Monday, July 28, 2008

Sisters Get Along and Times They Don't...

Thank you Brill for opening a door that might be shut forever.

I just had a huge fight with my little sister whom I absolutely love. She and I had never argued like this before. She actually said "I'm sorry I ever called you! I don't ever want to speak to you again! EVER!" Thanks to Brill, after my sister hung up on me screaming yelling at me. I thought at first, ok I will wait until tomorrow for her to cool off and we will patch things up. Instead, thanks again to Brill, I called my sister right back and expected the answering machine where I would apologize profusely. My Sis answered the phone and said in a haughty voice "WHAT!?!!" We both left off yelling at each other. When I called back I said very calmly "Ok, I am a donkey's butt. I am." You could tell that was not the answer she expected out of me and she half laughed but she didn't hang up. At first she screamed and yelled at me and I sat there and waited for her to get it all out. It was only a matter of minutes before she half laughingly said "Did you actually say Donkey butt?" "Sure, I said Donkey butt. I have recently added Monkey butt and chicken butt to my vocabulary but my children say I am not allowed to use those terms in public." Half crying and half laughing she says "So you say Donkey butt?" "Yeah, I said Donkey butt. I am sorry I was not listening to all you had to say. It upsets me that you don't always see the potential you have. Not to grow on but HAVE in hand. I am still a Donkey butt for not waiting to hear all you had to say. You are a monkey butt for swinging around the trees to hang me right away though." "What?! I'm a butt? A Monkey butt?!" "Yes, you are prettier than me." {Silence..........} Then we seem to both burst into laughter at the same time. She said half crying and half laughing "I'm not a monkey butt. I said "Oh but you are prettier than me, I'm a donkey butt." More laughter and we also work out the original issue. Still talking and laughing at the end of the phone call.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Portrait Studio

Even though Ronnie was home and my school was now closed for the holidays I still had to work. During the time I was at work Ronnie ran his errands and even came to see me during my lunch or dinner break depending on what my hours were that day. During one of my breaks we had our photos taken at the Montgomery Wards Portrait studio located right next to the credit card counter I worked. Those guys at the studio were a real hoot! And I mean that! They were gay and the one guy really cracked me up. They were a couple one seemed more like a straight guy (Ryan) and the other was a real flamer (Daryl). I loved listening to them talk to each other, the way Daryl carried on about every thing and Ryan was always trying to calm him down “Nancy, your slip [gay] is showing.” They told us that we looked like the perfect couple. “Your children are going to be absolutely gorgeous!” Ronnie and I had never met a gay person before. I thought they were great but I think they scared Ronnie a little.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Before I go on…

I want to explain my decision to post certain things in my last post. There aren’t many books that I have read which describe “a first time” accurately in my opinion. Everything I had heard and read before that night was full of wonderful feelings of excitement, pure joy and ecstasy. “The earth MOVED, the Angels wept and the Heavens opened up in song” and many other things I found out were so NOT true. I thought all those feelings I felt in my heart and physically from kissing, tenderness and being so closely held…well, making love would be an even more intense feeling. When it‘s your first time, it so isn‘t all that… I thought of a more appropriate phrase “Love Hurts!”

When my Mother gave me “the talk” in 7th grade, she said “When two people love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together they make love. It is a wonderful, joyful time in a young woman’s life. It is a truly wonderful experience. God made us this way so we could enjoy life together with one very special man.” That was IT. She didn’t say anything else. Ever. Not even the night before my wedding.

I had the talk with Oldest Daughter and I told her - When you think you have the right guy you better be ready to walk down the isle. I know it isn’t realistic to think you would wait until your wedding night but hey, I can hope. It is a great gift to give yourself to your husband as a virgin because he will know no one else has ever touched you. Think of how upset you get when your brother or sister uses your toothbrush. That is a toothbrush, that goes in your mouth. Think about the mechanics of sex…(pause for her to think over what parts go where). Yeah, you want to make sure its not contaminated right? STD testing is FREE and you should have your hubby tested before you get married.

Anyway, the first time is a bit painful experience but if you are getting married you already know you love each other and will spend the rest of your lives together. The pain is not like someone dropping a piano on you, its more like banging your private area into the corner of the coffee table over and over until the guy reaches his climax. You might have a burning sensation around your abdomen and some abdominal muscle pain. This is normal and it wont last very long. If it does then come to me and we will talk it over. It won’t always feel like that. After many, many times it is actually really, really enjoyable. Incredible even! The thing is you don’t want to have to go through all of the initial physical pain if you are not going to be with that person forever.

I really, REALLY wish someone would have told me! I was not at all prepared for my first time. Or the times after that. It really took a long time for it to actually feel incredible. I couldn’t understand why in the world so many girls from my high school were so willing to have sex. Not only was it uncomfortable it was also very messy and a bit gross. “Wet Spot”, um, ewww! Then you think about all of those guys having sex in their cars? The cars they loved more than anyone. There are oh so many cars I wouldn’t have sat in, front seat or back, had I known about wet spots before the Cozy. Like anyone who ever dated Nicky or even Giggles and many of the guys in band. Guys in band use to drive me home after practice, many of which I knew were sexually active with whichever girlfriend they had at the time. Again, Ewww! I would have walked home if I had known how messy sex was.

Well, I hope everyone forgives me for my posts on sex. It’s my blog and I can write what I like but I truly didn’t want to offend anyone. I only thought it was fair to write it as it was not dress it up pretty or just say “we did it.” I also want to add that Ronnie didn’t do anything wrong. My body just wasn’t use to sex…yet.

Cozy Inn Surprise Party …Continued

(Parental Supervision Strongly Recommended)

Jim dropped him off after a party with his friends. Sad to say there were only one or two of Ronnie’s friends at my party. For some reason our friends didn’t seem to mesh as well as we had hoped. Oh well, it didn’t matter really. What mattered tonight was my friends were celebrating how much they appreciated Ronnie and his return home!

Given our past escapades…the Cozy last time and our well lack of taking care of business along with how hot and bothered we get in his car but didn’t follow through. Well this might work.

Ronnie and I mingled for a few minutes then I lost my nerve. When no one was looking I bailed by crawling out a back window in the bed room. Lori was in the parking lot out back looking for the party. I asked her to take me to the nearest gas station. She laughed. She graduated in 85 from my high school and knew me very well. “It’s ok to be a little afraid. Let’s go get a bite to eat and talk it over. You know you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.” We went to a McDonalds up the street but I couldn’t eat. I was so nervous! I worried that Ronnie would leave when he couldn’t find me anywhere in that cabin. Then what would I do? What could I say?

By the time Lori’s food arrived we had talked enough that I felt confident I was doing the right thing. Lori didn’t say a word the whole time. I did all the talking. I convinced myself this was the right thing to do. We had her food packed to go and returned to the cabin. We could have gone through the front door but I thought it was better to crawl back through the window. Darn! Someone closed and locked that window so we had to go through the front door. Ugh! I didn’t want everyone to know I bailed! Oh well, it only mattered to one person if I bailed or not. As soon as I walked through the door I scanned the room and there he was…leaning up against a wall in the living room. The look on his face was pure joy. He started to walk towards me but stopped, my smile assured him I was walking straight over to him.

I walked right up to him, pushed my hands inside his jacket around his waist and pressed my head against his chest. He ran his fingers through my hair then held my face in his hands so we were looking right at each other. “Heather, I WANT to do this but we don’t NEED to do this.” I blushed and buried my face in his chest. “I know. I just want to have a nice party for you.”

We played a few rounds of quarter with nearly warm beer because the fridge didn’t work right. Was I going to call the management to take care of it? No! We were all under aged and there were far more people in the cabin than allowed.

After awhile Ronnie said it was time for me to stop so I stopped playing and stopped socializing. I am sure I stopped making sense to anyone. Kay-Kay had already explained that we were there for the night so he put me to bed in “our room.” He noticed the sheer robe on the bed and asked about it. “That goes with a little something the girls took me shopping for today.” I decided to show him what that was all about. I had pondered what to do about the lingerie. Rather than having to change into it I would wear it under my clothes. Ronnie and I seemed to do better about getting all hot and bothered when we were both fully clothed and this would have been a nice surprise. I sat up in the bed, unbuttoned my shirt a little to show him a bit of it and he took a deep breath. He didn’t say a word but leaned over and kissed me.

Then he mentioned the Champaign Jim sent over with him. The Champaign had been in the room since Ronnie got there but we were sure it might still be a little chilled from the trip over. We drank a few glasses while we talked about how much we had missed each other. Specifically, seeing each other face to face, holding each others hands, being held…then one thing lead to another and we were laying down on the bed, hot and breathing heavily.

All of a sudden I jumped up! And yelled “STOP!!!” Poor Ronnie “Are you kidding me?” I was trying to make my way off the bed “No, Really! Stop!” Then I couldn’t speak. I was holding my mouth and pushing him away. I did the hand motions for WAIT! WAIT! I took a few breaths and in between I said “Get K - Get K! Need K!” Poor Ronnie didn’t know what to think but he ran out of the room. Ronnie didn’t come back in the room but Kay- Kay and Dizzy-D did and said “Come on! It’s Ronnie! He loves you….” Just before they started in on all the reasons I love Ronnie I said “I HURT! {gagging} My stomach!”

This was something they had heard before…not from me but they knew what to do. In a matter of seconds they opened the bedroom door and announced that everyone look at the front door for a BIG surprise! Then Dizzy said to me “Run to the bathroom. HURRY!” I ran from the bedroom through the living room where there were more than 20 people watching the front door. Then through the kitchen where I almost knocked over Flic and made it into the bathroom. I heard someone say “Did Heather run through here naked?” I was mortified! I wasn’t naked! I was wearing the lingerie but still if they would have said lingerie I would have felt the same.

Warm beer and warm champagne do not mix well in a body that is only 98 lbs. I thought I had it all figured out, I would be so smashed I couldn’t screw it up this time. Now I was in the bathroom with everything in my stomach making a quick exit. Flic and Giggles were in there with me right away. As soon as Kay-Kay and Dizzy-D knew I made it in the bathroom they came in. Flic was holding my hair back and Giggles put a wet wash cloth on the back of my neck. Dizzy-D laughingly said “Only you could be so nervous. You love the guy and now he has to sweat it out …again.” I started crying and Kay-Kay said “Don’t worry. He loves you. He knows you love him and you are trying.” Giggles and Flic added “We can fix your make up and we have toothpaste to freshen up your breath.”

Then a knock came at the bathroom door…it was Ronnie and he was really worried “Heather? Are you ok? Is she ok?” We all laughed!! Then there was a unanimous “She will be out in a minute!” Not only did I love Ronnie but all of my friends thought he was the perfect guy for me. They had never said that about any other guy I dated. Mostly, they hated any guy I had dated before hand. For all of them to agree that one particular guy was perfect for me was just amazing. He had the approval of my best friends, my guy friends and every friend I had. Even my parents liked him!

On top of all of that he was the reason I could breath. I loved him so very much. Then, there I am kneeling to the porcelain god, being violently ill. There was no mistaking what I was doing in that bathroom. I was so embarrassed I just couldn’t follow through. I wanted to, more than anything but now…magic doesn’t follow this sort of trip to the bathroom.

My friends patched up my make up and gave me enough toothpaste to poison an elephant. When the bathroom door opened Ronnie was standing right there. He scooped me up in his arms and carried me straight to the bed room and laid me on the bed “Do you want water? Soda? Anything at all. I will get it for you.” I reached out my hand and stroked his face. “I just want you to hold me” and he did. He placed my left arm across his chest to his right shoulder while placing my head on his left shoulder and he wrapped his arms lightly around me. With a light sigh he said “I love you. Thank you for the party. It was a great party.” I sort of laughed. “Yeah! Some party. I’m sorry. I did try. I did want to…” he shhhed me and said “I know you wanted to. This isn’t easy for you. I Love You. I love you Now, Forever and Always. Always. I Love you. It will happen when it’s the right time for both of us.”

I fell asleep for a little while. It couldn’t have been long because I could still hear music and people in the living room. He was still holding me. It was such a nice, warm, safe feeling that I couldn’t help myself. He was asleep but he woke up when I kissed him. We started kissing. Heavy breathing ensued and he held me tighter and tighter. Soon he was looming over top of me kissing my neck and his arms running under my back. He rubbed his cheeks against mine and said “I love you. I want to be with you …always. You are my love. My one and only. I love you.”

I was so intoxicated with his kisses and his words. I knew all along I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. It was agony being away from him for past few months. I need him like I needed air to breath. I wrapped my arms around his neck and held him close. I kissed him as if my last breath of life depended on it. He kissed my neck and I kissed his. What ever he did to me I mirrored to him. If his body flinched upward so did mine. He kissed my ears and I was lost in a translucent pink fog. Then I felt his presence in mine.

A fearful gasped escaped out of me. He was slowly pushing his way into me. I was confused. It didn’t make my body feel wonderful and tingly like the kissing, gentle touching and being in his arms. It was pressure and painful, like banging your knee on the corner of a coffee table, over and over again. I didn’t know what to do. I froze. He kissed me very gently over and over again while asking me if I was ok. Instinctively I nodded. I kissed him back and he moved …he moved inside me and each time I gasped. I was trying to control my breathing so I wouldn’t cry. This was new to me and I didn’t know how to react. I was afraid but the more he kissed me, the more his arms and hands touched my back and grasped me the more I felt this was right. Sometimes squeezing me too tightly and sometimes very gentle. The pain wouldn’t go away. I wanted to cry. I wanted to stop. His movements became faster … faster. His breathing was heavy and quick. Suddenly he said “Stop! Don’t move!” Then he reached his climax and erupted inside me. The combination of his breathing and the explosion felt wonderful.
It felt like his heart was wrapping its self around me. He stopped moving, kissed me long and hard then laid next to me. I felt relived to have him out of me. But I also felt our souls had been bound together, forever.

While catching his breath he pulled me next to him and squeezed me tightly and asked “Are you? Are you sure you are ok? Did I hurt you?” I held on to him tightly saying “I’m ok. I’m ok.” I don’t know if I was trying to convince him or myself. I felt tears running down my face. I was so confused, I felt sad and happy at the same time. Ronnie loved me. I was sure of that. He would never hurt me. He only wanted to be closer to me. Bound with me. We wanted to be together always and this was a bond that couldn’t be broken. It was very uncomfortable for my body but for my heart it was the most extreme moment of my life.

I was so happy. Then I couldn‘t control the tears that were now running down my face like a waterfall. I didn’t know why at first. He felt the tears on his chest. He leaned over on his side and laid me down on the pillow and in a choked up voice said “Heather! Heather, are you ok? Oh please be ok.” I took a few breaths and said “I’m ok.” the crying grew and he was feeling so sorrowful. I thought of him saying “Don’t Move” and I started to cry more. I sobbed into his shoulder “Did I do it wrong? I‘m sorry. I‘m so sorry.” He half laughed and held me closer. “You didn’t do anything wrong. This is what is suppose to happen.” Ok, so I didn’t do it wrong but I was still crying. There was something else. “Heather, it’s ok. I promise.” I couldn’t stop myself … It had to come out --- I sobbed so wearily “We’re, ….we’re noooot, ….married. I promised and I’m not suppose to…” He held me so tightly I could hardly breath, stoked my hair over and over while kissing all over my face. He said “Shhh. It will be ok. Shhhh. We are getting married. We will get married tomorro, next week, next month or 1989. Whenever you say. I wont rush you. Know this, we will be married. I will be your husband and you my wife. We are ok. We are ok.” My arms closed around his shoulders and I took a few breaths. I could breath and the tears drifted away. Before this night I knew he loved me and he knew I loved him. We jumped over this line drawn in the sands of life together …together forever.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Surprise Party at the Cozy Inn

My friends and I wanted to throw Ronnie a surprise homecoming party at the Cozy. This time it wouldn’t be just Ronnie and I. All of our friends were invited. Ronnie’s best friend Jim offered to make sure Ronnie made it there.

My friends and I booked a large cabin with two bedrooms, full kitchen and dinning/ living room combo. My friends also decided I needed to do a little shopping before the party. I had never been so embarrassed in my whole life! They took me shopping all over the city for lingerie. Everything I saw looked far too slutty. If I had to buy something I wanted it to be classy and beautiful, something you would see on Dynasty. Finally we agreed on a purchase and I was relieved. I didn’t want to go in to one more shop. What if on our way out we had seen someone we know from like Church! Or someone who knew my parents?! I would have just Died!

Since Ronnie made it clear that what ever he was doing I would be right there with him I had to tell him a little white lie. He couldn’t come shopping with us or help us with any of the party preparations. So, I told him I was working that day and he should hang out with his friends. Ronnie is so sweet. He decided to come visit me at work. I wasn’t at work. They also told him I wasn’t on the schedule to work. Oh boy was he angry! He was thinking of all the worst case scenarios. Was I out with another guy? One of those new Guy Pals? He drove all over Frederick looking for me! The longer he looked for me the more his anger grew. Finally he went home and let out his anger in front of his friends. Jim tried to calm him down but nothing was working so he told him about the surprise party. Ronnie calmed down considerably.

I arrived at the cabin in the early afternoon to make sure everything was set up. I even went to the store to pick up a few things for breakfast. Yes, we were staying the whole night. I was not going to be alone. There were two bedrooms and a pull out in the living room. All of the Angles were going to be there to get me through this. I was nervous as all get out and we all knew what had happened the last time Ronnie and staid the night together. This time it was very important. He wanted to get married right away but I needed a compromise. I would be completely his and not sacrifice my high school diploma.

I had to do this! This time I really had to follow through. Not just to do it but to let him know I was his. I wasn’t going anywhere with anyone else. I was going to do this. We had a few near misses getting all hot and heavy in his car at the Falls or the Overlook. We were both all hot and bothered with kissing and he actually managed to be laying on top of me and I was still kissing him. Then he started to undo his pants and I was all “STOP! I need air!” While still laying on top of me he rolled down the window of the passenger door. I then said “Um, ah, I need to get out and walk around.” He said I could do that later. He was kissing my cheeks when he noticed there were a few tears on my face.

He stopped, sat up. Frustrated he said “What?!” I sat up and looked at him with sort of sad puppy eyes “I just can’t. I can’t. I’m sorry.” He banged his hands on the steering wheel then said “Why do you keep doing this to me? We come up here. You kiss me like that. I kiss your neck and you move your body like…” He didn’t finish that sentence instead he grabbed hold of the steering wheel so hard his knuckles turned white. “Ronnie you know I can’t. You’ve always known. I’m really sorry.” He was quit for a few minutes then I said “I just really, REALLY like kissing you. I love having your arms wrapped around me. It feels so good to snuggle up to you.” He let go of the steering wheel, sat back in his seat and closed his eyes. While shaking his head he said “How do you just stop like that? Doesn’t it frustrate you?” “No, actually, I really like getting all hot and bothered like that with you.” He started up the car then said “It must be different for girls. Guys can’t shut it off like that.” I slid up next to him and wound my arm around his and he said “No. You get over there. All the way over there by the door.” He meant what he said but he was being playful about it. “Go on, scoot back over there. No telling what might happen if I get you in my arms again. I don’t think I would stop.” He was sounding a little bit pouty and for some reason that made me want to laugh. I turned my head away and covered my mouth to keep from laughing. “Are you laughing at me?” “Ronnie, you are so cute. I love you.”

So, this surprise party was going to be The Night! Everything was ready. Giggles’ brother provided liquid lavation, we brought candles, food, soda and everyone of the Angles was ready to back me up on The Night. I was ready. Well, almost. I needed some liquid encouragement. It was unanimously agreed that although all the alcohol was still a bit warm it wouldn’t hurt me with my Irish background. So, we girls played quarters to make it fun. No matter who made it …or not I had to drink. After a few rounds of quarters I decided it was time for photos. If I happened to chicken out at the last minute at least Ronnie would have photos of me in my lingerie to keep him company in the Army. Kay-Kay and Dizzy-D told me how to pose and I laughed myself silly. I couldn’t imagine myself being sexy even with this lingerie. Still, I posed and did mostly what they said. Ronnie didn’t know about the photos so I figured what was the harm. If I didn’t like them then he would never know they existed.

Soon other people started to show up. People from our school had heard about the party and started to come in droves. “I only told a couple of people” seemed to be the standard answer. Then there were even people who had graduated a few years before us! Um, huh? Have you ever seen that commercial about the shampoo, then I told someone then they told a few people and so on and so on…

The cabin was over run with people. We didn’t know what to do with them. At first we lied and said all the alcohol was gone. “No prob. We brought our own!” Soon the place was swimming with all sorts of people and alcohol. There was a BIG BANG from one of the bedrooms. Ooops! Dizzy-D, Flic and Giggles were all jumping on the bed with a few of the guys. Just jumping on the bed like little kids would do but to the sound of Punk music. The bed was broken. As I looked into the room I said “You are paying the deposit. You made your bed now you will sleep in it. I’m not sharing my bed with you.”

Several games of warm beer quarters later Ronnie came through the door! Finally! The guest of honor was here!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Off To A Bumpy Start

Friday and Saturday we spent all day with Ronnie’s friends and family. Well, not all of his friends. There was one friend I didn’t enjoy being around. Matt. Matt had a tendency to lean on the negative of every thing possible that could go wrong. It seemed like the only time he didn’t say anything negative was when he said nothing at all. The night I met Ronnie I had my first conversation with Matt. “Are you sure your boyfriend doesn’t mind you dancing with other guys?” “What boyfriend?” “Oh, I see. You mean which one?” I told him “I don’t have a boyfriend.” He asked “Then who is that guy you hugged? He is always up there dancing with you and he sits at the table with you.” “I hug all of my friends. I also dance with my friends.” He pointed out Patrick and I couldn’t help but laugh a little. “Patrick? He is one of my Guy Pals. “That guy is not your friend. He wants to sleep with you. Guy Pals are just guys getting close to you and waiting for the opportunity to screw you.” I was appalled! In a bit of a stutter I said “You don’t know what you are talking about. You don’t know us. We don’t feel like that towards each other. There are rules too.” This I gotta hear. So, what are the Rules? I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue this awkward conversation but I wanted Ronnie to know those guys that were around me all night are not competing for my attention. They are just friends. I told him the rules “Little girl wake up. They don’t care about your rules. They want to screw you.” Ronnie told Matt to stop and for me to ignore him.

While Ronnie was home for Christmas I tried not to say anything that would start up a conversation with Matt. I tried not to say anything at all in front of Matt. That didn’t stop him. He would watch Ronnie and I kiss or hug then say “It will never last. She will cheat on you and break your heart.” Or “She’s never going to marry you.” Ronnie knew this was just part of Matt’s personality and didn’t take it personally. He also knew it was upsetting me. Ronnie had enough and told Matt that if he didn’t stop then he wouldn’t see him for the rest of his visit. He stopped …saying them in front of Ronnie. Instead he would whisper these things as he passed by me. It was very hurtful. Thank goodness we didn’t see much of Matt.

The first Sunday Ronnie was home Giggles said “Lets all go to Player's tonight!” I didn’t really want to go to Players. I wanted to spend time talking with Ronnie and maybe some alone time for kissing. Ronnie wanted to go so we went. After we were there for a little while I figured out why he wanted to go. He wanted to see what was going on at Players, if there was anyone new hanging around that he should be worried about. He even sat out a few dances and told me “Go ahead. Dance with your friends. I will be right here.” I danced with the Angles, Patrick and Ray-Ray as a group no one on one. I preferred dancing with a group but always made an exception for Ronnie. Him I wanted to dance alone with.

I came off the dance floor and sat across Ronnie’s lap, draping my arm around his neck. I wasn’t sitting there for more than a few seconds when Todd came up behind us. “You better put her down. That girl’s legs are locked at the knees and she’s engaged. You’re not going to get anywhere with her. Trust me. I am helping you out.” Before either of us could say anything he grabbed my arm and tried to yank me out of Ronnie’s lap! Ronnie put his arms around me and held me where I was. “Thanks buddy for watching out for her… but don’t you ever touch her again.” To say Ronnie was pissed was an understatement. “Todd! What is wrong with you?! This is Ronnie. He knows I’m engaged. I’m engaged to HIM!” Ronnie asked “Who is this guy?” I introduced them “This is Todd. He is a butt-hole.” Brent and Chris saw what happened and they came over to our table. Brent is Todd’s friend so he stands next to Todd and asked if everything was ok. I introduced him too “This is Brent. He isn’t a butt-hole. He is just friends with one.” Brent laughed. “Thanks. I’m not a butt-hole.” Giggles came to the table to take a little breather. As she walked past Todd she didn’t even look at him but there was a disgusted look on her face when she said “Hello A-hole.” Chris laughed! “See, Heather isn’t the only one who thinks you are a hole!” With that Todd and Brent walked away.

Ronnie asked Chris a lot of questions “Do guys act like this around Heather all the time?” Come on, they were acting like this when you were here. Did you think it was going to change? It’s not her fault really. People want to talk to her. Get to know her. Maybe even try to steal her away from you. She’s solid though. She knows she wants to marry you. She talks about you all the time.” When Ronnie asked about Todd, Chris explained that he knew him from Catholic high school. “Todd thinks he is God’s gift to women and it totally pisses him off that Heather doesn’t faint or fall at his feet when he passes by. I don’t think he is really after her. She just bruises his ego.”

I piped in with “Guys don’t usually grab me like Todd did. Todd doesn’t usually grab me either.” Chris continued, “She handles it all pretty well. If a guy wont leave her alone one of us steps in. She’s fine so long as she doesn’t come here alone.” I asked “Why would I come here alone? It wouldn’t be any fun.

Ronnie squeezed me tightly and gave me such a long, lingering kiss. I was a little embarrassed but I knew he was trying to send out a message to every guy there ‘I was HIS girl. They may talk to me and maybe dance with me but no one, absolutely no one else was ever going to kiss me.’ My friends were a little uneasy sitting next to us while we were kissing. They looked away or shielded their eyes. Dizzy-D said “Get a room. Please!” She was a little upset that Brent wouldn’t come near our table. She wanted to get to know him better and hoped he would ask her out. Brent was the reason we tolerated Todd.

To give my friends a break from the Heather and Ronnie kissing fest I asked the girls if they wanted to accompany me to the ladies room? Ronnie didn’t want me to leave his lap but Dizzy-D grabbed my hand and said “She will be back.” Then sang “We got a meeting in the ladies room. We’ll be back real soon.” Reluctantly, Ronnie let me go.

In the ladies room Dizzy wanted to know why Brent wasn’t coming over to sit with us. Apparently she didn’t see what happened between Ronnie and Todd so I explained. Then she asked me to go talk to Brent and tell him it was ok for him to come to our table. “There is no way! I can’t go anywhere near him with Todd standing next to him all the time. Ronnie would totally Freak! And I don’t trust Todd. I don’t want to be within arms reach of him. He is being extra awful tonight.” Dizzy sulked but we moved on to discuss our plans to throw a surprise party for Ronnie before he has to go back to the Army.

We headed back to our table where we saw Ronnie and Todd standing about an inch apart from one another, fists clenched, staring each other down and yelling. I got between them, pushed them apart and put my arms around Ronnie. I didn’t ask what happened. I could only imagine that Todd came over to provoke Ronnie and he was succeeding. I said to Ronnie “Let’s just leave.” “I’m not going anywhere. He should leave.” I smiled up at him and said “I would like some alone time with the man I am going to marry.” Then I laid my head against his chest. He unclenched his fists, put his arms around me then kissed me hard. Todd was once again walking away angry.

Ronnie and I drove up to the overlook on Gambrel Mountain. He was pretty quiet until we were almost there then he exploded. “What’s going on?! I haven’t been gone that long and look what I come back to?! Guys all over you! I can’t watch over you when I am at the base!” He was yelling at me as if I did something wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong. Instead of feeling defensive and yelling back at him I started to cry quietly. “Heather? What is going on?!” I turned to face the passenger window because I didn’t want him to see me crying. I hate crying and hate it even more when someone sees me crying. “I don’t know what you want me to say. I don’t know what I did that was wrong. I haven’t done anything wrong.” He parked the car at the overlook then turned towards me “Something is going on or guys wouldn’t be grabbing you away from me!” “It’s not guys. It’s just one idiot. This never happened before now. No one grabs me. I tell everyone that I am engaged and how much I love you.”

Ronnie wasn’t letting up “You need to tell guys to back off.” Still facing the window I said “I do, if they don’t leave me alone I do tell them to back off. I don’t do anything to make guys come up to me. They just do and I tell them I’m already taken.” Then Ronnie laid down the law “Heather, if you talk to a guy he thinks he has a chance. If you smile in a guys direction, he thinks he has a chance.” Not really believing him I asked “What then? I’m not allowed to smile anymore? I shouldn’t talk to anyone any more?” “Heather, I don’t think you should dance with Patrick or Ray any more.” I turned around to face him because I couldn’t believe he said that. “Patrick and Ray are my friends! You know them. You know they don’t think like that about me. They are good guys.” Ronnie shook his head “When other guys at Players see you dancing and hugging on Patrick and Ray they think they can do that too.” “I can’t control what other people do or think. If they do think like that it doesn’t make it true. If a guy would come up and try that on me I would tell him to buzz off. Then they go away.” He was getting louder “That’s not the point! They shouldn’t be coming up to you! Does that Todd guy dance with you?” It was odd for Todd to be there “No. Actually, he doesn’t usually come to Players.” He couldn’t seem to stop firing questions at me “Where did you meet him then? He doesn’t go to TJ.” “At the mall. He works at a gym in the mall with Michael.” “Why were you at a gym with Michael?” “I wasn’t at the gym. Dizzy and I were at the mall, Michael was coming out of the gym for lunch. He said ‘Hi’ and he introduced Dizzy and me to Todd. See, I didn’t do anything. I didn’t even hug Michael or shake his hand or anything like you said to make Todd think he had a chance. I didn’t even say one word to Todd.”

At this point I was crying so hard I was choking. Ronnie gave out a sigh, put his arms around me. “Chris is right. It’s not your fault. I’m sorry. I just get so angry knowing that when I am so far away from you there is always going to be some guy like Todd trying to take you away from me.” I slid into his lap and put my arms around his shoulders and squeezed him tight. “No one can take me away from you. I’m Crazy for you. Only you.”

It was suppose to be a fun night out at Players but that didn’t happen. I thought we were going to make out at the overlook and that went completely wrong. It was time to call it night and take me home. When we were standing at my front door I didn’t want to let go of him. I wanted to stay snuggled up in his arms forever.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Soldier Returns Home!

The night finally came! It was time to go to the airport to pick up Ronnie!! His parents picked me up at my house and we made the long drive to the airport. On the way there my mind was on so many things…I cannot get married right now. I wanted to make his first homecoming memorable. I wanted the vision he had of running to me in the airport to happen in a way he would always treasure but not sure what to do. I should have worn something more festive instead of my black and white dress. No, the dress was the right choice since I will wear it in the portrait I will give him later. Did I bring enough film? I want so much to kiss him! Can I kiss him in front of his parents? Sure they expect it but would I be ok with it? I have to get “ok with it” because soldiers expect to be kissed when they come home, parents or no parents. Will he drive me to school in the morning? How soon will we get back home? How much time will we have tonight?

His parents noticed the silence in the backseat and it was going to be a long drive. “How is school going?” “So far so good. I am keeping up with all of my classes. English is the worst since they bumped me up to Honors classes. Seriously, there is no instruction. Mr. Hershey says Read This and Write a paper, 20 pages long, typed and in double space. What about the students who didn’t take typing? I feel sorry for them.” Mr. Leadore asked “So, what do you think of our soldier?” “He is doing very well! I knew he would. No matter what the job he always does really well.”

Mrs. Leadore turned around in her seat to face me when she said “I think it is wonderful that you and Ronnie are planning to get married.” I blushed so much that I was sure I stopped breathing for a minute. I took a deep breath and played with the skirt of dress then she said “I’m counting on you to bring my boy home. I think it is great that you are sticking this out with him. It’s not that I don’t like foreigners or anything but I would like him to marry a girl from home. Then we would know that he would always be around. He will always come back to you. I know he loves you and I hope you know by now that we love you too.” I was so overcome I didn’t know what to say. I played with my skirt a bit more, took another deep breath and on the brink of tears said “I couldn’t imagine my life ….without him.” I looked up and saw there were tears in her eyes but she was smiling so sweetly I knew they were happy tears. “Promise me one thing. Don’t run off and get married without letting me know. I want to be there.” With that she reached over the front seat and squeezed my hand. “If I weren’t strapped in this seatbelt I would hug you.” While still holding her hand I clicked off my seatbelt, put my arms around her neck and hugged her tightly. “I promise.”

Mr. Leadore was not about to sit in a car for the long drive with two crying women. “So, Heather, what kind of music do you like to listen to?” With that he started searching the radio stations. “I can listen to just about anything so long as it’s not banjo music.”

For the rest of the drive we chatted about things like the up coming space shuttle launch. How we hoped Ronnie was taking care of his knees. His old soccer injuries put him in the med unit once while in basic training, after a long march. I was terrified when he called me. He said he was fine but wanted to call to let me know before anyone called his parents. He knew they would call me and I would want to rush right out there to him. I did. I wanted to, but he wasn’t allowed visitors and I wasn’t a family member…yet. Mrs. Leadore assured me that if any “family only calls” she received she would let me know right away!

Absent mindedly I played with my engagement ring, twisting it around my finger. We were getting closer and closer to the airport. Finally! We were there. Mr. Leadore parked the car and we got out. Mrs. Leadore immediately clasped hands with me. We were so giddy with excitement we were almost skipping like school girls holding hands into the airport!

We had just made it to his gate just before his arrival. I had to resist the impulse to jump up and down. I was so excited and nervous I didn’t know how to keep my feet still or how I should be standing or where I should be standing. We agreed to play a little trick on him. Mr. and Mrs. Leadore would stand side by side and I would sort of hide behind them. I peeked between their shoulders to see if he was coming out yet. There he was! In his dress greens looking so sharp. Just as I spotted him I turned my back so he wouldn’t notice I was right behind his parents. Oh my! You should have seen the look on his face when he saw his parents. He was smiling but worried “Where’s Heather?” He shook hands with his Dad who said “Welcome home soldier.” While he was hugging his Mom I turned around. With one arm still hugging his Mom he reached out with the other and pulled me over to him. “Get over here You!” and he hugged me and swung me around while I giggled incisively. He stopped spinning me around but was still holding me off the ground. He kissed me then slid me down his body until my feet reached the ground. We both had forgotten we were in a crowded airport …with his Parents!!! When his Dad cleared his throat Ronnie held me at arms length while still not letting go of my hands “Let me look at you.” He spun me around once then said “Wow, you look GREAT!”

Mr. Leadore said “Let’s go get your bags.” Ronnie pulled me next to him and I was just about to let go of his hands when he said “Oh no you don’t. I’m not letting go of you.” We held hands all the way to baggage claim. He couldn’t stop staring at me. He even tripped on the escalator. “Oh it is SO GOOD to SEE YOU!” I was so excited and so happy I didn’t know what to say. I was still blushing from head to toe from when he first scooped me up in his arms. I was holding Ronnie’s hand! He was Right there next to me! This wasn’t a dream! He was REALLY here!!!

We reached the baggage claim area and he hugged his Mom again but only with one arm since he was still holding on to my hand. When he said he wasn’t going to let go he really meant it. Mr. Leadore went to get the car as we waited for Ronnie’s duffle bag to come through luggage claim. While we watched the conveyor belt he took hold of both of my hands and spun me around until my back was to him, his arms were crisscrossed in front of me and he was holding my hands. He nuzzled into my neck and rocked me back and forth. “Thank you for coming here to meet me. It wouldn’t be the same without you ” Oh my, he really knew how to make my knees go weak. I leaned back against him, I was putty in his arms. I was so relaxed and happy I had to keep reminding myself that we were in public. I just wanted to fall in to him completely.

Ronnie’s duffle bag came around and he picked it up in one swift movement. His Mom and I both looked at each other like “Oh MY! That is a huge bag and he did it without any effort at all.” He also did it without even letting go of my hand!

We waited maybe a minute or two at the door for Ronnie’s Dad then Ronnie asked his Mom to watch his bag “I need to go back in for a minute.” Ronnie pulled me back inside the airport running! We reached a somewhat empty corridor then he stopped suddenly. I didn’t know what he was looking for. Then he pushed me up against the wall while holding my hands above my head. He leaned his whole body against me and said “I. Love. You.” and …kissed… me. My legs went so weak he had to hold me up. He laughed and press himself against me more to keep me from sliding down to the floor. He kissed my neck which made my whole body tingle. He had me in such a daze I didn’t remember anything from that point up until we were all in the car and already on the highway home.

His parents were again in the front seat and Ronnie and I were in the back seat. He was talking to about the people had met and the things he did. His voice was so happy. I had never seen or heard him so happy. He held both of my hands the whole way home. At some points he was so excited about what he was saying he spoke with his hands, which meant my hands where flying around too. At one point he stopped talking, took a deep breath, leaned over the front seat and said “I apologize but you have to excuse me for a minute. He smacked the rearview mirror and his Mom looked down at the floor. Then he lurched over me and started kissing me!!! In the car! With his parents!!! Right there!! I soon felt like we were the only two people in the whole world. Then we came up for air. He fixed the mirror one handed since he was still holding on to me with the other hand. I would have died of embarrassment if it weren’t for the fact I was memorized by his kiss and confidence. His parents played it off like nothing had happened and the happy chatter resumed.

I didn’t know what the plans were for after we picked up Ronnie at the airport. I only knew I didn’t want to be anywhere he wasn’t. Before I knew it Ronnie’s Dad parked in front of my house. Huh? He just came back and I had to go home? It was so NOT fair! Ronnie walked me to my door like he had so many times before. This time it was a little different, “Um, Can we go inside?” Heck Yeah! I didn’t want him to leave my side! After we shut the front door Ronnie put one arm around my waist and one hand behind my neck and kissed me like his life depended on it. Just then my Mom came into the front room and in a surprised voice said “Oh, you’re home!” then ran back to the kitchen. Ronnie and I laughed! Then I said “Can’t I go home with you then you drive me back later?” While still holding me tightly he said “Heather, it is later. It is late and I promised to bring you home as soon as we got back. I will see you tomorrow My Love. Heather, you are my one and only love.” He took a deep breath then rubbed his cheek against mine and said “ I. LOVE. YOU.”

Ever so reluctantly we let go of each others hands and he left. Now how is a girl suppose to sleep after all that? It’s a good thing I didn’t fall asleep straight away. Ronnie called. “Sorry about your Mom seeing us kissing but I couldn’t help myself.” He told me about the great reception his sisters gave him. They were suppose to be asleep when he came home but they were too excited about his return. We talked on the phone for about an hour before our voices started to give out. Ronnie reluctantly gave in saying “I will let you sleep for now. I need to see you tomorrow and I want you awake.”

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Before the Soldier Comes Home

Ronnie was coming home on December 19th 1985. He said to his parents “If she isn’t in the airport. I am NOT getting off the plane.” After which he told me on the phone. “I’m serious. If you are not there, I’m not getting off that plane!” I was so excited about seeing him I couldn’t stop my heart from racing! Ronnie was coming home!!! I was going to see him. Face to Face! I was going to be IN his ARMS in just a few days!!! Even my friends were happier than I had seen them in weeks. I suppose the fact that I was walking on air instead of biting off heads or sulking had something to do with it.

Then I started to get nervous. He had said in many of his letters that he was counting on getting married when he came home. I thought he meant when he came home from the Army for good. Even Ronnie didn’t think he would come home before all of his training and A school was finished. I was still in high school, my parents had great plans for me. I had great plans for me. I couldn’t get married right now. I confided in my friends and bounced a few ideas of how to avoid getting married so soon.

I wrote to Ronnie explaining that it was too soon to get married. We were too young. I even quoted my parents “If we really love each other we will still love each other in a few years.” I even added on the phone “When we make it past my college it will be better for us.” He was not happy….”I said, we’ll talk about it when I get there.”

Hi Giggles,
How are you? 9 more days! I can’t wait until the 19th! I really need to talk to him face-to-face. He was really upset on the phone Sunday. He misunderstood my letters. Ronnie thinks I don’t want to marry him at all. Can you believe that? I do want to marry him so badly but right now it scares me. Everything is getting too serious and I feel like I am being forced to grow up too quickly. I want to have fun w/ Ronnie like we use to. Right now he talks only about getting married very soon and going to Germany. It’s okay to be serious but as long as it’s not total, I need a little fun. With him so far away it is hard on us, but that doesn’t mean we have to get married right away. We will still love each other in a few years.
I heard about Huggles, I wish I could help her some how. We all love her and care about her very much. Don’t let her be depressed - that’s what her Mom wants.
Hey what do you say about O.C. We have to find a place. I might have a car by then and I am not leaving it home!
Well, gotta go.
Love Ya Lots!

Loves T.L.A.

Letter to self 12/10/85
I have hurt too many. Ronnie’s letter tells me that his entire future rests on me. That is too much for me. Although he has never hurt me I am afraid. What if I hurt him?! I think of backing out, but pray that everything will work out in time….Time. What if it grows deeper for him and scares me more? It might hurt him more, I would never want to hurt him. On the other hand I can’t marry him just because I wouldn’t want to interrupt his dream. I do so love him but I can’t help thinking of the hurt and pain. I never want to make anyone feel that way again.
Why am I so confused? I can tell him anything. I know in my heart someday Ronnie will make a wonderful husband!

I was absolutely sure I wanted to marry Ronnie but only after high school and after I established my own career. Ronnie was the first guy to propose to me who thought it was a great idea that I have my own career. He was also the first guy to propose to me that I was actually in Love with! Oh my goodness, I was so in Love with him!

Before I met Ronnie I had been proposed to 9 times…well, 8 since one guy proposed twice in the same year. Yes, I was shocked each time due to my age. Of the 8 guys who had proposed 7 of them I had never even gone out on a date with. Most of them had known me since I was in 6th grade so they knew what they were asking for. Me, I was flattered but there was no way I was going to say Yes when I still had to figure out History, Physics and what a computer DOS could do. Most importantly, I never even considered going out with them let alone marriage. The 8th guy, was Jimmy and I still felt I was way too young and inexperienced in wifely duties to even consider him.

When Ronnie proposed he knew what he was getting into. He knew that I wanted to go to college and establish my own career. He did whittle me down to when I graduated from college to get married. He thought it would be a great idea for me to have not only a job but something that could really make me bloom as an individual. He didn’t care if I did volunteer work afterwards or if I brought in a small income. He did have one condition…that I be home when he came through the front door at the end of his work day. He definitely wanted to be the bread winner and he wanted my parents to know that I was well taken care of.

Being away from Ronnie for three months was hard on both of us because we missed each other so much!! I was willing to say “Ok, after I graduate from college we will get married.” On the phone and in his letters he was always pushing to get married ASAP! During his last phone call before coming home “Maybe when I get off the air plane we could have a priest there? My parents will already be there and people love a wedding so we could get a few people at the airport for witnesses.” Um, what happened to me at least finishing freaken High School?! Ok, I missed him terribly!!! I was even feeling like I was going nuts without him around. I would have agreed but getting a GED instead of my diploma? So NOT happening!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Homecoming Dance

I was asked by someone I knew and I was tickled to death! Someone was actually brave enough to ask me! I had an assigned date, Jim, Ronnie’s best friend but still. It was really nice to know that someone would have gone with me without having been assigned the duty. He knew all about Ronnie and he would get nothing out of it other than dancing with me. I decided it would be best to go to the dance with Jim. This way Ronnie’s mind would be put at ease and after all, Jim was a really nice guy. He was always nice to everyone, very polite, someone you wouldn’t mind introducing to your friends and family. He was cute too, the GQ type of guy. I told him he could dance with whomever he wanted at the dance. I felt a little guilty that he had to come to the dance with me. He assured me he would have had it no other way. I even offered to pay for everything but he said “Ronnie said to make sure it was an evening you wouldn’t forget and I had to do everything….well, most everything that he would do. Ronnie is an honorable guy and you are going to the dance with an honorable guy.”

We went to dinner and then the dance. The dance was great at first. We sat at the table with all of my friends. My friends all wanted to dance with Jim and he was so sweet he agreed so long as I didn’t want to dance. I told him over and over again that I didn’t mind. He was there to keep an eye on me but there was no reason he shouldn’t have some fun too. I kept imagining what the dance would have been like if Ronnie was there so Jim was sort of invisible to me. I wished I had been more attentive to him but I couldn’t get Ronnie off my mind. Jim was great. If I decided I was ok to dance he was up there with me and my friends. I even managed to dance a few slow dances. When they played Madonna’s - Crazy For You Jim danced with me and he didn’t even mind that I cried all over his suit. For the most part I staid at our table talking to all the friends who stopped by trying to keep my spirits up. Many of my cheerful table visitors I didn’t even know. My goodness I have truly wonderful friends and went to school with a lot of terrific people. I couldn’t wait to tell Ronnie about the dance and about how all the girls in the whole school wanted to dance to Jim. He was such a good sport that he danced with every girl that asked except for when he wasn’t dancing with me. He even posed with an uncharted number of girls for photos with girls he danced with and many he didn’t. The dance didn’t go on forever so he made up for it by having his photo taken with so many girls. He was treated like a Rock Star and I was very glad he was getting something out of going to the dance with me.

By the time of the dance I did receive the Surprise Ronnie sent me. It was a cute little white bear dressed in an Army Cami uniform holding a rose.

I wish I could find the photos from homecoming. It was a roaring 20s theme and we girls were all decked out in black. ME! White as can be, every so tiny, in a black flappers dress, two stands of pearls tied in a knot at my waist and wearing my mother’s long fur coat. There was a group photo taken at my house of all of us Angels lined up in a pose - slightly bent down with our hands on our left knee pursing our lips. I even pulled the fur coat down on my left shoulder. It was suppose to look sexy. Everyone else in the photo looked sexy but I look like I was about to fall asleep or really needed an aspirin. I need to get to work on finishing my parents basement so I can find that photo album!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Letter From My Soldier

How’s my Sweety doing? I hope she is just fine. We are in Phase II of Basic training now. That means we get more passes and guess what? We can use the phone any time we want to on our free time. Wow! I tried to call you tonight but you weren’t home. I called Gina instead. Our trip out to the field was alright. It was nice weather Sunday and Sunday night, but it rained Monday morning then it cleared up and was nice til Tuesday afternoon. Then it turned Cold and Windy. On Wednesday we packed up and left. Then we went to the Hand Grenade Range to qualify. I qualified as an expert (the highest you can get) I couldn’t believe my achievement. then today we went to the Live Fire range were they fire M60 machine guns over your head while you low crawl across a field. We got really muddy. The field had about 6 to 12 inches of water on it. Now tomorro we go to the bayonet course and we are done with the hard part of basic training. The rest of the two weeks will be review. One week from today is Thanksgiving. Word is that we get the whole day off to do what ever we want even go across post. We will be wearing our dress greens on Thanksgiving too! Happy Thanksgiving!! It not too long now, I’ll be home soon to see you. I can’t wait! I miss you so much! I love you Heather and I always will. You are my forever love! Just think we will be able to spend our 9 month anniversary together on Jan 1, 1986. I’m sending you or sent you some pictures of me in my dress greens.

I sent you 1 - 8x10
3 - wallets
1 - 3x5

I hope this is enough. I sent my Mom the rest. She got an 8x10 too so don’t worry. You can give Giggles one of the wallets because I owe her a picture of me because I never gave her my senior picture. Remember, If you need more pictures you can ask Mom she might have some extras. I also sent Mom the Platoon Picture, have her show it too you. Well I got to go now it’s late. I Love you so much! Heather You're the future Mrs. Ronald Leadore! No one else can or will take your place! I LOVE YOU NOW, FOREVER & ALWAYS!!! MISS You!


P.S. I hope you can read this. It is hard to write in bed.
Also send me some pictures!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Love Letters Home

A few days later I received a letter. Yeah! Mail! Our mailman was VERY relieved.

Pvt. Ronald Leadore 1st Platoon
B Battery, 5th Training Battalion
Monday, 4 Nov 85

My Dearest Heather,

It is about 9:30 p.m. and lights are suppose to be out. But I got my flashlite on and are writing you a letter in bed. So if it is messy, now you’ll know why.

So, How is everything going with you? I hope you’re doing just fine. I miss you so much!! I can’t put into words how much I miss you. It is the worst pain I’ve ever gone through in my whole life. I want you to know that I love you and you only now and til the end of time. I’m going to be your lawfully wedded husband, and you my wife. I got your card for our Anniversary (7 months). That was so sweet. I knew you didn’t forget. Did you get my card and surprise that I sent you. I hope you like them. I thought they were so cute. Today I got my silver cross from Mom in the mail. Did she show it to you? It is really nice. I like it. She made a good choice. Mom knows best. I also got a letter from Angie today. I thought it was so sweet of her to send me a letter. Do you know what she said about you. Well this is what she said, word for word: “I really do hope you and Heather do get married because she is so sweet. I hope I will be like her when I grow up.” I was so touched to hear that from her. She right though. You are really sweet and loving person. And you’re mine, all mine. I sorry if I’m being selfish but I can’t help it. You are my Fiancé and I am going to marry you on April 1, 19_?_ at 2:00 o’clock. Heather, Don’t worry I do love you so very much. You mean everything to me. I wouldn’t make it if I didn’t know you would marry me when I come home. I got your 3 letters on Saturday. I read them while on 24 hour guard duty. That is where for 24 hours you rotate 2 hours guard 4 hours off. I have it again tomorro night. During my off time tomorro I’ll probably finish this letter to you. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! Mom said that you drove my car around the block once. How sweet. Did you see the Heart with Heather on it. Also, did you listen to the Madonna tape in the car. I wish I could have went around the block with you. I wish you were here with me right now. I miss you so much. I had to leave the room when I read your letters because I start crying. I know I’m being a baby but I can’t help it the girl whom I Love so dearly is so very far away. I miss you! Well I got to go now the Drill Sergeant just came in and caught me. He just told me to hurry up and finish and go to bed. I’m glad he was in a good mood or he would have made me do 100 push-ups or something. The other people in my room are laughing at me right now. Speaking of which, do you remember when I told you that one of my roommates was cool but the other one was a nerd. Well the nerd in our room is worse than Matt. I can’t barely stand him. He hardly ever takes a shower and even when he does he wears the same t-shirt and underwear for about a week or two. He never cleans his area and his bed always looks like Dodo! It always makes me and Brian, the other roommate, fail our inspections. He is a really weird guy. He has never listened to the radio. He doesn’t know any songs or nothing. Right now he is reading some religious pamphlet. I don’t even know what religion it is. He talks funny to, just imagine holding your nose closed while you talk and that is what his voice sounds like well I really better go for now before the Drill Sergeant comes back. Then I’ll really be in trouble. Heather my love, I will Love you now forever and always til the end of time. I miss you so much. Good Night and sweet dreams. Love you now, forever, and always, Ron. I’ll write more tommorro. O.K.

Tuesday, 5 Nov 85
Well I’m in my 24 hour guard duty right now, actually it is only 12 hours tonight. I have guard from 8 to 10 p.m. and from 2 to 4 a.m. The rest of the time is to sleep but I’m going to write you a letter. Your all I think about. Guess what I just tried to call you but you weren’t home. Your Mom said that you went out to the mall with Ray to spend your paychecks. I sorry. Did my mom call you Sunday and tell you that I called? I tried to call you about 3 times Sunday night from about 7 to 8 p.m. your time. Your Mom said you went to Giggles’ house. I bet you when Giggles got home her Mom said Ron called, Yeh! That was me I thought maybe I could get in touch with you at Giggles’. I want you to know that is the only reason I would ever call Giggles, only to talk to you. Well Giggles’ Mom said that she went to Players. So I went ahead and talked to my Mom for a good while. She knows that me and you are getting married. You did know that didn’t you. She thinks it is a great idea. Heather, I miss your voice. I wish I could get to talk to you soon. I’ll keep trying all this week but I’ll almost definitely call, unless something terrible happens, on Sundays from 6 to 8 p.m. your time. Sometimes maybe as late as 9 p.m. your time. I LOVE YOU NOW, FOREVER, AND ALWAYS!!!! I am going to marry you, Heather!

Last night I had the most wonderful dream. I slept so comfortably last night. I wish this dream would have never ended. Someday, April 1, 19_?_ I know this dream will come true. I dreamed that me and you were married and we had a really nice townhouse. It was perfect. Just like the ones we looked at and talked about. You were looking so beautiful. We were so happy. I remember I came home from work, I was dressed in an Army uniform. I drove up in a small red car, probably a Mazda RX-7. When I came in to the house you came running towards me and gave me a big hug and a kiss. I hug and kissed you back. We were so happy. You already had dinner on the table. It was stake and corn with wine and candles also. Then I remember we were cuddled on the couch in front of the fire place watching T.V. I remember you said it was a Friday and we both had off work the next day. I think we stayed up late and well, you know, we enjoyed ourselves. I know that this dream will come true someday. I LOVE YOU!!

I qualified with the M-16 rifle. I shot 27 out of 40 targets and got my marksmen badge. We get our dress green uniforms tomorrow. Wow! On Friday we go into the gas chamber. People say that it is Hell! You have your gas mask on for the first two minutes, this is to prove to us that the mask work. Then for the last 30 seconds you take your mask off and breath in tear gas, this is supposed to let us experience tear gas. I not looking forward to this. Today we went through the obstacle course for the first time. It was really fun. We are just over half way through basic training only 29 more days at Basic Training. I can’t wait to come home for Christmas though. I can’t wait to run through the airport to you and throw my arms around you and give you a great big hug. I still have a cold it is hard to get rid of it because the weather changes from hot to cold every day. The weather here is crazy. I’ll try to get rid of it before Christmas though. It rained all last week here they said it was the hurricane that came through Texas.

Heather, please don’t let anything happen to us. I Love You! Heather, I would never, ever let anything happen to us. We will spend the rest of our lives together and Love each other to the end of time. Heather, I couldn’t go on living life without you. You mean everything to me. God led us together and God will bring us closer together. We were meant for each other and some day soon everybody will know that after we are happily married. My Love for you grows stronger and stronger each day. It will never stop growing. Heather, I LOVE YOU!!!!

I’m glad you started a hope chest for us. I think that is so sweet. Anything that you can do for our future is great. You are my future. I want to please you for as long as I live and never, ever hurt you. We have a long, wonderful, life together ahead of us. I can’t wait to get it all started. (Well I guess it already has) The wedding plans that you put on the back of your letter were just fine. I like them. Maybe the date could be changed to a sooner date. We’ll have to talk about it. The sooner we’re married the less time we will spend apart. The children’s names you picked out are cute. These are the one’s I like best though:

Katie Marie Leadore
Joseph Allen Leadore
Patrick Anthony Leadore I like these!
Elizabeth Marie Leadore

What do you think about these:
Michael Anthony Leadore
Mark Anthony Leadore Let me know
James David Leadore what you think?
Christina Marie Leadore
Heather Ann Leadore

Heather, please don’t ever doubt that I Love You. I always will. Nothing will ever change that. I can’t wait till December 19th. I’m going to spend as much time possible with you. Where ever I go I want you to come with me. I’m going to be with you the whole time. I don’t need sleep when I’m with you. Maybe we could even have a small party at the Cozy.

I can understand you being jealous about me writing Giggles. I wont write her back anyway til she writes me. Don’t worry I don’t think I would believe it if she said some B.S. about you, I know your loyal to me. I trust you and you can trust me. Heather nothing will come between us, we will get married and live happily every after. I’ll never do anything to hurt you as long as you don’t hurt me. I LOVE YOU!!! I couldn’t make it through life without you. Thank you for the poem. I Love it. It looks nice right next to your picture. All the guys love it to. I read it all the time and look at your picture. Well I better go now I have to get some sleep tonight. I know I’ll dream about you. Heather You are my future wife and I LOVE YOU NOW, FOREVER AND ALWAYS!!!!! I miss you so much, Heather. Please wait for me. Good night and pleasant dreams.
Love You Now Forever & Always,
Love Your Future Husband,
P.S. Sorry If this is so messy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

High School Homecoming

Saturday was the big Homecoming game between the Frederick High Cadets and the TJ Patriots. That means giant bonfire and pep rally Friday night. I picked up Giggles and we met the rest of the crew at the bonfire. The rest of us mingled, yes, even me. I wasn’t exactly in a good mood or anything. I was actually pleased with the fact I was civil, polite even, to everyone. By this time the whole school had learned not to mention Ronnie’s name around me, just incase I had not heard from him.

A football player, sorry cannot remember which one, gave me a few things to throw on to the bonfire. Apparently, only staff members are allowed to do this. When a teacher saw me throwing the small items into the flames she yelled and ran in our direction. The football player picked me up and we ran into the darkness where the teacher couldn’t see us. I was actually laughing! We hid out for a few minutes just to make sure we weren’t going to get caught. The football player was on an adrenaline rush and full of the school spirit. He talked so fast I couldn’t really understand what he was talking about. Maybe it was football lingo. Sorry, I don’t speak that language. After we were sure the coast was clear I made it back to my friends.

The rally started to loose its momentum so we decided to have a little extra fun at our rival school. Giggles, Val, Lori and I piled into my car. Just as we were about to leave Patrick leaned his head in my window and asked where we were off to. Val opened the back door and pulled him in. Whether he liked it or not he was apparently going with us…to Frederick High. Of course we couldn’t show up empty handed so we stopped by 7-11 to pick up two dozen eggs. The clerk, John, looked at us suspiciously so I added a half gallon of milk and a package of cheese. “We are going to make omelets.” “Sure it’s not for something ELSE?” “Come on John, you know me.” “Yes. I also know it’s the quite ones you have to watch out for.” We paid for our loot and off we went.

When we reached our rivals I had to circle around the school a few times. Their bonfire was pretty far away from any driving surface. I do throw like a girl so there was no way I could throw an egg far enough to actually have it land anywhere near anyone. Giggle solved that problem by hanging out the window and yelling “FREDERICK HIGH SUCKS! TJ RULES!” Oh poop! Here they COME! A whole crowd of Cadets were rushing towards MY CAR! As I drove away Giggles and Val threw eggs out the back windows and yelled derogatory remarks about our rivals. Some of the eggs actually BOUNCED instead of breaking! The Cadets picked up the unbroken eggs and hurled them back at us, but they missed which made us laugh even harder. Patrick was in the middle so he couldn’t really help. He was just stuck. Lori was up front in the passenger seat laughing her head off. I was trying to get off their school grounds as quick as I could! They couldn’t run very fast so the angry crowd gave up and went back to their bonfire.

Just as I was thinking we were out of the woods…a Jeep came off the grassy field and cut me off at the Frederick High gate entrance. Oh big poo! This Jeep was full of FOOTBALL players!! I stopped my car just in time to avoid smashing into their Jeep…and my car DIED of fright! Frantically I turned the key hoping and praying that the car would just Freaken Start! Oops, too late. The rival football players had already jumped off their Jeep and were pulling me out of my car through the driver’s window!! Patrick yelled “No! Don’t take her! Take Val!” as he pushed Val out the back door and made his way into the crowd of football players. He was trying to save me. Lori moved over to the drivers seat and kept trying to get the car to start. Val was beating her little fists on a football player who just stood there and laughed. Me, I was being held up above the heads of about five football players while Patrick pulled on one of my legs. I was a little scared but still I was laughing so hard my sides ached!

Just as they were about to put me in their Jeep “She’s cute, lets keep her.” Val realized she knew one of the guys. He wasn’t a football player. He was their mascot. Apparently they met at the Frederick Fair last month and got on really well. It was then decided that since Val was a friend of his they had to let me go. They even helped me get my car started. When I was safely back in the car with the doors locked one of the Football players leaned in and asked me “So, do you have a boyfriend?” “Ah, yeah. Yes. I do. Hey I’m a TJ girl. Don’t be ridiculous, I couldn’t go out with you.” As soon as the words left my mouth Lori slammed her foot on the gas and we were outta there! “What were you thinking?! Did you want them to start all over again?” I laughed and said “No! Just, wow. What an idiot. We just threw eggs at them. We are from TJ and he hits on me? What’s up with that?” We returned to our own school full of high spirits and told everyone of our adventure behind enemy lines. Finally, I felt like the fog was lifting and I was actually having FUN!

The next day was the big game! Giggles and I were a little nervous about arriving since this year the game was being held at Frederick High…their home turf. Thank goodness Giggles was driving. There was NO WAY I was bringing my car back to that school. Val, Giggles and I were worried that the football players would recognize us and tell everyone it was us who threw the eggs last night. Maybe they wouldn’t recognize us. They will be on the other side of the field and playing football after all.

Wouldn’t you know it, the universe was going to mess with us. Just as we walked through the entrance to the football field to pay for our tickets…my feet left the ground! A group of Cadet football players, the same guys from last night, scooped me off my feet. The mascot was there and he chatted with Val while I pleaded to be put down. Other TJ students were in line to get tickets and they said “Put her down! She’s a Patriot! She’s on our side, NOT yours!” Then I heard a familiar voice coming from behind our tangled little group. It was familiar but not in a way that made me feel good. “Give her to me.” It was Jimmy. I grabbed the jersey of one of the players and “Don’t you dare. Not him. Please. Just put me down.” As soon as they put me down Giggles said “I’m done with this. Let’s go get our seats” and she left me there with all those Cadet guys! AND Jimmy. One of the football players said “So, how do you know Jim?” Before I could speak Jimmy said “We use to go out.” I don’t think they believed him. I was going to let it stay like that but one of Jimmy’s buddies backed him up. “Hey, I thought you wouldn’t go out with a Cadet?” I smiled and said “He’s the reason I wouldn’t ever do it again.” The football players laughed then left

Jimmy said “Don’t go away. I’ll be right back”. Billy and Jimmy’s other friend (cannot remember his name but he was an over sexed Italian guy) were instructed “Don’t let her go anywhere.” As soon as Jimmy was out of sight I tried to walk away but these guys were not about to let that happen. “Come on Billy. Whatever he has to say can wait until after the game.” I showed him my ring and explained that I was engaged. Nothing was going to come out of talking with Jimmy. Nope, not even Billy was going to budge. So there I was stuck in a corner with my “guards.” A few minutes later Jimmy returned and the guards left. I couldn’t help but laugh! He had his face all painted - game face in his school colors.

Still, I was wondering how I was going to get away from him without causing a big scene. It couldn’t have gone any better if I had planned it. Just as Jimmy started talking, the TJ Band director walked through the gate and I called out his name and waved. As I walked past Jimmy I said “Don’t even think about trying to stop me. He is a teacher.” I skipped up to the band director and asked about what songs they will perform during half time and such. I am sure he was a little confused as to why I wanted to walk with him but he sort of got the hint when he looked back at Jimmy kicking the fence.

I reached the visitors bleachers and found my friends. “Thanks a lot for just leaving me there.” “You know we can’t stand Jimmy. We knew you would get out of it and here you are. What did he want?” “I have no clue. I didn’t stick around to find out.” Everyone was yelling and cheering all around us. It was a great feeling to be in the bleachers yelling and cheering along with them.

I had forgotten Jimmy was even there until just before half-time. I think he came over with their cheerleaders or mascot. After they did their little ditty about how FHS is better than TJHS Jimmy walked up to the front of the bleachers and said he had to talk to me after the game. “I’m engaged. There is nothing to talk about!” We back and forth with him saying I had to meet him after the game and me saying “No.” The crowd behind us was getting really annoyed that someone from the rival school was trying to get friendly with someone on our side. “You’re on the wrong side of the field duffus! Go get a Cadet girl. She’s not interested!” The whole ordeal had to be a little humiliating but hey, it was his own doing.

After the game we were leaving and not only did I have my friends with me but a bunch of my Guy Pals as well. Jimmy and two of his friends were waiting at the exit gate. Bender picked me up. “Good thinking. They cant grab her if she is already being carried.” Bender wasn’t exactly thrilled about being on my Guy Pal list so I was really surprised that he stepped in like he did.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wait A Minute Mr. Postman

While Ronnie was in basic training I went to school, work and even took a night school class once a week. The rest of the time I went out with my friends. Our senior year started, I should have felt like I was on top of the world but I missed Ronnie. I read the page he wrote in my year book over and over again. Before bed I would sit in my room listening to the radio remembering that I had danced with Ronnie to every song that came on. How it felt to be held in his arms. How he would smile when I looked up at him. The way he would pull me across the front seat of his car if he thought I was sitting too far away from him. The way he interlocked his fingers into mine when we held hands and kiss my hand periodically. Then I would cry myself to sleep.

A normal week day for me was to wake up, go to school, leave half day for work study at Montgomery Wards then go home. If I was off work I would rush home at lunch time to wait for the mail man. I would sit at the front window on mailbox watch. Waiting and waiting for the mail truck to turn our corner. Just as I thought I had the mailman’s routine down he changed it. Across the room was a window facing our back yard. While sitting at the front window I would steel a few glances at the back window. Eventually, I saw him turn off the street behind us which meant he was coming to our street! Yeah! Mail!

Then I watched in complete horror as he drove past our street and continued up the main street. I threw myself on the living room couch and yelled “WHERE IS HE GOING?!!”

My Mom came in the room laughing “It is lunch time. He needs to eat too you know.” Our poor mailman. I would spend the next hour pacing back and forth in the front room wishing horrid things upon him (to take place AFTER he delivered MY mail). The hour would pass by ever so slowly. Finally! Here he comes! I would rush out the door and watch him place each piece of mail in the mail box.

If there was a letter from Ronnie I would just toss the other mail on the couch as I ran upstairs to my room. I locked my door, laid down on my bed and read the letter three or four times. I had to read them over and over again because I might have missed a word here or there through my tears. The letters were few and far between. This upset me a great deal but my parents kept reminding me he is not off on vacation. He was being put through many rough, rigorous days and there was barely enough time for sleep let alone writing to a silly girl who wants to beat up the mailman. I waited and waited to hear from Ronnie and I tried to be patient.

Of course there were many days waiting by the mail box where I didn’t receive a letter. Poor mailman. The terrible looks I gave him were as though it was HIS fault. I knew it wasn’t his fault but I was upset and he was standing there.

Friday, November 1, 1985, Ronnie didn’t call and no letter in my mailbox. It was our anniversary and he didn’t even send a post card or anything! Sunday came and still no word from Ronnie. I was completely miserable. I gave up and went to Players with my friends. Did I mention I was miserable? When I finally stopped crying I became angry with the whole world.

As soon as I entered Players my friends all ran over to congratulate me “Happy Anniversary!!” and “What did Ronnie have to say? How is he doing?” To which I replied “Ronnie who?” Flic enthusiastically said “Ya know. Y’er sweetie! Y’er honey! Yer Loverboy.” It was a good thing Giggles got between Flic and I. Strangling her would not have solved anything. I plopped myself down in one of the chairs at our table and sobbed “I guess he stopped thinking about me. He doesn’t love me any more.” Huggles, K-Kay and Flic all tried to cheer me up with “Of course he loves you. Maybe they have him camping or something where there is no phone.” Giggles and Dizzy-D on the other hand were all “So what if he doesn’t? It’s not like it’s the end of the world or anything. Every time you break up with a guy there are at least five guys waiting in line to go out with you. Seriously, when was the last time you didn’t have a boyfriend?” Ok it was true that I was usually dating someone but it did feel like the world was coming to an end.

My friends did their best to cheer me up and got me up on the dance floor a few times. When a slow song came on I would just run to the bathroom. This way I could avoid anyone asking me to dance. Also, it gave me a place to cry. Those slow songs were love songs and made me think of Ronnie. Giggles said I couldn’t hide myself away from the world by running to the bathroom all the time so she made me stay put at the table during the next slow dance.

Sure enough some new guy came up and asked me to dance. I looked at my friends like “Are you freaken kidding me?!” I looked at the guy and very sweetly said I couldn’t dance with him because I have a boyfriend. Apparently that was ok with him. “We are engaged.” “That’s ok, it’s only one dance. Nothing else.” I looked to my friends for some back up but they were all smiles “Come on. He’s cute. He seems nice.” and “Are you sure you have a boyfriend.” Ok, maybe his friends were watching and what guy wants to be shot down in flames in front of his pals? So I went up on the dance floor with him. It was just a dance after all, right?

He was nice. He talked a lot, kept a respectable distance and didn’t try any funny business. He even tried to cheer me up. Then the second slow song came on and it was Madonna - Crazy For You. I couldn’t breath! My face was suddenly wet with tears. I RAN off the dance floor, snatched my purse of the table and made a mad dash for the door! In my hurry to get out I almost knocked down Ronnie’s sister Gina. She said hello or something but I was running to fast to hear what she said.

I got in to my car and started driving. How I managed to get out of that parking lot without hitting anything was just short of a miracle. I couldn’t see anything through all of my tears. I wanted them to stop, just long enough for me to get home. I hate crying! Hate it! Hate it! Hate it! Just then I heard someone honking their horn behind me. What a Jerk! Don’t mess with me right now! I looked in the rear view mirror and saw Gina hanging out the passenger side window waving wildly. Apparently she wanted me to pull over. I don’t know why I stopped the car but I did. Right in the middle of the road! They pulled over on the side of the road and Gina stepped out. I saw her coming towards my car so I got out. When she reached me she started to say something but instead of talking she hugged me and I cried hysterically.

When I became somewhat normal and could actually form real words, I asked if anyone at her house had heard from Ronnie recently. “Are you kidding? He always calls or writes you first. I was going to ask you if you had heard from him.” “No. I haven’t heard from him in awhile. It was our anniversary too and he didn’t even send a note or anything. Not one little word from him.” “I know. Remember, he is a guy. Even though he is my brother, I say give him a few more days. I am sure someone will hear from him. If we hear from him first we will call you. You have to do the same too. If you hear from him let us know he is ok and stuff.” Since I had calmed down quit a bit she asked me to come back to Players and we would all make a great night of it. She jokingly said “I’m not my brother but I would dance with you. If that helps.” It made me laugh. Still, I was worn out now and didn’t feel like going back to Players. I thanked her for talking to me and everything but I was going home.

When I got home my Mom told me that both Ronnie and his Mom called. “Oh GREAT! I finally stop waiting by the phone and he calls! I missed his call. I give up!” I stomped up the stairs to my room and crawled into bed with the phone. Just incase Ronnie tried to call again. He didn't.

Ronnie was apparently trying to live up to the promises he made to everyone that he would write to them. Even my friend Giggles! I was so jealous! Why did he write to her?! He had no business writing to her when he could be spending that time writing to me. Silly, I know but I was a tortured teenage soul. The Home Coming dance was just around the corner and Ronnie wasn’t able to come home.

Hi Cuddles,
How are you? I’m really good. I feel like a brand new person, thanks to you. Ronnie sent me a post card yesterday. I left it at home, but I’ll bring it tomorrow. Saturday I’m going to get the car and we’ll all go to the game. It starts at 2:00. I say we should get there between one and one-fifteen because they’ll be a lot of people there. If everything is okay with you now I want to go back to buddying around together. Well, I gotta go. I’ll see you in 3rd period.

Love lots,

She got mail from My Ronnie?! I was giving our mailman the evil eye for days and she got mail? I didn’t feel like I was very important to Ronnie at that moment. I was actually fuming at the thought she got mail and I didn’t! After class we Angels were walking up the hallway in school together. Everyone was chatty and making plans for the game. I was to angry to speak. I heard Patrick (guy pal) running up behind us but I didn’t even turn around to look at him. Of all my guy pals he was the one who carried me to my classes the most. When I heard his voice right behind me I stopped dead in my tracks, my body stiffened, my hands clenched into fists then I said in a voice I had never heard before “Don’t. Touch. Me.” My friends backed away. Patrick was really surprised “Whoa. What gives?” He started to scoop me up but I turned around, my face in his and gave him a stare that would have made the devil himself go cold. Patrick took a few steps back and I started to walk ahead. My friends stood where they were and hugged poor Patrick. I was good bit ahead of them but I could still hear what they were saying. “She’ll be fine. Just whatever you do, don’t touch her. She’s moody. Totally moody.” Patrick asked why so they explained “She hasn’t heard from Ronnie in a while. He even missed their anniversary. He also wrote to Giggles.” Then Patrick said to Giggles “Oh, so is he your guy now?” I was so angry I couldn’t see straight!

That night I called Mrs. Leadore to see if they had heard from Ronnie today. “Not today. Did your Mom tell you he tried to call you a few times last night? Leanne called to say she got a letter.” I told her my friend Giggles got a post card. “He said he would call Sunday nights around 7 or 8.” Now I would have to wait a whole week! UGH! The thought of him writing to Leanne was a bit more than I could take. Who is she? She is the mean girl with a huge crush on Ronnie. The one who said mean things to me and Ronnie told her to back off. Why would he write to her? He didn’t think too much of her. He just sort of put up with her because they both worked at Murphy’s Mart. So, he was writing to a girl he doesn’t like and to his fiancé’s friend but not to his family, best friends or his fiancé.

I didn’t cry any more. I couldn’t, there were no more tears left in me. Instead I sort of just grew numb. This wasn’t very comforting to my family and friends but hey, at least I stopped biting people’s heads off for absolutely no reason at all. That had to give them some sort of relief.

I know Mrs. Leadore said Ronnie would call on Sundays but I couldn't make myself leave the house that night. What if he called and I was out again? I wasn't chancing it. A watched phone never rings. It was driving my Mom crazy. She tried and tried to get me out of the house for at least a little while. Nothing was going to get me out of the house that night.

My guy pals John (from band) and Patrick were a little concerned about my zombie attitude. “What happened to the happiest girl in the world. The one that was always smiling. The girl everyone wanted to hang out with. Going to school is always rough but just knowing we would see that beautiful bright smile really picked us up on bad days.” It was true, I was a super upbeat personality. Nothing got me down. I bounced through the hallways at school. I was the peppiest of the peppiest. Now I had become a zombie. Trolling through the hallways without expression. No determination other than to move from class to class and go home at the end of the day. I was just going through the motions. I even stopped going to my school clubs and PomPoms…forget it. Nothing mattered to me any more. I had to just face the fact that I might hear from Ronnie and I might not. There was absolutely nothing I could do about but wait.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Soldier’s Girl Always Puts On A Smile

Summer was over and the harsh reality of the Army was gaining on us fast. My parents reminded me over and over again that I was not to cry. I had to be brave and happy for him. “You don’t want him to remember the last time he saw you, you were crying. You want him to think of your pretty smiling face. You have such a pretty face.” The night before he left he met me at my house. Apparently, I had done something my parents were not pleased about and I was grounded. Grounded for the last night Ronnie would be here! It was SO not fair! Ok,they didn't know about the Cozy. They wanted to make sure we were not married the night before he went off to the Army. Everyone, especially my parents, knew how crazy we were about each other.

Ronnie came over for dinner. My family knew this was a special dinner for Ronnie and I so the first floor of the house was off limits to everyone but us. Yes, I was going to impress him with my cooking skills. I cooked steak, corn, mashed potatoes and biscuits. I made sure he did not see the mashed potatoes as I put far too much butter in them and it turned into a sort of weird looking soupy thing. The biscuits I forgot were in the oven until Ronnie asked “Is something on fire?” Ok, so my cooking wasn’t impressive but he enjoyed it all the same. He was such a good sport.

After dinner we sat in the living room talking and holding hands. Eventually I turned on the stereo and placed a small 45 record on the turn table…Madonna - Crazy For You. This is the song Ronnie picked out as “Our Song” just after we started dating. One night after picking me up from work he said we needed a song. I cannot remember what song I had picked out but really, I hadn’t thought about it as much as he had. Ronnie knew exactly what song should be “our song.” He thought about the night we met every time he heard ‘Crazy For You.’ It was perfect.

Since it was his last night I wanted to have one last slow dance with him. Halfway through the song he broke down in tears. I didn’t want to make him cry. I wanted him to have a happy memory of us dancing together to “our song”. We held each other on the couch for awhile then he said he had to go. I convinced my Dad that while Mom was out it would be ok if Ronnie and I went out for half an hour. “Okay, but you better be back here before your Mom gets home or we will both be in trouble.”

Ronnie was relieved that we would have some time alone together but not sure if it was really a good idea. I think my parents were secretly afraid we would run off to a Justice of the Peace and elope. Maybe that was why they changed my curfew. We did think about it once at the end of a date. Ronnie said he didn’t want leave me just yet. He couldn’t wait until we were married. Then we wouldn’t have to say good bye at the end of each night. The more we thought about it the more we were convinced those country road side Justice of the Peace must have been made up for movies. We couldn’t find one, not a one.

Since my Dad agreed to let us have 30 minutes together we went to a party behind the billboards where Ronnie’s friends were waiting for him. No matter who offered me a drink Ronnie was quick to shoo them away. Half an hour later, Ronnie had me home and was kissing me good night. He said “I will be kissing you good morning soon.” I blushed from head to toe! I knew he meant that he would be back in the morning but still, oh my! The way he said it.

Ronnie agreed to let me go with him to the recruiters office where the Army van would pick him up. I promised to be good and cheerful so he wouldn’t cry. I smiled, hugged him and kissed him several times then I smiled and waved as the green van drove away.

I went back home, back to bed and cried myself to sleep. Over the next few months crying myself to sleep became a habit. I tried to be upbeat and cheerful but there were so many places, things, songs and many little things that made me think of Ronnie and how my heart ached for him. My friends were growing tired of my mournful behavior and exhausted from trying to cheer me up. I could manage a smile now and then but it never lasted.