Visit our Bookstore
Home | Fiction | Nonfiction | Novels | |
Innisfree Poetry | Enskyment Journal | International | FACEBOOK | Poetry Scams | Stars & Squadrons | Newsletter

 

MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF

A Love Story by

Diane Stark (McConnell) Sanfilippo

 

Chapter 4 – The Copper Mine

 

 

Click here to send comments

Click here if you'd like to exchange critiques

  2003 Diane Sanfilippo

 

Foreword             Prologue            First Chapter

 

 

Chapter 4 – The Copper Mine

 

The Sunday following the Company party was another sunny and unusually balmy day for February in the mountains. It was warm enough to imagine spring lurking just around the corner, and my heart felt the same - heavy with love for Billy, but light with an anticipation of events yet to come. I was so much in love I could barely take a breath without my heart aching just to be in his arms.

Totally against my own pattern of maintaining control with any of my other boyfriends, I was completely under Billy McConnell’s spell, and much to my surprise, I even enjoyed it! Perhaps had he not treated me so lovingly and had he not professed to the same feelings, I might not have loved him with such intensity. Then again, I might have anyway. I knew this had to be the beginning of the beginning of the rest of my life.

Once again, I began going back to church so I could sit with Billy. Every Sunday morning I would be faithfully waiting for him in the third row from the back on the right side of the aisle at Dahlonega First Methodist Church. Billy had long been a member of the First Baptist in Griffin, but when he found out I preferred the Methodist, he decided there was not enough difference to matter, and he would line up with the other cadets coming to the Methodist Church. He also knew Don came to this church and he was leaving nothing to chance.

My heart began to beat wildly each time I heard the cadets’ approach since I knew soon Billy would be by my side. We held hands and wrote messages in each other’s palms with our fingers, short sentences like "I love you’, ‘I want you’, ‘I need you’, ‘Please love me’. Sitting there we both would rather have been in each other’s arms and the sermons always seemed as if they would never end.

This particular Sunday we decided not to go back to our dorms in order to have more time together, and after we left church we picked up Billy’s car, which was under lock and key behind the gymnasium. Billy already had put a cooler of Coca-Cola in the backseat before church formation, and on our way out of town; we stopped for Brazier burgers at the local Dairy Queen.

This was the day we planned to look for a special place where we could be alone, safe, and in each other’s arms all afternoon. In other words, we were looking for a place where we could have our own blanket party, undisturbed by whistles, and unaccompanied by teasing. Although, I think Billy actually enjoyed having the honor of being the last to come in, and all it inferred.

We had hours to be alone together, the entire afternoon, at least until I had to report for work in the library that evening.

We drove out of town and into the foothills of the mountains, northwards on Route 19 toward the Georgia/Tennessee border. Billy left the highway several times and followed winding dirt roads just looking for a safe, private place to park, and before too long we found what we were looking for, and not too far from campus! Actually, the area was very popular with the students, mostly because of the magnificent wild creek that coursed down from the mountains unaltered by human hands, free from the constraints of dams or ponds. Filled with ancient worn rocks, the water rushed between and around them, while sprays leapt into the air and hung in the golden sunshine just long enough to create a rainbow. With the large, flat smooth rocks and shallow depths, generations of students had sunbathed and studied here, and worn the rocks even smoother than the rushing water. This was the idyllic place to read, nap or just enjoy being with your boyfriend while surrounded by the music of nature; cascading water, the songs of the birds, crickets, and other creek dwelling amphibians, but most of all the serenity of the primeval forest. The immediate area around the creek was postcard beautiful, and popular enough it had been used as a background for some of the class pictures in the yearbook.

This was a wonderful place to be together and on this warm winter day, deserted, but little did I know privacy was the main thing Billy had in mind, and in this lovely place, we could not depend on that. We would not be the only students looking for a respite from campus, so we got back into the car to search further, although I would have been quite content to remain on the banks of the creek.

We drove back the way we came in and searched for old forgotten roads or trails that looked fairly overgrown and unused. Finally, Billy spotted a narrow road that led straight toward the mountain and with the tall grass covering old tire tracks it looked as if no one had driven down it for a long, long time. He followed the road for as long as it was drivable, but soon the grass became a tangle of brambles and we had to get out of the car and walk.

Just a short distance from where we abandoned the car and just off to the right side of the road Billy found a small glade of pine trees with a thick layer of needles softening the ground beneath them. With their evergreen boughs stretching from the ground towards the sky, they afforded total privacy since once inside the circle of pines we could see and hear anyone coming, but no one could see us until they entered the glade. This peaceful spot just had to be ‘our’ place, ‘our perfect place’, and Billy went back to the car for the cooler and the blankets. Later, we learned from some locals the road had once led to a now abandoned copper mine just a few yards from where we had stopped, so we called our haven ‘the copper mine’.

Each of us took one side and stretched the blanket out to cover the thick layer of pine needles and found the ground was almost as soft as a bed and softer than many I had slept on, to include the one in my dorm. Hurriedly we devoured our picnic of ‘Brazier’ burgers and ice-cold cokes from the cooler, with both of us anxious to be in the other’s arms. Ridiculously we had actually brought our books with the thought we might study, but when I think about all of the afternoons we spent at the copper mine, I cannot think of one time we ever opened a book. We shared a stick of chewing gum by exchanging it from Billy’s mouth to mine, to sweeten our breath for each other’s kisses, and stretched out on the blanket. His long arms instantly holding me close while I caressed his handsome face.

Our kisses were long and deep, tongues seeking and searching with unbridled passion. Well past the ‘heavy petting’ stage, I still was quite aware while Billy had been disappointed with my ‘rosebuds’, this did not prevent his fondling them with fervor. Not fully realizing how self-conscious I had always been about my tiny breasts, he once teasingly told me if they were any flatter, they would be inverted. Instantly tears welled up in the corner of my eyes and slowly trickled down my face, and before I could wipe them, he kissed them away, and apologized for being so insensitive. Tenderly he told me he loved them anyway since they were his and his alone. He never referred to my breasts being tiny again until, engorged with milk for our babies; he wished they could stay that way when I finished nursing.

That fateful afternoon my head was spinning with love for my Billy and on this day I fully let my guard down for the first time in my life. While he held me close in his arms, slowly I allowed him to undress me under the blanket, and with each button or zipper, he would profess how much he loved me. All I could think about was what would happen if I got pregnant since this was the one thing I feared the most. I did not want him to HAVE to marry me; rather I wanted him to WANT to marry me. Never mind I would lose the one thing I could never give again once I gave it to Billy, I was only worried about getting pregnant.

By the time he finished undressing me, he began taking his pants off, and now I was as anxious as he was to make love since we had reached the apex of our passion and there was only one logical conclusion. By now, I was frantic, and I longed to feel him inside of me. I wanted to be one with him, and I never wanted it to end.

Feeling betrayed, the pain was unexpected and revolting, and I almost cried out as my flesh stretched and tore! Although he was gentle and ever so slowly began his penetration, I began to cry, more from fear I think, than from pain.

Suddenly he shuddered as the sharp ache disappeared and much to my surprise, I could see he too was crying. Huge tears welled up in the corner of his eyes and fell onto my face where they mingled with my own tears to form one rivulet, and now I really did not understand. Was there something wrong with me so awful as to make him cry? What was this musky smelling ‘sticky stuff’ I could feel between my legs? I truly did not have a clue about any of this. My mother had never discussed intercourse with me, and the movies we saw at school discussed menstrual periods, but not semen and sperm. Horrified, I thought this odorous mess was coming out of me and this caused Billy to cry.

With his head buried between my shoulder and my cheek, he held me in his arms, and rocking me softly, he whispered, over, and over again, "I’m sorry, I’m so, so very sorry. Forgive me little girl, forgive me for ever doubting you."

Why was he sorry? What was wrong? The questions I could not find the words to ask kept going through my head. Then looking at me with his beautiful blue eyes, he finally said, "Baby, I am so sorry, I guess I didn’t believe you really were a virgin. There is no excuse; just you had so many boyfriends before me, and I should have trusted you, but most of all honored you. Believe me, Diane, when I say we will marry someday, this I promise."

I was upset beyond hearing him, and I asked how could he not believe me? What possible reason would I have to lie about something that important? What told him now I had been telling the truth? I was angry, hurt, confused, and stunned. Irately, I asked how he could have doubted me. Why would he think I would lie to him, and what kind of girl did he think I was. I reminded him that I told him I had never made love to anyone before, and I only made love to him because I loved him so much and because he said that he wanted to marry me. Now questioning his motives, I then tearfully reminded him of his promise that we would be married right away, if something happened; as he sat there seemingly stunned with the realization I truly had been a virgin. I then asked him what the ‘sticky stuff’ was, and now I could see it tinged with blood, and I believed it was coming out of me.

Oh so gently, he cupped my face in his big strong hands as if to quell the building hysteria, and with his blue eyes still moist with his tears, he said, "Little girl, you are so nave, and so very innocent, and I am so very sorry. I love you, more than life itself, and if anything happened, we will get married right away. We won’t wait until graduation I promise you. I am honored you trust me enough to give this gift to me, and I promise you I will never misuse it, talk about it, or otherwise deface the beauty of what happened here today."

Oh! He had a gift for saying just the right words, and I believed every one of them, as I regaled in his love and his tender kisses.

Finally, he took off his t-shirt and slowly cleaned me off as he explained about semen, sperm, and ejaculation. I have to admit that day I thought surely God could have thought of a more pleasant way to maintain the human race. Like French kissing for instance, which my mother had once told me would make me pregnant, although I did not buy it for a moment since I had been French kissing since I rode the band bus in the 9th grade!

I wish I could say I enjoyed this first time as much as Billy, but I found it most unpleasant. Overcome with guilt and fear, I did not have an organism that day, nor did I even know I could experience pleasure, and I had never even heard the word. It was not until the next time we made love Billy ever so slowly carried me into ecstasy with him. Then I was the one who could not get enough.

Again I had no idea intercourse could be even more wonderful than just feeling him inside of me since after the first time it was no longer painful. However Billy was an superb teacher, and before too very long, we were satisfying each other’s every need and we called it flying to the moon. I felt as if we were as one now, nothing could keep us apart since I had given to him the ultimate gift, the only thing I truly had to give that none before him received, and he seemed eternally grateful.

When I finally reported for work in the library that evening, I felt as if I surely had a sign on my back saying, "No longer a Virgin," or at least a scarlet letter.

Certainly, everyone who saw me could tell I was different now, no longer a child, but a woman with a lover.

Following that one traumatic afternoon, we spent many fantastic hours in our glade on a blanket at the copper mine. The more time we spent with each other, and the more we made love, gently yet passionately, the deeper we fell in love. On warm afternoons as winter rushed headlong into spring, I even began to skip my afternoon Spanish class to be with Billy at the copper mine. He kept extra t-shirts in the car and towels, and I would always clean up carefully, wiping the musky scent of his semen from between my legs and spraying myself with cologne before dressing to report for work. No matter how well I rubbed, I could never completely clean all he left behind and with that in mind, I loved him even more. He never felt the need to use condoms and promised over, and over again that we were getting married no matter what happened, and I would not have known what they were had he used them!

"Its like taking a bath with your socks on," is how he described their use, so I just took his word for it and decided if he were not worried then I would not worry either. Pregnancy would just rush the inevitable I supposed, and not once did I doubt his sincerity or his love.

It was not long after our first ‘adventure’ the word got around the Lewis Hall we were sleeping together. Whether it came from someone I told or someone Billy told, nevertheless it became known. Perhaps Billy told his roommate who told his girlfriend, who told her roommate, who told her boyfriend, and on and on until ‘our secret’ was no longer ours alone. I had told Lucia who was not dating, but I also told Diane and Bobbie, and Diane was dating on campus. I never thought badly about anyone who might have ‘talked’ since we all ‘talked’ most of the time.

The night I abruptly discovered our secret was ‘out’, I was ‘kidnapped’ from my room by several other coeds, thrown into a cold shower, then dried off and taken to Bobbie and Diane’s room where ‘The Virgin’s Club’ had cokes and chips ready for my ‘coming out’ party! I had never heard of ‘The Virgin’s Club’. Now I was a full-fledged member as were many freshman and sophomore girls, the only two classes represented at my party since the upper class girls who were in the ‘club’ had moved on to more mature pursuits. How much more mature can it get!

I will have to admit some of the members really surprised me, but it was a night of fun, shared experiences and warnings about how to keep from getting pregnant.

Every so often, a coed would suddenly ‘disappear’ from campus and we knew she was probably pregnant. One married freshman coed even lived in the dorm and thought perhaps because her last name was such a common name, and the fact she dated a cadet with the same last name, no one would be suspicious, and she could get away with it. She did for a long time, but suddenly, one day she was gone too, which actually surprised most of us until we began to think about it and figured out she had been married to the cadet when she first enrolled! Now, she too was pregnant, and had to leave.

After I met Billy I was no longer in my room on most nights, instead I was with him at the library. Since all vehicles remained locked and under guard on weeknights, we could not go up to Crown Mountain, but we managed to be alone as much as possible. This meant I sometimes skipped my last afternoon class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Amazingly none of my professors said much except my Spanish professor who asked me to stay after class one day. He told me he did not care if I slept in class, or if I was in class at all as long as I kept my B average, so I worked hard to maintain it. The three cadets, including Billy’s company commander, who copied my carefully finished assignments, turned them in for me, so I was never late with even one. They all knew I would be with Billy, but they needed my homework in order to pass the course.

When I was in the dorm, there was always something going on instead of studying, and usually, I was in the middle of it. However, it was not often I was even in the dorm now, and from the first date with Billy, my nights with my friends were few since my only thought was how I could spend more time with him.

I would not want anyone to think all we did was make love, because Billy and I did other things together too. We both enjoyed hiking in the woods and would often drive around the area looking for trails to follow, just to see what was around the next bend. We would hold hands if the trail was wide enough for two, and if not, Billy would lead the way, holding back branches and twigs so they would not slap me in the face. Often we would follow any trail that led increasingly downhill into a gully, which surely meant we would find a stream at the bottom. We would then follow the stream for a while, usually until we came to the same road where we had parked the car some distance away. It was a good thing Billy had a sense of direction because I was lost within 50 yards of the car. He always brought his compass and a water bottle so it was impossible for us to become hopelessly lost, although at this writing, I almost wish we had.

One especially warm, sunny Saturday afternoon we followed a well-traveled trail until we saw tin roofs in the gully below us and we both said, at the same time, "What kind of buildings would be way out here"? Obviously, it was not a homestead, as it appeared as if it would impossible to reach this desolate place other than by foot, but we could hear the rushing water of a wild stream beyond the buildings as we continued to travel downhill. Could this possibly be a well-preserved ruin of a played out gold mine? After all, the first gold rush in America occurred in these very hills surrounding the college and the town.

Dahlonega gold covered the dome on the administration building on campus, also the dome of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. I remember when they brought it to Atlanta by mule train since it was in all the papers and on television. It had been quite a big deal and it was the first time I heard of Dahlonega or gold in Georgia, but at the time, I thought nothing about it. Now I began to feel as if these were ‘our hills’ and everything about them was magnificent.

We both thought surely we had found an abandoned gold mine, but all of a sudden, there was a loud roar and the air over our heads seemed brushed by the wind!

Billy stopped dead in his tracks, all but dropping to the ground, and without so much as moving his head, said softly, "Honey, turn around and go back up the trail all the way to the car and don’t look back, just keep going."

When I turned to ask why, he told me he would explain when we got back to the car, and with Billy following close behind I briskly climbed the hill we had just descended.

Out of breath from the steep climb, I leaned against the car, and it took me a while before I was able to speak and ask why we had to come back to the car so quickly. The day was so nice; it was early afternoon, the trail bramble free, and I was disappointed we never did get to see that mountain stream or the mysterious buildings.

Shaken, Billy then explained the loud noise and the ‘wind’ that passed over our heads was a ‘warning shot’. We had run into one of the myriad of illegal stills that dotted the region, known for its ‘white lightning’. He thought, from the little he saw, this was a big still and the bootleggers were in the process of ‘running a batch’ when we approached, thus the warning. In addition, they probably realized we were college students out exploring and they intended no harm, but, from then on, we avoided that area completely. We were also more cautious about approaching buildings, and if obviously not in complete ruin, we never approached them.

The mountains to the north of the campus provided many wonderful afternoons of escape for us as we hiked the hills and valleys and found many surprises just around the bend of each trail, but none quite like the afternoon we accidentally came upon the still! We also learned when a trail is too easy to traverse, that alone is reason to question whether we should follow it since it was obviously ‘in use’. When we did find a trail too well traveled, we would leave at once for another area more rugged. Usually we ended our day at the copper mine before returning to campus and to the library where we could still be together while we studied. Although I knew he could not be serious, Billy used to tease and promise he was going to buy the land around the copper mine and build our retirement home there. Right in the spot where I had given him what he called "the greatest gift of all."

February 21, 1961 was a special night since I went to my first N.G.C. formal dance with my Billy, now my lover. I felt as if all the eyes in the room were on us as we held onto each other as if each dance would be our last. I wore the white formal gown I had worn for my own senior prom, but never had I felt as lovely as I did when I arrived at the dance with my handsome cadet. When I had chosen to wear the virginal white, for a fleeting moment I thought how ludicrous, but the thought quickly passed and now I was holding Billy’s arm as with all the other couples we walked from Lewis Hall to the dance in the gymnasium. He had bought me a corsage of gardenias after I told him it was my favorite flower, and although they bruised with each touch, their perfume surrounded us throughout this most romantic of nights.

As usual though, my handsome Billy had more than a dance on his mind and asked if I wanted to leave early and go up to Crown Mountain, but this night I resisted. Not only did I want to dance every dance, or at least the slow dances, but I had no idea how we would manage to get around my huge skirt with the hoop underneath. That did not even take into consideration the strapless, full-length bra that held me as securely as the laces of the waist cinchers worn by Southern belles of long ago. In order to fit into the dress which was a size 6, one size smaller than I usually wore, I had to use the inside row of hooks, and Lucia had a time getting all of me into this contraption. At first, I thought I would never be able to breath or perhaps might crack a rib, but eventually I became used to the squeezing of the elastic and the stays that ran from under my bust to below my waist. I doubt if I could have eaten a bite and not exploded! Add to it the stockings held by garters attached to the entire torturous garment, and there was just no way I could have gotten undressed and redressed in the confines of a car!

Billy used all of his charm to lure me to the mountain that night, but even this I resisted, and in time, I explained to him why it would never work. As I told him about all the manipulations I had suffered in order to wear this gown, he roared with laughter and suggested perhaps our ancestors had used these as a chastity belt for their daughters, and I agreed they would have been most effective. No one could have squeezed into one without help, without muscle, so he calmed his overly active sex drive for that one night.

"Well, darling," he said as he stared at my bust, "I never thought I would see those rosebuds with cleavage, so I guess the corset has its good points too."

Little did he know those rosebuds were all but ready to burst out over the top of the dress with the added padding, and had I raised my arms high above my head, they most probably would have popped right out! With the pain of my preparations to look perfect for him in mind, we danced the night away, and I could have stayed in his arms forever. Too soon, the band began to play "Good night Sweetheart," and Billy led me to the darkest corner of the gymnasium where we held onto each other as if tomorrow would never come.

It was late in February when Billy first took me to his home to meet his parents and it was not a very pleasant visit. I knew his mother was a nasty alcoholic; in fact, alcoholism brought us together even more since my father had been an alcoholic since long before I was born. As expected, Billy’s mother took an instant dislike to me, probably because she knew Billy had to be serious since I was the first and only girl he had ever brought home from North Georgia College. Add to it the fact I was the one keeping him from coming home on the weekends, and she truly disliked me. He explained to me all about his mother’s drinking and we matched each other story for repulsive story about our parents. We understood each other’s embarrassment about the rampant alcoholism in both of our families, and this was just one more reason why we were so perfect for each other.

We both knew the humiliation of a parent’s drinking that someone with a ‘normal’ family would not understand. We could talk about it, and he knew I would not think less of him because of his mother, and I knew he would not think less of me because of my father. Neither Billy nor I had any desire to drink alcohol, and in high school, my drinking had been more out of rebellion than pleasure. Both of us found the taste disgusting, despised the smell, and were overly sensitive to the odor and could tell instantly if someone had been drinking. Moreover, neither of us could handle it very well and were deathly ill by our third drink.

Since drinking was a very serious offense at North Georgia, expulsion the usual punishment for coeds, while cadets on contract to the Army could lose their contracts and DMG (Distinguished Military Graduates) could lose their R.A. (Regular Army) commission, and in fact, they could lose any commission they might receive. We just never thought about it, at least I had not since the afternoon coming back to school after Christmas. My life was different now. I was different now. I was no longer the slightly wild, boy chasing tease I had been before I met my Billy. I knew I would never look at another boy again with the love I felt for him, and I knew he felt the same about me. We had both given up our ‘wild’ days for each other, and I liked the ‘new’ me so much better I had no intention of changing back to the old one as long as Billy loved me.

I slept in his room that night in Griffin, and he slept with his three much younger brothers in their large room at the opposite end of the house. Just as soon as everyone was asleep, he silently came down to his room and slipped into bed with me, and we made love until daybreak when he quietly slipped back into his brothers’ room.

We were both exhausted Sunday morning but we went to church with his father and the little boys, and then out to dinner at a local restaurant. His mother met us there since she had not gone to church with us. The little boys fought about who would sit next to me, so Billy had them draw straws and he said only one could win since one side permanently belonged to him. I think David drew the long straw and ‘won’ that day, but there would be plenty of days to come when I could sit by each one in turn. I just happen to glance at his mother while she watched her sons vie for my attention, and will never forget the hate pouring out of her eyes. No, I would never win her over, and if I married her favored oldest son, she would never forgive either of us!

Billy was the oldest child by nine years. Then, Dickie (or Richard) was the oldest of the younger brothers; David was two years younger than Dickie and then came Charles, two years younger than David. They were all adorable, but none as handsome as their oldest brother. Charles’ dark hair and even features looked more like Billy than Dickie or David, but Dickie had Billy’s eyes, and I loved each one of them instantly, just as I loved their big brother.

We tried to have as pleasant a weekend as possible, and Billy even showed off his new skill playing bridge with his parents. Not surprisingly, this too turned into a disaster when Gene made some error that tipped Helen into an alcoholic rage and she threw the cards on the table. Gene took her arm and led her into the living room where Billy and I could not witness the altercation, but she came back into the den screaming and holding a hank of hair. Gene had pulled the hair out of her head and she said her hairdresser had noticed her hair was getting thinner and she was going to tell her why! Oh my, it was like being at my house! At least Helen did not have a black eye as my mother usually did! Nor did the police show up as they often did during or after my parent’s fights, with my father hauled away to spend a few days in jail to dry out. Mother always kept $50 to pay for a peace bond so she could have him taken away, and all the while when we needed so many other things. Also, since Helen was not the ‘bread winner’, Billy had not grown up with the off again/on again abject poverty that had been carefully hidden by my mother until my father’s mother could ‘bail’ him out again, and again, and again. Billy’s father was a wealthy, well-respected business owner in this small town, president of the Lion’s Club, Kiwanis Club, deacon at the church, etc., so Billy’s life was far more privileged than my own, and he knew well how to use this fact to his advantage.

For the entire uncomfortable weekend I felt as if I were walking on eggshells, not knowing what to say and what not to say, what would trigger Helen’s temper, and what would not, but this was all the more reason why I loved this boy so much – he needed me as much as I needed him. Neither one of us had a pleasant place to call home so we vowed our own home, when we had one, would never erupt into this kind of unpleasantness.

We could not get back to school fast enough, and left immediately following Sunday dinner, much to his father’s and his brothers’ disappointment. At least Billy knew nothing that happened that weekend made me love him any less and I vowed to keep him away from my own family as much as possible. He just thought his parents fought! He had not seen a ‘real’ fight, and if I could keep it that way, I would.

Within days of meeting Billy’s family, I knew I was pregnant. My period was late, and while I was not always regular, I just felt ‘full’ all of the time. I became nauseous from the smell of coffee and dared not drink another cup myself since I knew the outcome would have me running for the bathroom. My breasts were tender all of the time and I winced when Billy fondled them. Cigarette smoke made me choke and gag, so I quit smoking and it became increasingly difficult to sit in the canteen and play cards since the smoke permeating the air mixed with the smell of the coffee, that kept many students from sleeping through classes, now turned my stomach upside down. I avoided actually being ill by not eating breakfast.

Most of the cadets, and some of the co-eds, could not make it through a class without caffeine, and lots of it. Sometimes even that did not work, and many of the professors simply overlooked those who were sleeping as long as they were passing their course. Often, a loud snort or snore would disrupt the entire class followed by giggles from the coeds, and a nearby student would give the offender a shake, but the professors did not miss a beat and continued their lecture. Now I had to give up smoking and coffee. The former I did not miss since Billy had never been a smoker and I had already decided to quit and was slowly tapering down. The latter I missed a great deal since I always ‘crammed’ for tests and exams, often staying awake on coffee the entire night and through the next day. Billy never drank coffee, not ever, and often I wondered if he slept in class and snored, but I also knew he got plenty of caffeine from Coca-Cola, his beverage of choice. I knew he snored since he had dosed off several times when we were at the copper mine, but even this was comforting to me.

Although I had not yet missed my second period, I just knew I was pregnant, and while I cannot explain how, I just knew. Of course, I had never been pregnant and had no idea what to expect, but almost certainly, it had happened the very first time. Now I had to break the news to Billy, and optimistic me, believed every word he said, and I just knew he would marry me because he said he would. I was not worried simply because I knew he loved me and he had always said we would get married if we had an accident, just earlier than we planned. It never dawned on me that Billy would be scared to death, even though he had a few narrow escapes before we met, and I thought he was the least of my worries, but I was greatly mistaken.

 

 Next Chapter...

Foreword Contents Prologue Chapter 1