[I'm the same guy who posted stories as Scorpio44. This story isn't about sex. It's about respect. No slut women, no cheating husbands, no first time sex. ]
Every friend I have now says the same things about me. "He's as big as a bear and as tough as a teddy." "I've never heard him raise his voice, ever." All the way up into high school any kid who wanted to pick a fight found me. I came home with black eyes, a broken nose, chipped teeth and bruises all over. As a freshman I got whipped by a senior for being in his way and I peed blood for three weeks. I just didn't want to fight.
My Dad was a mild spoken man. He never yelled at either my sister or me. After the senior kicked my ass he took me to a camp about forty miles from home. I lived there for three weeks. The brothers who ran the camp were friends of Dad's. Dad told the school I was off to my cousin's farm to help out while my cousin recovered from an operation. They spent the three weeks teaching me to fight.
Not karate, judo or any of that fancy stuff where you get a black belt. They taught me one thing. End the fight. Their motto was that any fight that lasted half a minute was a dance.
They convinced me that there were only two reasons to fight: To protect someone who couldn't protect themselves and to protect yourself. Bud said every day, "Never start a fight and end every fight."
I was convinced that they would know about any fight I was in and if I broke the rules they would come and deal with me. I was more afraid of them than I was of God.
When the three weeks were up I came back. Over dinner Dad asked me about what I had learned. My Mom and sister had gone to town for some social event so it was just him and me. I told him the rules and that I was no longer afraid.
At school a few people asked me about working on my cousin's farm. I told them I was glad to be home where I didn't have to do all the work.
That first Friday night back Dad lent me the truck so my sister and I could go to the basketball game and dance at school. We lost the game by ten points. My sister sat with her friends and we agreed to meet at the truck at eleven o'clock. I danced a few dances and mostly hung out with four of my friends. I looked for her every few dances, doing like Mom told me to, "Watch after your sister."
After I danced the last dance with Cheryl Whitcom I needed to pee before driving home, so I went into the boys' bathroom. Three of the football jocks came in after I was already in. They began talking trash to me and baiting me. Jack Alberts blocked my way to the door and when I moved to go around him he asked, "What's your hurry? Afraid someone might be talking to your little sis?"
I realized that the fourth of their unit, Frank Talbot, wasn't with them. They were sent to delay me while Frank played with my sister.
"Guys, Mom gave me the job of lookin out for her. I hafta! Now, let me pass."
Jack pushed me. "You can go when I say you can go."
"If something happens to Nancy..."
"What are you gonna do? Get your ass kicked?" Bob asked as he pushed me.
"I don't want to fight you." I said.
"Tough! Cause the only way you're getting out of here in through us." Jack said, smiling.
"I'm not allowed to fight..."
Jack threw a punch and it hit me in the chest. I saw it coming and moved back a few inches, taking all the power out of the punch. My left foot swept out and lifted Jack's leg, dumping him on his back. He also landed on the back of his head. Bob swung at me and I hit his nose with my open hand. It opened like a faucet and blood poured down his face and shirt. The third of the trio grabbed my shirt and ripped it as he tried to knee me.
I spun away from his grasp, leaving him a handful of shirt. I braced my left foot on the ground and put my right foot on his knee. One hard push and he screamed and went down. I looked and saw that the threat to me was over.
As I left the boys bathroom I said to Mr. Williams the football coach, "You better check on your boys. They were fighting in there."
I ran out the side door and to the parking lot. Frank had Nancy pinned against our truck. He had a crowd of ten or twelve onlookers watching him toy with Nancy. She was holding the front of her dress. It was ripped and Frank was asking her to give him another look.
When I was about four feet from him I asked, "Nancy, who ripped your dress?"
He spun around and faced me. His eyes flared and he said, "How'd you get loose, Teddy bear?"
"Nancy, did Frank tear your dress?"
"Yes." Her voice was scared and she was crying.
"Frank, you owe her an apology and the money for a new dress."
"Tough Shit! I just bought these new boots and I don't have money to by any bitch a dress!"
I remembered the rules. Protect those who can't protect themselves and protect myself. I didn't need it. Nancy did.
"Get in the truck Nan."
"Oh no. I'm not done with her."
"Yes, you are." I didn't know it but the crowd was now fifty people, behind me. Nancy opened the door to the truck and Frank spun around and grabbed her, pulling her away from the truck and in the process he further tore her dress. The toe of my boot between his legs lifted him completely off the ground and he screamed. He released Nancy and tried to turn to fight me. My hands grabbed his head and slammed it into my knee. I heard bones break. I saw blood spurt. I dropped him on the ground.
I looked up and the Principal was standing there. "He attacked my sister. No one attacks a girl." I bent to Frank and pulled off his new boots. "Frank, you can have the boots back when you pay for her dress." I tossed them in the back of the truck.
I got in the truck and drove home. When I got there a police car was already there. The police officer was sitting in our kitchen having coffee with Mom and Dad. He took one look at Nancy's dress and started writing his report. Dad asked what would happen next. He guessed that when the families cooled off they would decide not to pursue any charges. After all, Teddy Bear whipped four big football players.
Mom took Nancy to her room and found a few bruises and a couple scratches on her. I asked for the dress. Mom gave it to me.
Dad and I walked out to the barn. He asked what happened. I told him. He told me he was proud of me.
The next day I worked all day around our farm. If our phone rang, I didn't know about it. On Sunday morning Dad asked if I wanted to go to church. All four boys I kicked went to the church and so did their parents. I got dressed up and put the torn dress in a bag. Dad watched and didn't say anything. When we went to the truck I pulled the boots out of the truck bed and threw them in with our three sows.
"Remind me never to piss you off," Dad said.
We walked in a few minutes late and took our seats. The pastor shot us a look and when it was time for the sermon he lit into me. Not by name, of course, but his words made it clear that someone in our congregation started a fight at school and he should be punished.
I sat quietly and looked at him as he continued. Finally, after everyone was clear that I was the devil and would roast in hell I stood up. I picked up the bag and went to the front of the congregation. I looked at the pastor and said, "Can I ask you a question, pastor?"
He nodded. "If you were at a function with your wife and she was wearing a new dress and when you came outside someone was standing with her and had torn her dress... like this." I pulled the dress out and showed how it was torn. "And she told you who tore it, and he tore it again in front of you, would you allow him to strip her of her clothes and her dignity?"
Not a sound was made. "I didn't think so. Three of Frank's buddies tried to keep me in the boy's bathroom so Frank could play with my sister. I could not allow that. It is my job to protect my sister and any other person who cannot protect themselves. I didn't kill anyone. I want it known. I am the teddy bear, unless someone threatens my family or someone smaller than them. I notice Frank isn't in church today. I think his football career is over. He has no reason to be mad at me. He did this to himself. I have a pair of his boots and he can have them back when he pays for this dress."
I carried the dress in my hand as I walked out of the church. My Dad, Mom and sister followed me. When we got to the truck Frank's Dad met us.
"My son told me a different story."
"Ask Nancy what happened. Ask her to show you the scratches on her chest from Frank's fingernails."
"Throw the boots away. I'll pay for the dress." He pulled out his wallet.
"That's not gonna do it. You didn't do it. You didn't rip her dress and bare her breast for anyone to see. Frank did that. He needs to pay. He's sitting home putting a story together where I'm the bad guy. He was just being friendly and I went crazy. You bought that story. I don't. He owes her a public apology and the money for a new dress. His money!"
Frank's Dad was crying. He looked at his wife and said, "We need to go home." He turned back to me and said, "He'll give her the apology and the money at school."
"Thank you. While you're at it, could you let the pastor know that I don't appreciate being convicted by him without even a trial?" We got in the truck and left.
Mom made a great dinner and Nancy spent hours in her room crying. At eight o'clock a car parked between the barn and our back door and the pastor and his wife got out. I watched them walk to our back door from my bedroom window.
When I got to the living room everyone was standing. Nancy wasn't there. I turned and went to her room. I knocked and said, "Nan, please come to the living room. I want you to hear what the pastor has to say. You heard him in church in front of the whole damn town. Please come stand beside me."
The door opened and she came out. She had on one of my old t-shirts and a pair of bib overalls. We held hands and went to the living room.
The pastor didn't say anything when we entered the room. So, I did.
"Welcome to our home Mrs. Askan. Pastor, Why are you here?"
"I'm here to apologize."
"Save it. By my watch you spent twenty-six minutes of church today condemning me. You were judge and jury and you were wrong! You slandered my sister, my family and me. Now, hours later you drive out here in the dark to apologize. I won't accept it. Let me know when you're spending twenty-six minutes of sermon apologizing. I'll be there. If that sounds rude, then please know I do not intend to be rude. I do intend to stand up for what's right and if Jesus was standing right here with us I have no doubt he would agree with me."
I turned and with my arm around Nancy we walked outside. She was crying. We went near our well and sat. A few minutes passed and the pastor and his wife came out and left. Dad and Mom came out and found us.
"Son, in case you didn't know, I'm proud of you. The pastor just got a huge lesson from a fifteen year old. So did I. Nancy, what are you thinking and feeling?"
"My brother loves me! He protected me; and four to one wasn't enough to stop him."
Mom asked, "I wonder what school will be like on Monday."
"So do I." I said.
Dad lent us the truck on Monday. I parked in the student parking lot and on the way to class I noticed that people were looking at us. In first period I noticed that Bob wasn't in his seat. No one said anything.
Frank wasn't in third period Algebra II. The teacher asked if anyone knew where Frank was. Alice said, "He's in the hospital with a broken leg." The teacher didn't ask any more questions.
By fifth period I knew it wasn't likely anyone was going to talk to me. Fifth period was gym. I'd damaged four of his best football players. I figured I was in for a tough day. He came out and asked if there was anyone who didn't know why Frank, Bob, Jack and Kenny were absent. Two boys raised their hands.
The coach called on two boys to explain what happened. They told the story as they heard it, from Jack and Frank. Then the coach told the story as he knew it. He was the one who found the three in the boys' bathroom. He had rushed out in time to see Frank be extra stupid and to see what I did.
He finished by saying, "I wish I treated my sister with that much respect. I hope each of you learns something about how to treat a woman. If you didn't I'm sure Teddy will give you a lesson."
I looked around. "Teddy?" It hit me. I might have had a different name last week but from now on, I was Teddy.
At the end of school I met Nan back at the truck. She got in and said, "People I don't even know talked to me today." A minute later she said, "They wanted to know about you."
"The questions girls ask when they're interested in a guy."
"Are you kidding?"
"No. And, they don't call you Pete."
"I know. Coach called me Teddy."
"I think it's cute."
"Spare me. That's not what I want to be, cute!"
"Are we going to the basketball game and dance this Friday?"
"You want to?"
"There are fifty girls who want to dance with you. Personally, I'm afraid no boy will come near me, ever again."
"We should go. Otherwise it may look like we have something to be ashamed of."
"I need a new dress."
"Let's talk to Mom."
"No. Dad. He's a softer touch."
When we walked into the dance after the game (we won by fourteen) the room got quiet. Nan started to move toward her friends when I saw Frank on crutches, headed our way. I stopped her. We watched him come closer and closer. The cast went from high on his thigh to his ankle.
"Nancy, I came here to apologize to you. I could make excuses but I won't. I did what I did because you wouldn't pay any attention to me. That makes me an ass. I withdrew a hundred and fifty dollars from my savings and I want to give it to you for the dress. If it was more, tell me and I'll get the rest."
"That's enough." Nancy said. She took the money and gave it to me.
Frank looked at me and said, "I deserved the ass kicking you gave me. I'll be reminded every day of the rest of my life. No more football. I get a limp. I'm sorry I disrespected you and your family. I hope someday you can forgive me. Both of you."
I noticed he was starting to shake. He wasn't stable on the crutches. I stepped to him and put my arm around him. I said, "This man needs a chair. Get him a chair."
As soon as he was sitting in a chair I pushed it to the side of the dance floor and sat next to him. The music started and I looked at Frank. "How soon will the cast come off?"
"Six more weeks."
"How will you get to school?"
"Don't know. Dad drove me here tonight and he'll be back pretty soon to take me home."
"I'll take you. Let me call your Dad."
"Are you just as stupid tonight?"
"No. I'm smarter."
"Ok. Then let me be your friend. Nan wasn't dissing you, she's just shy."
I left him and called his Dad. At the end of the dance we got him in the cab with us and dropped him at home. Nan told me they had talked for almost half of the dance. I was so busy dancing I hadn't noticed. At least that's what I told Nan.
I watched the next football season. We won one and lost fifteen. Coach was quoted in the paper as saying we had a Teddy season. The kids all knew what he meant.
Frank did go away to college, but not to play football. He studied business and came back to town to run the hardware store. He asked me to stand up for him at his wedding. How could I say no? He was marrying Nan.
I wondered what to give him for a wedding gift. I gave them some stuff for their home, but I wanted to give him a personal gift. I talked to Nan and she agreed. I gave him the dress. Everyone in town still calls me Teddy.