It all came down to a simple matter of choice ... a choice between taking the freeway or wandering down a bunch of back roads, but still ending up at the same place with a bit more of my sanity in tact. I decided I had seen enough endless concrete ribbons to last for a while and so I turned off on the "long way" to my destination. Once I was headed down the small blacktopped road, I kicked back and put my feet up on the high pegs, feeling the wind in my hair and I know I had a grin from ear to ear. The gas tank was full and there was no schedule to keep ... could things get any better?
I'd been riding for about 15 minutes when it dawned on me I hadn't seen a single house, barn or any sign of civilization since I had turned onto the back road. Up ahead I saw a figure walking down the road headed the same direction I was headed and the closer I got, the more I discerned the person was limping. As I passed by I observed it was a female who wasn't wearing any shoes. She had on shorts which just came below the cheeks of what looked like a really cute butt and a top that struggled to hold her generous breasts in check. The way she was limping, I got the feeling she wasn't out there by choice so I stopped and turned around. When I was beside of her I stopped and turned off the motor. Her face was dirty and even though she kept her head down, I noticed she'd been crying. From what I could tell she was attractive, but being as hot and sweaty as she was with dirt covering her legs, arms and face, it was difficult to really guess how nice she looked.
She lifted her head a little and her hair covered part of her face. She looked at me with what I thought was fear on her face. I smiled as I asked her, "Hi. My name is Jake. May I offer you a lift?"
She mumbled something and it was then I noticed she had dried blood on one side of her mouth and through her hair I could see her left eye was almost swollen shut. I told her I didn't hear her and would she repeat what she said. She said a little louder, "No, its best you keep going."
I pointed at her feet and commented, "Looks like you really don't have much left if you are going to try and keep walking. Please let me give you a lift ... at least until the next gas station or something."
She at last looked straight at me and I could see she was trying to decide if she wanted to go with me or not. Finally she spoke, "Look, I don't want you to get hurt. You really do need to keep going."
I knew she was probably telling me the truth, but I hated to see her left out here in the middle of nowhere. "Who is going to hurt me? You?"
That brought a little grin and then she quickly put her hand to her mouth, "Ouch!
It hurts when I smile."
"It's part of the reason why you need to keep going."
I am not really that macho, but looking at this beat up little gal had riled up my anger some and I wanted to try and protect her if I could. With more macho than I was feeling, I replied, "I'm a big boy. I can take care of myself. I can see you need help and from the way you look, I guess there might be a little danger involved. I'm willing to chance it." I paused and then lowered my voice a little. "Let me give you a ride ... please?"
The nod of her head was almost imperceptible. I reached my left boot down and kicked the kick stand down and rested the big bike on the stand. I opened up one of the saddle bags and rummaged around until I found a pair of Crocks I had. I pulled them out and then extended them towards her. "Here, you need to put these on. I can't have you riding without some sort of foot protection. These are not the best, but they are better than nothing."
She took the shoes from my hand and dropped them to the ground. Slipping her feet into them, she could see how her feet were swimming in them. Finally she looked up at me and once more I saw her cute grin and again she quickly put her hand to her mouth, grimacing in pain. "What happened?" I asked as I pointed towards her lip.
"A disagreement ... I told him I was leaving and he disagreed."
"And you're concerned he might find you with me and try and make things hard for me?"
She nodded her head. "Yeah ... he's really mean and you don't say no to Jerry. He has put a lot of men in the hospital from fights. You might say Jerry is kind of a law unto himself around here."
"Jerry? That's your old boyfriend?"
"Soon to be ex-husband if I ever get away."
I extended my hand and helped her onto the back of the bike. I slipped my leg over the tank and fired it up. I turned the bike around in the road and we headed off. I turned my head and spoke to her over my shoulder. "I told you my name was Jake ... what's yours?"
Her voice was soft and I had to strain to hear her over the wind. "My name is Nancy but all my friends call me Skip."
"Please to meet you Skip." We rode for a while and I called back over my shoulder, "How long have you been with your husband?"
"Just over 3 years ... why, are ya writing a book or something?" There was a period of silence and then I hear her say, "I'm sorry, that was rude. It's been a long time since a guy treated me with any sort of respect or was concerned about me. Forgive please."
"I don't care what the deal is or who you are; I just have a problem with any guy who thumps on a woman. Am I correct in assuming this was not the first time he hit you?" I felt her nod her head against my back. "Where were you going?"
"Any place you can go?"
"Naw, parents are both dead. No brothers or sisters, I was just running away. I have no place to go – it was not planned. It got to the place where I had enough."
As I rode along I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into. I knew I hadn't decided to seek this bird out and try and take on any of her problems. But now that she was a part of my life, I just couldn't walk off and leave her. We rode along for almost half an hour when we burst out of the trees and came into a clearing. There was a bar set back off the road and surrounded by a large parking lot. I was thirsty and wanted to stretch my legs so I pulled into the lot and stopped under a tree in back of the unpaved parking lot. Skip climbed off the back of the bike and I pushed down the kick stand. As I stood beside of her, I noticed how much larger I was then her. I am a couple of inches over six feet and she must have been just a little over six inches shorter.
I asked her to please wait by the bike and I went off in search of the men's room. Once I found it I pulled off several pieces of paper towel from the roll and got a couple of them wet. When I took them back to Skip, I first offered her one of the wet ones. "I thought you might like to clean up a bit before we went in." I didn't want to tell her I was concerned somebody in the bar might think I was the one who gave her the fat lip.
Carefully she placed the wet towel against her lip and held it there. When the towel touched her face she winced in pain. She tried to wipe as much of the dried blood as she could but missed a couple of places. I held out my hand and asked, "May I help?"
She nodded her head and looked up at me. As carefully as I could, I wiped at her face, removing as much of the blood as I could. I could feel her flinch once in a while, but all in all, she was a real trooper and let me clean up her face as best as possible considering where we were. There was nothing I could do about her eye. Time would have to heal that without any help from me. Aside from the cuts and bruises, I thought she was really cute. I thought Jerry was really stupid to mess this cute gal up. Finally I looked at her and felt she was as cleaned up as well as I could get her with just a couple of paper towels. "There, it looks a lot better."
I got a little smile and she murmured, "Thanks."
As we walked into the bar, I noticed it was nothing out of the ordinary ... just a country watering hole out in the middle of nowhere. I have seen a lot of them over the years and there is certain sameness to them. I noticed they had a basic menu and I asked Skip if she'd like something to eat. I first got a slight nod and then she shook her head no. I asked her which one she meant and she told me she didn't have any money. "How about you let it be my treat?" I asked.
"But you have been so nice so far, I really shouldn't."
"Please let me feed you. Look at it this way; I picked you up so I have to feed you."
"That doesn't make any sense." Even though her head was hung down, I heard her say yes. We both ordered hamburgers and she asked for a beer and I had a soda.
We were almost through our meals when 4 men strolled through the front door. Skip's eyes got wide when she saw them and she quickly ducked her head. I sensed she knew the four men and I looked each of them over carefully. One of them was quite a bit larger than the other three and he seemed like he was the leader of the group. He was both taller and much heaver built and the way the others held back, I knew he was the lead dog. He had long dirty blond hair sticking out from a baseball hat placed on his head backwards and his face was greasy looking. I thought his eyes were set too close together and this made his whole face looked mean and I knew at first glace he and I had nothing in common. Suddenly he spotted Skip and came barreling over to the two of us.
"There you are ... you little cunt. What are you doing here? I never gave you any permission to leave the house. Now get up and go get in the truck."
I assumed this was Jerry, the husband. Normally I wouldn't interfere, but I had seen first hand the effects of the beating she had received from him and if I had any say in it, it was not going to happen again. I looked up at him and in a cold tone of voice, I told him, "Leave her alone, she's having lunch."
He looked over at me and I could see he was not used to being spoken to in the tone of voice I'd used. He stared at me for a moment and then asked, "What did you say dick weed?"
Still looking at up him, I asked, 'What's the matter with you Bubba, are you hard of hearing as well as stupid? I told you to leave her alone, now go away."
The man started to reach out towards me and I surprised him by grabbing his wrist and pulled him towards me, causing him to fall forward onto the table. I quickly slipped out of my seat and stood up. One of the other three men started to take a step towards me and I looked at him. "Stay!" I commanded him. By now Skip's husband had pushed himself off the table and turned to face me. "Ass wipe..." he growled at me, "that was the biggest mistake you ever made. I hope you have a wallet with your address in it so we know where to ship back your dead body."
I was already tired of this clowns crap. "Bubba ... I am giving you one chance to take your sweethearts and leave." I motioned towards his three buddies. "If you do not leave now, I will assume you wish to do me bodily harm and I will defend myself. You have been warned."
Skip's husband turned to his friends, "Did you hear that? We have been warned..." As he turned back, I was prepared for what I knew would be his next move. He thought he was being sneaky and he was so used to grabbing his opponent and hitting them with his massive fists, he didn't have any other plans. As he reached towards me, I lashed out with my right foot at his kneecap and heard a snapping sound. He dropped to the ground like a fallen tree, screaming like a little girl all the way. As he lay on the floor amongst old cigarette butts and discarded peanut shells, he rocked back and forth, moaning and holding his damaged knee. I turned to face the other three.
One of them pulled out a knife and dropped into a fighting stance. I had to laugh. Over the years I have been with Uncle Sam and as they say, "seen the world." I did some interesting things for the US and learned a lot of dangerous things I can do to people who wish to mess with me. I am not trying to sound conceited, it's just that I have had to fight men for other reasons than male vanity in a bar. These three were laughable in their stance, their attitude and the look in their eyes. They were all talk and it was plain to see, could not walk the walk.
The one with the knife lunged at me and I stepped past him as I pulled on his arm. One of my feet seemed to get in his way as I pulled him by me and he found himself on his hands and knees on the floor. The knife was gone and he now had a sore arm and two scuffed knees. The other two put up their hands and backed away. Both of them kept repeating that it wasn't their quarrel and they were just leaving.
About that time two county sheriffs came through the door and stopped. As they stood side by side, they looked like two hanging sides of beef. Both of them were large and looked fit in their well tailored uniforms. As they stood shoulder to shoulder, they looked down at the two men lying on the floor. One of them finally looked over towards the bar and called out, "Harvey ... what the hell happened here?"
For the first time since the fight had started, I noticed somebody behind the bar with a baseball bat in his hands. Since the man with the baseball bat answered the sheriff's question, I assumed he was Harvey. As the bartender started to answer the sheriff's question, I noticed he was lacking several teeth. The absence of teeth made him lisp.
Harvey started to tell the sheriffs, "Thisss older feller and the gal came in and were having a burger. Thisss one," Harvey motioned towards Skip's husband lying on the floor, "came in here and ssstarted a fight. Called the woman a lot of vulgar sssstuff and then tried to hit that older dude." I was getting a little tired of being referred to as, "the older dude". Harvey continued, "I called ya'all as ssssoon as I could ssssee what wasss gonna happen. The other guy there on the floor pulled a knife. He lossst it durin' the fight. Anyway, the other two were just leaving and the gal and the old man need to go and leave now."
I didn't know what relationship ol Harvey had with the sheriffs, but I could plainly see he wanted me to leave ... and now. I pulled a twenty and dropped it on the table and thanked Harvey for a couple of good burgers. Skip's husband started to get up and the sheriff told him to lie back down or there was going to be more trouble. The large man dropped back to the floor. As we walked past ol Jerry, I drew back one of my boots and as I looked both of the sheriffs in the eye I kicked Jerry in the ribs as hard as I could.
Jerry cried out and I could see the hate smoldering in his eyes as he looked up at me. As we walked away I called back over my shoulder to him, "That's for busting up the lady. Just so you know, she won't be back. Oh, one other thing, if I ever see you again, it will be a lot more than just a busted rib, a fat lip and a messed up knee." I slipped my arm around Skip and we walked out of the bar.
Skip climbed up on the back of the bike and I swung my leg over the tank. The bike came to life as soon as I touched the start button and we left the bar as quickly as we could. After we had gone a short distance in the parking lot, I became aware Skip was laughing. I looked over my shoulder and called back, "What's so funny?"
She leaned forward and spoke into my ear. "The way you dropped Jerry. I swear nobody has ever kicked the shit out of him like you just did. Where the hell did you learn to fight like that?"
"It's a long story. I'll tell you later." I pulled up to the road and as I started to turn onto the asphalt, I noticed one of the sheriffs now standing on the porch of the saloon, watching me as I pulled away. I nodded my head towards them and they slipped out onto the road. As I sped away I thought to myself, I was willing to bet my difficulties at the bar was not the first time they had been summoned to stop a problem. After we had gone a mile of two, I noticed Skip had settled against my back and I could feel her womanly shape against me. She felt great. We rode in silence for several minutes and finally I looked back again over my shoulder and asked. "Is there a place I can take you?" My question was greeted with silence. We continued to ride in silence until finally I saw a small country park ahead. I pulled into the park and stopped next to a picnic table. Skip slipped off the bike and I put down the kick stand. When I was off the bike, she looked up at me and asked, "How come we stopped?"