paid for an education and only got part of one this year."
His fathers' statement hurt John more than if he had yelled at him. He though about what had been said. It was his life. What, exactly, did he want of it? John remembered his childhood dreams of being a soldier. One day he was unable to get that thought out of his mind. That morning he had woke up thinking about the Army, then while eating breakfast he saw army commercials on the TV. While he was driving to town for his job he heard army commercials on the radio in his truck.
John blew off his job that day and drove to the Army Recruiting Office. Naturally the sergeant there was happy to see him and promised him he, too, could "Be all that he could be-in the Army". John signed the papers that day and returned home. He was happy, excited, scared, and apprehensive all at once.
When he told his parents what he had done they seemed pleased. Of course, his father had been in the Army for years before retiring so what did he expect. Susan, on the other hand was not so happy. When John told her he had enlisted she screamed at him, "What do you mean doing something like that without talking to me? Don't I matter to you at all? Dammit John, I want you to amount to something and you just went and threw it all away for a dream of being a soldier? How could you?"
Things were cool between John and Susan for the next two weeks. They got even cooler when he passed his physical and was given his report date. Susan did give him a tiring send off though the night before he left. Just before he got on the plane John hugged Susan and handed her a promise ring. She smiled and cupped his cheek with her right hand. She said, "Oh, John. You know how much I love you. How could you think I would ever forget you?"
Then she looked at the ring and handed it back to John. "John Honey. I don't need some little ring like this to know you belong to me. Just keep it and when you get back you can buy me a nicer one." John was puzzled by Susan's reaction and a little hurt. After he arrived at basic training though he rapidly became too busy to dwell on it.
Susan didn't even cry much when John left. She felt like he was deserting her and if that was the way he felt, well there were other fish in the sea. She dated Timothy a time or two but he was just too damn arrogant. The second time they went out she had to fight him off after she told him she didn't want to have sex yet. She never went out with him again. Of course, part of the reason she had refused to have sex with good ole Tim was because she had been accepted at A&M this time. She had been awarded a full ride scholarship. She didn't tell anyone she was leaving except for her parents.
The first anyone knew of her scholarship was when people began asking her parents how she was and where she was because they hadn't seen her around town for some time. John wasn't happy when she finally wrote and told him she had gotten the scholarship and moved to College Station TX to attend A&M.
As the semester progressed she wrote John less and less. John wrote her a long letter asking if something was wrong and spilling out his fears that she would forget him and dump him. By that time her romance with William Binghampton III was far enough along she felt safe in dumping John so she did.
Susan wrote John back and said, "John, I'm so sorry. I know I have been lax in writing my best friend in the whole world but I have been so busy. I have met and fallen in love with the most wonderful man and I think he is going to ask me to marry him. His family has several thousand acres outside of Dallas. They are into Oil, Cattle and many other businesses. With my degree I am sure I can fit into their business when I graduate and help make us even better off. John, I am so sorry to have to cut the strings like this but William saw your last letter the other day and became furious. He told me I could either have you as a friend or him as a boyfriend. I'm sorry. Please don't write me any more because I'm sure you don't want to upset my new boyfriend. I know what a nice man you are."
Susan never heard from John again. She was sad but also happy because he wasn't bothering her any longer and she could go on with landing a rich husband. Over Christmas break Susan moved into William's town house with him. It was fabulous! Granite counter tops, tile floors, deep pile carpet, solid wood paneling were only part of the charm. It also overlooked the most prestigious golf course in town and they were members of the country club.
Susan's world came crashing down on her just before school was out that year however. The old cliché about coming home early is true. Her last class of the day was cancelled and she walked into their home only to find William balls deep in some floozy. She screamed and yelled a lot then ordered the floozy to get out of her house.
William walked between the two arguing women and looked Susan in the eye. "This is MY house Susan and I don't appreciate you ordering my guests out of it. Sharon has been with me longer than you have so if anyone is going to leave it will be you. Now just get over your damn snit and leave us alone. You've spoiled the moment now anyway but maybe we can salvage something from it."
William turned to Sharon and said, "Shall we go somewhere else Honey or should we go back to my room?"
Sharon smiled and was reaching for William's hand when Susan made an error of the first magnitude for this relationship. She looked at the couple and her eyes were flashing with anger. "You slut," she said. 'Keep your skanky ass out of my bed. It's bad enough you try to take my man but"
William broke in on her conversation. He said, "That's it Bitch. Sharon and I are leaving. I want you to get all your cheap, trashy possessions out of my home before I get back. I don't know what gave you the impression you had the right to order me or my friends around in my house but make no mistake. You do not have that right and you no longer have any right to stay here. When you leave be sure you don't forget to leave the key."
William and Sharon returned to his bedroom, dressed and left. Susan sat on the couch crying for several minutes then began packing her belongings. She admitted they did look cheap and trashy compared to Williams but she had been working on him to get him to correct that problem.
Thankfully school was almost out so Susan talked one of her single friends into letting her crash at her place until then. Susan went home for the summer. Now she had to find another man as soon as she could. It wasn't going to be too easy either because, as a Junior most of the really good ones had already been hog-tied.
In mid July her mother gave Susan a letter from A&M. She broke down crying when she read it. In rather stilted language she was informed her grades and social activities were not up to the normal standards of Texas A&M so her scholarship had, unfortunately, been withdrawn. She knew she had no chance of winning an appeal when she saw the signature. It was signed "William Binghampton II, Chairman, Scholarship Committee".
Since she had no choice Susan enrolled in the local four-year institution for the fall semester. The available young men were of infinitely lower quality and financial position but at least she could finish her degree and perhaps latch onto a rising star.
Susan's next academic year was nothing to brag about. Oh, sure her grades were stellar. She was sitting on a 3.87 GPA but none of her dates were satisfactory. She rarely dated the same young man twice. There was always something wrong with them. She was not sure what she would do if things didn't improve.
In mid summer between her junior and senior year, things began looking up once more for Susan. She was walking down the street in her hometown when she heard her name called. The voice sounded vaguely familiar but from where? She turned and her heart stopped. She felt her face flush.
John Stevens was walking toward her with a huge grin on his face. "Susan, how are you? I thought you would be long gone now with that man you met in Austin. Are you home visiting or what?"
Susan felt her face get even hotter with her embarrassment. "Oh, John, no, I'm not with anyone. That louse lured me in with his sweet talking big city ways then cheated on me. I came home from class early one day and he had a woman in our bed. I was screaming and yelling at them and he told me she had been with him longer than I had and I had no right to tell her to get out of HIS house. We argued more and he ordered me to move out that day."
"That was almost the end of the semester so I stayed with a friend until the semester was over. That summer I got a letter here at home telling me I no longer qualified for a scholarship. Since I couldn't afford the out of state tuition there I go to Gosh Wotta U in Centerton now. What about you?"
Susan smiled when she saw John looking carefully at her left hand. She made sure she held it so he could see there were no rings on her ring finger. After they had stood and talked for a short time Susan allowed herself to be coerced into going to the local café to continue the conversation. Throughout the afternoons visit she would smile at him and touch him gently when she could do so.
While they were visiting Susan thought and thought until she found a memory sad enough to generate tears. When she began crying she whimpered, "Oh, John. I was so stupid. I dumped the most wonderful and considerate man in the world for such a jerk!"
John asked, "What about Tim. I haven't seen him yet. Do you see him any?"
Susan said, "No. Oh, I guess I do. You know a town this small you see almost everyone sooner or later. He is still at the University of Missouri and works in the mill summers but that is about all I know about him. I did date him a time or two in the summer but he just isn't my kind of people. We just don't click that way. He is a lot of fun but that's about it."
"Well Susan, since you aren't seeing anyone would you like to go to supper with me tonight? I really would like to catch up more and..."
Susan smiled and said, "Yes, John. I would love to go to supper with you. I don't deserve another chance but if you will give me one I promise you won't regret it."
Susan and John dated all the next year. She could tell he was getting very serious and she kept holding him at arms length in case someone better came along. At Christmas in her senior year John asked her to marry him. Susan said, "Oh, John I'm so honored but ... Well, I'm just not sure we're right for each other. You seem so much harder now than you were. Sometimes I think you forget you're not still a Sergeant in Afghanistan. I just need to be sure you love me for me and we can live together happily before we get married."
John looked crestfallen but he said, "Ok Honey. We'll wait. I'll prove to you I'm not a sergeant any longer and that I can be the man you need. Susan smiled to herself and heaved a silent sigh of relief. Another hurdle successfully negotiated. She had a little longer to find a better man. Susan did have two or three secret dates with potential replacements before she graduated but when she found out about their families she decided John and his family were her best option each time.
John finally got up the nerve to ask her to marry him again and Susan gave in. She sighed and said, "Yes John. You've convinced me. I'll marry you."
John smiled and reached into his pocket. He produced the largest diamond engagement ring Susan had ever seen. She squealed with joy and grabbed it. As she placed it on her finger she said, "Oh, John. I'm so happy. I'll never take this ring off. I love you so."
John majored in Agribusiness, minor in Mathematics. He had loved the military so much that he also joined Army ROTC and was to be commissioned in the Reserves after he graduated from college. In Truth this was one of the deciding factors for Susan to agree to marry him. If she couldn't land a better off man or a potential politician she was willing to settle for being a senior officer's wife.
John and Susan married Christmas Eve before he graduated from college in May. In June he left for his three-month Officer's Basic Course. He worked hard and was the top graduate. Finally he came home to a crying Susan. "Oh, John, I'm so happy you're home," she said.
One day in late April the next spring Susan followed John onto the patio after supper. She sat on his lap and said, "John Honey. I've been talking to some of the officer's wives in the Family Support Group. They told me you could request active duty orders when you are in the reserves. I think you should do that. You know there's no future here on the farm. All we will do is work ourselves to death for a few measly thousand dollars a year. You either need to get on active duty or you need to get a real job in town. The Colonel's wife-What's her name? Oh, well, no matter, she said you might find an entry level job in Centerton at one of the manufacturing companies there."
"Susan you know better than that. This place is my life. I love you and the reserves too but this is where we belong. I thought we had agreed on this before we got married. What's got you all worked up over it again?"
Susan blushed a little and gave John a small kiss. She said, "Oh, Honey I just want the best of us and for little Johnnie. I was at the doctor's today and..."
With a whoop John grabbed her and gave her a deep kiss. "You're pregnant? REALLY? That's great," he said.
Susan smiled and nodded her head yes. 'Damn, she thought. How am I ever going to get him off this damn farm? I don't want to work my ass off and look old before my time like most of these dried up old sows around here. I'm not sure there's enough money in the world to put up with this.'
Things settled down somewhat for Susan and John over the next few months. Their first child, Jessica was a sweetheart. She rapidly stole everyone's heart. About a year later, another bundle of joy arrived-Alex, the son John so dearly wanted.
By the time Alex was born John had been promoted to First Lieutenant in the reserves. He was a Combat Engineer and Susan began to worry. What if he was called to active duty? He might get killed and she and the children would be all alone.
The years passed, most of them pleasant, then came the second Iraqi Crisis. President Bush was threatening Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Then came the phone call she so dreaded. John's unit was mobilized and called up. In two days from the call he was gone. He had hurriedly made arrangements for Timothy to take over operating the farm for Susan, then kissed her and the kids and drove off to the reserve center. The last night he spent at home Susan held him after they went to bed and cried herself to sleep.
All John's family and many of his soldiers families were standing around the reserve center the day the unit was to depart. Susan ran to John and wrapped her arms around him. "John, please don't go," she said. "Tell them you can't go that you have to stay. Surely there's some way to stay. I have seen on TV that a lot of other soldiers are not being sent over when their units have to go. Why can't you stay home?"
John pushed Susan back from him and said, "Honey no unit ever leaves a soldier behind unless they are not qualified for deployment for some reason. That may be due to health or because of some major family problem or a lack of military education but that is the only way. I don't qualify for an exemption and it is my duty to go. I'll be fine." He bent and kissed her then followed his men onto the bus.
Susan stood and yelled into the open bus door. She said, "Damn you John. Please stay. Why are you abandoning the children and me? We need you here. I know you could get out of this if you wanted to."
John sighed and rose from his seat. He walked out of the bus and guided Susan away from the crowd. "Honey," he said. "I am a Citizen Soldier and a Farmer. I am protecting you and our children from tyranny just like the first soldiers did at Lexington and Concord. This is my job just as much, if not more than, as if I were home with you on the farm."
By now John was a Captain in command of his own company of combat engineers. He loved his job and his men. He knew Susan was hurt but he was surprised at how she had acted when they left the reserve center. As the weeks passed he sent e-mail almost daily to Susan and his children. Susan very rarely responded. When she did she laid a guilt trip on him over his leaving and because she had so much work to do on the farm. She said Timothy just didn't have time to run their farm, his small farm and the feed store.
Susan was so vocal in her anger at John that many of his and her friends in town began to avoid her. She took every opportunity to complain about how he mistreated her and the children, about how he had deserted them. One of their friends, however, showed his compassion and understanding of her predicament. Timothy Geitner began to call Susan in the evenings even when he did not have business to discuss with her. Then he began to drop by her home unexpectedly "just to check on her".