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AWLL 1 - Book 1 - Birgit

Michael Loucks



For Birgit

I. Prologue

Chicago, Illinois

"Got everything you need?"

That was Pete's usual way of checking that my meal was satisfactory and he could safely return to his quarters.

"Sure Pete. See you in the morning."

He noticed the notebooks and the laptop and turned with a question on his lips. But then he turned again and walked out the door. I suspected he had looked at the notebooks when I was in the shower or otherwise busy. But he never said a word. And I was happy about that. If word of my writing reached certain people, there would be hell to pay for both of us.

I started to think about where to begin the book - I had notes, but hadn't started writing. 1976 seemed to be the right place since that was when I met several people who would influence my life and would participate in the story for years to come.

Even before that, though, were five events that created strong memories and in their own way defined who I am.

February 1, 1969 - The King wins at Riverside

Sitting on the tailgate of a station wagon at turn 9 at the old Riverside International Speedway, I watched Richard Petty win The Motor Trend 500 race in a Ford Torino, beating A.J. Foyt by a little over 12 seconds. Through the years, NASCAR would figure hugely in my life and lead to numerous adventures.

July 20, 1969 - One small step for a man, One giant leap for mankind

Sitting in the living room of my parents' house in Bermuda Dunes, California watching ghostly images on the TV, a man from Ohio stepped out of a spacecraft that looked like a bug and walked on the moon. From that day on, I watched space coverage religiously, even after it became non-newsworthy. And when things eventually went wrong, it was devastating.

January 6, 1973 - Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Sitting in a chair in the sanctuary at the front of St. Andrew's Church in Milford, Ohio. A funeral for a soldier who died in Vietnam. My uncle had served, but came back. This man didn't. Looking out I saw a very young woman in black, tears running down her face. I was almost 10. I didn't understand just how significantly this event would figure in my life.

February 24, 1974 - Swords vs. Nighthawks

From the upper deck in the old Cincinnati Gardens, I saw my first ice hockey game when the Swords defeated the New Haven Nighthawks 6-2. The Swords would be gone at the end of the season, replaced by the Stingers. My dad had been a New York Rangers fan and had missed hockey when living in California. At least until the Kings came into being in 1967. I'd attend hockey games off and on, and eventually it would become my favorite sport.

April 4, 1974 - The Old Left-hander, rounding third and heading for home

I was leaning forward in my seat in the first row of the Loge box seats in Riverfront Stadium for Opening Day. Jack Billingham was on the mound facing the Atlanta Braves. It was the first inning, men on first and second and up to the plate stepped Hank Aaron. Moments later, after crushing a pitch over the wall in left-center, Hammerin' Hank crossed the plate to score home run number 714. The crowd erupted and the Braves congratulated Aaron at the plate. The Reds would win the game, but the 1st inning was what everyone would remember.

On the way to the car, I listened to Al Michaels and Joe Nuxhall on the post-game show as I did for almost every game. I loved Joe's tagline at the end of his part 'This is the old left-hander rounding third and heading for home'. It was a great sign-off. One I would hear for years to come.

II. Setting the Stage

August 1976 - Age 13

'If you end up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.' -Frank Zappa

Walking down the hall of Milford Junior High, I was looking for locker number 101. Tim Abbott had locker number 100. I found it, right outside my homeroom, Room 10. For the first time in my life, I actually knew people in my school on the first day. Prior to eighth grade, I had attended a different school district every year from Kindergarten on. This was my second year in the Milford Exempted Village School District, and it felt good.

My parents moved a lot. In fact, they moved nearly every year I was in school, and before that they had moved several times. By the time we ended up in Milford, I had lived in La Habra, Yorba Linda, Bermuda Dunes and Palos Verdes in California, Tucson, Arizona, and Cincinnati, Ohio. I went to religious schools for kindergarten, first, fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

I put my lunch (I always brown-bagged it with the same thing every day - salami sandwich, chips, an apple, orange or banana and cookies. Mom still packed it.) into my locker, stowed my book bag (backpacks were not a thing yet) and went to homeroom.

I found my name on the 2nd desk in the row by the window (right behind Tim Abbott, of course) and sat down. Ms. Booher, a tough-looking, very fit blonde lady (I would find out later she was the girls volleyball and basketball coach) was at her desk looking over her homeroom class list. I knew I would have her for 2nd period for "Atoms and Molecules" an introductory Chemistry class.

The bell rang as the final students filed in. I knew most of them from Milford Main, the middle school that housed sixth and seventh grades. There were a few cute girls, a few guys I'd had some trouble with last year but no friends. In fact, I didn't have too many friends. My best friend from 7th grade had moved over the summer and my previous best (and still good) friend lived 15 miles away, near our old house in Anderson Township.

The principal came on the loudspeaker, welcomed us, made a few announcements about clubs and sports that started right away (the football team had been practicing for a few weeks already) and then we stood and said the Pledge. I'd repeat this every school day for four of the next five years. Junior year was an exception, but we'll get to that.

Ms. Booher called the roll and when she called out 'Stephen Adams', I said 'Steve, please,' since that's what I went by. She appeared to make a note in her grade book. I'd be doing this every period today. Only my mom and her family called me Stephen. Oh, and my seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Oligee, who called everyone by the proper given name. She was a very old-school teacher, but I had heard that the teachers at the senior high could tell if you had her just by the quality of your grammar, spelling and word use. I suspected the rumor was true.

I learned that the very cute blonde in the seat right behind me was Birgit Andersson, a Swedish exchange student. Little did I know the huge impact she would have on my life, all from me saying "Hi" to her when the bell rang to send us on to first period. She said "Hi" back and I could detect only the slightest accent. We introduced ourselves and discovered we had a few classes together - Health first period and English sixth period. I decided that maybe this year would be better than last.

In seventh grade, I had been picked on constantly. Being the new kid, being forced to dress differently (my parents did not like blue jeans - I didn't even own a pair, and if my parents had their way, I wouldn't until I moved out of the house), and getting really good grades, made me the target of a lot of jokes, jostling, and some outright bullying. It had been better since the class bully challenged me to fight and I took him up on it. In the end, it wasn't even close.

As soon as we were in the locker room, he said "Let's Go" and took a swing at me. I ducked. But then I swung back. I hit his shoulder when he dodged, but he was shocked I was fighting back. I decided right then to press it. I never landed another punch, but he keep retreating, shocked at what was going on. As the gym teacher came in to see what was happening, I simply turned around and went back to my locker. Jim Hornberger never heard the end of it - that he had chickened out of the fight by backing away from someone who was supposed to be the class wimp. I knew I had to watch out, but it was close enough to the end of the year that I managed to avoid any dangerous situations with him. That ended the bullying.

Walking down the Junior High hall to Mr. Saneholtz' Health class, I saw a couple of my past nemeses, including the just discussed Jim Hornberger. None of them said anything. Perhaps I was off the hook. If that was the case, maybe, just maybe, this would be a good year for me. I also saw Susan Pollard, my girlfriend from last year. We had broken up over the summer, but I wasn't particularly broken up about it. She was still a friend.

I walked into Mr. Saneholtz' room, just down the hall from my homeroom. The board had his name and a note saying "Sit where you like." I plopped down front row center, a habit that I'd started early on in my schooling. It made it easier to see the board. Birgit sat next to me on my left without prompting, which made me happy. On my right was a swarthy kid with very dark hair and thick-rimmed glasses. He leaned over and said "Larry Higgins" and I said "Steve Adams" just before the bell rang.

Mr. Saneholtz called the roll ('Steve, please') which he noted), handed out our books and a syllabus, then had us introduce ourselves and tell one interesting thing about us. Each kid stood up, gave their name and something interesting about them. Birgit said she was an exchange student from Stockholm, Sweden and told a bit about that. I related attending different schools in different cities nearly every year and Larry mentioned he had a ham radio.

The rest of the day pretty much went the same. It turned out that Larry and I had the same lunch period, so we decided to sit together. He had two younger brothers and I said I had a younger brother and sister. Funny thing - both middle kids were named Jeff. His dad worked for IBM as a Field Service Tech and his mom was a nurse. My dad owned a plumbing company and a gas station and my mom was a homemaker (yeah, they used that term). She did my dad's books, but that was done mostly at home and didn't take a lot of time. Larry lived too far to bike from our house on Milford Hills Drive, but my mom had never objected to giving me rides so I figured we could hang out in the future.

I asked him if he played Dungeons and Dragons (a game I had learned over the summer from Kevin Dugan who lived just down the street from me, but who was a sophomore at the High School). He didn't, but we both liked chess and we both bowled. It was the beginning of a long friendship.

September 1976

The Reds. Oh man. They were on fire. They were favorites to repeat. I remembered the 6th game of the '75 series. Perhaps the greatest game of baseball played in my life, perhaps the greatest ever. And the Reds lost that one. But they went on to win game 7. I felt a repeat was in the cards.

The school year was progressing. It really wasn't all that interesting and the classes were pretty easy so far. The only truly interesting class was American History with Ted Dixon. He made the class interesting and often regaled us with stories that were most definitely not in our textbooks, often saying "If you want the rest of that story, you'll have to look it up yourselves" when things of a more "mature" nature were in question.

Larry and I had joined the same bowling league and asked to be on the same team. He was better, but not by much. And I had become friends with Birgit. She had just turned 14 (as I would in April of '77) and had come to the States with Youth for Understanding, an exchange program. She was cool, and Larry and I went to a few of her volleyball games. We hung out afterwards a few times, finding out that we enjoyed each other's company. I also enjoyed looking at her - blonde hair, blue eyes and a nice figure.

There wasn't any place really close to the school to hang out, so we usually just sat in the bleachers and drank Cokes. Birgit said "America is quite different from Sweden - at least in the big cities there are coffee shops to hang out at near the school."

"Yeah, Milford isn't exactly a big town - there are a few places on Main Street and at Five Corners, but that's too far from school to go without a car. Same with my house, and since you live right across the street from the school, your mom or my mom would have to bring you and Larry home."

Larry lived about 2 miles from the school and could bike if it was light out.

"How did you become an exchange student?" Larry asked.

"I had a friend who did it last year and said it was a lot of fun so I signed up. My parents have an American girl staying with them now, since YFU Sweden requires it. Do you boys want to come to my house? My host mom said it would be fine. Your parents could pick you up there."

"Sure!" I said and went to find the pay phone. I dialed home, explained to my mom I was hanging out with Larry and Birgit at her house (and yes, her host mom was home!) and she said she'd pick me up in an hour. I wanted longer, but she wasn't buying it. "Fine" I said in a snippy way that I knew I'd pay for when she came to get me. Oh well.

We walked to Birgit's house, I met Mrs. Spencer, her "host mother" as she called her. She was the same age as my mom and stayed home as well. I think she probably knew my mom, since I recognized Mrs. Spencer from Church (my dad never went, and neither did Mr. Spencer) where Larry and I were both now altar boys.

We sat on the couch, listening to WKRQ radio, drinking some Cokes. Birgit was clearly flirting with Larry. He had just turned 14 and was pretty good looking - better than me, for sure. I could tell by the way she talked to him, giggled at his dumb jokes and otherwise made it clear she was interested.

Darn. Him. Not me. Larry was either clueless, uninterested or both. I couldn't figure it out and I sure couldn't ask him there! And I was kind of miffed that the Swedish angel didn't seem interested. We got along so well, I couldn't figure it out. Why? Larry and I had become such good friends that I couldn't hold it against him, but I sure was jealous.

I saw my mom's station wagon in the driveway and knew it was time to go. Larry asked for a ride and I said yes, knowing my mom would take him. "Man, she is hot for you! A hot Swedish girl! You gotta ask her out!" I said as we walked out together.

He just looked at me and said "Nah, I'm not really interested."

"You're crazy not to go for it."


I just shook my head and got in the car. It made little sense to me.

"Stephen, you can't use that tone with me. You're lucky I let you come here and didn't come get you right away."

I didn't say anything. No matter what I said would have been wrong and I had learned that she shut up quicker if I just kept quiet. Yep, I had a bad relationship with my parents and it was getting worse by the day. She saw Larry and greeting him warmly. Of course.

"Thanks for taking me home, Mrs. Adams."

"You're welcome Larry."

We dropped off Larry and headed home. Dad was home, as he usually was in the early afternoon. As the owner, he set his own schedule. He liked to be in his office very early, come home in the afternoon and then work in his office at home in the evening. My relationship with him wasn't much better.

"Steve, the lawn needs mowing."

Not even a hello. Typical dad. I had an hour before dinner so I figured I'd do it then rather than listen to him complain if I waited until tomorrow. My brother Jeff stuck his tongue out at me as I went by. I didn't bother complaining since my parents wouldn't do anything. Like usual.

I put on some shorts and a t-shirt, got out the mower, checked the gas, filled it and cut the lawn. It wasn't a huge lawn so I was done in about 30 minutes, front and back. Fortunately it was a bagging mower so I didn't have to rake. I had enough time for a shower before dinner. I quickly showered and passed my little sister Stephanie on the way to my room.

"Hey Squirt"

"Hey big bro." Now that was more like it! The only one in the family I really got along with. She was 9, cute as a button and really smart. "How was Birgit? Get anywhere with her?"

I sighed, "No. She likes Larry. I think she's just going to be a friend."

"That stinks for you, but Larry should be happy. He's cute, too!"

"Not interested"

"What? Does he already have a girlfriend?"

"Nope. Just not interested."

She thought for a moment and said "Well, all the boys in my class think girls are gross. Maybe he still thinks that?"

"Maybe. We've never really talked about it."

Mom called us to dinner. Mac and Cheese. As usual, it was dry and tasteless. She could not cook. Dad was a decent cook, but he mostly did Sunday breakfast and the grill. At least there was salad, so I could fill up on that and eat the minimum required Mac and Cheese. The conversation at the table was the usual collection of praise for anything Jeff did, scorn for anything I did, and treating Stephanie like a princess.

Pretty much anything I said was disregarded or scorned. To me, a perfect example of how my parents treated me was the "Scotch" incident. My dad made a comment about Scotch and I said "It has to be made in Scotland." To this day, I don't know why he decided I was wrong, but he did. "No, that's not true."

"Yes it is."

"No it's not, and that's enough from you young man."

Really? I knew I was right, so I ran to get the "S" volume of the World Book Encyclopedia. And I showed him and mom. And was promptly grounded to my room for a week. I kid you not. This had happened when I was twelve and I never forgot.

After dinner, homework and M*A*S*H, I went to bed. I was fortunate enough to have my own room with my own radio and record player, and of course, my books. Lying in bed, I thought, all in all, it was another day like any other. And there would be a lot more of those this school year, I thought.

October 1976

I decided to try something different. The school newspaper, JR Journal, was looking for 8th grade reporters. I knew I'd get an endorsement from my English teacher, so I went and talked to the faculty advisor, Mrs. Toepfer. She was an English teacher at the High School but was helping out by covering the Jr. High newspaper. She asked me for my writing samples and I gave her a couple of essays from English class plus my first quarter history research paper on Paul Revere. She asked a few other questions and said she'd get back to me. I hoped I got in. It would give me something to do Monday, Tuesday and Thursday after school. I wouldn't have to go home. And that was a good thing.

A couple of days later, Mrs. Toepfer found me as I was heading to home room and told me I was in. I should come to the meeting that evening if I could, otherwise on Monday. I had told mom I might stay after school and she had agreed to pick me up. When the dismissal bell rang for the day, I headed to the classroom where all the layout desks and stuff were set up. Mrs. Toepfer was there along with the rest of the newspaper "staff." I got my first assignment - a story about my friend Danny Baer and his two brothers - all football players. Danny's older brother Frank was a Junior, and David was his twin.

It took about a week to interview them and the coaches and write up my 300 word story. We also got to write our own headlines, so I chose "The Three Baers." Corny, yeah, but that was the style of the JR Journal. I turned it in and after some light editing, it was approved for print with my name in the by-line. Cool. I wrote more stories, mostly about sports, which seemed to be my beat.

The Reds would meet the Yankees in the World Series. They had swept the Phillies 3-0. The hated Yankees were their opponents. My dad was a Brooklyn Dodger fan from way back, so even though Los Angeles was a foe of Cincinnati, he was rooting for The Big Red Machine. They swept the Yankees. The last game was a laugher. 7-2. Back to back champs. Johnny Bench as MVP.

The Volleyball season was in full swing, and I made sure I covered their games, looking for stories. I really didn't need to look hard since Birgit was a perfect story. A short interview with her, a brief chat with Ms. Booher and the article was done. "Sweet Swede Sweats for Success." Mrs. Toepfer almost vetoed it, but when I told her that Birgit was OK with it, she let me use it. They even ran a picture of her in her volleyball uniform. Our photographer let me keep the original Polaroid. I kept that pic in my notebook the rest of the year.

November 1976

Our school custodian was retiring. Mrs. Toepfer asked if I would write a 500 word article about him. My sports "human interest" style had been well received and she felt I should do this one. The custodian had been there for 25 years and they were going to miss him. I wrote the story and came up with the ultimate headline of my short newspaper career: "It's Hard to Let Go of Mr. Leach." Yeah, I know, cornier than ever.

The Volleyball season ended and Birgit had more free time. Larry, Birgit and I started hanging out together at her house after school. I got to know her host mom, Mrs. Spencer and also met her 'host sister' Melanie, a fifteen-year-old fox. We had a great time playing hearts, chatting and just being together.

I was infatuated with Birgit, but she never gave me any sign at all that she was interested in me that way. She'd laugh at my jokes, talk to me on the phone, hang out with me, but there was never an opening to move things even to a 'date' - going out with Larry as a group was fine, but I don't think there was ever a time when we were alone together. And I felt that was her doing. I didn't press it, despite being frustrated. Birgit always talked about people back home, but never a special guy. Maybe that was it and she just wasn't letting on.

My dad took me to my first Cincinnati Stingers hockey game. They beat Birmingham 2-1 in the new Riverfront Coliseum, rather than the venerable Cincinnati Gardens. The stadium was built right next to Riverfront Stadium where the Reds played. I hoped we'd get to more games. I much preferred ice hockey to football during the winter.

December 1976

On Christmas Eve, Larry, Birgit and I were at his house to exchange presents. We had set a limit to keep things cool between us. I gave Larry a chess book and I gave Birgit an inexpensive but cute necklace with a 'B' and two small chips of something that looked like diamonds but most certainly weren't. Larry gave me a set of D&D dice and a thief miniature I could use during my D&D games. Birgit gave me a Dala Horse, a traditional carved horse painted mostly red, that she'd had sent over from Sweden. Larry got the same thing from her, and he gave her a book about Milford (one of those coffee table books with lots of history and pictures). We had a great time at our own Christmas celebration.

Christmas Day came and went, I got a lot of loot (my parents sole indication of affection was the pile of presents I got at Christmas). I hung out with Larry and Birgit, played Dungeons and Dragons at Kevin's house, read, went to the movies and did all those things a normal thirteen-year-old would do. I didn't have a girlfriend, but that didn't bother me too much. I wanted one, but I wasn't suffering without one.

III. Awakenings

January 1977

The new year didn't see much change. I was working on the paper, bowling, playing chess and hanging out with Larry and Birgit. Larry had been working with me on my chess game and it had improved. My bowling was slowly improving as well and I had my unofficial average up to 160. A new Wendy's had opened in Milford and that, along with Frisch's Big Boy became our hangouts. Sadly, we all needed rides. Larry was a year older (he had missed a year of school due to mono), but was still a year away from a license. Fortunately, between his mom, Birgit's host mom, and my mom we could usually swing a ride.

A new bowling league kicked off, it would run from January through April. Larry and I both signed up, but this time we ended up on different teams since the teams were assigned randomly. I didn't know any of the other kids on my team, but they seemed nice enough. It was always a good time, and Birgit came to watch our games on Saturday. I tried to get her to bowl, but she wasn't interested.

What did interest her was ice skating. She convinced Larry and me to go ice skating with her. I had only tried it once, on a frozen pond by my old house when I was in 4th grade. I didn't have a lot of luck. We got to the rink and rented skates. She had her own. Go figure. A Swede into winter sports. I asked, and yes, she skied as well. That was something I had never done, but it sounded cool.

Larry and I fell. A lot. But eventually she guided us into being able to skate and turn and, more importantly, stop. I wasn't very graceful and still fell some, but I was getting the hang of it. Larry on the other hand, didn't appear to be having fun. He confided in me that he much preferred Tennis and Bowling to skating, but he wasn't going to say anything to Birgit since he didn't want her to feel bad.

We finally had enough (or rather, my legs and butt hurt enough) to get some hot chocolate and rest. We sat and chatted, Birgit looking super cute in her white winter coat, sitting right next to Larry, their shoulders touching. He didn't react much. I hadn't raised the issue with him since he wasn't talking, but it was clear that Birgit was still interested in him. I sighed internally and kept up a happy appearance. I was just happy to hang out with her. I knew she was leaving in 5 months and that Larry would still be there, and I sure didn't want to hurt our friendship or have him hurt when she left, so I just let it go.

We did make a couple of Stingers games, but my dad was concerned they were not going to make it. There weren't enough fans in the stands.

April 22, 1977, Age 14

My birthday was pretty good. My parents gave me my usual pile of gifts, including a 14" Black and White Television for my room. They may have treated me like dirt, but they did buy me cool stuff. Kevin, Larry, Birgit and a couple of other kids from my D&D group were coming to my house for cake and ice cream after dinner. As my friends finished 'singing' Happy Birthday (none of us could sing very well), I blew out the candles, making a wish that Birgit would finally want to go out with me instead of just being friends. Over the past few months, we had hung out a lot and got to know each other really well. I knew she was going back to Sweden in two months, so I even if I got my wish, it wouldn't be for very long.

Larry gave me a new chess set - a nice one with weighted pieces and felt bottoms and a good board. Kevin gave me 2 complete sets of D&D dice. The other members of the D&D group chipped in on a Player's Handbook for me and Birgit gave me a shirt with a mock turtle-neck and, to my surprise, a pair of jeans. I hadn't discussed this with her, but she knew my parents would never buy them for me and would never let me buy them. I could already see my mom's disapproving face has I held them up and thanked her profusely.

Since it was a school night (Tuesday), Kevin and my two D&D friends left around 7:30 to do homework. They lived on the same street so they could walk home. Larry's mom was giving Birgit a ride since it was on the way. The three of us stood on the front steps of the house waiting for his mom. As she pulled into the driveway, Birgit said "Happy Birthday" and then leaned over and kissed my cheek. I must have turned 12 shades of red. Yeah, Susan and I had done a lot of kissing before (that's all we did), but this kiss on the cheek was electric. Soft lips, a brief touch of my shoulder and then she was off to the car calling out "See you in school tomorrow." Larry laughed at me and said "Man, you are blushing" as he punched me lightly in the arm and jumped into the car. I waved to his mom and they were off.

I was in heaven. Even as mom was saying "You are not to wear those jeans to school" I was floating. Even mom couldn't bring me down. Was I going to get my wish? And if I did, how was I going to feel in June when she went home? A million thoughts went through my head swirling around. I had a tough time concentrating on my homework but I got it done. Then I tried on the shirt and jeans. The shirt made me look a couple of years older - like I was 17 or 18 instead of 14. And the jeans felt good. Falling asleep was tough. Images of Birgit kept running through my head. I grabbed a clean sock out of the drawer and masturbated to a new fantasy - Birgit.

I almost floated into homeroom on Wednesday morning. "Hi" I said to Birgit. "Hi" she said and I gave her a big smile. When the bell rang for first period (we weren't in the same class this quarter, but the rooms were next to each other), I grabbed her hand to hold it while we waked down the hall. I'd never done this before and she kind of drew back. Uh-oh. Did I misread? I let go of her hand and we just walked to class.

At lunch, I discovered that I had indeed misread her. She knew it. I knew it. But it was never directly said. I sulked for most of the day. Larry was in my 7th period class, the last of the day. "Man, you got what you wanted forever!"

"Nope, I don't think so."

"But she kissed you."

"Yeah, as a friend. Nothing more. I'm sure of it."

"Did she tell you that?"

"Nope, but she didn't want to hold my hand and when we ate lunch it was clear I misunderstood. She's just a friend."

"Oh, man, I'm sorry."


I was bummed for a week, but managed to keep up appearances with Birgit while I stewed and cursed myself for reading too much into a peck on the cheek.

May, 1977

I was blown away from the openeing scroll...A long time ago, in a Galaxy far away. Larry and I were sitting in the Mariemont Theatre watching a new movie from some guy named George Lucas - Star Wars. I was totally engrossed in the movie. Larry and I usually whispered a bit about movies when we saw them, but this one just reached out and grabbed us and we sat in almost stunned silence. The special effects were amazing, the story was amazing. We would go on to see it 4 more times. I'd never seen a movie more than once before that. I walked out of the theater in awe.

The next day, Sunday, I was at St. Andrew's church for mass, as usual. I usually served as an altar boy for a month, then had a month off. April had been my month. It was May, so I was sitting in the pews with my mom, Jeff, and Stephanie. As usual, Jeff had the aisle seat, then Stephanie, then mom, then me. To my left was Mrs. McGrath. Her husband had been killed in Saigon about four years ago. My uncle (mom's brother) was in Vietnam at the same time, but he came back. I was pretty much out of touch with the adult world at church, but I knew the story since I been an altar boy at his funeral. I didn't see her at church much, only once every couple of months. Maybe she went to a different mass most of the time.

I had been in the habit of wearing the shirt Birgit gave me to church since it looked so nice and made me look older. Part way through the service, Mrs. McGrath lost her place in the missal and I showed her the page. Later in the service, she couldn't find the right page for the hymn and I showed her again. She grabbed my arm and said "Thanks, I really need you." I just smiled and went back to the hymn. Church ended and I was off to get some juice and a doughnut from the church basement.

When Mom came down she said that Mrs. McGrath had asked if I could do some yard work for her and she had told her yes.

"When?" I asked.

"Next Saturday."

"But, Mom, Birgit's party is Saturday."

"This is more important. Mrs. McGrath needs the help and you're going to help her."

"You don't care about what I want; You never do," I muttered as I stormed off.

Fortunately I hadn't said it loud enough for Fr. Buschmiller to hear, or I would have been in even more trouble.

On Monday, I was in a really bad mood. Birgit figured that out right away.

"What's wrong? You look upset."

"Mom's making me do yard work for this lady from church on Saturday."

"Maybe you can talk to that lady and see if you can start very early in the morning. Maybe you can get done in time to come to my party. It doesn't start until 2:00pm" she said hopefully.

"I should have thought of that! Great idea. I'll just work it out with Mrs. McGrath and then tell mom that's what she wants. I'm sure she'll help, so seems nice."

So the plan was hatched. Only one problem. I had no idea how to get in touch with her. When I called Larry that night I explained my dilemma. He started laughing and said "Man, you are dumb. Go get the church directory and look her up. I bet her phone number is in there."

"I never even thought of that. Larry, I owe you."

"What are friends for?"

I felt a lot better after that call. But then again, Larry could always see the bright side of things!

I went downstairs and found the church directory without Mom seeing me take it. So far, so good. Now I just had to make sure I could make the call without her knowing and then get Mrs. McGrath to agree to my plan. Mom was watching TV with Dad so the coast was clear there. My brother was out in the yard and Stephanie was in her room. I went to the upstairs extension in my parents' sitting room (where I made my calls for a bit of privacy) and quickly dialed her number. She answered on the second ring.

"Hi, Mrs. McGrath; this is Steve from church."

"Oh, hi! I wasn't expecting you to call. I was going to call your mom with the details on Friday."

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about. I'm supposed to be at my friend's party on Saturday afternoon. She's an exchange student and this is her going-away party. Mom won't let me go because of the yard work."

"Oh, my, I didn't know she didn't tell me!"

"She wouldn't."

"Don't worry about it, it can wait a week."

"Mom will never let that happen, even if you ask her. She'll know something is up, and even if you change the day, she might not let me go to the party anyway."

"She would do that?"

"It's happened before. How much work is there to do?"

"About four or five hours, probably."

"Could I start at 7:00am? I know I can't run the lawnmower or trimmers that early, but I could do everything else and finish up with the loud stuff after 10:00am."

"I think that will work. There are weeds to pull, flowers to plant, some chicken wire for the garden to put up to keep out the rabbits, a fence that needs fixing, and then the lawn. No trimming."

"Do you have a bagging mower or do I have to rake?"

"You have to rake."

"Could I bring our mower if my dad lets me? It has a bag."

"Sure! I'll feed you lunch, your mom can pick you up at 1:00pm and you can still make your friend's party."

"You're cool Mrs. McGrath! Please don't tell my mom this was my idea."

"Don't worry about it. I'll take care of everything. See you Saturday morning!"

"Bye Mrs. McGrath."

Score! I quickly hung up and called Birgit and Larry and let them know what had happened. They were as happy as I was! Now all that had to happen was Mrs. McGrath to call Mom on Friday, ask that I be there at 7:00am and not let on that I had called. Fortunately, the bowling league had ended just the previous week, otherwise the plan could never have worked.

On Friday afternoon, when I got home from school, I saw a note on the fridge: "Be at Mrs. McGrath's at 7:00am." I almost let out a "Yes!" but remembered I was supposed to be upset about having to go. I went to find dad.

"Can I use our bagging mower tomorrow at Mrs. McGrath's?"

"Doesn't she have a mower?"

Uh oh. How would I know if I never talked to her and I hadn't heard anything from mom. I had to think fast. "Uhm, I'm just concerned that she might have one I don't know how to use or it might not be in good shape."

"Good thinking son. With her husband dead, who knows? OK. You can take it. Just get it in the station wagon tonight."

Whew! That was close. And I even got one of those very rare compliments from dad.

Dad was a former Navy Chief, having fought in World War II. He got married late in life (he was 45, my mom was 26 when they married). I found out later that he never wanted kids but let my mom talk him into it. If there is a better recipe for disaster, I don't know what it is. My dad was 60 and I was 14 - it was like having a mean grandfather for a parent. Funny thing though, my mom's parents were nice and a lot of fun. I wished their parenting skills had worn off on her.

Saturday arrived, bright and clear. I was up at 6:00am, put on my jeans (yes!) a t-shirt, socks, and sneakers and went down to grab some cereal for breakfast. I grabbed Frosted Flakes, the sugar bowl, the milk and the orange juice. Yes. The sugar bowl. I put sugar on Frosted Flakes. I couldn't stand the taste of milk so I used sugar to cover it. I finished breakfast and waited on mom. About 6:45am she came down with curlers in her hair and a housecoat to drop me off at Mrs. McGrath's house. I knew for sure she wouldn't be getting out of the car!

I turned on the radio in the car and twisted the dial to 101.9 to listen to the new DJ, Mark Sebastian on Q102. Mom didn't say much until we got to Mrs. McGrath's house.

"You do what she tells you without complaining or protesting. I don't want any reports that you misbehaved or refused to do anything. She said I should pick you up around one. I'll be here at 1:15pm which gives you enough time to get home, shower, change and then be ready for me to take you to Birgit's. Mrs. Higgins will bring you home."

"OK Mom. I know. I'll do what she says when she says."

I hopped out of the car without another word. I knew I'd hear about that too - I didn't say good bye and didn't kiss her. Ugh. I opened the back of the station wagon and pulled out the mower.

Mrs. McGrath lived on a quiet street just outside Milford. It was a three bedroom ranch on a small lot with lots of trees between her and her neighbors. A white picket fence, a short driveway, a one-car garage and mailbox. The only thing missing was a couple of kids, but I knew that wasn't in the cards since she was a widow.

The lawn was in need of mowing, there were weeds in the flower bed, the fence needed paint, and I saw two rabbits frolicking in the back yard. All the work she had suggested was staring me in the face. I thought I would be hard pressed to get it done before lunch. I'd just have to work hard. But then again, I usually did.

I walked up to the door and rang the bell.

Mrs. McGrath said "Hi Steve!" and waved to my mom as she backed out of the driveway. "Go around to the garage and we can get started."

She went back into the house and the garage door opened. I saw her car, some cans of paint, garden tools, a bike, some weights that looked like they hadn't been used in years and her mower.

I grabbed the hoe, a small shovel and a bucket and went to work on the flower bed. I pulled the big weeds and turned the soil. Mrs. McGrath brought some flats with flowers in them and I dug holes to plant them next to the walk and along the front of the house. It wasn't hard work and the sun wasn't too strong since I was on the west side of the house.

I finished up the flowers by about 7:45am and went to get the chicken wire and stakes from the garage. I took it around back, and looked at the garden plot. I could see where the posts had been last year - I guess she had taken everything down for the winter. Using a rubber mallet, I pounded the posts in, attached the chicken wire by twisting lengths of thin wire around the posts and making sure that the dirt was pushed up against the chicken wire. I didn't think it would keep out a determined rabbit, but it would help. When I finished, I went and got the hoe and turned over the soil so she could plant when she was ready.

The house had the usual sliding glass door in the back and I saw Mrs. McGrath standing there watching me work. Figures. Adults just don't trust kids. I was starting to develop my usual surly mood towards adults but decided I wasn't going to take it out on her. She didn't really know me beyond being an altar boy. If she wanted to watch, fine. I'd do the best job I could. Didn't want her saying anything to my mom that might make me miss the party!

I finished the garden and Mrs. McGrath brought out some lemonade. This side of the house was much warmer since it was in direct sun. I was sweating a little bit, but not too much.

"You're ahead of schedule," she said. "I didn't expect you to finish those so quickly. It's too early to hammer boards for the fence or run the mower. Why don't you come inside for a bit and you can start at 10:00am."

I looked at the clock at it was only 9:15am. I followed her inside, wiping my shoes on the mat.

Her house was immaculate. On the wall were pictures of a well-built, good looking, brown-haired guy in an Army uniform. On the bookshelf, a case with a triangle-folded flag and another case with two medals. Her husband's, I was sure.

She saw me looking at the pictures and said "That was Jim. We got married in 1972 when he graduated from boot camp. He joined the Army right after high school and got a week's leave to get married and for our honeymoon. Then he shipped out to Vietnam. That was the last time I saw him. I didn't expect to be a widow at 19."

I saw a tear in her eye but otherwise she seemed pretty composed.

"I'm sorry that happened. My uncle served in Vietnam and my dad in World War II, but they both came home."

She offered me a seat on the couch and another glass of lemonade. She sat down next to me and I noticed she smelled really good. It was the same perfume she had on in church, I'm sure, since that scent was familiar. She was wearing faded jeans and a t-shirt. Her shoulder-length brown hair framed her face and she smiled as she saw me look her over. I wasn't very subtle at 14. She had a slim figure, small breasts and a great smile. I pushed those thoughts out of my mind - she was way too old for me.

"So, when do you graduate?" she asked.


"High School - when do you graduate?"

"1981" I said reflexively.

Her face darkened and she said "Wait, you aren't 17?"

"Nope, 14 last month."

She sat there for a moment and said "At church, I could swear you looked older but now I see it. I'm such a fool."

I had no idea what she was talking about. The clueless thirteen-year-old had become a clueless fourteen-year-old.

"What do you mean? A fool? Did I do something wrong? Are you upset with me?"

"No, it's not you. I just thought...never mind," and she buried her head in her hands.

She was crying. What the heck?

"Mrs. McGrath - what's wrong? Can I help?"

She looked up and looked hard into my eyes and said, "Maybe you can."

"Well, mom said I was supposed to help you with whatever you needed and I want to do that. Anything you need."

Clueless. I had no idea what I was saying. Or rather, no idea of the double entendre that was in my words. I just sat there while she started at me. At 14, I was fit, I swam a lot and had decent muscle tone. I thought I was OK looking, and Susan had always told me I had great eyes. But I was still a kid. I was 5'8", which was about 2 inches taller than she was. She stood up, walked over to the stereo and put on a Queen record.

When she came back to sit down, she sat right next to me and took my hand.

"Steve, I invited you here with ulterior motives. I thought you were older, and you were good looking. And I was lonely. Now I feel like a fool. I'm sorry. If you want to call your mom and leave early, that's fine."

"No", I said, "I'll finish the lawn and fence and whatever else you need. It's the least I can do."

"That's so sweet."

She leaned over and kissed my cheek. I blushed. A pattern was developing. A cute girl kisses me on the cheek and I blush. But this time, I had another reaction and my jeans were becoming uncomfortable. I tried not to squirm and hoped she wouldn't notice before it went away.

She noticed. And she laughed. Not the kind of laugh that would embarrass, but a nervous laugh of someone uncomfortable with the situation. She got up and walked across the room and turned to look at me. I just sat there and willed my erection to go down to no avail.

"Do you have a girlfriend?" she asked.

"No. I had one last year but we broke up over the summer."


"No big deal, it was my fault. I pushed her a little bit too hard to move beyond kissing."

"So that's all you've done. Kissing?"

Now I was red from embarrassment. "Yeah," I said dully.

I could see her standing there considering something. I was afraid of what she was thinking.

I knew all about sex, well how it worked, anyway. My mom had made sure I had some books on the subject already in 5th grade. They were pretty thorough and explained the mechanics and the issues pretty well, at least in 5th grade terms. Health class had shed a bit more light on the subject. Fortunately we had a relatively progressive school board (for a small town, anyway) and birth control and VD were discussed, along with a repeat on the mechanics and more details on anatomy. But I was sure that "book learning" and the real thing were miles apart. Mom had also made sure I understood the Church's teaching on sex.

I had seen the parts involved up close and personal - playing doctor and "I'll show you mine" when I was younger had given me a chance to see what things looked like, though not on anyone even close to Mrs. McGrath's age. All of this went through my mind as she stood there thinking. At last she came back to the couch and sat down.

"Would you like to kiss me?" she asked.

My heart leaped into my throat and my pulse had to be 120. I didn't know what to do and completely froze up. I couldn't even speak. My dick got so hard I thought my jeans would rip.

"Uhm, Uhm, Uh" was all that came out of my mouth.

Mrs. McGrath took my head in her hands, turned it, and kissed me softly on the lips.

If the kiss on the cheek from Birgit had been electric, this was electrocution. Every nerve in my body was instantly aware that there was a woman next to me that had just kissed me. And I didn't even kiss her back. All I could do was sink back into the couch and say "Wow!" She laughed, this time playfully, and grabbed both my hands. She stood up and pulled me up. I didn't resist as she pulled me into a hug and molded her body to mine. There was no way she could not feel my erection pressing on her leg. I could certainly feel her leg against my dick! And her small breasts pressing into my chest. And her head on my shoulder.

I carefully wrapped my arms around her and returned the hug. I had no idea what to do or what was going on, but I wasn't going to complain. She sensed this and broke the hug. She led me to the kitchen and we sat down across from each other.

"Mrs. McGrath..."

"My name is Jennie, please use it."

"OK Mrs. Mc...Jennie. I'm not sure what to say or do."

"I understand, that's why we're here at the table rather than on the couch. I want to talk to you. Explain to you. Then you can decide what you want to do. OK?"

"Uhm, I guess."

"It's been difficult since my husband died. I haven't wanted to do much of anything. I haven't dated and mostly just stay home or go out with my best friend from high school. I rarely go to church and spend a lot of time just by myself. When I saw you in church, in that gorgeous shirt, I was sure you were a Senior and would be graduating in May. You looked so good and when you helped me you were so kind and didn't show any sign of exasperation that I couldn't follow the missal at all.

"Your smile was infectious and your eyes are dreamy. I figured, he can't be more than 4 years younger than I am. I'm not sure why, but something told me that we'd have some chemistry. So I asked your mom if you could do some yard work for me, playing on the 'widow' story. I intended to get you over here and, well, I didn't know how old you were. I misjudged. I'm sorry I kissed you - you looked like you were scared out of your mind. I think I made a big mistake. I am sorry about that."

And she put her head in her hands again.

"Mrs...uh, Jennie, don't apologize. You didn't do anything wrong. I liked the kiss. I just didn't expect it. I had no idea what was going on. You're pretty. You're nice. You surprised me and I just don't know what to say now. I don't have much experience beyond kissing, so this is all new to me."

"Thanks for saying that. It makes me feel a bit better. It's 10:00am, so why don't you go finish the yard work so your mom doesn't get upset and that will give me some time to think. And you some time to calm down."

This last bit was said with a hint of laughter in her voice. But she was right. I needed to calm down.

"OK. I should be done by 11:00am - just a few boards to nail up and paint and the lawn to mow."

I got up, still a bit uncomfortable due to the pressure on my jeans, and saw her checking me out. I turned and smiled, thinking wow, an adult woman kissed me and is checking out my hard-on. If she wanted to do something, would I know what to do? Would I be able to make her feel good? Would I embarrass myself?

I tried to clear my mind as I got the boards and paint and went to fix the fence. 20 minutes later, the boards were up and the first coat of paint was on. I fired up the mower and quickly cut the front lawn. I stopped to empty the bag and then did the back yard. I was thankful that both were relatively small! I emptied the bag a final time, put the mower in the driveway and applied a second coat of paint to the fence. I washed out the brushes and was back inside at 10:58.

Jennie was sitting on the couch. I knew she had been watching me. She had been at the front window and the back sliding glass door a few times I looked.

"I'm done with the yard work."

"Come have some lunch."

I slipped out of my sneakers and went to the kitchen table and found a sandwich, chips and a coke. I was hungry after working all morning so I grabbed a chair and dug in. She ate her sandwich and there was an uncomfortable silence. Finally, I decided to say something. I knew that this could be an amazing day...or a disaster.

"I liked the kiss. A lot."

A smile slowly spread across her face. Softly she asked ,"Would you like another one?"

I nodded my head. She got up, came around the table, took my hand and I got to my feet. I took her in my arms and our lips met gently and we hugged tightly. I was hard as a rock and I knew she could feel it.

She backed away a bit, took both of my hands and said "This can go as far as you want. You're young, but there's just something about you, about your eyes, that draws me to this like a moth to flame."

"Are you saying...?"

I left the question hanging. She nodded her head and led me to her bedroom. I was shaking like a leaf and my heart was racing. I had no idea what to do beyond the stuff from the books, but she had been married. She'd know exactly what to do. At least I hoped so. If I was supposed to know what to do, this wouldn't be very good.

We got to the bedroom and she shut the door. Light filtered through the gauze curtain, highlighting the queen size bed. Jennie pulled me into the bathroom.

"You're sweaty. Let's get you cleaned up."

She turned on the water, adjusted the temperature and turned back to me. Kissing me gently, she grabbed the hem of my t-shirt and pulled it over my head as I raised my arms. She put her hands on my smooth chest and ran them up and down my torso a couple of times, stopping at my belt the last time. She unbuckled my belt, unbuttoned my jeans and pulled them down. I stepped out of my jeans and she removed my socks one by one. Standing there in my tighty-whitey underwear, with an erection bulging out, I was on a knife's edge.

She stood up and looked in my eyes, "Are you sure?"

I tried to say yes, but I seemed to have lost use of my tongue. I nodded and she grabbed the waistband of my underwear and slowly pulled them down. My dick sprang out and she kept her eyes fixed on it while I stepped out of the underwear.

"Steve, you're not going to last very long in this state."

Like she was telling me something I didn't know. I was on a hair trigger. If I lasted 5 seconds after she touched my dick it would be a miracle.

What happened next happened so fast I couldn't tell exactly what order things occurred. I felt something warm and wet on my dick and immediately came. I looked down to see her mouth on my dick, gently sucking and swallowing my cum.

I groaned, "Jennie, oh, oh."

She was right. It hadn't taken 5 seconds.

"Hop in the shower and wash up."

I had just gotten my first blowjob. Well, if her mouth on my dick for 2 seconds counted as a blowjob. My head was spinning as I stepped into the shower. If my mom ever found out, she'd kill me. And probably try to have Jennie arrested. Would I confess this? Fr. Buschmiller knew my voice since I was one of his best altar boys. None of my friends had done this as far as I knew, not even Kevin who was 2 years older. And I didn't have a condom! I quickly soaped-up and rinsed off and got out of the shower. Jennie wasn't in the bathroom so I grabbed a towel and dried off. Not sure what to do next, I wrapped the towel around my waist and walked into the bedroom.

I stopped short as I walked through the door, not really believing what I was seeing, but knowing it wasn't a dream. Jennie was lying on the bed naked, a sight to behold. Small breasts, flat stomach, neatly trimmed pubic hair and beautiful legs.

"Come join me, Steve. Leave the towel on the rack in the bathroom."

I slowly removed the towel, took a step back and hung it on the rack. I walked back into the bedroom and lay down next to her and she turned to me. I turned to my side as well and just looked into her eyes.

"It's been two years since I was with a man. Will you make love to me?"

I finally found my voice and said "I, uh, I've never done this before and I don't have a condom."

"Shh, let me show you," and then she kissed me.

This time it wasn't just a gentle kiss, but a hungry one. Our tongues danced and she pulled me closer. She broke the kiss.

"You don't need a condom," she said. "I'm on the Pill. I never stopped taking them when Jim died."

She kissed me quickly then looked in my eyes as she took my hand and placed it on her firm breast. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Her nipple was hard under my hand as I gently squeezed. We kissed again, our tongues dancing and twisting, as I gently tweaked her nipple.

She sighed into my mouth and then, barely breaking the connection of our lips, she sighed into my mouth and said, "Would you kiss my breast? Please?"

I didn't answer. I just slid down a bit and planted a kiss on her left nipple. She hissed as I did so, putting her hand on the back of my head and pressing me into her breast. I got the picture and opened my lips and sucked her taut nipple into my mouth, bathing it with my tongue. Jennie started moaning and pressing my head harder into her chest. I sucked and licked and kissed her breast as she writhed in pleasure. She shifted and offered me the other one and I greedily sucked the other nipple into my mouth, with my hand on her other breast.

On the radio, the Eagles were singing. The coincidence was amazing.

Raven hair and ruby lips, Sparks fly from her finger tips, Echoed voices in the night She's a restless spirit on an endless flight

"Kiss my stomach," I heard, and moved further down the bed and planted a kiss on her navel.

I was perilously close to her neatly trimmed pubic hair, and kissed her stomach, finally sticking my tongue into her belly button.

"Lower!" she whispered.

I stopped and looked up at her unsure what to do. I knew what she was asking, but I had no idea how to do it. This didn't come up in health class and certainly not in the books my mom had given me! Her eyes pleaded with me to continue.

I got up off the bed and stood at the foot of the bed, looking at Jennie. She spread her legs slightly and ran her finger over her pubic hair and into the folds between her legs, and then held it out to me.

"Kiss my finger and you'll see how I taste. Jim liked it. I think you will, too."

I leaned forward and kissed her finger, slowly sucking it into my mouth. A musky smell and tangy flavor. A bit strange, but not bad. I grabbed her legs and helped her scoot down the bed, and then knelt between them. I gently leaned forward and kissed the soft triangle of hair once, twice and a third time.

She spread her legs further and I moved my lips to her pussy. I gently kissed her, exploring, while she moaned.

"Use your tongue," she gasped.

I opened my mouth and gently touched my tongue to her lower lips. The taste was out of this world. The small bit from her finger didn't do it justice. I probed her pussy with my tongue as she pulled my head harder into her body. I found the spot that drove her crazy and she tensed up and shuddered. She loosened her hold on my head, and scooted up again to put her head on the pillow. She patted the bed indicating she wanted me there. I obliged by settling down next to her, our hips touching. She turned slightly, reached across and pulled my shoulder. I knew what she wanted.

I rolled slightly, ending up on top of her. I looked deep into her eyes and kissed her, my dick pressing into her stomach. Our kisses became more frantic and she moved her hips grinding her pussy into my throbbing dick. She broke the kiss, smiled, and then reached down to grab me. I raised up a little so she could position me at her entrance. Rubbing the head up and down to lubricate it, she lined me up and simply said, "Push." I slid home into warm, silky heaven. Her pussy was tightly squeezing my dick. It was a good thing I had cum before the shower, since otherwise I would have shot off immediately!

"Just move slowly in and out," she said and we built up a rhythm.

Each time I pushed into her she moved her hips to meet me part way and our pubic bones mashed together. The sensation was amazing and I felt cum building up again.

"Faster!" she groaned and I picked up the pace.

"Harder, please, make me cum!"

I drove into her with all I had. I wasn't going to last but she was gasping for breath with each stoke. The dam broke and she groaned loudly. Seconds later, I slammed home and shot my first load ever into a pussy.

I laid there, my dick throbbing, her pussy spasming, realizing that I'd just lost my virginity to a woman 10 years older than me. I realized something else, too. I liked this and wanted more. A lot more. I hoped she did, too. Jennie was smiling, breathing hard and there was a tear in her eye.

"That was wonderful. I really needed that. Your mom will be here in 20 minutes so you need to get showered and dressed."

She kissed me quickly and gently disengaged. I slowly got out of bed on unsteady legs and got back into the shower. I reluctantly washed her scent from my body, but I knew that I had to do it before I sat next to my mom in the car!

I toweled off and dressed while Jennie showered quickly. I was sitting on the couch when she came out dressed. She sat next to me and kissed me.

"Thank you," she said quietly. "I'll never forget this day."

'What?' I thought. Was she blowing me off?

She must have seen the panic in my eyes.

"You did a wonderful thing for me today. I don't know how often we can do this, or what will happen in the future, but I want to see you again. I'll ask your mom about Saturday two weeks from now."

I didn't want to wait two hours let alone two weeks, but there really wasn't anything I could do short of begging.

"OK. Next time I'll ride my bike. It's only about 20 minutes and that way we don't have to worry about my mom being here."

"Yes, we're lucky your mom wasn't early! Now kiss me before she gets here."

Mom showed up at 1:10pm, spoke briefly with Jennie, er, Mrs. McGrath, and they agreed I'd come back in two weeks to mow the lawn, using her mower (so I didn't need a ride), weed the garden, and take care of anything else that needed attention. I turned bright red at that last comment. It was a good thing I was standing behind my mom! Mrs. McGrath reached past Mom to hand me $10 for the work, said thanks, told my mom again that I had done a fantastic job for her, and then waved as we drove off.

I made it to the party on time and was floating when I walked in. I had never felt better in my life. It had been an amazing day. After about an hour, I started getting strange looks from Birgit. I thought maybe it was the impending return to Sweden and didn't think much of it. I just drank my Coke, ate my hamburgers, chatted with Larry, Birgit, and a few cute girls from my class, and otherwise had a pretty good time.

Mrs. Higgins arrived around 8:00pm to take us home. My parents were out for the evening and they couldn't pick me up. Thursday was their usual date night, but tonight they were going to a show. One of the neighbor girls, Kim, was with Jeff and Stephanie when I arrived home. She left as I walked in the door.

I hadn't even taken my shoes off when than the phone rang. I answered.


"Steve, this is Birgit. What happened to you before you came to my house today?"


"Something happened. You were different. Looser, less shy, more confident. You were even talking to Kathy Will! Who was she?"

Kathy Will was a cheerleader that I had been infatuated with since seventh grade, but she was way out of my league.


"I know what caused the change. Are you going to tell me how it was?"

"No. You're right. That did happen, but I can't tell. If the girl found out I told, she'd never be with me again."

She laughed, "Wow. You've done something I haven't and I'm Swedish. We have a reputation to uphold!"

It was an old joke between us about "easy" Swedish girls and "free sex" Sweden. She insisted that it wasn't really that different, just that Swedes were more open about it. That always sounded like more my speed than the prudish Americans, but I didn't think I'd ever get a chance to find out.

"You know I'd be happy to help you with that problem."

I guess being with Jennie had given me a newfound confidence. And that's what my friend had noticed.

She laughed again, "Well, see you in class on Monday."


I hung up.

The phone rang again around 10:00pm. Odd, since we usually didn't get calls that late. I thought maybe mom and dad were calling to say they would be late. Surprisingly, it was my grandmother. She launched right into "Stephen, where are your parents tonight?"

"Out, they went out tonight instead of Thursday this week."

"Yes. But where? I need to know!"

Her voice sounded odd. "Uhm, let me look at the calendar. It looks like they had tickets to a show at La Comedia in Springboro. They didn't say anything about a change of plans. Why?"

"Oh thank goodness. I was afraid they had gone to the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Kentucky they like so much."


"Turn on the news. I have to call my other children." She hung up.

I turned on channel 9 to listen to Al Schottelkotte. There was some big fire burning on the screen. The club my parents went to at least once a month. In the end, 165 people died when a fire broke out. When the full details were made available, it was clear that my parents would likely have been right in the middle of the worst part of the disaster. That was a really odd feeling.

But they weren't there, and to a 14-year-old it was quickly out of mind.

IV. Exploration and Discovery

May 1977

I saw Birgit on Monday in homeroom and just gave her a big smile as she walked past me to take her seat.

She laughed and said "Oh stop" and smacked me on the shoulder.

Life was good. I started looking at girls at school in a different light as I was walking down the hall. I had a new confidence - girls didn't scare me as much anymore. They intrigued me and fascinated me. And I wanted more of what I had experienced with Jennie McGrath. The kissing I'd had with Susan just wasn't going to cut it.

There were only three weeks of school left; only 5 until Birgit was supposed to head back to Sweden. A week after school ended for the year, I was starting a summer school class sponsored by the school's "Futurology" department. I hoped to get into the program my Freshman year and hoped this would give me a leg up. Once that class ended, I'd be going to Camp Marydale in Erlanger, Kentucky as I had for the past several years.

The two weeks dragged. Birgit teased me with Smart Alec comments almost every day. Larry wasn't much better - I think she said something to him, but I had no way to find out for sure, and I wasn't going to ask. The last thing I needed was anyone to find out who it was, or for the knowledge to spread. I figured he'd raise the subject eventually and I'd have to decide how to answer my best friend.

Saturday finally arrived and I got my bike out of the garage. I was leaving early, so I left a note on the fridge for mom saying I was going to Mrs. McGrath's and would be home before dinner. I got on my bike, and peddled down the street. I took the shortcut path through the woods and down the hill, got back on the road and reached Jennie's house at 7:00am.

I knocked on the door and Jennie opened it. She was wearing a robe and smiled at me. She beckoned me in and shut the door. As soon as it was closed, she pulled me into an embrace and gave me a kiss. Stepping back, she brought me into the living room and asked how I was doing. She sat in a comfy chair, rather than on the couch.

"I want to talk to you and if I sit next to you, I don't think we'll do much talking!"

I smiled and sat down on the couch.

"What happened two weeks ago was amazing. I want it to happen again. You're so young, though, and should be with girls closer to your age, and I need someone I can have a relationship with. When you left last time, I felt a burden had been lifted and I could live again."

She clearly saw the sadness in my face, saw I was about to say something, put a finger on my lips and continued.

"Don't be upset! I'm not sending you away. At least not today. But I want you to know that when I meet someone, it has to end. And if anyone even suspects, it has to end. I probably won't go to jail if we get caught, but my reputation would be ruined and I'd have serious problems. And you might, too. So, let's enjoy this while it lasts."

"Jennie", I said, "I don't want it to end. I like it! Why?" I whined.

She just looked at me for a moment and then said "I knew you were too young but I let my desire get away from me. Steve - this could never be permanent. You may not know it now, but you will understand. So let's just enjoy it. You'll meet someone of the right age and move on."

I pouted.

She continued speaking gently - "We can't be seen together in public, we can't go out. Sex isn't a relationship. If we need to break this off now, then I will. But you need to accept the reality of the situation."

I considered what she said. And I knew she was right. I didn't like it. It was a hard lesson, but I decided then and there that I wasn't going to get hung up on sex. It was a watershed moment that would lead to a lot of fun, but a lot more pain.

As I stood there thinking, she said, "Someday, like I said, you'll meet the person who is right for you, who you can take out on dates, be seen with and not have to sneak around. I know you're sad, but that will pass and I think you'll remember this fondly."

She was probably right about that, too. All I could do was shrug and say, "I guess."

"Smile, you look much better when you smile. Between your smile and your eyes, you'll have those girls fawning all over you. And if you do meet someone, you don't want me to complicate things. Most likely she'll want you exclusively, and you need to pay attention to that. Most women won't accept sharing their man with another woman. And you should always keep your word."

Great advice from Jennie. Heeding it was a different story.

Jennie got up, walked over to the couch, stood in front of me and slowly pulled the ribbon that tied her robe. As the material fell loose around her it was obvious that she was not wearing a nightgown, or anything else, under her robe. She turned and walked to the bedroom, stopping at the door to crook her finger and summon me to follow. She turned and let the robe fall to the floor and gave me a fantastic view of her butt, which she proceeded to shake side to side.

I followed her into the bedroom and she headed for the bathroom saying, "Let's start with a shower."

I didn't need a second invitation. I was out of my clothes before she had the temperature right and we stepped into the shower together. It was just big enough for both of us, the warm water pouring over our bodies.

Grabbing the soap she said, "Turn around."

She started washing my body, head to toe, paying special attention to my butt. When she finished, she simply said "Turn," and I turned to face her. She carefully washed my face, more forcefully rubbed my chest and stomach, but then skipped my genitals and washed my legs.

She stood up and kissed me, then quickly sank down and kissed the tip of my rock-hard dick. I was determined not to lose it in 5 seconds, but I didn't know if I could prevent it. She stuck out her tongue and gently licked the glans, swirling her tongue around it. Then she licked up and down the shaft. I was so close and have no idea how I managed to avoid blowing my load right then. She stood up, kissed me deeply again and then kneeled again. This time, she opened her mouth and slowly sucked me in. Her head moved towards me, taking more and more until I felt the back of her throat. Ever so slowly she pulled back and just before releasing me, moved forward taking me in again.

I knew I wasn't going to last much longer. I groaned, "I'm going to cum if you don't stop."

This only spurred her on, quickly bobbing her head a few times before I tensed up and felt I was going to drown her in sperm. She swallowed most of it, but some escaped the sides of her mouth. As she waited for the pulses to stop, a few more dribbles came from the side of her mouth. She stood up, and before I could react, kissed me hard and full on the lips, shoving her tongue into my mouth.

It took me a second to react but I pulled away in shock spluttering "Jennie!"

She grinned. "If a girl is willing to give you a blowjob, and willing to let you cum in her mouth, and especially if she swallows, how can you object to kissing her?"

"But... but..." I stammered.

"Remember two weeks ago when you licked me? I kissed you and didn't complain or push you away."

"Uh, yeah, I guess."

"Trust me - you'll find more women willing to do that for you if you don't treat them like lepers afterwards. Now, kiss me again."

I reluctantly pulled her to me and proceeded to swap spit with her. It wasn't terrible and she was happy. Maybe she had a point.

She must have heard the gears turning in my head.

"Remember, too, that if you finish before your girl and can't stay hard, you need to find a way to give her an orgasm, with your fingers or tongue."

She saw the look on my face and said, "You'll get a lot more repeat sex if you make sure she orgasms, whatever it takes. If you're using a condom, then there's nothing to worry about. If not, well, same advice as before. Just go for it and make her happy and don't worry about it."

I was still a bit weirded out by this and wasn't sure I'd ever do that, but maybe she had a point. What the hell did I know, I was a teenager who was a virgin until two weeks ago and had only had sex with one girl one time. Speaking of which...

I pulled her back to me, gave her a kiss and turned her around. I got a small dollop of shampoo from the bottle and lathered her hair. She rinsed off and I slowly but gently soaped her back, spending a lot of time on her butt, and then her legs. She turned to rinse and I rubbed the soap around in my hands, put it down and began to wash her breasts.

Her nipples were hard as diamonds under my soap-slicked fingers. I slowly moved my hands to her stomach and gently rubbed her pussy, finding her clit. She went from sighs to moans as I applied pressure. I kissed her, and then moved to wash her legs. As my fingers left her vulva she hissed, "You bastard!" I just smiled and finished. We rinsed off, I shut off the shower and opened the door, leading her to the bed.

Even being somewhat inexperienced, I knew that she was ready, so I pushed her on her back, knelt between her legs, and started to push my dick into her waiting pussy. She sighed as a slid all the way in. I stopped and just stayed there, savoring the heat, the silky clutch and her pulse which I could feel in more places than just the place I had my dick.

I kissed her gently and she whispered, "I want to be on top."

"How do we do that?"

"Just hug me and roll over."

We did without becoming disconnected and she was now lying on top of me.

Jennie spread her legs and put one knee on either side of me and sat up. The contact and pressure on my groin was close to setting me off, it was so exquisite. Jennie began to move in a slow, circular grinding motion, keeping my dick fully sheathed in her pussy. She leaned forward a bit, put her hands next to my shoulders and offered a breast to my lips. I hungrily sucked the nipple into my mouth as she raised herself slowly up my shaft and then pressed slowly back down. My tongue danced around her nipple and I nipped it gently. That garnered an "Oh!" from Jennie and all of a sudden she raised herself quickly and slammed back down, hard. I knew I wouldn't last more than 2 or 3 more of those strokes as the cum welled up from my balls.

I was right, on the 3rd upstroke I started to cum and Jennie forced herself right back down, grinding our pubic bones together. I sucked harder on her breast and then bit her nipple a bit harder and she exploded. She actually screamed "Ohhhhh!" as I felt the ripples of muscles in her pussy milk my cum out of my dick. It felt like it went on for minutes and Jennie slumped down, her head on the pillow next to mine, her nipples trying to bore holes in my chest.

One of the great things about being 14 was that I knew I could stay hard even after I came. I began flexing my hips, causing her to sit up and say, "Wow. Still hard after that? And you want to keep going?"

Did I ever. I knew that this might be the last time. I hoped not, but I wanted to get every bit of her that I could.

"If you can, roll us over again and you can be on top."

As I pulled her down on top of me, she stretched out her legs, and hooked her toes around my calves. We rolled over and I was on top, pressing her down into the bed.

"Just fuck me hard, Steve." I obliged.

I started by pulling most of the way out, then sliding quickly back in, trying to develop a good rhythm. She wrapped her legs around me and her heels were on my butt.

"Harder and faster - as hard as you can, please," she gasped.

I pulled back and then slammed hard into her, her legs urging me on. She wanted a pounding, she got a pounding. I slammed into her over and over again, feeling her orgasm building. I was getting tired but I knew she was close. An extra effort to give her several quick hard strokes pushed her over the top and she shuddered as the orgasm ripped through her.

My arm muscles were begging for mercy as I collapsed on her. I felt liquid on my cheek and lifted up to look at her, tears streaming down her face.

"I can't believe how good you made me feel. It's overwhelming."

I just smiled and kissed the salty tears from her face. She hugged me tighter and it was clear she didn't want to let go. I was spent, my erection finally fading and it slipped out of her. I rolled off of her and pulled her to me. She put her head on my shoulder and wrapped her arm around me, one leg over mine.

She gave a contented sigh and I said "I could stay here all day just looking at you and feeling you pressed against me." She snuggled even closer "Thank you."

I detected something a bit odd in her voice. "What's wrong?"

"Today has to be the last time. I can't handle it. I'm getting too attached to you. My God, you're only 14!"

I deflated and slightly pulled away from her. I didn't know what to do.

All I could do is say, "Please, no," in a shaky voice.

"It was awesome. You're an awesome lover and you'll find someone your age. And I have to find someone my age."

Resignedly I said "You said 'today', not 'this'. Does that mean we can do it again before I leave?"

She laughed and said "Yes, of course. Let's get the yard work done, have some lunch and then we'll have some time together."

I gently pushed her away and got up out of the bed. I quickly cleaned up in the shower and put my clothes back on and she did the same. I grabbed some orange juice and headed out to weed the flowerbed and she started planting seeds and small plants in her garden. When I finished the weeding, it was late enough that the mower wouldn't wake the neighbors. While I was cutting the lawn, Jennie was raking the grass (her mower didn't have a bag, after all).

We finished around lunch time and after putting away all the tools we went inside for lunch. While she got lunch together, I jumped in the shower for the third time today to get the sweat and grass off my body. When I came out, wearing a terry cloth robe I found on a bathroom hook (my clothes were sweaty, dirty and grass stained), she stopped short and said "That was Jim's..."

Oh crap. I should have thought about it. I hurriedly turned to go take it off.

"Steve, stop. It's OK. He's gone and I've accepted that. It was just a surprise to see you in the robe."

I was relieved. "Well, I could still take it off," while slowly pulling the tie.

"Stop it and come sit down. I'll get a quick shower and be right back."

I sat down at the kitchen table, seeing the same kind of lunch as last time - sandwiches, chips and cokes. She was back in less than 5 minutes wearing the same robe that she had been wearing that morning.

We ate and chatted amiably. She asked about school and my friends. I told her school was fine, mostly A's for the year with a couple of B's. "My friends, though, there's the problem. I really only have two good ones, and one of them is leaving in two weeks."

"Moving away?"

"Yes, I mean no. She's an exchange student and she's going back home."

Jennie got a twinkle in her eye and said "She?"

"I wish," I sighed. "But she was crushing pretty hard on my friend Larry - he's an altar boy with me on Sundays, at the beginning of the year. He wasn't interested for some reason I can't figure out. And she and I never got past the friend stage. And now she's going back to Sweden," I said dejectedly. "I'll probably never see her again."

"Don't say never. You never know what's going to happen. Keep in touch with her. Write her occasionally. You never know what life will bring you. I sure didn't expect to be a widow at nineteen. Or to have taken a fourteen-year-old altar boy to bed," she said with a glint in her eye, then giggled, "I feel so naughty!"

I just smiled. What could I say at that point?

Jennie asked "Where is she from?"

"Stockholm, Sweden."

Jennie laughed. "So let me get this straight, a Swedish girl turned you down. Did you learn anything from that?"

"Yeah. Swedish girls aren't 'easy'. Birgit and I joke about that one all the time. At times she seems like she's hinting at something when she teases, but when I've tried to move out of just being friends, she kinda changes the subject, ignores the comments or otherwise deflects it."

"Did you ever consider that she's thinking the same way you are - that's she's going home and may never see you again?"

"Uh, no. She was interested in Larry. She even told me so. I guess it's just me."

"Don't be so sure. You said that was at the beginning of the year?"


"So when did you try to push things forward?"

"In April, on my birthday. She kissed me on the cheek and I felt an electric tingle."

Jennie laughed again.

"Boys!" she said with some exasperation. "Of course, men aren't any better. Show them a bit of attention and they are like puppy dogs following you around! Consider this - it was April. She's going home the first week in June. Think that might have made a difference?"

I stopped to think about that. Slowly I answered, "Yeah, it might have."

"So cut her some slack. She sounds like a good friend. And you never know what might happen down the road. Jim and I were friends in Jr. High before we, you know, in High school, and then got married."

"Yeah, she's a good friend. In fact, she figured out that I had gotten laid without me saying a word to her!"

"What?" There was shock in her voice.

"She won't say anything to anyone. Well, maybe to Larry, but he's not going to say anything, I'm sure. He's too good a friend."

Jennie was nervous, even I could see that.

"What do you mean she 'figured it out'?"

I said that when I had gone to the party, she looked at me and watched me. That night, right when I got home, she called me and asked who I had been with. She asked me what happened before I came to her house. She said she noticed I was looser and more confident and that I actually talked to a girl I've had a secret thing for all year - a cheerleader. Then she bluntly asked 'Who was she'? I hemmed and hawed a bit and finally admitted that it had happened and that I would never tell who it was since I didn't want it to get around that I would kiss and tell. She's been teasing me for two weeks about the fact that I'm not a virgin and she is. And this with all our teasing about 'easy' Swedish girls.

Jennie relaxed a bit and after a moment said, "OK. That doesn't sound bad. But don't you see now why we can't keep seeing each other? It's so dangerous. That makes it exciting, but it also could end in disaster."

I sighed, "Yeah, I guess I see that."

I was really thinking more with my little head than the big one. Where was I going to get repeat experiences like the ones earlier today and two weeks ago? I wanted more. It was so much better than masturbation that the two weren't even in the same ballpark! It was the difference between the Milford Little League field and Riverfront Stadium!

We just sat there, looking at each other for a few minutes, when she said simply, "Take me to bed, please."

I had to oblige. For the next 20 minutes, we made gentle love. Slow, un-rushed, un-hurried. She came at least 3 times and when I came I saw stars. It was amazing. And I knew it was over. I hugged her, kissed her and took my last shower of the day. She stayed in bed, fully sated with a smile on her face. I quickly dressed, walked over to the bed, gave her a gentle kiss and softly said, "Bye."

She just looked at me, with tears rolling down her face and then said, "Good Bye, Steve."

I walked out, got on my bike, and slowly rode home, thinking about everything that had happened and dealing with the crazy emotions that were running rampant. I knew I'd see her again, but I also knew that the last two weeks were something that would never be repeated.

V. Calm Before the Storm

May-June 1977

When I got home, I grabbed a Coke and some chips and went right to my room. I didn't think I could deal with my parents or Jeff or Stephanie. I just needed to be by myself. That wouldn't seem odd to anyone, because I often went to my room to read. In addition, I now had the TV I'd received for my birthday. I flipped it on to WXIX Channel 19 and reruns of Gilligan's Island and Green Acres played in the background while I read. I had to get my mind clear for the final exams that would start on Monday.

That was a preview of AWLL 1 - Book 1 - Birgit. To read the rest purchase the book.

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