A Fortuitous Detour and a Kentucky Woman
The house is awfully quiet tonight, as my lovely wife is off with our two daughters on a weekend girl scout trip, and since summer vacation just started, my fourteen year old son is spending a couple of weeks at his grandparent’s house up in Illinois.
I just turned 47 about a month ago. My wife is only 38, and is the love of my life no doubt. This story is not about us though. It is sparked by the memory of one night in December of 1991, and a lady named Gloria. I’ll only give her first name in this narrative. I did not even know her name until I read her obituary while internet searching to kill time while my family is away. Allow me to explain.
Earlier this evening, after the family had left, and the silence of living out in the country in Missouri had taken hold, I began thinking of days gone by. I had the I-tunes on the computer set to random, and an old Johnny Cash song began to play. You might have heard it before, “I would like to see you again.” Kind of a haunting song about lost, long ago love. It was a radio single sometime in the late 70’s, when I was just a child. Over the years, in the times I have heard it, I always think back to the woman I now know was named Gloria. I guess she is strong on my mind this evening, as I discovered reading her obituary that the night I knew her, she was the same age as my wife is now. I guess I think that odd now, as the night I knew her, I thought she was younger than that.
Listening to that song caused me to think back to a road trip I took back in 1991, in my army days, from Fort Stewart Georgia back to my hometown near St. Louis. I met this woman, quite by accident, on an unexpected detour off of I-24, near Hopkinsville Kentucky. I never knew her name that night. I only told her my first name. The only thing I knew of her when I left her home was her address, and the fact she was a fantastic lover who allowed me to be a part of her fantasy. Through the magic of the internet, I used that, all these years later, and discovered her name. She still lived in Hopkinsville when cancer took her life a year ago at the age of 63, though not at the same address. The picture they showed in the obit was one taken when she was younger, and it is the face I remember from 1991. It was a black and white photo, and the only difference I could tell was her hair was lighter than I remember, possibly blond, but in the black and white, I could not tell.
At that time, I was a still somewhat naïve 21 years old, a newly minted Corporal in the Army, and just a month back from a year-long deployment to the middle east for Desert Storm and the aftermath. I had a year left on my enlistment at the time, and was un-decided whether I would get out or re-enlist. I had some time to mull it over, as my enlistment ended in November of 92. Since I had been deployed for over a year, I had a lot of leave time saved up, and was near the time to use it or lose it, so I applied for and was granted 35 days of leave. I decided to head home to Missouri, visit family, and see if my relationship with my high school sweetheart was still possible. Her letters had become infrequent while I was deployed. I knew that since she was in college, and I was away in the army, it would be strained. Relationships like that usually are. Colleges seem to be fairly liberal, and a lot of college students think all soldiers are baby killers. But, I digress.
With high hopes of a great reunion with her, I set out at 6 AM on a Saturday morning in mid-December. I did not have readily available information from the internet at the time, so had calculated by calling the weather service that my route home would be free of really bad weather, but with some rain, cold, and overcast conditions along the way. I had planned on stopping for the night at Fort Campbell Kentucky, and sleeping if billeting could be found, or just getting a hotel around that distance from Fort Stewart, and finishing out the trip the next day.
The trip started out well enough. Made good time till Atlanta. I understand that city is a mess to drive through or around now, and it certainly was in 91. Finally got past it and headed northwest on I-24 at lunch time. Road construction and about three accidents put my timing behind on the trip. I knew that making the Fort Campbell/Kentucky line by dark would be near impossible now, since it was December, and of course it gets dark around 5 that time of year.
I increased my speed slightly to try and get to a stopping point where tomorrow’s finish and arrival at home would not be so long. On the open interstate, I made good time. Once again though, around Nashville, some road construction, and a few more fender bender type accidents slowed the process. Just past Nashville, I stopped at a fast food joint and grabbed a couple of burgers, eating them as I resumed the drive. Full dark was on by 5 pm, and I was not to the Kentucky line from Tennessee yet.
I stopped and filled up my Chevy isveçbahis Beretta just south of Clarksville, then after a moment or two, decided to head on into Kentucky. I checked my atlas map book, and decided to stop at a motel that was at the interchange of I-24 and US 68. I don’t know why I decided then to keep driving, since it was now full dark, and just after 5 PM. There were several hotels and motels at the exit I was at. I guess I just wanted to put as many miles behind me this day as possible, to make the trip home that much shorter tomorrow. I pointed the Chevy back onto the interstate and began driving again, my stopping goal another roughly thirty minute drive.
As luck, or fate would have it, I was roughly halfway there on I-24 when, not far past a major US highway intersection, the light traffic came to a stop. I did not know what was going on at the time, but figured it had to be something pretty bad to stop all the north bound traffic dead in its path.
While stopped, I checked the map and judging from where I was at, I could take the next exit onto a parkway, head toward Hopkinsville, jump on US 68 and it would take me directly back to I-24, and the hotel I was planning on staying at.
I noticed several people using the shoulder of the interstate, so I decided to try my luck there as well, and was able to traverse the next three miles or so along the shoulder toward the exit to the Parkway. I got there, exited the interstate, noticing that traffic was stopped as far as I could see ahead.
I turned right off of the exit, taking the Parkway toward Hopkinsville.
I got the Chevy up to the speed limit, and in no time, could see the glow of the town’s lights in the sky. I noticed to my right a barn just off the road, with a street light on the front. I also noticed a car pulled over in the access road to this barn. My headlights caught a person standing beside the car.
I slowed down, and as other cars passed me on the new four lane highway, I looked to the right, and saw that it appeared to be a woman, bundled in a coat and winter hat with a scarf over her mouth and nose. I went past her, then thought perhaps I’d best see if she was all right, so pulled over on the shoulder, and backed up to where she was. I backed past her car, parked, but left my engine running. I grabbed my flashlight from the glove box, got out and approached her.
“Looks like it hasn’t been a good evening for you.” I said.
In the light afforded by my headlights, the streetlight on the barn, and my flashlight, I could see that she had blown out the left rear tire. Her eyes showed little fear from what I could see of her, and I briefly thought that perhaps this was a setup to rob me. I dismissed that fear in a second when she said
“Yes, it just blew out a little while ago. I managed to keep the car under control and pulled over here.”
I shined the flashlight to the back tire. It had indeed blown out, not just went flat, and she had also suffered some sheet metal damage to the rear quarter panel of the car. Her car was a late model Buick Regal, and it was pink. I shined the light to the rear window of the car and noticed the trademark name of the cosmetics company she was obviously a spokesperson of.
I threw my hands up and said. “Hi, my names Greg. US Army. Want me to put on your spare?”
She nodded in the affirmative. I could not tell what she looked like as she was all bundled up against the chilly, mid-thirties temperature of the evening. She said she would appreciate it if I could put the blown tire in the trunk before she went home, so she could get it repaired on Monday. I then went to my car, threw on my field jacket, and then angled my Chevy so the headlights would be where I had to work, and proceeded to change the tire.
It took a few minutes to get the car jacked up, but after about twenty minutes, I had the blown tire removed and the little emergency spare mounted on the car. All the while she had made small talk with me, asking about my Army service, had I participated in Desert Storm and the like. I kept my answers short and sometimes humorous, and she laughed when I told her that I could tell her what my job was in the Army, but then I’d have to kill her for national security. I smiled at her as I said this, hoping to dispel any remaining fear that I was a roving rapist.
After putting the blown tire and the jack and tools back in her trunk and closing it, I said, “Ok, get in and fire it up.” She hesitated a moment, then tried to place a $50 bill into my hand.
“Ma’am,” I said, holding my hands back around my shoulders, “I won’t take your money. My dad always said if you see someone needing help, help em out. Your reward will come in the end. So keep your money. You’ll need it to buy a new tire.” I smiled as I said this.
“Are you sure?” She asked. “That was an awful lot of work.”
“It was no problem. Not worth fifty bucks.”
“It was to me.” She said.
I smiled isveçbahis giriş at her and again told her to start the car. I then noticed that she had pulled the front tires past the old gravel access going to the barn, and her front tires were in the soft mud there. I figured that if she went forward, and the little bubble spare tire got in that muck, then she would be stuck. I told her to back the car up and keep it on the gravel of the access road, and the asphalt of the shoulder, then ease it onto the highway. As she got behind the wheel and started the engine, I also advised her to keep it under 45 mph, as the spare was only rated for that speed maximum.
As she started to back up, I realized that her Buick was front wheel drive. As she tried to back up, the front tires spun in the soft mud. I told her to hold up, and I would give her a push. I stepped off of the old gravel of the access road, and my feet sank slightly into the mud. I positioned myself by the driver’s side headlight, and as she started to back up, I gave a good hard push, to no avail. After a couple of rocks back and forth, with me pushing, the front tires finally caught on the edge of the gravels of the barn driveway, and the car pulled itself out, and fully onto the gravel.
I had been sprayed with some mud from the tires, and had went down on my knees when the car grabbed traction, so I was a little dirty now.
She stopped once fully on the barn driveway gravel, looking at me in her headlights. I was standing in front of her car, knocking some of the loose mud off of me. My hands were dark from the rubber of the tire change and the mud.
“Where are you headed tonight?” she asked.
“Well, eventually, the St. Louis area and home. But tonight, I am trying to get to a little hotel where 68 and the interstate intersect to spend the night, then finish the trip tomorrow.”
“You’re filthy from helping me. Why don’t you come and spend the night with us. We’ll give you a good shower, wash those clothes, and give you a good dinner.”
“That’s mighty nice ma’am, but I wouldn’t want to be any trouble for your family.”
“It won’t be any trouble at all. Please accept. You won’t take any money for helping me this evening, but perhaps I can save you some money. And our spare bed is a lot more comfortable than a hotel bed.”
I thought for a moment and decided to take her up on the offer. In my mind, I pictured a farmhouse with chickens in the driveway, her being a little plump under that coat, hat and scarf, with a balding husband who would fill up my ear before bedtime with tales of farm life, and ask a million questions of me, and the recent events of Desert Storm. I sighed to myself and told her I would accept.
It was an early exit from driving today, so that was one plus.
“Our place is only about two more miles from here. So follow me. Next intersection, veer right, then turn left. After about a half mile, our driveway is on the left.”
I finished knocking the loose mud from my pants, got in my car, and pulled in behind her as she pulled out onto the Parkway. I followed her car as we exited the parkway. As I went to turn left, I noticed the name of the road was Lovers Lane. I then followed her pink Buick again, and pulled into the driveway she turned in to. She pulled up beside a large Ford pickup, parked in a carport to the left of a rather large two story house.
I noticed that the house seemed to be dark, as if no one was home. My guard went up at that moment.
She exited her car as I parked behind the truck. As she did, two spotlights on the carport came on, as well as the front porchlight, and the back door light.
I grabbed my Army duffel bag from the back seat of my Chevy, and walked up behind her as she unlocked the side door.
“It’s just me here right now.” She said.
I followed her inside. She took off the scarf and placed it on a hook in the mud room off the carport, and I followed her into the kitchen, her back still to me. She left on the coat and hat as she showed me to the room where I would be sleeping.
“We have two master bedrooms here. The one on the first floor is our guest room. It has its own bathroom. Please make yourself at home.”
I got a good look at her face as I Walked past her into the large bedroom. Despite the winter hat still being atop her head, and pulled down to just above her eyes, I could see an attractive face, with dark brown eyes. I smiled at her as I went into the bedroom.
“Let me get you a bag for your dirty clothes.” She said, then added “Please feel free to take a shower if you like. I will cook up a quick meal while you clean up. Any requests?”
“Nothing special.” I said. “I’ll take a hamburger if you have one.”
She laughed as she took off the hat, and I saw her dark hair fall out from under it, and atop her shoulders. She took a second to finger comb it into place, and then turned to me. I then noticed that she was very attractive. isveçbahis yeni giriş I caught myself staring at her face. “I think we have some leftover steak from last night. I’ll heat that up with some mashed potatoes and corn if that’s to your liking.”
“Sounds delicious,” was all I could say, as I took in the fullness of the radiance her face seemed to exude. “I will go ahead and shower up if you don’t mind.”
“Take your time, I will have you some dinner in about thirty minutes.” She said, then reached into a cupboard and retrieved a plastic garbage bag for my dirty clothes. “This is for your dirty things. We may not get to wash the mud out of them, but at least you can keep them separate from your clean ones.”
I nodded in agreement as I took the bag from her, my eyes taking in the darkness of her hair and eyes as opposed to the lightness of her skin. As she turned away from me and walked through the dining area to the kitchen, she took off her coat. I then noticed that it was the coat that was heavy, not her.
She was not plump at all, and as she walked away, I took in the sway of her hips, and the firmness from the back of the jeans she wore. I judged her to be only about 5-4, as the heeled boots she wore made her look taller. She glanced back at me as she placed the coat over the back of a dining room chair and smiled.
I closed the door to the room, and turned on the light. A king size bed was in the middle of the large bedroom. Windows, with blackout curtains were to either side of the headboard. The bed appeared to be a re furbished, old style bed. The mattress was large, and sat high on the box spring.
To the left of the bed, a large mirror adorned the wall, above the long dresser. The mirror was longer than the bed, and took up the majority of the wall. On the opposite side was the bathroom door, and the interior wall was adorned with another mirror, not quite as large, but positioned exactly square with the bed, with a chest of drawers, another seemingly refurbished antique, to the left of the mirror.
I was young and inexperienced at the time, but that arrangement intrigued me. The mirrors piqued my interest as I retrieved clean clothes from my duffel bag. Most of my earlier trepidations had dissipated, and as I went into the bathroom to shower, I felt that whatever may transpire this evening, everything would be fine. I was still a little curious as to why she kept saying ‘We,’ and ‘Our’ when it appeared the only person living here was her.
I stripped the dirty clothes I had on off, placing them in the trash bag she had provided, and stood looking at my 21 year old self in the mirror. I was just shy of 6 foot tall, a lean 175. Not muscularly ripped, but definitely looked in shape. Army life for you there. I went into the walk in shower, turned the water on and adjusted the temperature. Within a minute the temperature was right, and I soaked down, then shut the water off and lathered up with shampoo, then took the bar of soap and lathered up my body.
I had water in my ears and my eyes shut due to the shampoo running down my face. I did not hear the bathroom door open, nor her come into the bathroom. I did hear her open the shower door, and I jumped a little, almost losing my balance.
“Whoa there.” She said. “Just wanted to tell you your dinner was ready.”
I regained my composure when I heard her voice. I was uncertain again, as I half expected the shower scene in “Psycho” to start. I started to turn and open my eyes, but remembered the shampoo on my face.
“Looks like you missed a spot.” I heard her say, as she stepped into the shower behind me.
I was not sure what to expect as she took the bar of soap and washed my back. I said nothing, unsure of what to do at that point, my age and inexperience showing. She gently scrubbed my back with soap and a washcloth.
After a moment of cleaning my back, she then said “Why don’t you turn on the water again.”
Still blinded by the soap around my eyes, I reached out for the control handle with my right hand, and grabbed the massaging shower head with the left, and removed it from the bracket.
I felt her draw closer behind me, her nipples brushing against my lower back. She intercepted my left hand, and deftly took the shower head into her own.
I will say at this point, I was both confused and more than a little nervous. I had had sex before, but it was more of the variety of sneaking around, hoping parents did not wake up, or officer Friendly did not tap on the glass of the car. I had never had sex in the shower to that point. Like most young people I had talked about things such as this situation, but had never experienced them. I wanted to say something, as I felt I looked like an idiot, naked in the shower, covered with soap, and an attractive naked woman standing behind me. Finally, all I could croak out was “Wow, this is new.”
I heard her chuckle as she fondled the shower head. I assumed she was adjusting the massager.
“There, that ought to do it.” I heard her say. I then heard the bar of soap being placed into the built in soap holder beside me.
“Relax Greg. Please.” She said.
I froze in place, my legs spread slightly.