Dream or Nightmare?
It started out to be a good dream. I was fifteen, a junior in High School because I'd skipped two grades in elementary school. Two years younger than other juniors, and still, I was big enough to be on the football team. At 5'10", 180 lbs, I was the backup tight end. We didn't have a state championship team, but we were pretty good. And with my green eyes and sandy hair, I was doing okay with the girls. They accepted me as a junior, not even asking about my age. I was accepted, too, among the smart kids in the school, which was in a suburb of Tallahassee, Florida. Christopher J. Hollis that's me. Almost a Junior, but with a different middle name, I didn't have to be a 'JR.'
Life was good. Recently, I'd scored with a very beautiful girl, Elizabeth Calhoun. She and I had relieved each other of our virginities during the Christmas break. She was three years older than me, at eighteen, but we were in the same class. Not in the same classes, you understand, because I was taking advanced everything – computer science, math, physics, even English and history – while she was taking the regular version. But that was okay. She wasn't regular in the looks department, for sure. She was 5'7", blonde and curvy. I didn't need to measure her chest – she was just bigger and bouncier than even the cheerleaders, which was superfine with me. I guess I like 'em on the big, bouncy side.
I had wondered how we had sex both as virgins, but it didn't hurt for her. I mean, everybody knew that, for girls, it had to hurt the first time.
"No, Chris. Please don't be upset about that," she explained when I raised the issue. We were still in bed at the local Motel 6 when I asked. No blood on the sheets either. "You know my father owns a horse breeding ranch." Her mother wasn't in the picture any more; nobody ever talked about why. "I've been riding since I was old enough to walk. My hymen disappeared somewhere along the way."
I accepted her explanation. It took me nearly eleven years to discover that was a lie.
Well, we were already going steady when we did the deed. We renewed our mutual fuckability at least every Saturday night, mostly in the hay loft in her father's barn. I didn't have enough money to splurge on a motel and my parental units were always home. So Hello, Hay Loft! We were an item in school, something she and her girlfriends always tittered about when they got together. I never could figure out for sure what was so funny, but later on, I got a big clue. We never had to worry about birth control, since she was on the pill.
Long about Spring Break, my dream life turned into a nightmare. Liz told me she was pregnant. Nothing was perfect, she had said. That included the pill. We were just the unlucky — of 1%.
I was stunned. She was unhappy. But she clung on my arm and just took the position that we were going to have to tell our parents, and what would we do then?
Her father was first. "Yea-uh," he said. "I figgered it was gonna come to that. Sportin' around in the hay loft all the time will do that. You know, science has figgered out what causes babies, right?"
He knew? Then he dropped me into the shit.
He turned to his daughter. "You sure this feller is the father?"
Liz glared at him. "Yes, daddy! It's only been Chris. Ever!"
"Uh-huh," he said, looking dubious.
"Daddy! I was only necking up there with David and those others. Chris is the only one I've done it with. You know how science is: you can't get pregnant from only necking."
David? Others? This was all news to me. I looked at her. She latched onto my hand and squeezed.
She looked at me. "We'll talk later, okay sweetie?" she said quietly.
"Uh-huh," said daddy again. He was a laconic sort. "Welcome to the family, Chris." We never had a conversation again about his insinuations.
Married? Oh? This had already been decided? Since when? I mean, I didn't want to leave Liz in the lurch and I intended to do the right thing. But I hadn't even considered marriage. Not that I was opposed to marrying and having lots of babies with Liz. It would have been nice to be consulted first though.
I guess my consent had been given seven inches at a time, over and over, on Saturday nights. If you're old enough to screw, you're old enough to live with the consequences. This was a consequence, all right.
Liz beamed at me with her adorable smile when her daddy accepted me as an honorary Calhoun.
She later explained to me that she'd indeed been in the hay loft with four others over the past eighteen months. But that they never, ever had sex up there. That was the last we ever talked about it, for years and years.
My parents were somewhat less than thrilled. They knew that I'd been going steady with Liz, of course. I was an only child and they kept up with what I was doing, especially since they had such high hopes. Exceptional child, skipped grades, college scholarship, good athlete, etc.
"I guess we'll get married in the summer, mom," I explained the plans. "She's supposed to have the baby in August."
"Yup," said Liz. "I won't bother with my senior year. I – I mean we – can just move into the little cabin on the ranch, while Chrissy..." I could see my father flinch at the nickname " ... finishes school. And then we'll learn the ranch operation, 'til daddy passes. Then we'll run it."
We will? I saw the look of surprise on my parents' faces, too. That was the last straw, at least on this go-round. Liz had been bossy throughout, ever since we started fucking. I guess that somehow, me fucking her also meant her bossing me. Somehow.
"No, Liz. It won't be that way," I said. I hated to be the one to pop her fantasy balloon, but... "I'm going to college. I'm going to study computer science. I have no interest and no skill in animal husbandry. If we get married, I'll go to school near home. We'll live in an apartment, somewhere close to campus."
"You know how I don't like that nickname. It's Chris or Christopher."
She was annoyed. First the plan, then the 'If' when referring to the marriage plans, now the nickname. "Okay! Chris. What do you mean 'If we get married'? You're responsible for this bump I'm gonna be carrying for several months."
My parents were just watching from across the kitchen table, where this confrontation was taking place.
"I should have said 'If this marriage is going to last, ' I guess. I'll marry you so the baby will have a last name. But if you plan on my living out the rest of my life breeding horses, we'll be divorced within a couple of years."
That shut her up. But not for long.
"Well if we go live in an apartment near some campus, while I raise the baby, what are we going to do for money?"
"I don't know," I admitted. "We'll have to figure out something. We can do it. Lots of other people have kids and live on practically nothing while they go to school."
"No. I won't live in poverty, when there's a perfectly good alternative," she sounded adamant. Frankly, I didn't blame her.
"How about this," said my father. He was a mediator who worked for the Federal Courts. Leave it to him to find a middle ground. "You get married, assuming that you both want to. You live in the cabin on your father's ranch. Chris goes to FSU in Tallahassee and commutes to the cabin. It's only thirty or forty miles. We'll give you our Honda for a wedding present. You can put off the decision about how to run the ranch and/or have a career until he graduates."
Oil on troubled waters. That solution seemed to mollify everybody. So that's what we did.
Liz and I were hitched – to use an equine term – and she began to be great with child. Then she became really great with child. Then really, really great. She looked like she'd swallowed a weather balloon. It turns out that she was great with children – we were going to have twins.
It was an afternoon wedding, complete with white dress, tuxedos, throwing the bouquet and tossing the bride's garter. With 20/20 hindsight, I remember that Liz was very excited during the garter removal. I slid my hands up her leg much farther than was absolutely required to find the garter, and I could smell her excitement. It was the sexual excitement of a horny woman.
We moved into the little cabin. That was a shocking understatement. The 'little' cabin was a two bedroom house, about a mile from the main house. It used to belong to the foreman of the ranch before Liz's mom ran off with him. I finally got a read on what happened to her.
At the tender age of nineteen, Liz delivered twin girls who were both healthy. Liz, however, was not, and had to have a hysterectomy. She nearly died from bleeding. That was a sad day, since we had been happily chatting among ourselves about having a squad of kids. Oh well ... two would have to be enough.
They were just adorable, looking so much like their mother's baby pictures that it was amazing. They had blonde hair, of course, but lots of brunettes started with blonde hair. They had blue eyes, a smattering of freckles and they were just the chubbiest, cutest things that had ever been born. I was smitten.
We named them Alexandra and Amanda: to be known as Sandy and Mandy, according to Liz. Amanda was seven minutes older.
Liz had a paying job with her father, keeping the books and records for the breeding program. I went on to get a Masters in Computer Science. So the nightmare of early pregnancy had turned into a good dream again. I loved all three of my girls immensely.
By the time I'd gotten my second degree, I had lined up a job working for the Federal Government. The FBI, it seemed, needed people who were adept at ferreting out white collar cheats, and that needed computer skills. My father swore he hadn't done anything to get me this job, and I believed him – sorta. He did after all, have a lot of connections with the judiciary, who knew lots of people in the FBI. Anyway, I got the job.
The twins by now were in school – first graders. One day Sandy started to not respond to her name.
"My name is Alexandra. But you can call me Lexi, everybody does. I like that name better. Besides, that way we won't be..." in a singsong voice " ... Sandy and Mandy. Mandy and Sandy. You can't make a song to tease somebody out of Mandy and Lexi." Mandy rolled her eyes.
Her mother didn't agree. It was supposed to be Sandy and Mandy for all time! She had decided. Her mother was my wife, of course, but I wasn't about to get between a willful seven year old and her more willful twenty-six year old mother. I started calling Alexandra, "sweetness" and Amanda "light." Who could complain about sweetness and light? I got a glare from Liz. Eventually, even Liz had to bow to the inevitable, and call her Lexi.
The girls knew that they could wrap daddy around their little fingers; he (me) would do anything they wanted, within reason. I absolutely adored them. I attended every pageant they were in, every performance at the ballet school, every Halloween Costume parade, every Christmas sing-along, every teacher conference. Really, what can a teacher say about a six year-old?
Life turned into a routine. It was a happy routine, but a routine nevertheless. I'd take the girls down to school at about 7:00, on my way to work. Liz would pick them up in the afternoon. Then I'd come home about 7:00 from a long day catching bad guys. We'd have dinner. I'd put my gun and shield in the lockbox, and play with the kids. Often that play time included little games that taught them about science or math. It was fun with a purpose. Liz got annoyed at that ["Let them have fun, for heavens sake."], but I thought that a spoonful of sugar made the medicine go down easier. They loved it and soaked up the knowledge, and they loved their dad, too.
After the kiddos went to sleep we fucked like minks: four times a week, sometimes five or six or eight times. I'd kept growing since high school and was now tipping in at 6'2" and about 200 lbs. hard packed muscle. I kept growing in other areas, and Liz decided that I was just too big to engage in anal sex. I was bummed, but she was hot as a firecracker in other ways, so I didn't push it. Or push it in, where it wasn't wanted. We did everything else, oral, vaginal, sixty-nine, pearl necklaces after titty fucks, I fucked the crack of her ass, we even played pirate and the innocent miss, landowner and slave – you name it and we did it. One thing we never did though, was me using my handcuffs or service gun. That wasn't play.
Liz always bought outfits for the girls in pairs. They could dress like a pair of little sailor girls, or little cowgirls, or have identical skirts in blue and green and red or ... or ... you get the idea. That reckoned without, however, the strong minded little girls. It never failed: one would come down like a little sailor and the other would be in a skirt and blouse, or one would be a cowgirl and the other would come down in a little pants suit. It drove Liz crazy. I thought it was good that they were individual people, not always part of the twin-pair.
I could always tell them apart. The freckle pattern was slightly different. No matter how hard Liz tried, they looked identical to her. I could draw the freckle pattern from memory.
Then Liz's dad, now called pop-pop by the twins, got sick and died. The girls were about nine. One day he was fine, the next he had terrible stomach/abdominal pain. He was diagnosed with end-stage pancreatic cancer. It was untreatable.
We were all terribly sad, but Liz most of all. That was normal. In less than two months he was dead. We all went through the motions of doing 'normal' things for several months. Of course, our sex life dwindled to nothing for a while. That seemed normal, too. Who could enjoy the fun of sex in that environment?
With some remorse, we moved from the 'little cabin' to the main house. Liz and I spent several weeks sorting out his things and moving his personal effects out. We gave most of them to the Salvation Army. After several abortive tries, we decided that we could not sleep on his bed; 'we' meaning Liz. Liz kept breaking down in tears, even after several months. We moved his bed into the little cabin and moved our wedding bed into the big house.
Within the month, Jarred Calhoun's estate went into probate. To everyone's surprise, the ranch was left in trust to the twins, with Liz and me having joint administration of the trust. I'd expected it to be given to Liz solely. But strangely, we had to accept the job of administrator or not. And before we could accept, we were each to have a private meeting with the lawyer.
I don't know what Liz's private meeting entailed, but she walked out of it with a smile, signed on the dotted line and was an administrator. My meeting, however, almost turned everything into a nightmare again.