The screen door slammed open and Mrs. Fielding heard running footsteps then a young voice said, "MAMMA, MAMMA there's a new girl in school and the teacher made her sit by me. I think she's nice. She rode the school bus home tonight and sat by me and everything. She said her daddy was the new preacher. Can I have her come over sometime and play?"
Janice Fielding smiled and pulled her 6-year-old son into her lap as he slid to a stop beside her chair. "Slow down Son," she said. "I'm glad you made a new friend. Why don't you tell me all about her while we wait for time to make supper? After her parents have time to get settled in their new home we'll talk about having her and her family come visit."
After Alex had run out of things to say about his new friend Janice asked, "Now, do you have homework you need to do young man?" When Alex nodded his head yes she said, "Well you know the rules. You have to do homework before anything else. Now get busy young man."
Alex's older sister Barbara wandered into the room to see her mother as Alex walked dejectedly into the kitchen to do his homework. Mrs. Fielding smiled at her 9-year-old daughter when she saw her rolling her eyes over her brother's antics. Janice began thinking about the new family. The moving van she had seen leaving town last Friday must have been the one they had used to deliver their furniture.
She needed to go welcome the new folks to the area and help them feel at home. She was glad they had a child Alex's age. There weren't many children living near enough for Alex and Barbara to visit and play with conveniently. Janice decided she would just make a nice cake and she and Alex would take it down when they were finished with their supper. They only lived about two miles from town on the small family farm that had been in her husband's family since 1882. It would only be a short drive and she wanted to meet the people anyway.
Later that evening Mr. Fielding came rattling up on the combine as she was putting the food on the table. He was in the middle of harvesting their soybeans so she knew he wouldn't be interested in going with them. During the meal she told him she was going to town for a short time after supper. Before she could say why young Alex once again began talking.
"Yeah Dad. There's a new girl in school and Mama thinks they moved into that old house on the edge of town last week. That's where she got off the school bus tonight. My teacher told her to sit by me and she asked me to take care of her. She's real pretty. Can I have her come over and play?"
Donald Fielding looked at his wife and smiled. Then he turned to Alex and said, "Of course you can son but you need to remember she may not want to spend a lot of time with you here. After all, she may be a city girl and may not like to play the same games you do. She may want to do things with her girl friends."
Before he left to go back to the field Donald walked around the table and leaned down to give his wife a gentle kiss. She held his hand to her breast and looked deeply into his eyes as he started to stand. She felt her pussy moisten and smiled gently. Even after all these years this man could stir her so deeply just with his touch. She constantly prayed Alex and Barbara would one day find a mate that did that to them. She loosened her grip and watched him stand so tall.
He said, "I'll probably be late again tonight. I still have almost 200 acres to cut and I'll work as long as it's dry enough. Have to get the beans in so I can get ready to plant the wheat. Janice was a little sad because she felt he was much too young to look as tired and worn out as he did. She knew he loved his life here on the farm but it was a hard one. Even with her help one man had trouble working the whole 1640 acres, especially during the busy parts of the year. She once again looked into his eyes as she whispered, "I love you honey. You be careful out there while we're gone. Please try to get in early. I don't want you getting hurt because you're too tired and get careless."
Alex could barely wait for his mother and sister to finish cleaning up after supper. "Come on Mom," he said. "It's getting late. Let's go."
Finally everything was done to his mother's satisfaction and she smiled down at Alex. "OK Honey. Go get in the car and we'll go. Do you want to come also Barbara?"
During her visit with the new family Alex's mother found out that Alice was an only child and that her father had grown up in the town. She had met and married Don at college and even after eleven years living in Steelville she didn't know everyone or the names of many of the children that had grown and moved out of town.
Alice's grandmother still lived in the house Mr. Fowler was raised in. He had been pastor in a small church near where he went to college until his mother had told him that the town's only surviving Church was looking for a new minister. He applied and got the job. It didn't pay much because the congregation was small but he wanted to move back home so he took the position. He and his wife were looking for part time work to help support the family. They planned to stay in town indefinitely.
That was the start of Alex's long friendship with Alice Fowler. Like most young people their friendship waxed and waned as they grew and matured. Alex had the same thoughts about Alice as he did other girls. When he was younger they were fun to play with just like one of the boys. Then as she and he aged she became a "dumb ole Girl" for several years.
Because her father was the minister of the towns' church she attended services with her family three times a week. She and her family were very busy with church business, visitation, weddings, and funerals. Reverend Fowler and his wife became honored and respected members of the community. They were always helping a family with problems. They used the church to foster many beneficial programs including an after school program for the young people in the area. At this program Alex and Alice became even better friends. They told everyone that would listen that they were going to marry each other. Then, of course, came the "dumb ole girl" stage and their "love" for each other cooled for several years.
Many of the town's parents worked out of town because Steelville was so small. In fact it had became a bedroom community and most parents worked in factories or stores in one of the two larger cities 22 and 40 miles away respectively.
Mrs. Fowler decided she would open a day care center in the church for the children of the community. She would take a child on an ongoing weekly basis or occasionally as the parents required. Eventually she had so many children in her day care she had to hire help. Her income from this was more than enough to make life for the Fowler family very comfortable when it was added to Reverend Fowlers pay from the church.
One of the ladies she hired was Alice's Grandmother. This was where Alex met her. Occasionally his mother needed to run to town for something or she and his father wanted to go somewhere alone and they used the church's babysitting service. As he aged Alex didn't need much supervision but they sent him there until he was old enough to stay home alone. This is where he first met Hope Fowler. He adopted her as his honorary grandmother and she seemed to fall in love with him. Many times Alex would just go visit Hope on his own. As he aged they would play board games or occasionally croquet. Many times his friend Alice would join them.
Like most children as they aged Alice, Alex and their other friends of similar age became curious about the opposite sex. From time to time they would sneak away from the day care center to either Grandma Hope's home or one of the other houses and play show and tell. He knew it was wrong but for a long time he wasn't sure why that was. Of course by the time they were in their early teens Alex knew why it was wrong but it was so much fun he never even considered not doing it if Alice would agree. By the time Alice and Alex were 14 they had no secrets from each other. They had started touching each other's bodies that year.
From that time on they occasionally played with each other. Sometimes there were other boys or girls with them when they either went skinny-dipping in the local stream or sneaked away to have some dirty fun. Alice always seemed to have many more male friends than she did female ones. In truth she was the ringleader when it came to sex games.
Just before they were 16 Alice taught Alex how to jack off and how to play with a girl's pussy and tits. He was always very excited and very scared when they were naked together. The first time Alex gave Alice an orgasm he was scared he hurt her. "No you dummy," she said. "That felt wonderful. I screamed because you made me feel so good. Feel how wet you made my pussy," she said as she guided his hand to her pussy once more.
Alex was awestruck. He had never seen a girl's pussy that wet before. He began playing with it again and Alice began moaning and thrusting her hips toward him, trying to get more of his fingers into her little cunny. Alex felt good, almost like a man. Alice had one more little orgasm then pushed Alex away. She took hold of his small hard cock and began jacking it. Alex lost his concentration and quit playing with her. All his attention was centered on his cock and what she was doing to it. All at once he tensed up and felt his cock pulsing as he shot what little cum he contained onto Alice's hand.
Alex watched in awe as she raised her hand to her mouth and licked it clean. "Why did you do that Alice," he asked?
I have been watching some of Daddy's movies and all the girls in them do that. If they suck the boys they let them do it in their mouth and then swallow it. I just wanted to see what it tasted like."
"WOW," Alex said. "You mean they put ... I mean I didn't know that you could do that. Will you do it for me sometime?"
"Well maybe. I'm not sure I would want that thing in my mouth but I might. I just wanted to taste it right now," Alice said.
Shortly after that evening Alice refused to play with the boys in a group any longer. She was getting older and more modest about her body. She had also taken up that time-honored pastime of many young girls-Prick Teasing. Alice turned 16 later that summer, as did Alex. One evening when Alex was in town he saw Alice in a car with one of the older boys that lived in town. She was kissing him then later he saw her bend her head down and put it in his lap. The next day he asked her about it and she told him Jason was her boy friend. Alex was heart broken. He had been trying to get his parents to let him use the car one evening so he could take Alice on a date. They told him he was too young to drive at night.
Before long Alice quit going with Jason and went with another boy. Alex saw her with several boys over the next several months but none of the relationships seemed to last long. Rumors about how easy Alice was began to circulate through out the school and finally the town. Alex didn't believe them though because Alice was his friend and he knew she wouldn't do the things the boys said she did. Finally, to his great pride, Alex's parents decided he was a good enough driver that they would trust him to use the car after dark. He did have an 11 p.m. curfew however. The next time he found out Alice was without a boyfriend Alex asked her for a date. He was so happy when she said yes.
They started dating the spring of their junior year in high school. They went steady until the Christmas break of their senior year of high school. They played all the games young lovers do. On their first date while they were driving down the street in town Alice reached over and unzipped Alex's pants. She drug his cock out and before he could ask her what she was doing she had bent down and slipped her lips over it. He felt her head bobbing up and down while her tongue caressed his cock. Like most young men he shot off very fast. Alice swallowed it all then kissed the head of his cock and put him away.
When Alice sat back up in her seat she looked at Alex and gave him a little smile then licked her lips. After they cruised the streets a while they went out to his grandparent's resort and walked along the riverbank. They found a secluded spot and Alice let him unbutton her top and play with her bare breasts. Alex knew he was in love with Alice after that night. All he could think of was her and how much fun she was.
Finally over the thanksgiving break of their senior year of high school Alice had let Alex make love to her. This was his first time and he thought he had died and gone to heaven. He had sneaked out a key to one of the cabins in the family's resort and they spent their whole date there. Alice let him get her completely naked and lay while he worshipped her young 17-year-old body.
They began kissing and fondling then Alice pushed Alex's head toward her engorged nipples. She moaned and pressed her breasts toward him when he sucked on them. He was fingering her dripping cunt while he did that. Later Alice pushed his head lower and pulled him against her wet cunt. Alex tentatively licked her there then pulled his head back. It didn't taste bad but she was a little strong, acidic tasting. He didn't like the taste but he sure liked how slick it was. He licked her some more and when she began whimpering again he rose over her and moved his cock toward her treasure. Alice smiled as she guided him to her portal. She looked him in the eyes when he began thrusting, feeding his cock into her young tight cunt.
Alex felt indescribable. It was so hot and wet and tight. This had to be the best feeling in the whole world. Now he knew why all the older boys and some of the girls talked about it so much and loved it so much. He felt his balls drawing up near the base of his cock. He tightened his muscles and drove harder and faster into young Alice. Then it happened. He knew it was happening and he groaned out in pleasure then felt his spunk spew from the end of his cock as it contracted and released over and over. He held himself tightly against Alice as he spent himself. Alice was moaning and thrusting her hips against him, pulling him tighter to her with her heels locked behind his thighs.
Unfortunately, like most young men he didn't last long enough in this, his first time. While he was grunting out his orgasm Alice looked up at him and hit him on the shoulder. "NO, Not yet. Oh, Alex how could you? I'm just barely getting started. I'm not there yet. Damn you why didn't you wait for me?"
Alex was so embarrassed he could have died. He blushed and began apologizing while his now limp cock slipped out of Alice. "Honey, I'll make it up to you. Just give me a minute or two to rest."
She sat up on the edge of the bed and glared at him. "No Alex. Just take me home. I'll take care of it myself. Why I believed you could take care of me is beyond me. You didn't learn anything from those other girls did you?"
"What do you mean? How was I supposed to learn anything from them," Alex asked.
"Well most girls try to teach their lovers how to take care of a woman. You mean none of them told you what to do for them or to hold back until they were ready to cum? You didn't even remember much about what we did when we were at day care. I just can't believe you."
"Alice, honest, there weren't any other girls," he said.
Alice looked at him in shock and said, "Yeah, right. Don't feed me that line. I've seen you out with several girls from school."
Alex blushed a little and replied, "Well yeah, but you're the first one I've..." Alex said.
"Oh my GOD you mean I got your cherry?" Alice screamed. "Oh my gosh. I can't believe you haven't done this before. Oh, this is just too good."
By now Alex was feeling upset and embarrassed. He just got out of the bed and began dressing. While Alice dressed he straightened up the room then, again without speaking they walked to his truck and he took Alice home. He didn't even try to kiss her when she jumped out and ran into her house. He called her three days later for another date but she refused. She said she had to do a church thing and maybe next time. Alice did date Alex twice more before Christmas break but she didn't seem nearly as anxious for him to take her out. She didn't let him make love to her but she did let him play with her pussy and breasts. She was telling him what she liked and guiding him while he touched her.
The week before Christmas Alex called to see if Alice would go out with him that Saturday. Alice told Alex she couldn't go out then because they were busy at the church getting it ready for Christmas services. Alex was upset but this was not something new. Lately when he called Alice she had been refusing a lot. She said she had been helping her parents a lot more frequently with church business since thanksgiving. She said now that she was older they trusted her more and wanted her to help with the important holiday preparations.
Since he didn't have a date the Saturday before Christmas Alex just went down town to hang with his friends. They were walking from the pool hall over to the small quick pick store. They cut through the church parking lot and heard shrieks coming from one of the cars parked there. They walked up and looked in the window. Alice was in the back seat and Jason, one of her first boyfriends, was slamming his cock to her. She was moaning and groaning loudly.
The boys watched while her hips thrust up against Jason when he thrust downward. Her heels were locked behind his thighs and her hands were rubbing and clawing at his back as she wailed. They heard him groan and say, "Unhhhh. Oh GOD you are so good. I can't believe you called me back though. I thought you said you were going to get Alex to marry you and were done with us guys?"
"Oh, I am going to marry Alex honey. He just doesn't know it yet. I just needed some of your loving because Alex is the absolute worst fuck in the world. I've been trying to teach him something but I just have to have some on the side at least until he learns how to satisfy a woman."
Alex was heartbroken. He listened to the slap, slap, slap of Jason's and Alice's bellies coming together. Tears began to course down his cheeks. He turned without a word and walked away from the car. His friends looked first at him then through the window, then back at him. It was obvious they really wanted to stay and watch Alice get fucked but finally they decided to go with Alex and try to console him.
When they caught up with him Jack, his oldest and best friend said, "Hey man. She's a skank. Always was and always will be. Hell, she has fucked almost every boy in town and most of them in our class. I thought you knew and were just trying to get some too."
Alex turned to him and snarled, "Just shut up. I thought she was special. Now I know I was just a mistake. Well fuck her. She can just die and go to hell." The boys went back to the pool hall and shot a few more games then all went home.
Alex never called Alice again. After three weeks school started for spring and he saw her in the hallway their first day back. She tried to talk to him but he just walked around her and kept going. Alice stood in the middle of the hallway and stared after him. She looked shocked and there were tears in the corner of her eyes.
Her girlfriends watched in silence too then one of them asked, "What was that all about Alice? I thought you were going steady with Alex? He doesn't know about your dates with Jason and the guys does he?"
Alice was crying when she replied, "I don't know. We've been careful to not go where he is and I never let them take me anywhere we might be seen. I just don't know what's wrong."
That evening after class Alice was waiting beside Alex's truck when he walked out to go home. He tried to get into the truck without talking to her but she wouldn't move. Finally he looked at her and said, "What do you want?"
"I want to know why you haven't called me and why you just ignored me today? I thought we were going steady?"
"I don't think so Alice. I heard what you said to Jason before Christmas. I saw you fucking him in the church parking lot and I don't want anything else to do with you. Now will you get out of my way so I can go home? I have a lot of work to do before I can finish my homework".
Alice collapsed on the parking lot and held her head in her hands. She was crying and wailing at Alex. "Oh Alex please don't do this. I want to be with you but I need a good fucking once in a while. I know I can be your woman after you learn how to take care of me. I really don't like the other boys but you just need to learn how to make love. I'll teach you but honey..."
Alex broke in and said, "NO! I don't want anything to do with a SKANK. I had heard rumors but I didn't believe them. I thought you were a nice girl and I wanted to be with you. Now I don't. Just get the hell away from me." He reached down and pulled Alice up from the ground. He guided her over to the sidewalk and returned to his truck to head home.
Alice walked home dejectedly, tears streaming down her cheeks. As she was passing her grandmother's home the old lady saw her and called out to her. "Child what ever is the matter with you? Come in here and tell me about it."
Alice slowly walked up to the porch and inside the old house. Her grandmother led her to the living room and sat down beside her on the couch. "Now tell me what's wrong honey."
Alice looked at her and began crying again. She said, "Alex saw me and Jason at church the Saturday before Christmas and he broke up with me today. He called me a Skank and said he didn't want anything else to do with me."
Mrs. Fowler looked at Alice a moment then said, "Alice what do you mean he saw you at church Saturday before Christmas? I don't remember having church that day. What were you doing there?"
"Oh grandma. Jason and I were in his car behind the building talking and..."
"Alice Fowler what were you doing going out with Jason again. I thought we all told you to stay away from that young man. Why would Alex call you a skank because you were talking to Jason ... Alice are you sure you were talking to Jason? I've been hearing some pretty unflattering things about you lately. Did you maybe do something Alex didn't think his girl friend should be doing?"
Alice looked at her grandmother and then ran from her house crying once again. The old lady watched her leave and said to herself, "I'm sorry boy. I know my granddaughter is a Skank and I'm sorry you got hurt by her."
That evening seemed to be a watershed for Alice. She became less careful to hide her screwing around. It became common knowledge that any boy that got her alone could fuck her. If rumors could be believed she became an exceptionally good piece of ass too. She seemed to have a natural talent for fucking and loved men. Many times she let it be known that the more men she could have that night, the merrier. She almost became a gangbang queen.
Alice always had a wonderful singing voice. From the time she was 9 years old she had sang in the church choir. Many Sunday's during the service she sang a solo. When Alice sang anywhere people would stop to listen in rapture. All were amazed and uplifted by the pure clear sound coming from her mouth. Over the years the choir became so good that they traveled to perform. Slowly rumors began to circulate about Alice and some of the men in the choir and some of the men and boys she met during these trips. Wives, girlfriends and mothers began to complain when they saw their husband, boyfriend or son talking to Alice. They knew she was on the prowl again and wanted to protect their men from her. One Tuesday night just after choir practice the wife of the choir director caught him and Alice having sex in the church.
This was the last straw. Alice was excommunicated from the church and her father was asked to keep her out of the church building. Eventually the people in town turned away from Alice and her parents. Attendance at the services declined. Her father had to give up the ministry and her mother got fewer and fewer children to watch at the day care center. The consensus of opinion was that if they couldn't raise Alice better than they had no one wanted them influencing their children. In fact, several of the local men began wondering if, perhaps, Reverend Fowler was just a little too friendly with their wives.
Of course the wife of the Choir director divorced her husband and named Alice in the filing. The pictures she had of Alice and her husband somehow got circulated all over town. Since Alice's parents couldn't make a living in the small town they finally moved away. Eventually her father found another church to pastor but he never got another church even as large as the one in Steelville. Alice stayed with her grandmother part of the summer then went away to college. Her few remaining weeks in town were not very pleasant because none of the women and few of the men would talk to her. The men that did talk to her made it obvious they were only interested in one thing.
Alex didn't speak to Alice again after that evening at school until his second year in college. He graduated as the Valedictorian and won a scholarship to the University of Missouri. One evening he was walking back to his apartment after studying in the library when he heard a woman screaming and crying.
When he got closer to the center of a courtyard he found the sound was coming from the center of a large clump of bushes. He heard a vaguely familiar voice saying "NO, don't. That hurts. I don't do anal. PLEASE STOP IT. PLEASE."
Alex broke through the hedge and bushes. He saw a tall black man trying to get his cock into the ass of a very cute white coed. Without thinking Alex pulled the black student up and pushed him away. "The lady said stop. You going to get the hell out of here or are we going to have trouble asshole?"
"Hey man. Stay cool. Dis HO been doin' all the team. It jus my nite and now she doan wanna put out tha bootie. I wasn't a gonna hurt her none. Hell most of da Ho's like it once they start takin it inna ass. Shit. Fuck yo Bitch." He pulled his pants up and walked off through the bushes leaving Alex and the girl alone.
As Alex was turning around he heard the girl say, "Thank you. I thought I knew ... ALEX? OH MY GOD, It is you. Thank you so much."
Alex got a good look at the girl for the first time and saw it was Alice. "Well Alice, if I had known it was you I might have just gone on by. Still fucking around I see. You really need to be more careful. You could get hurt sometime or catch a serious disease. Bye." Alex turned and walked out the way the colored boy had gone. He heard Alice sniffling in the background but never looked back.
Two weeks later when he got home from class he found Alice sitting on the steps to his apartment. He started to turn away when Alice said, "Alex, please can't we just talk? That's all; I just want someone to talk to. Please?"
Alex sighed and said, "I suppose. Come on in."
Alice said, "Thank you. And thank you again for what you did that night on the quad. It seems like all my boyfriends lately have been real assholes. None of them are anywhere near as nice as you were. I really miss just having you around to talk to. Remember all those conversations we used to have?"
Alex thought back to their childhood and smiled. He remembered the little girl he first met in grade school and all the fun they had. As they got older he remembered all the times they were at one house or another studying and just hanging out. He looked at the beautiful woman now sitting on his couch and smiled. "Yes," he said. "Sometimes I remember those days and wish we could go back to them. But we can't."
"Alex, I know I screwed up with you and I'm sorry but please, can't we just visit sometimes? I am so lonesome here and I don't go home much. I don't seem to get along with people back there very well and not many of the girls here will have anything to do with me."
Alex didn't say so but he was sure her problems were caused by her willingness to fuck anything with a dick. Naturally no woman would want her around their men because they would be afraid she would try to steal them. Of course her causing the choir director's divorce didn't endear her to people in Steelville either. In any event, he did feel sorry for her and agreed to visit with her if he could find the time.
Alice jumped up and said, "Oh, thank you." She gave him a kiss on the cheek and started out the door. "Oh, here are my phone number and address. Please call me?"
She turned once again and left him standing there watching her bounce down his sidewalk. He thought again she was so beautiful and had such a nice personality. He wondered how she could be such a skank.
That was the beginning of their time together at college. They never dated and never even thought about having sex with each other. Their relationship was as near platonic as a male and female could be. Alex decided it was at least good he could have Alice in his life as a friend.
One night after ten p.m. Alex heard a banging on his door. When he turned on the light he saw Alice sitting on his steps. She was huddled over crying. Alex opened the door and walked out to Alice. He gathered her into his arms and helped her up and into his apartment. He said, "Alice what's the matter? Are you OK?"
Alice looked in his face and said, "Oh, Alex I did it again. I just couldn't help myself and went dancing with a boy from one of my classes. My fiancé caught us at the bar and followed us to his apartment. He waited for me and when I came out he took my ring and told me to forget about him that he didn't need a cheating bitch for a wife."
Alex held her until she quit crying then he asked, "Alice honey. You know running around on your boyfriends is wrong. You know it always ends up like this. Why in the heck do you do it?"
"Alex I just can't help it. I don't care how much I like the man I'm with. After a while I get bored. The sex gets to be the same every night. I know what he will do to me and how he will do it. I just need more. I need the excitement of a different lover from time to time. I know it's wrong but I just can't help myself. When a really hot guy comes onto me I don't even think. I just feel the excitement of the new relationship and before I know it I go out with him."
Alex sighed and held her until she fell asleep. He laid her back on his couch and covered her with a blanket then went back to bed. By the time Alex got up the next morning Alice was gone. He found a note on his refrigerator. It said, "Alex, thank you for being a good friend. I'm sorry I bothered you again. We will graduate soon and I won't see you again probably so thank you. I think in my way I love you. I think I love you more than I ever have any other man. If I can ever beat this affliction I have I will look you up once more. Love, Alice"
Although Alex had dated some during his college years he never found the right girl. Some of them came close and there was one he thought was special until she found he had to do 4 years Active Duty with the Navy when he graduated. When she found that out she left him. About two weeks after he found Alice on his doorstep during his last semester of college it came to a head.
When Alex told his girlfriend he had been selected for active duty she looked at him and said, "Alex you know my father was in the Navy. He was gone all the time. He was never home for mother and us kids. He spent 20 years and retired. I watched my mother die inside every time he deployed. I heard her cry night after night because he was out drinking and whoring around with the other officers. We heard several times that when he was over seas he went to the bars and did the bar girls. Mother loved him and put up with it. I won't. I will never marry a military man. I would have made an exception for you if you had been selected for reserve service but not active duty. I'm sorry. We might have had a chance except for that. Every nice man I have ever seen in the Navy is at risk and the mercy of the B Girls. I know a lot of them never succumb but I won't take the chance. Good bye Alex." She gave him a gentle kiss and walked away, never even looking back. She refused to take his phone calls after that. A couple of weeks later he saw her out with one of their classmates and finally gave up on her.
Alex had some trouble keeping his mind on his studies for a couple of months after Petra dumped him. Finally, after mid term grades were posted his Professor of Naval Science called him into his office. What started out as a dressing down quickly became a combination of dressing down and commiseration. The PNS said, "Alex I know this hurts right now but you have to snap out of it. If there is a bright side to this it may be you found out now instead of after you were married. You could have a bright future ahead of you but you have to buckle down and study now. I have been divorced and I am sure my career was a big part of that. Not all women are like your girl friend or my first wife though. All I can say is for you to keep looking. Now get back to your apartment and do some studying. Good luck."
That little pep talk helped and Alex began doing better. He studied hard and passed all his courses that semester. He graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Agribusiness. He was commissioned in the Navy Supply Corps when he graduated. He went home for two weeks after college then went away for four years of Navy service.
One of the last stops he made before he left was to "Grandma" Fowler. Even though Alice had treated him so badly she still looked at him as one of hers. When she hugged him good bye she said, "Alex you're one of the good ones. You always treated me so nicely and took better care of me than my blood relatives did. I pray I am still here when you come back but if I'm not, remember me and that I loved you like one of my own." Alex looked over his shoulder when he opened her yard gate and saw the tears running down her cheeks. She stood with her hand raised waving good-bye until he was out of sight.
After Alex left his home to see the big world there were many women in his life. Most of them were one-night stands and yes, like many Navy men there were a lot of Bar Girls but he was always careful and used a rubber. Aids was nothing to take a chance with. By the time he was separated from Active Duty Alex had at least a Masters Degree in plain and fancy fucking. It had been years since a woman had left his bed unsatisfied.
Alex took his time returning home from his last duty station. He drove his new quad cab F250 Powerstroke across country. If he saw something he wanted to see he stopped. If he found a place he liked he stopped for a while. He met so many friendly people he lost count. If truth be told he was looking for a place to light. He knew his parents were getting older and really wanted him to return to the family farm but he just wasn't sure what he wanted. None of the women he had met were what he was looking for and none of the places he saw were where he wanted to stay so he kept moving, getting ever closer to home.
Finally, just after noon one Thursday he topped the rise that had hidden his hometown of Steelville from sight. He slowed down as he rolled into town. He had only been home once in the four years he had been in the Navy. He hadn't been home at all in the last three years. As far as he could see not much had changed. The pool hall was still open but the quick pick and café were closed. There were some new houses but some of the old ones were gone.
Alex slowly drove through town and out the road toward his parent's home. He was looking forward to seeing them but...
When he got home his father was in the field like he normally was during much of the season and his mother was sitting in the sunroom with her ice tea. She hadn't seen him drive up and when he opened the door to enter the house she called, "Don is that you? Is something wrong Honey?"
When she saw Alex step into the room she sat her tea down so hard it turned over and spilled. She was out of her chair and running to him before she even noticed it. "Oh, Alex. You're home. Why didn't you let us know you were coming home? Your father is out somewhere. Are you out of the Navy or is this just a visit?"
"I'm out Ma. I thought about staying but ... Well, like I have told you in my letters I like the Navy but some of the Bullshit I just can't put up with. I am going to stay in the reserves though. That will be a nice little income every year and if I can stay for my 20 years it will be a pretty nice retirement check when I turn 60. Now if I can just decide what I want to do..."
"Well, Honey there's always the farm. I know your father has always wanted you to have it and to keep it in the family for at least another generation. He was talking to me about that just last week. It is getting harder for both of us to do everything as we get older. He's 58 now and with the hard life he's led he is getting around a little worse every year."
"Your cousins and Uncles are still busy with the Feed and Farm Supply store as well as the resort but none of them are interested in helping around here. They had to close the little lunch counter in the store because they needed the room for a higher profit stock. We all got to going there after the café closed when Bessie got too ill to run it. No one in town wanted to put in a café or bother with the little coffee shop so they were just closed. Other than that I guess everything is about the same as when you were here last."
"We'll see Ma. Lord knows I like it here. I have been out almost a month now and just took my time driving home. I was looking for a place to live and a job I wanted to do but nothing jumps out at me like this place does. I think I have enough money stashed away to be able to take my time finding a position. Of course the few shares I have in the business will help with income if I need it."
Over the next couple of weeks Alex made the rounds. He renewed old acquaintances and reconnected with his extended family. From time to time when he drove to the family store he would look at the old quick pick store and the large unused building next to it. Part of that building had been the local café before it closed. The rest had been a feed store at one time. It almost made him sick to see those buildings and the pool hall next door falling into disrepair.