tagRomanceBut I Do

But I Do

byMoogPlayer©

I received an anonymous comment not too long ago from someone who said that they were not only a big fan of my work, but that they had also read both of my books. Therefore, the story you're about to read was written in honor of that particular individual, whoever he or she may be. If that person, and only they know who they are, is reading this, please, send me a feedback letter with your name and email address, and I will write you back; but until then, I pray that God blesses you.

MoogPlayer

P.S. As always this story is pure and total fiction. Oh, and don't forget to vote...Thank you.


~~~~~~

"Oh, my God, I love you so much" she widely smiled, tears pouring down her face, "I'm so glad to see you, but I thought you said you wouldn't be able to make it."

"Are you kidding? I wouldn't have missed this for the world," I grinned, "Besides, I wanted to surprise you."

All of a sudden, I heard a familiar male voice emanating from behind me saying, "I've already warned you once to stay away from her, and now you're gonna pay, motherfucker," and before I had the chance to turn around and defend myself, I heard a gunshot, and then after receiving a hard blow to the back of my head; as well as a loud ringing in my ears, everything began to fade into black...

~~~~~~

Hi, my name is Michael Lee Pennington, Mike to my friends, I stand six feet, four inches tall; and I weigh a solid two hundred and fifty pounds, with dark brown hair, and sky blue eyes. I'm fifty-one years old now, but what you're about to read began right after my twentieth birthday, during my second year in college; but please allow me to give you a little background information before I begin, if that's alright.

~~~~~~

Chapter One

I was born and raised about sixty miles south of Houston, Texas in a little town that you've probably never heard of so, I won't even mention it. My father, John Pennington, was a U.S. Navy fighter pilot, who, at the beginning of this story, had just retired from the Navy two years prior, and was working as a pilot for American Airlines.

My mother, Elaine, commuted back and forth from Clear Lake, Texas where she worked for NASA. She wasn't an astronaut, mind you, but she did work with the engineers who designed and built what later became the Space Shuttle.

Me, I went to college at the University of Houston, majoring in Music, piano and voice to be exact, with a strong English minor. I didn't have dreams of being famous, or anything like that. But I did, however, want to either play music professionally, or teach music to children, specifically piano. But, if those two particular aspirations were never realized, then I wanted to write books, hence the reason I minored in English.

~~~~~~

I was an average kid in school, had some friends that I always hung out with, and because of the study habits that were instilled in me by my parents when I was a child, I never made anything but straight "A's" all throughout my whole time in school, college included.

The first time I got laid was during my sophomore year of high school, which ended in emotional disaster for me; but by the time I reached college, I had a working knowledge of the female anatomy. I also played in a rock and roll band while I was in high school, which gave me many opportunities to meet more than several different girls during those years.

However, I never really had what you could call a steady girlfriend, but still, by the time I reached the U of H campus, I knew how to act around girls and never once ended up looking like an idiot around the girls there, thank God...whew, lol.

I have an older sister; her name is Nikki, and she was eight years old when I was born. But unlike my friends' older sisters, Nikki was very sweet, as well as very gentle and kind to me when I was a little boy. And right after she graduated from high school; she married my brother-in-law, Tommy Wells.

Tommy did three tours in Vietnam, nineteen sixty-seven, nineteen sixty-eight and nineteen sixty-nine. However, because I was born in nineteen sixty, Tommy was the big brother I never had; and when he came home in March of sixty-nine, I turned nine years old a little over a month later.

Tommy was a Green Beret; and he taught me not only how to hunt and fish, but how to basically live off the land and survive, so to speak. He also taught me how to defend myself, and I became extremely good at it. I still remember him telling me that it would come in handy when I got to high school, because of the fact that the upperclassmen, as well as the asshole jocks, always liked to pick on the underclassmen.

He told me that all bullies were dickless dumb asses, and that if I got picked on; make sure that I had an equalizer, like a big stick, or a baseball bat, especially if they were either bigger than me, or if there were more than one of them. But because of what he taught me, I never had the need to use any one of the afore mentioned items. To this day, I still hate bullies, and make it a point to put my foot in their asses whenever I see one picking on someone smaller and/or weaker.

~~~~~~

Mom put me behind a piano when I was five years old, and because Tommy, who was four years older than my sister, Nikki, had been playing guitar for longer than I'd been alive, he and I used to play music together for fun. He not only taught me how to play guitar as a second instrument, but he also taught me a lot of really great songs when I was a kid, and it just so happened that his mother was the lady who taught me to play the piano, which is how he and Nikki met.

~~~~~~

As I got older and became really good on the piano, my father introduced me to electronic musical instruments. He bought for me, during the summer between my seventh and eighth grade years in junior high school, my first synthesizers; a Moog 55 Modular Synthesizer, the same synthesizers that Keith Emerson, of "Emerson, Lake, and Palmer" plays, a Mellotron, and a Mini Moog, D-Model, which is the same synthesizer that Rick Wakeman of "Yes" plays.

To say that I was thrilled would've been an understatement so; out of the deepest respect for my father for purchasing these instruments for me to begin with, I immediately started trying to learn everything there was to know about these instruments so as to be able to master them in the shortest amount of time possible. Plus, it was also out of sheer excitement, too, that I took to them as quickly as I did.

My brother-in-law, Tommy, who was also an electronics genius who understood these new electronic musical instruments, was there to help me in every way possible. He taught me how to use the patch cables, going from one module to the next appropriate module in order create sounds from scratch.

In what seemed like hardly any time at all, three and a half months actually, I was playing my synthesizers like I'd been doing it for a hell of a lot longer than I actually had. And during the summer after eighth grade, I discovered that I was just as good a keyboard player as I was a piano player. Man, what a rush...lol.

~~~~~~

At the beginning of my ninth grade, or freshman year in high school, and I'd been playing piano for almost ten years by this time, I was asked by my high school band director, Mr. David Shepard, to play with a group of people whom he called, "The Jazz Ensemble".

The Jazz Ensemble consisted of people whom Mr. Shepard considered to be "the cream of the crop" which was basically the best musicians in the whole school. I was only a freshman then, and I most certainly didn't realize that I was going to catch hell from an upperclassman, a dickhead bully named Marcus Cole, for "stealing his spot", according to him.

He'd been playing in The Jazz Ensemble for the past three years, and got kicked out of band at the end of his junior year for smuggling marijuana and alcohol aboard one of the band busses on the way home from doing a show out of town.

The really bad thing about the whole ordeal was that he thought he'd gotten away with it, because not only was it the last show of the year for The Jazz Ensemble, but classes were dismissed for the summer a week later, and therefore, he didn't know it.

However, because Mr. Shepard is such a smart guy, nothing ever got past him, that's why Marcus Cole got caught, because he was doing something stupid. I found out near the end of my first year of playing with The Jazz Ensemble though, that nobody liked his idiot ass to begin with because of the fact that he was a bully so; I tend to think that he deserved exactly what he got.

The first day of Jazz Ensemble class after he'd been unknowingly replaced by me, Marcus Cole walked into the band hall before Mr. Shepard had arrived, and then went over to where I was seated at the piano, and venomously growled, "Get the fuck outta my spot, asshole"

"I hate to be the one to tell you this," I laughed, "But this isn't your spot anymore so; take a hike."

"I'm not going to tell you again, punk," he spat, looking more and more like the idiot that, to this very day, he still is, "Move your ass, NOW!"

"Or what," I continued laughing, "What're you going to do about it?"

"This," he growled, taking a swing at me and then missing me, as I ducked, and then stood up, taking a defensive stance.

"I'm giving you fair warning right now," I told him, seeing Mr. Shepard walk into the band hall unseen by Cole, "If you don't leave me alone, you're going to end up being either arrested, or you're going to get carried out of here. Take your pick, Marcus."

"Fuck you, motherfucker," Cole said, trying to rush me. The moment he made his move, I simply side stepped him, and then after grabbing a handful of his greasy hair, I ran his head into the wall, bringing my knee into his face as hard as I could in the process

It was obvious that he was out cold the moment he hit the floor; and when he came to, Mr. Charley Wiloughby, our school principle, and Mr. Shepard were both there to escort the both of us to the principle's office.

~~~~~~

"Why do I have to be here?" I asked, once we were in Mr. Wiloughby's office, and Cole was at the nurse's station, while the school nurse was trying to stop his nose from bleeding, "I was just defending myself."

"Oh, I know, Mike," Mr. Shepard laughed, "When the police get here I want you to tell them what happened, so that when the school files assault charges against this idiot, they will stick this time."

"Assault charges," I replied, "But he didn't lay a hand on me."

"Maybe not, but he tried to hit you, regardless, Mike," Mr. Wiloughby laughed, "You're still a minor, and Marcus Cole is eighteen now, and an adult. Besides, I'm sick of him and all of the trouble that he's caused."

"That makes two of us," Mr. Shepard added, "I don't want to see him in the band hall anymore, and I sure don't want to see him on campus either."

"You don't have to worry about that, Mister Shepard," Mr. Wiloughby properly replied, in front of me, "He just bought himself a ticket to jail, which means that he's also going to be expelled, too."

"Don't you think that's a little bit harsh?" I asked, "I mean, it's not like he actually hit me or anything."

"We all know that," Mr. Wiloughby laughed again, "But I've got more than several students lined up that he actually has beaten and/or bullied in the time since he's been here, and they're all, each and every one, ready to testify against him."

"I'm not going to have to testify," I said, "Am I?"

"No, you won't, unless you want to," Mr. Shepard told me, "I need you here to tell the police what happened just now, and that's all. You leave the rest to me, okay, Mike?"

"If you say so," I replied, "I just don't want any more trouble with him."

~~~~~~

After that I did well with my music in high school, hence the reason that I got a full four year music scholarship to the University of Houston. And when I played my synthesizers with my peers while I was in college, I earned the respect of everyone there, well, everyone except for one girl. Her name was Piper Henderson and I thought she was probably the most beautiful female I'd ever seen.

She stood five feet, nine inches tall, had long golden blonde hair that fell just past her waist, with beautiful blue eyes. She weighed somewhere in the vicinity of one hundred and thirty pounds, or so, with an ass to die for. Her measurements, which I later found out were 38C-24-34, more than fit her body, but there was something about her that I couldn't quite put my finger on at the time, something so very special that it made me shiver when I looked at her.

Piper was beautiful, no doubt, but I think something bad must've happened to her when she was younger. The reason I say this is because the very first time I ever saw her, and that wasn't until the spring semester of my sophomore year, as she'd transferred in from another college in a different part of the state, she was down right hateful and rude to me for no reason.

She was nice to everyone else in the band, everyone but me, and I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what it was that she'd thought I'd done to her. And the reason I say this is because every time she looked at me, I could literally feel the daggers being pointed at me with every glance, with contempt clearly written across her face.

At this point in my life I was almost twenty years old; and even though I was approaching legal drinking age, I never really wanted to drink to begin with. Don't get me wrong though, I did, on occasion, have a glass of wine with my parents. And yes, I'd also smoked my fair share of weed, too, but I was never disrespectful, and/or mean to any of the people that I knew, not even once.

As a matter of fact, all of the girls I knew and/or hung out with always had a smile, a hug, or most of the time both, to give to me whenever I saw them; all of the girls except for Piper Henderson. However, after that first semester of being around her, I decided that I wasn't going to let her get away with treating me like shit for no reason any longer; and when the next semester arrived in the fall; I was bound and determined to find out what bug had crawled up her ass to make her act toward me the way she'd been acting.

~~~~~~

The following Monday morning at the start of my contemporary jazz band class, I was sitting behind my keyboards preparing to play along with my peers when Piper walked into the band hall. My plan was to approach her after class and confront her then. But little I did I realize that fate had other plans for me that day.

I don't mind giving credit where credit is due. Piper was a saxophone player, and a damn good one at that, but because her section was located directly across from where I sat in the band hall, she had to face me when she played. Dr. Jackson "Jack" Phillips, the head of the music department, was out of town because of a family emergency; and his teaching assistant, a post graduate named Shelly Oakes, led the class that day.

Shelly was extremely arrogant and rude to all of the underclassmen all the time, and I'd witnessed, on a few occasions, that she had a tendency to be a total bitch to some of the members of our class. As a teacher, bad mouthing a student is definitely not the proper thing to do. I'd also seen Dr. Phillips bring it to Shelly's attention on more than one occasion; but little did I realize that she would make the queen mother of all fuck-ups on this particular day?

We were going to play one of my all time favorite pieces that morning, a song by Marius "Butch" Nordal called, "Suncatchers". It is an outstanding composition in which Dr. Phillips had allowed me to add some improvisational keyboard leads to in the middle of the song where the tempo starts to pick up.

When we began the song, I could tell that everyone was in the mood to groove. We were playing it in the same tempo that we'd played it in since day one. And for the next twenty measures, nobody missed a lick.

Then came the time for Piper to play her lead licks, and she was doing perfectly. Then suddenly, one of the rockers on her sax which was holding a pad covering a sound hole popped completely off of her saxophone, making the sax itself squeak like a wounded rat.

"HOLD IT RIGHT THERE," Shelley yelled, making us all come to a sudden halt, "What the hell is wrong with your instrument, Henderson?"

"The rocker arm broke," Piper replied, clearly upset because of it, "This is a brand new saxophone, too, I don't understand how this could've happened."

"I do," Shelly sneered, thinking herself to be cute, "If you'd worry more about the proper maintenance of your instrument as opposed to how your tits look in that shirt, then you wouldn't have that damn problem, would you?"

What Shelly had just said was way out of line, and regardless of how rudely Piper had treated me in the past, I wasn't about to let Shelly, or anyone else for that matter, get away with talking to Piper, or any other student the way she'd just done.

And standing up from behind my keyboards while everyone else the band were all snidely giggling, I looked at Shelley and sharply asked, "Just who do you think you are, talking to her like that? What you just said was totally uncalled for, not to mention way out of line, and you darned well know it."

"This is none of your business, Mister Wannabe Keyboardist," she hatefully spat, "So, if you want to keep the scholarship that you damn well don't deserve, I'd sit down and shut the fuck up if I were you, you little snot nosed shit head."

"Is that right?" I asked, and after receiving no answer, I viciously told her, "The real reason that you're picking on Piper is because everyone in this room knows that you're an ugly, disgusting excuse for a human being. Furthermore, the reason you said what you just did was because you're just jealous of Piper because she's so beautiful and you're a fat, miserable pig who's going to end up being a lonely, miserable old maid because nobody can stand you."

By this time the whole class was not only howling with laughter, but applauding me wildly, Piper included, and in doing so, Shelly looked at me and angrily replied, "I'll have you expelled, you little motherfucker."

"You're just mad because the truth hurts," I spat, "Besides, you don't have the power to have me expelled, and you and I both know it" and with that said, I turned off my gear, covered it up, and then proceeded to walk out.

"Get your ass back here, God dammit," Shelly replied, her face red with anger, "Did you hear what I said, asshole?"

"You know where you can go, you fat sow," I responded, looking her up and down like the pig she was, "But I highly doubt that hell would even have you."

~~~~~~

I knew that there was nothing that Shelly could do to me, because number one, she'd cussed me like a dog, and I hadn't used a single foul word in my responses back to her. Number two, on my way back to my dorm room, I had stopped by the Dean of Education's office and reported that bitch for not only using the language she'd used, but also for the things that she'd said to Piper, especially because of an incident that was neither her fault, nor did she have any control of. He told me that he would make an immediate investigation the moment that Dr. Phillips returned.

"Good," I told him, "I'll be in my dorm room until he returns."

~~~~~~

When I got back to my dorm, the first thing I did was to take a nice hot shower, and the reason for that was because a shower always had a calming effect on me whenever I got pissed off. Hell, it still does even to his day; and once I'd finished my shower, I went back to my room and put on some fresh clothes.

I hadn't been back from the shower for more than a few moments when I heard a knock at my door. I figured it was one of my friends so; I said, "It's open." Imagine my shock, as well as my surprise when the door opened and I saw none other than Piper Henderson standing there with tears in her eyes that were threatening to spill down her face.

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