tagRomanceHometown Hero

Hometown Hero

byDG Hear©

Not a lot of sex. As always, I want to thank my editors, LadyCibelle and Techsan, for making my story a much better read as well as their suggestions.

Chapter 1

I was getting dressed to go to the Fourth of July party. I recently returned home from the service. I was asked to wear my uniform with my latest medals. You see, I was considered a hero in our town.

I don't see myself as a hero; I just did what any soldier would have done in my situation. I'll try to explain exactly what happened.

My squad was out looking for land mines and trying to help the citizens of the small village we were in. The terrorists had no problem killing their own people, let alone all the soldiers they could. I saw some kids playing in the street and noticed what looked like a land mine. It was the type that when you stood on it and then stepped off of it, it would go off. Just as one of the kids was about to step on it, I quickly pushed him aside and was laying on it myself. I knew it would go off when I moved to get off of it. I told all the kids to get away and as they ran I yelled for one of the other soldiers for help. Our plan was for them to put a steel mesh blanket over me and as I rolled off the small mine it would go off but I would be somewhat protected by the steel mesh blanket.

As everyone moved back to a safe distance, I rolled quickly off the small land mine as it went off. I felt some shrapnel hit the blanket and it hurt like hell. Other than being bruised up I felt alright. Everyone cheered and the medic said I had a piece of shrapnel stuck in my thigh. He wrapped it and the lieutenant told me to take his jeep and go back over to the med-center which was in the next town over a few miles away.

While I was driving I saw what seemed to be a terrorist group in jeeps and a tank approaching. I quickly pulled off the road behind a small hill. I needed to warn my squad. Apparently our lookouts were from the terrorist group and infiltrated as citizens out to help us. I wasn't sure what to do, so after they passed by me and were a good distance away, I headed back toward the small city right behind the terrorists. I needed to warn my squad.

You need to know that I didn't feel like a hero. This was my family now; my squad, my fellow soldiers, my band of brothers. I needed to warn them but how? As the enemy was approaching the small town, I saw a man stand up with binoculars in the tank. I knew he was going to sight in on the town and do whatever damage he could. I took out my rifle and when I was within shooting distance, I aimed my rifle and shot the sight man in the back of the neck. As he slumped over the tank driver stopped his vehicle. I took out two hand grenades and drove up to the tank and threw them, one into the opening of the tank and the other at a nearby vehicle, putting it out of commission.

I was being shot at but just kept driving toward the small town. The element of surprise was all that I had. The explosion of the grenades and the shooting of the rifles alerted my brothers and sisters in combat. By the time I made it to the town, they had the citizens in hiding and were prepared for combat.

I didn't realize that my leg had started bleeding again because of all the movement. As I pulled into the town I must have blacked out from the loss of blood. When I came to, I was in the med-center and my leg was bandaged up and the shrapnel removed. My sergeant came in and said I was considered a hero. Because of my coming back and alerting the unit and the town about the terrorists, the town was saved. There was minimal damage.

We had a reporter imbedded with our unit and he wrote to his newspaper about me. It was the start of the heroism thing, first about saving the kids and then alerting the town by putting my life on the line. I received a purple heart for the injury and the bronze star for saving the town.

I have to tell you, I don't think I did anything that any other soldier wouldn't have done in the same circumstances. As I mentioned, we were family, we were a band of brothers. I would risk my life any day for these soldiers.

As I drove to the Fourth of July celebration, I wondered if my old girlfriend would be there. We were a couple in our senior year of high school.

After we graduated she was going off to college and I was headed into the service. I played football but wasn't good enough for a career in it, even though I could probably have played college ball. Sara, my old girlfriend, loved the limelight. She was a cheerleader and wanted to be around the jocks. I thought we would be together forever, I really did. We had this chemistry together. Before I left for boot camp, we made love. It was the first time for me and I gave it everything I had. I did everything that I could to make her come time and time again. For me it is something I will never forget. I headed off to boot camp thinking I had a girlfriend. She wrote to me at least once a week, telling me about the college life and how she couldn't wait to see me when I got home from boot camp.

I came home for a couple of weeks but only got to see Sara one time since she was a college cheerleader and had games to go too and had to study the rest of the time. She did come home on the Sunday before I had to head back to camp. We made love again but it wasn't quite the fireworks of the last time, although it was still very good. Sara did seem a bit distant.

I headed off to camp and to find out where I was being sent. I was being sent to another army base for more intense training. Our squad was being sent to Afghanistan. We had more months of training and then we headed out on our assignments. My letters from Sara were fewer and fewer. Then one day I received a Dear John, letter. At first it didn't seem different because my name was John and I expected a normal letter. Then I read the letter.

Sara had found a boyfriend. She was pregnant with his child and they would be getting married. He was a senior and would be graduating soon. Of course he was a college jock and would be working in his father's business. It was some type of sales job. I really didn't give a shit what this guy did. I really did care about Sara. She said she was going to finish out the semester and then take a leave for a while until after the birth of their baby.

It was the last letter I received from her until last year. My so-called heroism reached all the local and even some of the national papers. I received letters from a lot of people. It felt good to know that the people backed the troops. I was opening all this mail when I came across Sara's letter. She said how she was so happy and proud of me. She told me she had made a big mistake by marrying Ralph, and couldn't wait for me to get home so she could see me.

I was stunned to read her letter. I spent two years getting over her and now I receive this letter. I didn't answer it: I had no idea what I was going to do if and when I saw her.

I headed to the fairgrounds where the celebration was taking place. I couldn't believe it. There, strung over the entrance to the fairgrounds was a banner saying, "Welcome Home, John Davis!!! Our Hometown Hero."

It brought tears to my eyes. I had no idea that this celebration was being held in my honor. At least in honor of the troops that fought and were still fighting this war.

As I entered the gates, many people were lined up to greet me. The first in line was my crying and proud mother. Next to her was my step-father who raised me (more about my parents later). My two half-sisters and their families were there also. I have no idea how many people were there - hundreds, if not more, people at the festival.

I walked around standing proud in my uniform saying 'hi' to everyone I saw. A lot of the people I knew and a lot more I didn't. It was good to see a lot of other men and women in uniform. In my book every person in uniform is a hero. They put their life in jeopardy every day to help protect others and do the best they can to keep our country safe. I ended up giving a little speech and told all of the crowd about the real heroes.

"I am but one soldier fighting to help keep our country safe. I truly believe that each and every man and woman in uniform are heroes. They all deserve your adoration and praise. A lot of the true heroes never make it home. They gave the ultimate sacrifice to this country, their lives. They are the ultimate heroes. Thank you so much for turning out at this festival and supporting our troops. May God bless each and every one of you." I heard a lot of cheers and had tears in my eyes as I stepped down off the podium and decided it was time to get something to eat.

As I sat down, I looked up and there stood Sara. She had tears streaming down her face. Behind her was a man pushing a stroller. It must have been her husband. I stood up and gave her a hug. The man just stood back with the little boy in the stroller. Sara said her hellos and said she was so glad to see me. She turned and introduced me to Ralph. He was a big strapping man and after hearing his first words, I knew I didn't like him.

"Congratulations on becoming a hero. You might have gotten the medals, but I got the girl," he laughed. Sara turned to him and gave him an evil look. If looks could kill, Ralph would be dead. I figured Sara had told him we dated in high school.

Sara then introduced me to her child, her son, Nathan. We talked for a few minutes but Ralph was getting jittery and so he told Sara that they had to get going. Sara said maybe she would see me later and off they went.

She was still beautiful. I had little pangs of emotions but wasn't sure of what I was going to do. The waitress came up to take my order. "Hi, there Johnny. It's good to see you again."

It was Mary, one of my classmates through high school. She sure turned into a looker. Why hadn't I noticed her before? I'd known her for years but never really noticed her till now. Must be my hormones acting up.

"Mary, long time no see. What have you been up to?"

"Right now I'm here to take your order," she smiled.

"Okay, give me the burger and fries and a soda. You should be treating me nice; after all, I'm a hero." I smiled to let her know I was kidding.

"Alright, Mr. Hero, I'll be right back with your order."

When she came back with my order she looked at me and said, "Johnny, don't do it."

I didn't know why I didn't object to her calling me Johnny. Only family called me that. Everyone else called me John.

"Do what, Mary? Eat the food? Is it that bad?" I laughed.

"Don't go back with Sara. Don't make the same mistake twice. You're too nice a guy to be taken twice."

"I don't understand, Mary. Who said anything about Sara? Besides, she's married."

"I can read it in your face, Johnny. I can tell you're thinking of going to her. I'm just saying, don't do it. I hate to tell you but Sara uses her men. She always has and probably always will. I just hate to see you get burned again."

"What do you mean she used me, Mary? We were a couple and when I went into the service, she just found someone else."

"John, she cheated on you while we were still in high school. She dated this Ralph guy before you even went off to boot camp. He was the college quarterback and she was dating him for awhile. Don't make the same mistake again. You're a hero now and you know she likes the limelight. She would probably dump her husband to be with you right now."

I knew everything Mary was telling me was true. It was the way Sara was, a beautiful girl, now woman, who loved the attention.

"Mary, why didn't we ever date, me and you?"

"You were a jock and I was a geek. I worked to save money for college and studied hard. You barely made it through high school, not because of your lack of brains but because you were too busy with your sports and playing with your girlfriend."

"So what did all that studying get you? Here you are serving me a burger and fries."

Mary looked at me with a disdained look. "You are an idiot; I don't know why I ever liked you," she said as she left in a very huffy mood. As she walked away, she turned around and stuck her tongue out at me.

Her mom Vivian came back later and asked me if I wanted anything else.

"Mrs. Amore, I think I got Mary mad at me. I called her a waitress and she went away mad. I didn't mean any disrespect. Please tell her I'm sorry."

Vivian started laughing. "She used to have a crush on you. She never dated much; she was too busy working as a waitress to help me out and saving up for college."

"Mary went to college? Oh, man, no wonder she's mad at me. Why is she still a waitress? What did she take in college?"

"John, listen to me. Mary is a nurse and a darn good one. She paid her way through college by being a waitress. I own a restaurant and I got the food concession for the celebration. I asked Mary if she would help me out today."

"Oh, shit! I mean, oh, crap. I blew it big time. I'll go tell her I'm sorry myself. Thank you, Mrs. Amore, and I don't have anything against being a waitress, honest."

I walked up to Mary. "I'm sorry. I was an idiot, you were right. Please accept my apology. Your mom told me how hard you worked and I guess I just didn't think. Can we still be friends?"

Mary looked at me. "John, just remember what I said. I don't want to see you get hurt."

"Thank you, Mary, I promise I'll heed your warning. Besides, there's another girl I have an interest in seeing. I'll just have to find out if she wants to go out with me."

Mary gave me a slight smile and went out to wait on other customers. She had no idea that the woman I was interested in was her.

I continued to walk around the fair grounds and enjoyed the entertainment. It was later in the evening when I ran into Sara by herself. She said her husband had enough of the festivities and took their son and went home. She told me she wanted to talk to me before she left. She had waited to see me alone.

She grabbed my hand and walked with me over to one of the barns. They weren't being used during the celebration. As soon as we walked in the door, Sara turned around and kissed me. "I love you, John. I always have. I made a big mistake in getting married. I'm here for you now. I missed you so much."

She pressed herself up against me. "Take me, John. Take me here and now. It's you I always dream about. It's you that I want making love to me."

I was confused and mixed up. Part of me wanted to take her here and now, but I had to be a bigger person than that. I pushed her away and told her she had made her choice and to go home to her husband and family. It was extremely hard for me to push her away, but in life we have to make a lot of hard choices. She made hers and now I made mine. I decided to go see Mary.

The concessions were beginning to close and the fairgrounds were getting ready for the fireworks. I headed back over to see Mary. She and her mom were cleaning things up when I asked Mary if she would like to watch the fireworks with me. She was getting ready to say she had to finish helping her mom when her dad said. "Go on ahead, Mary; we don't want to disappoint our hero."

I said, "Thank you" to both Mr. and Mrs. Amore as I grabbed Mary's hand as we headed to the fireworks.

Chapter 2: Mary speaks

When I was a teenager growing up, I thought about boys. I guess I was like most girls and their fantasies and dreams. I dreamt of movie and rock stars, the nice houses and someday being a mom and having a loving husband and kids.

I was a good girl but still had the thoughts of most teenagers. One day Mom came home from work early and caught Roy Williams and me kissing and doing a little petting on the couch. She looked startled when she saw us. She told Roy to leave. He apologized to me and Mom and left rather hurriedly. I was afraid I was in big trouble now. I started to cry when Mom said we needed to talk. I was afraid that I would be grounded for life and I really didn't experience anything yet.

Mom sat at the edge of the couch and said, "Mary, it's alright. I know what you're feeling. I was a teenager once too, you know. We really do need to talk. I have some things I need to tell you." Mom took my hand and we walked into the kitchen and she made us both a cup of hot tea.

Mom looked at me with somewhat sad eyes and told me her story.

"Mary, when I was a teenager I was rather stupid. My mom never talked to me about sex and things like that. I was a rather promiscuous girl. After I graduated I became a waitress in Vic's restaurant. I dated a lot of guys and had sex with a few of them. I didn't want my mother to know what I was doing so I wasn't on the pill. I made the men wear condoms. Every now and then a man didn't wear one.

"I was nineteen when I became pregnant. I didn't know what to do. I was really scared. Vic, your father was one of the men I had sex with. He offered to marry me. I told him that the baby might not be his and that I didn't want him to marry me out of pity and be miserable the rest of his life. He told me he loved me and pity had nothing to do with it. I asked him if he wanted a test done to determine if he was the father and he said, 'No' that if I was going to be his wife then my child would be his also. Of course that child was you."

"Mom, are you saying dad might not be my biological father?"

"There is that possibility. He is your father though; he has been there for you your entire life and will always be there for you. He is ten years older than me and was more mature. I have really learned to love and respect him throughout the years. I have never and will never cheat on him."

"Why are you telling me all this now, Mom?"

"I don't want you to make the mistakes I made. I was lucky to have Vic in my life. You might not be as lucky. I just want you to know that all women go through the emotions you are going through. I don't want to see you get hurt. After all, you're my little girl."

"Oh, Mom!"

"Seriously, Honey, be careful. Don't put yourself in situations where you might get hurt. Above all you have a lifetime to have sex. The best sex is with someone you love. It's so much better. I wish I would have waited and only had sex with Vic. Mary, if you want, I'll even see you get birth control pills."

"No pills, Mom. I know that if I take the pills there is a bigger chance of doing the wrong thing. I want to trust my instincts and find the right guy. If he comes along, I might take you up on the pill offer."

I always considered Vic as my dad. I wouldn't want it any other way. I love him and I know he loves me as his own. It really takes a big man to step up to the plate like Vic did. He and mom have always treated each other with respect. I knew they had sex a lot because of the noises in their bedroom. I was a lucky girl to have such good parents. Mom did tell me not to tell Vic about our conversation. After all he was a man and accepted me as his daughter. I did have to wonder who the other possibilities were. It was something I knew better than to ask Mom.

After my talk with Mom, I watched my actions with the boys. I still thought about them but no one got past second base. It's the touchy, feely thing. I didn't get a lot of second dates because I wouldn't go further with the boys, but those aren't the type of boys I wanted to be with anyway.

I studied hard and got a scholarship for college. I worked as a waitress for my mom and dad to help save money for all the extras I needed at college. Books, food, the dorm and all the other things most young people don't think about.

I did date a little at college. I let it go a little too far a couple of times and decided to take Mom up on the birth control pills. I was surprised that it didn't change my thinking. No guy ever got a home run. If it got that close I would think of the talk with my mom and know it wasn't worth it. I wanted to fully give myself to a man I truly loved, no matter what my age was.

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