“No social life,” he said. “The men around there didn’t want to saddle up with a built in family so they pretty much kept their distance. I don’t think she ever read a book. She was pretty well strapped into the lonely train by the time she was 22.” He grinned at me. “Told you it was a long story.”
“I’m still here,” I said and he continued.
“You know what’s coming. She was a lonely, experienced woman and I was a curious teenager with raging hormones. Should have known better and didn’t. I have to admit, I thought I was pretty hot stuff at the time.”
“You were fourteen?”
“About there. Didn’t even have a driver’s license.”
“So what happened?”
“She showed up one evening at the house, all dressed up. Uncle Merle was there at the time, back from a trip with Matt. So she sat them all down, said she was pregnant, I was the culprit and she was ready to marry up and settle in. Mama said that wasn’t gonna happen. Merle said he’d take her to the doctor for a second opinion. My daddy raised us to be responsible. To my way of thinking I did the deed, I had to take responsibility for it. Next morning I was up and down the road before Mama’s feet hit the floor. I proposed, and we headed for town. Had to walk. I didn’t have my license. We got to town before the court house opened and were sitting on a bench outside. She was giggling and I was sweating like a mule pulling a plow uphill. About then, Mama and Uncle Merle showed up, along with Lurlene’s daddy. They took her straight to the doctor, left me waiting in the truck.”