You Gave Me a Mountain

by OldSarge69

Copyright© 2019 by OldSarge69

Romantic Sex Story: Marine veteran Ray had been shipwrecked, all alone, on a tropical island for six months until another typhoon also shipwrecked a beautiful young woman. Every woman in Ray's life had, at one point or another, betrayed him. Will Sleeping Beauty (as he nicknamed the unconscious woman) continue that curse once she regains consciousness? Will he once again be screwed (and not the good kind of screwed)? Will he ever reach the mountaintop, or be stuck forever in the valley.

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Consensual   Heterosexual   Fiction   Military   Oral Sex   .

And yes, the lyrics are correct. This song, as recorded by Frankie Laine, Elvis and others, actually has slightly different lyrics. However, the song was written and first recorded by Marty Robbins and the lyrics used herein are the lyrics he wrote, although he never released it as a single, he did include it in several albums. When Frankie Laine recorded the song he asked his good friend Robbins to slightly change the lyrics. In the version Laine released as a single, and the version most other singers picked up, the third line was revised to “Deprived of the love of a father,” along with a couple of other minor changes. Laine also featured the song in one of his albums, with the same name.

Author’s note: If you have never had the pleasure of listening to Frankie Laine, I urge you to take a few minutes to search for “You Gave Me A Mountain,” and listen to it. You might also find and listen to: “I Believe,” “That’s My Desire,” “That Lucky Old Sun,” “(They Call Me The) Moonlight Gambler,” and, of course, the iconic “Rawhide.” Laine had an amazing range and could hit notes very few other singers could. He could also hold those notes, seemingly, forever. That is the reason a couple of the nicknames bestowed upon him were: “Old Leather Lungs,” and “Mr. Steel Tonsils.” During his career, Laine had 21 gold records, and recorded numerous songs. He also sang the title track to seven different movies, including “Blazing Saddles, and the Oscar-winning High Noon.”

Born in the heat of the desert

My mother died giving me life

Despised and disliked from my father

Blamed for the loss of his wife.

Written and performed by the late Marty Robbins

I hadn’t moved in at least five minutes, and was barely daring to breathe. I kept waiting for the big fish to move just a little closer. Finally, my handmade bamboo spear flashed downward through the water. I felt it hit the side of the fish, but it was just a glancing blow and the fish darted away.

“Shit!” I yelled out loud.

For three days now I had been holed up riding out the hurricane that had battered the small island I was stranded on. Technically, I guess you would have to call it a typhoon since I was in the South Pacific.

While I had plenty of coconuts on the island, the only source of protein was the fish I either caught in small tidal pools as the tide was going out, or the occasional ones I was able to hit with my crude spear.

You know Lord, I’ve been in a prison

For something that I never done

It’s been one hill after another

And I’ve climbed them Lord, one by one.

Written and performed by the late Marty Robbins

I knew it would be at least three more hours before the tide was completely out, and had hoped to be able to spear a larger fish long before then.

I used to love to eat fish. It has always been one of my favorite foods.

That is, I used to love to eat fish until I had to eat it nearly every single day, several times a day. I had no cooking implements of any kind, so usually I would clean the fish, then wrap the fillets in wet seaweed and place them directly on top of coals from a fire I had made.

After six months, I was beginning to loathe fish, but still had to eat it.

But this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain

A mountain I may never climb

It isn’t a hill any longer

You gave me a mountain this time.

Written and performed by the late Marty Robbins

I decided to move to a new location, and was just looking out over the still angry, higher than normal waves, when I thought I saw sunlight reflect off something in the water. I waited for several minutes, but did not see anything so I started walking over to another deeper pool.

I was in the surf, in water up to my knees, and knew there was another pool that would now be about waist deep. Once the tide was completely out, the pool I was in now would only be a few inches deep, while the deeper pool would be about up to my mid-shin.

I had almost made it to the deeper pool, when again I caught a flash of ... something.

My woman got tired of the hardships

Tired of the grief and the strife

Tired of working for nothing

Tired of being my wife.

Written and performed by Marty Robbins

I had no idea what had made the flash, but was intrigued enough to walk back to the shore and climb one of the many volcanic rocks rising out of the sand. Once I was on top, about 10 feet higher than the surrounding sand, I looked seaward.

And my heart nearly stopped.

A boat! I had been ship-wrecked here for over six months and this was my first sign of another human being.

Almost immediately, though, my hopes were dashed.

Yes, it was a boat, but I could tell that the masts, fore and aft, had broken off and water was almost up to the level of the portholes. Now I could see sunlight reflecting off some of the glass portholes.

“Damn,” I thought, “probably the only thing keeping it afloat is air pockets inside.”

She took my one ray of sunshine

She took my pride and my joy

She took my reason for living

She took my small baby boy.

Written and performed by Marty Robbins

The boat was slowly being pushed shoreward by the wind, which was still blowing fairly hard after the hurricane ... or typhoon or whatever the hell you wanted to call it. I had been born on the east coast of the United States, and still always thought of storms like that as hurricanes.

Based on how hard the wind was blowing, and trying to estimate how much the outbound tide was slowing its progress, I guessed that the boat would hit the coral reef blocking access to the shore in about 45 minutes.

Even if it had been high tide, I don’t think the boat could have cleared the reefs. At high tide, there was about six feet of water over the reefs, and I doubted there could have been much more than three feet of water over them now.

With how waterlogged the boat appeared to be, I knew it had to have a draft of a lot more than just six feet. As the boat hit the razor sharp coral, it would be ripped to shreds.

And this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain

A mountain I may never climb

It isn’t a hill any longer

You gave me a mountain this time.

Written and performed by Marty Robbins

I still had, I guessed, about 45 minutes before that would happen, and wondered if there was anything on board I could salvage before it was consumed by the sea.

I ran back to the old lava tube where I had made my shelter, and grabbed what perhaps is my second most prized possession on the island.

Perhaps I should stop for a minute to explain how I came to be on this island.

I had been hired on as cook on a freighter, making the San Francisco-Tokyo run, and when that ship had been sunk in another typhoon I had barely managed to grab a life vest and jump overboard before my ship sank. As far as I knew, I was the only survivor. I had seen several of my shipmates also jump overboard as the ship began taking on water, but had not seen anyone else since.

For three days I was tossed by waves. The first night the waves were towering mountains, and I don’t know how I lived through the tempest.

For three days I had no food and no water. Luckily, I was in the South Pacific and at least didn’t have to worry about hypothermia, or freezing to death.

The lack of food and water, especially water, was already affecting me, though. I had already begun to hallucinate and knew it was probably just a matter of hours before my thirst forced me to drink sea water. That, I knew, would have killed me in a matter of hours. From what I had read, it would have been a rather painful death.

I thought I was still hallucinating when I heard the sound of surf.

Luckily for me, the tide was almost at its highest point that third night so I just floated over the coral reef.

I woke up the next morning, lying on a shore as a rain squall moved in.

It was all I could do to turn over on my back and open my mouth, trying to catch the life-giving water falling from the skies.

I managed to crawl across the sand, and collapsed in the shade of some trees.

I had no idea where I was and whether or not there were any predators – human or otherwise – on the island.

I woke up at dusk and began to explore in the dwindling light.

I actually tripped over something in the fading light, started cursing and then realized that I had found one of the things that would keep me alive. A coconut.

I immediately checked my pockets! Thank God, I still had my knife. Years before I had paid a ridiculous amount of money for a Swiss Army knife. It actually cost over $300, but came with so many different tools I couldn’t even remember them all.

This model, the Swiss Champ XAVT, had multiple blades, a can opener, a pruning blade, scissors, wood saw, reamer/punch, serrated blade, two magnifying glasses, pliers, a fish scaler, two hooks, a chisel and a corkscrew. It actually had a digital clock with altimeter, barometer, and thermometer and even included a ball point pen.

I haven’t actually found a use for the ball point pen on the island, but I am ready if I ever need to write something down.

Using the knife, I soon had the coconut open and drank the liquid inside, then started scraping the coconut off the inside and eating it raw.

I had to force myself to eat slowly.

I knew, after three days with no food, if I started eating too fast I would get sick. I ate one slow bite at a time until nearly sunrise.

The amount of money I paid for the knife no longer seemed quite so ridiculous. That became my prized possession.

The next day I found my second most prized possession already on the island.

I was walking along the shore when I saw something sticking up out of the sand. That something was the fin of a surfboard. I quickly dug it out, and now had food (coconuts), and a certain amount of mobility. I have no idea how many thousands of miles that surfboard traveled before ending up on this island, but I was certainly glad to find it.

Now that you know just a little of my immediate past, let’s go back to the present.

I grabbed the surfboard, ran to the water’s edge and started swimming to the boat. Once I approached the coral reef, I pulled myself on top of the surfboard, then paddled over the reef with my hands. Within a few minutes I had reached the sinking boat.

I could immediately tell it had once been a beautiful and expensive yacht. At one time it had twin masts, so it could sail, but I could also see what looked like a large inboard engine sticking out the back. Probably seventy or eighty feet, I thought.

I paddled up to the side, which by now wasn’t much higher in the water than I was on top of my surfboard. I eased over the side, then hauled my surfboard in. I began calling out, to see if anyone was on board, but no one answered my call.

I started walking into the shambles that was all that was left of the cabin, and saw steps leading down to what undoubtedly had been the galley (kitchen), and bunks. As I made my way down the steps, I was almost immediately in water up to my waist.

On my left was a door and when I forced it open it turned out to be a huge galley. I was almost like a kid in a candy store. A multitude of pots and pans. As a professional chef, pots and pans were my life!

I knew I needed something to carry them in, so I continued my exploration.

Immediately across from the galley door was what turned out to be a bedroom. I left that room and went to the front of the boat and opened a third door. Inside was a huge stateroom with a king-size bed. Water was covering the bed, but I grabbed the pillows and removed the cases.

I now had two large pillow cases, and headed back to the galley where I stuffed as many pots and pans as I thought I would be able to carry on my surfboard.

I went back to the first, slightly smaller, bedroom and also took the pillowcases off on that bed as well.

When I arrived on board, the water was up to my waist in the kitchen, but in just a few minutes it had become several inches deeper. I knew I didn’t have long to delay.

I headed back to the stateroom and started opening drawers and closets. I found a .357 Magnum pistol and several boxes of ammunition and stuffed those inside my pockets.

I also found several pairs of men’s shorts, and since they looked like they would fit, grabbed those as well. My one pair of pants was just about worn out.

I also found some soap and shampoo, and since I hadn’t really felt clean in six months, grabbed those.

I would have liked to have grabbed some blankets as well, but they were already all wet and I knew the weight would be too much for me to handle just on my surfboard.

I had only been on board for about 15 minutes and the water was now up to my chest, so I grabbed the clothes, stopped in the galley and grabbed the pillow cases with the pots and pans.

Oh, I had also thrown in some rather nice acrylic plates and bowls, along with a variety of knives and forks and spoons. I even grabbed a couple of glasses and mugs.

There was a two burner gas stove in the galley with a heavy cast iron grate over the burners. There was no way to take the stove without a lot of tools I didn’t have, plus the stove would have been no use without gas. Instead, I took the grate since I could use it to place over the fires I built every day.

Once back on top, just as I was about to grab my surfboard I heard what was unmistakably a groan.

I already knew there was no one below decks, so I looked towards the bow (front) of the boat.

I could see what looked like remnants of a sail lying there.

I quickly made my way front, grabbed the sail, and pulled it back.

I saw two things. One of the things I was actually very glad to see, the other ... well, I was actually rather ambivalent about that.

The thing I was actually glad to see, and the thing that I was ambivalent about would probably surprise most people.

The thing I was glad to see was a Zodiac, or rubber raft. It was tightly compressed in a cube, but I knew I could cut the straps and inflate it using the compressed air bottle that was attached.

That meant I could inflate the raft, then go back and grab even more stuff, including blankets and more cooking utensils.

The thing I was rather ambivalent about?

Well, that was a woman.

I think most normal, red-blooded American men who had been marooned on a tropical island for six months would probably have been happier to see the woman than they would be to see the Zodiac.

But then most red-blooded American men probably haven’t had the same experiences with women I had, including spending two years in a state penitentiary on a bogus rape charge the assistant district attorney (a woman) knew was completely bogus.

Add to that having your wife rip your heart out later on while stealing over $500,000 and the one thing in your life you loved more than any other in the world – your son.

As I looked at this woman, I couldn’t help but notice several things.

One, she was probably the single most beautiful woman I have ever seen, with long red hair; two, she was wearing shorts that barely covered what shorts were supposed to cover; and three, her bikini top consisted of two little squares of cloth that didn’t quite cover the areole, or area around the nipples. The two squares of cloth were joined together by a string.

The fourth thing I noticed was she had a rather large nasty looking bruise on her forehead.

I would like to say here that despite my past dismal track record with women, I never considered, not for a second, just grabbing the Zodiac and taking everything I could back to shore while leaving the woman on board to fend for herself.

I would like to say that ... unfortunately ... I can’t.

I actually did consider it.

True, it was only for a second or two, but I did consider it.

I had been on a tropical island by myself for over six months, without another human being to talk to and ... I was almost happy. Yes, it got a little lonely at times, but I had really been alone for most of my life. Even when I was around other people, most of the time I was alone.

Other people in my life meant complications.

Female people in my life meant BIG complications.

For the past two years, before being shipwrecked, my only experience with women were with what I called “honest” women.

On the ship one day, I had made a comment, about only seeing “honest” women, and one of my shipmates asked me about it.

“Most women fuck you, then take your money, your heart, everything important to you,” I explained, “Honest women are the ones who take the money first, then fuck you, or in other words, prostitutes. All they are interested in is money, up front.”

Looking at this incredibly beautiful woman lying down at my feet, unfortunately she didn’t look like the prostitute type to me. Not that I would have had any money to pay her anyway.

I already knew if she lived, somehow, someway, I was going to get royally fucked – and I don’t mean the good type of fucked.

I don’t know how long I stood there just looking at this woman, but when I looked up I saw with a shock that we were only about 15 minutes from hitting the reef. Either the wind was blowing the boat faster than I thought, or I had spent a lot more time than I realized staring at the lady.

I immediately grabbed the Zodiac, cut the straps and stepped to the railing. Grabbing hold of one of the ropes hanging from it, I threw it out over the water while also pulling the trigger on the compressed air bottle. In the few seconds it took to hit the water, the raft was inflated.

I quickly tied it to the sinking boat, threw everything I had brought up (which was now sitting in water) onto the raft, then threw my surfboard in. I stopped long enough to dump all the pots and pans out of one of the pillow cases, then took it with me.

I ran below decks, but this time I ran into the staterooms and started looking for women’s clothing. I wasn’t even sure what I was grabbing, but just grabbed as much as I could, threw those items into the raft, and ran back down again for a second load, plus grabbed some of the soaking wet blankets and sheets off the bed. I threw those in, then made my third trip.

Remembering the large bruise on her forehead I ran into one of the heads (bathrooms) and actually found several first aid kits. I grabbed those, then found shaving cream and a razor, plus refills, and a half-dozen bars of soap.

I even grabbed another bottle of shampoo.

I was just about to leave, when I realized I had nearly forgotten the most important thing in the head – a mirror. No, I am not narcissistic, but I knew from my Marine Corps days you could use a mirror to reflect sunlight, and would have a signaling device that could be seen for miles. If I ever did see another boat, or ship or plane, I would have some way of signaling. The mirror was glued to the wall, but I was able to pull the mirror off the wall without breaking it.

By the time I got back up top, I saw we were only about seven minutes from the reef, so I made one last trip below decks to the galley where I grabbed a few more pots and several large knives, then started to leave.

“Idiot,” I thought to myself, turned back in and opened cabinets until I found a large spice rack with 30 or 40 bottles of spices on it. The only spice I had on the island was salt, so this would be a nice change of pace.

Even more important ... at least to my personal tastes ... were several large sealed containers of coffee (instant and brewed), a smaller container of tea, and a couple of containers of sugar, along with artificial sweetener.

Six months ... six FRIGGING months ... without coffee or tea! I threw those containers into the pillow case, found a metal coffee pot and then headed back up top.

By the time I got back up and carefully put all the stuff in the raft (being extra careful with the knives so they didn’t puncture the raft), water was almost lapping over the railing. Water was actually splashing from the boat back into the Zodiac so it now had several inches of water in it as well.

I ran up front, carefully picked up Sleeping Beauty and made my way back to the raft.

I was shocked by how small she actually was. Somehow she had looked larger while lying down. I doubt she weighed much more than 100 pounds, maybe 105 at the most. It was difficult to gauge how tall she was, since I was carrying her, but figured she was about five foot, two or maybe three inches tall.

I also couldn’t help but notice, since they were now just a few inches from my face, her breasts. They were small, but looked firm and were absolutely beautiful. Hey, I said I could no longer trust women ... not that I couldn’t appreciate beauty when I saw it.

Despite everything women had done to try to destroy me since the day I was born, I don’t hate women.

I now prefer to deal with women on a strictly professional basis, but I can still look.

Once I had put SB (Sleeping Beauty) in the raft, I stepped over, untied us from the boat and grabbed the oars from their holding place in the raft. I quickly rowed away towards shore.

As I passed over the reef I could see there was less than two feet of water covering the reef.

Before I was halfway to shore, I heard the boat hit the reef.

I stopped rowing and looked back. The bow of the boat was thrusting upward over the reef and I could see the bottom was ripped open from the impact with the razor sharp coral. As the bow came up, the aft was forced underwater which must have allowed any remaining air pockets to empty out.

With a loud groan the boat slid backward, disappearing beneath the waves. I knew the ocean bottom on that side was well over 100 feet deep, and then slanted steeply down even more.

I turned to my forced companion. “Well, come on SB, let’s head for shore,” I said to her unconscious form.

As soon as the front of the Zodiac hit sand, I jumped out, grabbed a line at the front of the raft and ran to the shade, pulling the Zodiac behind me. I picked up SB, to get her out of the water in the bottom of the raft, and carefully laid her down with her back against a curving coconut tree.

I grabbed one of the pots and headed inland to where a natural spring allowed water to bubble up to the surface. I filled the pot and returned to SB.

I had no way of knowing how long it had been since she had had anything to drink, but based on my personal experience six months earlier I knew I needed to hydrate her. I grabbed a spoon, then one little sip at a time I put water in her mouth and urged her to drink.

“Come on SB, just a little drink.” She dutifully swallowed each time, until I estimated she had taken about a cup of water.

I had a whole raft full of wet clothes and blankets, so I immediately started laying those out all across the sand. I knew with the wind still blowing briskly, plus the hot afternoon sun, it would not take long to dry these things out.

Next I pulled out all the pots and pans, then turned the raft over to dry.

Now it was time to try to treat my patient, SB.

When I went back to check on her, she was still leaning back against the tree, but I could see her arms and legs were covered with goosebumps and she actually looked like she was shivering.

With the water sweeping across the bow of the boat before we left, and with the water in the bottom of the raft I knew she was soaked, but thought it wouldn’t take long for her to dry out. And, in fact, her skin looked dry and bikini top looked dry, but her shorts were still soaked.

Damn, I was suddenly reminded it had been well over six months since I had been to see a professional.

Her shorts were actually pulled up into her crotch. Classic camel-toe.

“That looks uncomfortable,” I thought to myself. In fact, it was actually making me uncomfortable, but for another reason.

Why is there never a professional around when you need one?

I went back to check on the clothes, and most were dry so I grabbed a sensible pair of shorts and t-shirt, then checked the blankets. One was dry, but the other needed a little more sunshine.

I spread the dry blanket on the ground beside the tree, then gently picked SB up and put her in the middle of the blanket.

“Sorry, SB,” I whispered to her, “but I have got to get you out of those wet clothes.”

I raised her top half up, untied the string holding her bikini top, and pulled it away, then slipped the t-shirt over her head and lifted each arm, one at a time, through the sleeves.

I was actually trying to think about the most complicated recipe I have ever used, trying not to think about the fact that her bikini top must have still been a little damp because as soon as the cool breeze hit her body, her nipples got as hard as rocks.

Maybe I needed a more complicated recipe?

I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but look.

I knew I needed to take the shorts off, but every time I tried to remember the correct order of ingredients for hollandaise sauce, I screwed up.

I finally just said the hell with it, apologized out loud to SB, then unsnapped and unzipped her shorts and pulled them off. Of course she is NOT wearing any panties and she is completely hairless.

I then realized that when I was spreading the clothes out, I did not find a single pair of panties or a bra, so apparently she is going to be going commando the entire time she is on the island.

I started thinking about cooking turducken.

I quickly slipped on a dry pair of shorts, wrapped SB up in the blanket, and left to check the rest of the clothes. The other blanket had dried, so I folded it up and slipped it under her head, then folded up some clothes and slipped them under her feet.

I was also doing my damnedest to remember how to prepare turducken, which is when you take a de-boned chicken, stuff it into a de-boned duck, and stuff both inside a de-boned turkey.

On second thought, it would probably be a good idea NOT to think about stuffing anything inside something else, because all I can think about is the most beautiful vagina I have ever seen.

I grabbed one of the first aid kits, which thankfully were waterproof. I wiped off a little blood from the nasty looking bruise on her forehead, then applied some antiseptic and put a large Band-Aid on it.

SB groaned again when I applied the antiseptic.

I went back to my lava tube shelter and grabbed a handful of dried leaves and moss, along with some small kindling I had cut up with my knife. I arranged rocks in a circle, then put the makings of a fire into a frying pan and went out on the sand, which is being heated by the now blazing hot sun.

I opened my Swiss Army knife and used one of the magnifying glasses to concentrate the sun’s rays onto the dried leaves and kindling. Within a few minutes I had smoke, which I carefully blew on, then had a small fire going.

I dumped the fire onto the circled rocks, then started adding increasingly larger pieces of wood until I had a nice fire going. I grabbed the cast iron grate I had taken from the galley and put it across the rocks, then put the pot of water on top of that.

I ran back to the beach where I grabbed my crude spear. Using tape from the first aid kit, I taped a long narrow filleting knife to the end of the spear, then waded out into the water. In about 10 minutes I had speared a large fish. It is amazing what you can do when you have the proper equipment to work with.

I cleaned the fish, then headed back to the fire. The water was just about to start boiling so I added the fish, along with salt and some other spices.

Within 30 minutes I had a nice fish broth soup ready, grabbed a mug and spoon and took some of the broth and added fish which I cut up into very small pieces. For the next hour or so I fed SB little spoonfuls of the fish soup, each time saying to her, “Here, SB, you need to eat. Just a little more. Just a little more, SB.”

Once I had finished feeding SB, I ran back and grabbed the coffee pot I had taken from the boat and half filled it with water. I put the pot on the fire, then carefully added coffee to the soon boiling water. In just a few minutes the coffee was ready, so I poured some into a mug and added just a little sugar. Usually I drank my coffee black, but decided to splurge a little and was soon enjoying my first cup of coffee in over six months.

I again checked to make sure SB was resting comfortably, and once I was confident I had done everything I could for her, I leaned back against the coconut tree. I finally had time to start thinking.

“Life’s a bitch, then you marry one,” was one of my first thoughts.

“Life sucks,” was another thought, “but not nearly as much as most of the women I know.”

Here, I was not thinking of the word “sucks” in a positive light.

How the FUCK did I end up here?

And what the FUCK was I going to do now?

Somehow I knew another woman was going to screw up my life – just as all the other women I had ever known had.

I began to do something I seldom do. I began to reflect on my life.

She took my one ray of sunshine

She took my pride and my joy

She took my reason for living

She took my small baby boy.

And this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain

A mountain I may never climb

It isn’t a hill any longer

You gave me a mountain this time.

Written and performed by Marty Robbins

My name is Raymond Adams, Jr. I almost can’t help but laugh when I think of the word, “Junior.” I only met my dear old pappy one time in my life – and we tried to kill each other that one time.

Raymond Adams Sr., had spent 22 years in the Marine Corps when he met the woman who would be my mother. She was a young 21-year-old waitress when 40-year-old Master Sergeant Raymond Adams decided to stop at an IHOP in Wilmington, N.C. to get something to eat.

Dear old “Daddy” was a confirmed bachelor. Well, actually he was married, but married to the Marine Corps.

But there was something about that young waitress, Virginia. They flirted throughout the meal, and he kept asking for her phone number, which she kept refusing to give him.

Once he finished the meal, she brought his receipt back to him ... with her phone number written on it. They had their first date that night, and another the next night.

Raymond was stationed at nearby Cherry Point, N.C., so over the next month they got to know each other better. Raymond had never met anyone he loved more than the Marine Corps ... at least not until he met Virginia.

Within a month, they were married.

Within another month, Virginia was pregnant.

By all accounts, it was a difficult pregnancy, and Virginia was confined to bed for most of it.

Raymond had just left for a week-long training exercise in Camp Lejeune, N.C., when Virginia went into labor three months early.

By the time they tracked Raymond down and he returned to the Naval Hospital at Cherry Point ... unfortunately Virginia was dead.

One of the nurses took “Daddy” to the Intensive Care Unit where his three-pound son was struggling for life himself.

Raymond took one look at the scrawny infant, did a military about-face and drove over to his wife’s sister’s house in Wilmington.

“I don’t ever again want to see the little son-of-a-bitch who killed my wife,” he told Rachel, his wife’s older sister.

The next day he signed all the paperwork turning guardianship of the “son-of-a-bitch” over to Rachel.

Dear old “Daddy” had actually planned on retiring after I was born, so he could spend time with his new bride and son. After my mother died, I heard he stayed in the Marines for another eight years, before retiring as a Master Gunnery Sergeant.

Each month Raymond would send Rachel a couple of hundred dollars, thus fulfilling his complete parental duty and responsibilities. In 18 years I never got a present for Christmas or my birthday, never received a card or letter, and never received a phone call from dear old “Daddy.”

I will say this, Rachel tried. But she was a divorced mom and also had three daughters of her own, ages 8, 10 and 12. All three were active in sports and school activities, and Rachel was a typical “soccer Mom,” but also struggling with a part-time job.

She really didn’t have the time to raise her sister’s boy. She didn’t turn me away ... but a lot of times when I needed someone ... well, she just wasn’t there.

And any disagreement between me and any of the three girls? Well, you can probably figure out who won.

Unfortunately for me, “Daddy” used those words about “I don’t ever again want to see the little son-of-a-bitch who killed my wife,” in front of Rachel’s daughters.

Some of my earliest memories were of hearing those words repeated to me by one or more of my “sisters.” Usually, at least once each day I was reminded that I was a “son-of-a-bitch” who killed his own Mom. At first I didn’t even know what a “son-of-a-bitch” was, but soon they made sure I knew the meaning of those words.

My dear “sisters” also made a point of making sure everyone in school knew my father thought I was a “son-of-a-bitch” who killed my own Mom.

I couldn’t even tell you how many fights I had in school, how many times I was sent to detention, how many times I was suspended.

I also had a juvenile arrest record that was almost legendary in Wilmington. Jacking, or stealing cars for joy rides, shoplifting, fights, underage drinking, and the list could just go on and on.

I dropped out of school at 16 and worked at a series of menial jobs in construction, always lying about my age. I was big enough so no one ever questioned me.

In the wintertime when construction work slowed down ... well, I became rather good at B&E. That is, breaking and entering, and pawning televisions, microwaves, tools and occasionally I would get really lucky and find some expensive jewelry.

I never even came close to getting caught, but at the same time it bothered me a little ... not enough to stop, but it still bothered me a little.

For a couple of weeks I even tried my hand at selling marijuana and other drugs. I didn’t use drugs, but thought selling drugs would be a good way to pick up some fast, easy money. Until two guys I knew, also small-time dealers, were both shot to death.

After that I decided I would concentrate on construction work during spring, summer and fall, then B&E during winter.

I am not sure how long things would have continued but one day a friend asked me to drive a car while he went inside to make a withdrawal. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a bank.

Yep, just before my 18th birthday I hit the big time. I drove the get-away car for an armed robbery at a convenience store.

Perhaps I should mention this convenience store just happened to be located one block from a Wilmington Police Department sub-station. A convenience store the cops usually stopped at either at the beginning or end of their shift. My friend timed it perfectly. There were a half-dozen uniformed police inside when he ran in, gun in hand.

Thirty seconds after he ran inside, three cops walked outside ... all pointing weapons at me.

To this day, I don’t know why the judge gave me a choice, instead of just locking me away in prison.

I think anyone who knew me probably figured that someday I would end up on an FBI most wanted poster.

“Two years in prison, or four years in the Marine Corps,” were my choices.

I had been at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., for three days when I reached the end of my patience.

“Fuck You!” I told one of my drill instructors.

My father, I was told, was about six feet, five inches and weighed about 235 pounds. I wasn’t that big, but I was still about an inch over six feet and weighed 190. A little extra around the waist, but I was actually in better shape (due to the construction work) than most of the other recruits.

My drill instructor was five feet, seven inches and I doubt he weighed over 160 pounds. I had him by close to six inches and 30 pounds.

I never saw the first punch.

One second I am screaming “Fuck You,” and the next I am flat on my back. I got up almost as fast as I went down and charged him, swinging wildly.

I never saw the second punch either. This time it took a few more seconds to get to my feet, but I again ran at him and tried to throw a punch.

I guess the third time is the charm. I, at least, saw his third punch. Couldn’t do a damn thing about it, but at least I saw it.

After the third punch, I was lying flat on my back for about 30 seconds, wondering where the mule was that just kicked me in my jaw. The drill instructor stood over me, looked down and said, “I can keep this up all day. What about you?”

He wasn’t even breathing hard. We both started laughing, then he put his hand down to help me get up.

I tried to knee him in the groin as I got up, but found myself being thrown about 10 feet through the air before again landing on my back. I rolled over, jumped up and tried to tackle him, like a football player would tackle an opposing player.

His knee caught me in the pit of my stomach and he clubbed me in the back of my head with both fists.

This time I stayed down. At least until they threw water in my face to wake me up.

I had been in dozens, if not hundreds, of fights and while I didn’t always win, at least the other guy knew he had been in a fight as well.

He still wasn’t even breathing hard. After he helped me up again, he started explaining how I was telegraphing every move I had been trying to make, and showed me some throws and counter punches.

Within two weeks he named me “platoon guide,” who is responsible for carrying the platoon’s guide-on, or flag. I was the only person in my platoon who graduated with the rank of Private First Class, instead of just Private.

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