by Ron Downing
A story about a family in Mississippi
|The Scott Story
Darlene started the truck she turned on the radio and drove off into the moonlight toward her house as she looked at the speedometer she noticed that that she was doing about seventy and laid off the gas a little. She thought to herself man what the hell does he have under the hood a rocket engine or something, it sure is peppy.
As Darlene pulled the truck off the main road and down the gravel driveway to the gate Don started to wake up and show some sign of life. As Don yawned and stretched he could feel every muscle in his body hurt.
“Where are we anyway?”
“Yes my place! Wait right here I have to stop and open the gate.”
“OK well, I would come in with you but I have to be getting home.”
“Can’t you at least be gentlemen and walk a lady to the door.”
“Why of course I’ll walk you to the door.”
As Darlene was climbing out of the truck she was thinking how am I going to get him to stay. I can’t let him drive in the shape that he’s in he could have an accident.
“Well, I understand that you need to get but why don’t you let me fix us some coffee before you go?”
“Thanks, Darlene but I’m not much of a coffee drinker but if you have a coke I would appreciate it.”
“That I can do.”
Darlene stuck the key in the door but had a little trouble getting the door unlocked.
“This door lock has been giving me some trouble lately, the key goes in alright but it doesn’t seem to want to turn.”
“Would you like me to try it?”
“Yes I would, that might be the only way that we get in because I sure don’t seem to be getting it.”
Darlene raised her head and looked right at Don he caught her glance and the sparkle in her eyes. He stood there like as if he were in a frozen trance she was so pretty and he had been wanting to kiss her all night long but it never seemed like the right moment. Now he had her all alone he could resist the urge no longer. He leaned forward and placed his lips against hers.
“I’m sorry I shouldn’t have done that without asking you.”
“Don Shut up and kiss me again.”
They stood kissing there nestled between the screen door and the entrance door for what seemed like eternity. Her arms wrapped tightly around his back like a boa constrictor.
In all his life, he had never been kissed with so much passion, Not that he wasn’t enjoying the moment mind you he was starting to feel better by the second. But all living things have to breathe sooner or later. Don broke the bond and took a deep breath they both giggled a little.
“I guess if we want in I had better try my luck at this lock hadn’t I?”
“I guess so.”
Don worked the key around a little and wiggled the doorknob at the same time and had the door open in no time. He reached in and turned on the light and stepped away from the doorway.
“After you dear.”
Once inside, Don took off his hat and walked over to the couch and sat down. Darlene was relieved she thought to herself, good this must mean that he is planning to stay for a little while. She walked over to where Don was sitting and arranged the pillows at the end of the couch.
“You're looking better, how do you feel?”
A lot better thank you!”
“Why don’t you go ahead and lie down and I will fix us both something to drink.”
Don lied down on the pillows that Darlene had arranged for him and he made himself comfortable once Darlene removed his shoes, she headed for the kitchen. As Don lied there he was he was thinking back to his days in high school he knew Darlene then never knew that she felt this way about him. And then maybe she didn’t could it be that they were just now finding each other. He had always thought of Darlene as being attractive but unapproachable; he was not very popular until their senior year.
He had never asked Darlene out for fear of being rejected. And where had she been since the summer that they had graduated because that was the last time he really remembers seeing her prior to tonight.
Meanwhile, Darlene was having some thoughts of her own why was Don suddenly attracted to her. He never showed her attention in high school why now? And was she ready to start a new relationship? After all, the last one almost killed her. When she miscarried the child of a man who said that he loved her. She later found out that his love was phony; for when she told him of the child that she was carrying he laughed and accused her of sleeping around. Just thinking about this, brought tears of pain to Darlene. Because she was faithful to him and to be accused of being anything else hurt.
Don’s daydream was broken by the sound of breaking glass and a scream.
“Are you OK Darlene?”
“Yeah, I’m OK I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing and dropped the glass on the floor.”
“Do you need some help?”
“No you stay there and relax I’ll be out in just a few minutes.”
She could count her blessings that it happened while she was away at college and that nobody in town knew about it. Not even her own family knew of her secret past. How much longer would she have to hurt? She felt the need to confide, in someone would it be Don? Maybe and maybe not he would have to win her trust and her heart.
She heard Don get up from the couch he was walking toward the kitchen when Darlene came out. He met her in the dining room and took the drinks from her hands and placed them on the table. Wrapping his arms around her. She laid her head against his chest they stood there for just a moment or so.
“You’ve been crying, why? Is it something that I have done or said?”
“Oh no, it’s, nothing really I guess I’m just caught up in the events of this evening.”
“Yeah, it’s been quite an evening at that.”
“Can I ask you a question Don?”
“Yeah, what is it?”
Darlene raised her head from Dons's chest and took a step back. She stood there and looked into his eyes and while she still had a hold of his hand. He picked up his drink
“Why tonight? I mean we have known each other for probably seven years and tonight you decided to pay me some kind of attention.”
As Don lowered the glass from his lips he leaned forward and gave Darlene a tender kiss. And as Don was answering her he led her to the couch where they had been sitting earlier. He sat his drink down on the coffee table and sat down pulling her down onto his lap.
“I don’t really know, I guess it was when you came over and sat down with me, and when we danced. Then when that drunk hit me, and you really acted concerned. Just you being there when I needed someone.”
Don had his arms wrapped around Darlene’s waist and as they were talking Darlene was running her fingers through his hair.
“That was no act Don I really was concerned you were uncurious for a good five minutes, it was like the lights were on but no one was home. I was getting ready to have them call an ambulance when you finally came around.”
“Well I was afraid of you turning me down after all every time that I saw you at school you were always surrounded by guys like Travis Williams and Lester Johnson.”
“That doesn’t mean that I went out with them they were Jocks and I was a cheerleader, Those two were only after one thing and I was not that kind of person nor am I now. And if you were afraid of being rejected then why did you take Lindsey Jones to the senior Prom because she was a cheerleader.”
“Not when I took her to the Prom she wasn’t, She had already quit the cheerleading squad.”
“Hah is that what she told you? Well I have a news flash for you Cowboy. Coach Williams caught Lindsey and two of our star football players in the boys locker room smoking a joint and the only thing Lindsey was wearing was a smile and her Pom poms.”
“You’re kidding? No your not kidding so what happened because, I don’t recall hearing anything about the football players.”
“Miss Simons told us girls that it was up to us and she was sure that her girls would make the right decision and vote her out and that’s what we did. Nothing happened to the football players because we needed them to win the playoffs.”
“Well I am glad that you were their tonight, and that we are together now.”
“That’s just it I have always been right there in front of you. Waiting to be noticed. Do you remember when we played Jackson high in our senior year?”
“Mrs. Peters couldn’t get any of the photographers from the journalism class to go to the game. Because they all had prior engagements?”
“How could I forget it they practically ran over me and almost ruined a good camera, not to mention the two cracked ribs that I had from it all.”
“Well do you remember who was standing over you when you came to?”
“Yeah there was you and Coach Williams, And that good looking drill team teacher.”
“That was Miss. Harden that you are talking about.”
“That’s not what the guys on the football team called her.”
“I even sat beside you on the bus coming back from the game. Of coarse I don’t expect you to remember with the painkillers that the doctor gave you for the broken ribs. You fell asleep in my lap.”
“Darlene I don’t know how I could have been so blind not to see all that, Can you forgive me?”
“You need not ask my forgiveness. It’s partially my fault, I should have been a little more aggressive, and I should have come right out and told you how I felt about you. I had no right to keep that from you.”
“Hey don’t beat yourself up over this what matters is that we are together tonight.”
“I know, but. If I had then things might have been a lot different for both of us.”
“That’s quite possible. But if you felt this way then why didn’t you say something?”
“I was afraid of being rejected, that you might laugh at me think that I was some silly school girl with a crush.”
“Look Darlene I don’t profess to be some super Christian, I guess you would consider me a reformed Baptist. I believe that the Lord died for our sins and that he had risen on the third day. I still read the bible. But I don’t believe in putting on a front. I don’t usually drink this heavy I was just having my own pity party, tonight. But it sounds like both of us assumed to much.”
Don leaned over positioning Darlene on her back with her legs draped over his. With her head resting on the pillows that she placed there for him earlier. And as she lay there, he began to take notice of her natural beauty. He began to stare into her beautiful green seductive eyes; eyes as green as a perfect emerald. He placed his hand against her cheek; her skin was flawless in color and in texture as he leaned over to kiss her, his hand slid down her slender neck, as his palm rested on her neck her earlobe laid between his thumb and forefinger. It was a short and yet so tender of a kiss.
“That’s for sure. A reformed Baptist huh what does the minister of your church say about that?”
“I really don’t know I have not ask him. So tell me where have you been and what have you been doing for the last four years?”
“For the last four months I have been here taking care of the horses while my dad and stepmother are seeing the countryside, before that I was away at college.”
“Are you going back?”
“I would like to some day, but I don’t think that I could go back to the same college that I just left.”
“Well they didn’t offer the right curriculum for what I wanted to do.”
“What were you wanting to be?”
“I thought that I would like to be a child psychologist.”
“What made you change your mind, because I think that you would make a good one.”
“Oh I had no doubt about my ability to do a good job. But kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for; Kids in a lot of cases are more in touch with reality than some of their parents. I haven’t ruled it out totally. I only have one more semester to go be for I get a degree. But if I want my Masters or my Doctrine then that will take some time.”
“Well I can’t really argue about a subject that I know very little about.”
“It’s really not that hard to understand, but you look about like I feel.”
“How is that?”
“Tired with a capitol T, How about we get some sleep and we will talk in the morning.”
“Yeah I could sure use some of that.”
“If you will tell me where I can find a blanket and a pillow I can sleep on the couch.”
“Sure wait here and I will get them for you.”
“I can get them if you just tell me where they are Darlene.”
“OK you will find the blankets in the closet next to the bathroom you can grab a pillow off the bed in jimmy’s room.”
Don headed down the hallway to the closet that Darlene had spoke of. There he found the items that he was needing he then walked into Jimmy’s room to get a pillow as he turned toward the door he noticed a photograph sitting on the dresser of Darlene with her horse. He couldn’t help but notice how the young vibrant teenager that he knew then has grown, into the glamorous young women that she had become. But it went beyond that he sensed a pain deep with in her heart.
Meanwhile Darlene was in her room getting ready for bed and was thinking about how she had felt when Don had held her earlier in the evening and how she longed for that feeling again. She opened the bedroom door and walked across the hall to her brothers’ room where Don was standing gazing at her picture.
“That was taken in my junior year of high school. That’s Jed he was my first heartbreak we had to put him down in Dallas Texas. He stumbled during a barrel racing competition and broke his leg in two places.”
“I’m sorry to hear that he looks like a fine horse.”
“He was the best we had just won first place at the Mississippi state fair the week before.”
Darlene by this time was beside Don with her arm around his back and he had his arm around her waist. He pulled her closer to him as he placed the photograph back on the dresser; He turned toward her wrapping both arms around her. She laid her head against his chest, where she could hear his heartbeat and the warmth and comfort that she needed.
“Are you sure that you want to sleep on the couch tonight.”
“Will you respect me in the morning?”
“I thought that was the women’s line.”
“Hey in a little town like this a guy has to protect his image too.”
“Yeah I’ll respect you in the morning, I just feel the need to be held and cuddled.”
“I can handle that, but I sense that there is something really bothering you and that your not quite ready to talk about it yet.”
“Yes I do have something but I don’t want to talk about it right now.”
Don let his arm loose from around her and placed his finger under her chin as he ran his thumb across her full ripe lips. As she opened her mouth he leaned forward and kissed her just as passionately as before.
With her arms around his neck and his at her side she quickly jumped up wrapping her silky long legs around his waist. With lips still locked together he carried her across the floor to her room stopping just long enough to turn out the light. He gently laid her down on her bed and climbed in beside her they kissed again with his arm now wrapped around her she snuggled up against him and quickly fell asleep.
It didn’t take Don long to doze off himself. The next morning Darlene had awoken to the sunlight that was pouring into the room through the window facing the east. She reached out for Don but he wasn’t there, She rose to a sitting position, yawned and stretched. As she wiped her eyes. Darlene began to wonder if last night was a dream. Surely not, but where did he go? She laid back down and buried herself into the pillow as she took a deep breath She could still smell the cologne that he was wearing which was now impregnated into the pillow of which he had been laying on. She rose once again her senses were a little sharper she could smell fresh bacon being cooked. Her expression of dismay was quickly replaced with a smile.
She rolled over on her back through her arms out to the side. Thinking to herself not only was he good looking and trustworthy, Romantic but the guy can cook, YES!!. Darlene got up out of her bed and made her way to the bathroom she adjusted the water and climbed into the shower. Meanwhile in the kitchen Don was setting the table he had just finished pouring the orange juice and turned around to fix the toast when he heard the kitchen door open.
“How do you want your eggs babe?”
“Well first of all I’m not your babe!,”
This was not good and it was not Darlene. Don turned around quick to see who it was. And saw a guy about six feet tall dressed in Army Camouflage Don cleared his throat.
“Yeah I should think not. By the way I am Donald Scott You must be Darlene’s little brother Jimmy.”
“Well that’s what Darlene calls me, but most people call me Jim. Where is Darlene Anyway?”
“Still in bed I would imagine.”
“About those eggs, that is if the invitation is still open. I like them sunny side up.”
“Yeah sure, you want some toast to go with those eggs?”
“Yes and some bacon and a glass of milk that is if she has any. Tell me something Don you always cook breakfast in a pair of boxer shorts and a T shirt.”
“Not usually but I have to admit it is a bit casual and we were not expecting company.”
Meanwhile Darlene had finished her shower and was headed for the kitchen. When she spotted the other truck in the driveway and heard voices coming from the kitchen. She quickly turned and ran back to her room where she put some more clothes on. And then raced back to the kitchen where she found Don and Jimmy talking like they were two old school buddies. She walked over and gave Jimmy a hug.
“Hello Jimmy I thought that it was next week that you had to be at Fort Chaffee ”
“No I called yesterday around one–thirty in the afternoon and you weren’t home.”
“Well I guess I don’t have to tell you that your timing is as good as a mare giving birth during a snow storm.”
Darlene then walked to where Don was standing and gave him a kiss on the cheek. She then grabbed a plate off the table and started to reach for pan of eggs. But Don reached over and took the plate from her and dished up some eggs and bacon.”
“Would you like toast Darlene?”
“Yes I would thank you.”
“I poured you a glass of orange juice it’s over on the table why don’t you go ahead and have a seat and I will join you in a minute as soon as I fix me some more eggs.”
“Why don’t you take my plate to the table and let me fix you breakfast.”
“No that’s alright you sit down and enjoy it.”
“Are you sure?”
“Oh my god guys give it a break you sound like a couple of old married people already.”
“Hey little brother the welcome mat is getting thinner as we speak.”
“Ok I can take a hint, It’s not like we see each other every day so I gotta tease you when I can.”
“So you miss your big sister do you?”
“Huh like the hen misses the fox.”
“How is school going anyway?”
“It’s alright I got B on my history exam last week.”
“Just think what you would have gotten if you would have studied.”
“I did study, and hard it’s just a lot harder than High School ever was.”
By this time Don had finished cooking his eggs and had started to sit down and join Darlene and her brother when he noticed that her glass was empty. So he picked it up the glass and poured her some more juice. As he handed it back to her she prompted a kiss.
“If you will all excuse me I think I’m going to get out of these camos and into something a little more suitable for comfort.”
“While I have two strong men here I was wondering if the both of you would help me out in the barn for a couple of hours?”
“I was planning on being here for a couple of days before I went back to school because I figured that their were probably some things that needed to be done, That you couldn’t handle.”
“Well this project is going to take all three of us, Dr. Pepper don’t like his stall and you know how he gets scared during a thunder storm well the other night he kicked the stall door so hard that I can’t slide it back. Which means that he is restricted to his stable and the paddock.
“Well I don’t have to be anywhere special today, how hard can it be?”
“Thanks a lot Guys I will start clearing the table while you get changed Jimmy, and then Don and I will meet you in the barn.”
Jimmy got up and left the kitchen he went out the front door to his truck to get his duffel bag and some other belongings. Meanwhile Darlene was cleaning off the table and loading the dishwasher while Don was washing the frying pan. With the two of them working together it didn’t take long to get the job done.
“I really have enjoyed having you here last night Don and it felt so good having someone to talk to.”
“Well I know just how you feel, and after talking about the things we talked about last night, I realize exactly how much the two of us have missed out on.”
“Well I was always taught that the man should make the approach toward a relationship and when you didn’t, I just assumed that you weren’t interested in me.”
“To be totally honest I don’t know what I was interested in at that time. However after last night I don’t ever want to spend one minute with out you in it Darlene. I am not a real religious person Darlene but I believe in God and the Son and that everything happens for a reason.”
“I kind of feel the same way about it, but after I lost my mom at fifteen, when a girl really needs her mom for guidance and direction it really left me to wonder why he would do this to me at that age.”
“I didn’t know that, I thought that your mom and Dad had gotten a divorce.”
“No my mom had diabetes real bad. Since no one else in her family had it she never thought to get checked out for it until she got really sick and ended up in the hospital and it just went from bad to worst and she was gone with in two years. My dad and I never saw eye to eye and it took my moms death to bring us closer I felt needed again.”
“How did you make it?”
“Dads older sister Aunt Sylvia came up from Houston and his younger brother uncle John came in from Oklahoma City. He wanted to take Jimmy back with him but I wouldn’t let him I didn’t think that we needed to be split up during a crisis like this.”
“I couldn’t agree with you more, so when did your dad and Stephanie get married?”
“Oh about a year later but Stephanie moved in the house not even six months after Mom passed away. That sounds awful but let me explain. Mom, Dad and Stephanie all graduated from high school together when dad was in Galveston Texas. Well dear old Dad thought that he was somewhat of a ladies man and he was dating Mom and Stephanie at the same time and got caught. Both mom and Stephanie dropped him like a hot potato.”
“Sounds like Dad lead a dangerous life.”
“Colorful anyway huh?”
“Yeah without a doubt.”
“Well not long after graduation dad joined the Marine Corps and left Galveston. I guess mom was a little quicker to forgive him for his two timing ways. She found out from Dads mom where he was doing his basic training at and just showed up and they got married.”
“Didn’t that make Stephanie mad? Because it sounds like your mom and Stephanie were pretty close friends.”
“Oh they were the best of friends. They even made a pack that neither one of them would ever talk to him again.”
“So how did Stephanie find out that your dad had married you mom?”
“Well Mom and Stephanie were supposed to play tennis together the next morning and when mom didn’t show up Stephanie went home and called Grandma. Stephanie and Mom didn’t talk to each other for close to five years.”
“How did they get back together?”
“Well dad was the peace maker in the family I have always believed that even though dad was married to mom and that he loved her with all his heart he still had a special place in there for Stephanie. After five years of silence between the two of them he invited Stephanie and her husband Mark up for the weekend sat both her and mom down