The Reluctant WarriorbyMoogPlayer©
Hi all! Well, my second book is out, sales are up, and it looks like it's going to be a great year for me. I wish the same for all of you.
P.S. This story is total fiction as are all of the characters and some of the places depicted so; to all of the wannbe critics, most of whom have never written a single word, keep in mind that ANYTHING can, and usually does happen in a fictional story.
Hi, my name is Christopher Duquesne, Chris to my friends. And in case you're wondering how to pronounce my last name it's, "Doo-Cane," just like the hot blonde, Emily Proctor's character, on CSI: Miami.
I have dark brown hair and eyes, stand six feet, four inches tall, and weigh a solid two hundred and forty-five pounds. I'm almost fifty years old now, but I was barely twenty when what I'm about to tell you took place.
I wanted to work for a couple of years after high school in order to have some money to help me through my first couple of years of college. I didn't need the money for tuition, as my parents had offered to pay for it as long as I made good grades. I have an older sister, Sara, to whom they made the same offer, but she and my brother-in-law chose to marry right out of high school instead.
I scored extremely high on my SAT's so; I knew that I would be able to apply for an academic scholarship and not have to ask my family for anything, Still though, I wanted to have some money of my own saved and socked away when the time came that I did want to go college.
I applied for an academic scholarship to three different schools, and all three of them made me three separate scholarship offers, but now I was faced with the decision of having to make a difficult choice. I sought my sister's council and she made it easy when she laughed and simply said, "Why don't you go and visit each campus? See what each college has to offer; Chris, and maybe that might help you make a better choice."
"Thanks, Sis," I smiled, "I really appreciate it."
"You're welcome, sweetie," she giggled, playfully smacking the back of my head.
I wanted to study English to maybe one day become either a writer or a teacher. I was also a member of the drama department in high school, where I won a couple of Best Actor Awards in the All-State Competition my Junior and Senior years, so; for fun, I wanted to minor in the theater arts. And with that in mind, I took my sister's advice and made it a point to go and visit the three colleges I'd received letters from.
I live in Texas; about sixty miles south of Houston, and the three colleges I'd heard from were the University of Houston, Southern Methodist University, and Rice University. These were all very good schools, but SMU was in Dallas and that was a little further away from home than I cared to be. So, with that in mind, I hoped in my car and headed to Houston.
To make short of what would be a long story, I toured both campuses, the U of H, and Rice University, afterward deciding on the U of H, who accepted me with open arms and a full four-year ride.
I started classes the following fall semester of that year, which was 1980. Having already turned twenty in April of that year, I was older than your average freshman, but I didn't care, I was looking forward to receiving a good education. One of the stipulations of my scholarship, which I had personally negotiated, and of course my age had a lot to do with it as well, was that I didn't have to live in the dorms on campus.
And because I'd received a four-year scholarship and they weren't going to have to pay for it, my parents agreed to lease me a three-bedroom house near campus for the four years that I would be attending college.
My first class, which was held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, was English 101 with Dr. Bethany Howell. She was a very nice lady, somewhere in her early to mid forties, and I liked her the first time I met her. I knew I would do well in her class because of the fact that I was an English Major.
My father had been a U.S Navy SEAL during the conflict in Vietnam, and had taught me Karate, Japanese Ninjutsu; from the time I was seven until I was old enough to legally wear a black belt at sixteen. He also taught me that I was to use it for "defense only", and that if I did otherwise, I would receive an ass kicking from him of universal proportion. Dad is a really cool guy that I love with all my heart. Anyway, back to the story...
As I was walking across campus to my next class, I heard a commotion coming from behind the nearest building. I was walking that way anyway so; as I came around the corner of the building, I saw three larger students, who I later learned were football players, that had some kid cornered and were terrorizing him.
There's nothing in this world that I hate worse than a bully, and that's exactly what these three assholes were, bullies...fucking jock assholes. They were slapping this poor kid on the head and kicking him in the butt, and laughing like idiots.
"HEY," I shouted, making the three of them turn toward me, "Why don't you leave him alone?"
"Who the fuck are you?" the biggest of the three laughed.
"Nobody in particular," I replied, "Just someone who wants to know why you three cowards are picking on someone smaller than you."
"If I were you, I'd keep walking, asshole," he sneered, "Or face the consequences."
"If you leave him alone, you won't be harmed," I calmly warned, "If not, you will be the one who suffers the consequences, I assure you"
He moved toward me but not before receiving a hard kick in the balls, which brought him to his knees, allowing me to give him a hard roundhouse kick to face, knocking him out cold.
The second largest of the three tried to rush me, but was stopped with a hard spinning back kick to the solar plexus, which put him on the ground gasping for air.
The third one stood stone still, making me look at him and ask, "Well, what about it?" Needless to say, he fled in terror leaving his friends on the ground, one out cold and the other still trying to regain his breath.
"Are you alright?" I asked the kid who was still standing there.
"Yeah," he smiled, "I'm okay."
"I think you'd better get out of here," I told him, "Before these two idiots get up."
"Thanks a lot," he smiled, as we walked away, "My name is Kevin Welch, what's yours?"
"My name is Chris," I replied, extending my hand, "Chris Duquesne."
"It sure is nice to meet you, Chris," Kevin grinned, as we shook hands, "Those assholes have been messing with me ever since I was a freshman."
"Why?" I asked.
"I don't know," he sullenly replied, "I've never done anything to any of those guys."
"Man," I said, "What a bunch of jerks."
Granted, I may be over six feet tall, and although I might seem enormous in size, I'm not a fighter by any means. I believe in the old adage of "Live and let live", hence the reason I like to write as oppose to fight. I was taught that fighting was senseless and didn't really serve any purpose other than to defend one's self. I only had one more class that day, World History, and afterwards I went back to my house.
I was sitting in the front room of my house watching the television that afternoon when I heard a knock on my front door. I was surprised to find Kevin Welch standing on my front porch smiling.
"Hey Chris," he grinned, "I hope you don't mind that I just showed up without an invitation."
"No, not at all," I smiled, opening the door, "Come on in."
"I wanted to thank you for what you did for me today," he smiled, "So, that's why I'm here."
"How did you find me?" I laughed, "I know that I'm not listed in the yellow pages, at least not yet."
"My girlfriend works in the admissions office," he smirked, "She looked in your records and found your address."
"You already thanked me," I humbly replied, "There's no need to do it again. Besides I gave those assholes what they had coming to them."
"Maybe so," Kevin enthusiastically replied, "But that was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Where did you learn to fight like that?"
"My father was a Navy SEAL," I proudly replied, "He taught me."
"Cool," he grinned, "Come on, my friend, you and I are going out tonight."
"I can't go out tonight," I said, "I've got class bright and early tomorrow morning."
"So do I," he chuckled, "Come on, bro, we won't be out too late, I promise, please? It's the least I can do."
"Oh, alright," I grinned, "Give a minute to get cleaned up."
We took my car to a place near campus called "Pepper's Bar & Grill", and as soon as we walked through the door, we were met by three of the prettiest girls I've ever seen.
One of them placed her arms around Kevin's neck, and kissing him, looked at me and asked, "Is this the guy you were talking about?"
"Ladies," Kevin proudly announced, "Allow me to introduce my friend, Mister Chris Duquesne."
"Hi, Chris, I'm Kayla Jackson" the girl said, "Thanks for helping Kevin today," and then she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.
"You're welcome," I humbly replied, blushing profusely.
Kayla was a blonde haired, blue eyed beauty that stood roughly five feet, six, and couldn't have weighed any more the a hundred and fifteen pounds at the very most.
And extending her hand to Kevin, she smiled and said, Come on you guys, we've got a table in the back."
Because the legal drinking age back then was eighteen, we sat around the table drinking pitchers of beer and ate barbequed brisket sandwiches. Kayla introduced me to her two friends, another blonde named Charlotte Brower, and a very beautiful brunette named Carly Banks.
I've never really had trouble talking to women, but for some reason my throat went dry when I met Carly. She looked like a very young version of Jacqueline Smith, from the original cast of "Charlie's Angels".
"Hi, Chris," she smiled, "It's very nice to meet you."
"Uh...Hi," I stuttered, "It's nice to meet you, too."
"So, what are you majoring in?" she smiled, "I'm a history major."
"English," I replied, "I'm an English major."
"That's surprising," she cutely giggled, "From your size I figured you were some kind of jock, or something."
"Not me," I laughed, "I don't want to become some broken down has been by the time I'm thirty."
"Good for you," she smiled, "Can I tell you something?"
"Sure," I smiled, "You can tell me anything you want."
"Okay then," she giggled, "You sure are a cutie," and of course my face turned beet red again, making her say, "Oh, look at him blush. Isn't that the cutest thing?"
"Come on, now," Kevin said, "Ya'll are embarrassing my friend."
"But he's so cute," they all giggled.
After all of the commotion had died down, Kayla looked at me and said, "So, tell us, Chris, where did you learn to fight like Kevin says you do."
"His father was a Navy SEAL," Kevin excitedly smiled, "And he taught him."
"I'm not a fighter at all," I humbly replied, "Actually, I hate violence of any kind."
"Then why did you take Karate?" Carly asked, "Isn't that a violent sport?"
"No, not at all," I replied, now having everyone at the table's attention, "It's an art form, actually. I use it to keep my mind and my body pure, which helps me concentrate better on my studies and in class."
"Could you teach us?" they asked.
"Oh, no," I chuckled, "I'm not a teacher...really I'm not."
"That's too bad," Kevin knowingly smiled, "Because in the short time I've known you, I think you'd be great at it."
The next morning I woke up around five o'clock, and after I was awake and alert, I decided to take an early morning jog. I ran around the block I lived on four times, which did a good job of not only keeping my heart rate up, but allowing me to break a sweat in order to get rid of the beer I'd drank the night before. And when I was done, I took a shower, got dressed, and then headed to the cafeteria for breakfast. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
I had just sat down to eat, when lo and behold, Carly came walking up to my table, looking breathlessly stunning I might add, with a tray of food and sweetly said, "Good morning, handsome. Do you mind if I sit down with you?"
"No, not at all" I grinned, standing and pulling out a chair for her, "Please, have a seat."
"Thank you," she brightly smiled, as she took a seat.
As I sat back down and began to eat, Carly looked at me smiling, making me ask, "What is it?"
"I was wondering," she giggled, "Most guys I know sleep until right before they have to be in class."
"I don't think I understand," I quizzically replied, "What do you mean."
"What're you doing up so early?" she politely asked.
"Oh that," I grinned, "I like to get up and run in the early hours of the morning when it's quiet outside. It's really peaceful, you should try it."
"So, did you transfer here from another school?" she asked, "I don't recall seeing you my freshman year."
"That's probably because I'm a freshman," I smiled.
"A freshman," she replied, "How old are you, Chris, if you don't mind my asking, that is."
"Not at all," I chuckled, "I'm twenty, but I worked for a couple of years after high school, because I wanted to make enough money so that I wouldn't be broke when I got here."
"That sounds like a pretty smart thing to do," she grinned, "And I can really understand about the being broke part, too, that's why I'm here on an academic scholarship."
"That means that you're very smart," I smiled, making her blush, "Now who's blushing?"
"Oh, hush," she giggled, "Silly boy."
My first class that morning was Psychology 101 with Dr. Richard Barnes. He was a very nice guy that knew how to make his students do their very best. I not only enjoyed listening to him speak, but I also admired him for the way he interacted with his students. He had a way of being able to persuade us to use our minds to seek the truth. And in the time I spent in college, he was one of my favorite teachers.
I got out of class early that morning and didn't have anything to do until one o'clock that afternoon so; I decided to go back home and study for a pop quiz that I was going to have the following morning in my English class.
I also thought about being away from my family for the first time. It wasn't that I was homesick. On the contrary, I was enjoying my first step toward making my own way, and it was a really exciting time for me that first year.
I received a very pleasant surprise that afternoon in my drama class when I saw not only Carly, but Kevin and Kayla in the theater as well.
"Hey, man," Kevin excitedly smiled, when he saw me, "What're you doing here?"
"I'm here for class," I replied grinning, "Theater is my minor."
"Oh, man, this is great," Kevin chuckled, "That means we'll all have a class together every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons."
"Very cool, " I grinned.
Our teacher's name was Dr. Margaret Hatcher, and she was a really cool lady whom I grew to love and respect a lot because of all she taught me.
The moment she walked into the theater she smiled and said, "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. This year we're going to do something no college has ever done before. We're going to do a stage adaptation of the film "Spartacus" that was performed on Broadway three years ago."
Then she crossed her arms, and with a smile, began, "I understand that we have a two time All-State Best Actor Award recipient among us. Mister Christopher Duquesne, would you stand up, please?"
I suddenly felt like someone stabbed me in the ass, and I wanted to find a hole to crawl into, but I stood up anyway.
"My, but aren't you a big one," she smiled, the females in the class giggling and whispering among themselves, "Welcome to our class, Christopher."
"Thank you, Doctor Hatcher," I humbly replied, "But I go by Chris."
"Okay, Chris," she smiled, "Are you going to audition for the upcoming performance I just spoke of?"
"Uh...I don't know, ma'am," I uncomfortably said, "I haven't really thought about it."
"I certainly hope you do," she smiled, "I think you would make a nice addition to our troupe."
"Thank you," I replied, taking my seat, "I'll give it some serious thought."
"Goodness me," Carly smiled, after class that afternoon, "A Two time All-State Best Actor Award winner, aren't you just full of surprises, Chris."
"Uh yeah," I said, trying to shake it off, "That was a long time ago though."
"Yeah, right," she giggled, "I've got an idea, would you like to come to my apartment for dinner tonight?"
"I don't know," I teased, "Can you cook?"
"Oh, shut up," she playfully giggled, handing me a piece of paper, "Here, this is my address. Be there at six o'clock, and don't be late."
"Do I need to bring anything?" I asked.
"Oh, my," she giggled, "Boy, I can sure tell that your momma raised you right."
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, nothing, really," she smiled, placing her palm against my cheek, "It's just that, since the moment I met you, you've always been a very nice guy, and I guess that I'm just not used to someone like you."
"Thank you," I smiled, "That's a very nice thing to say to someone."
"You're welcome," she softly replied, staring into my eyes, "But it's not hard to tell the truth."
I didn't want to come to Carly's house empty handed that night so, I stopped and got a single red rose wrapped in baby's breath, and tied with a red ribbon...which Carly...Oopps, I'm getting ahead of myself.
"Hi," I smiled, when she opened her door. Then I handed her the rose and said, "I brought you this."
Taking the rose from my hand, Carly pulled me inside, closing the door behind us and said, "Thank you, Chris, that's was sweet. Come on in and sit down, dinner's almost ready."
As I sat down on her couch and looked around her apartment, I could definitely tell that a woman lived there, admiring the simple touches that only a woman has. And the longer I sat there, the more comfortable I felt, kind of like a nice hug you've never had before.
"How did you get into acting?" Carly asked me from the kitchen.
As opposed to yelling across her apartment, I walked into the kitchen where Carly was cooking and said; "I got into it my sophomore year in high school, and it kinda took off from there."
"Then why are you majoring in English?" she smiled, "I would think you would want to major in Theater instead."
"I have no aspirations of being an actor," I chuckled, "I'd like to be a writer, or maybe even a teacher."
"That's why you're such a sweetie then," she giggled, "Have I told you that I really like nice guys?"
"No," I smiled, "But that's a good thing."
" I'm glad you think so," she softly replied, looking dreamily into my eyes, "Because I think you're a nice guy."
Just then I felt something rise up within me that I'd never experienced before, and as I went to speak, I felt my throat going dry, but I managed to hold onto my senses and said, "And I think you're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen."
She slowly moved toward me and placed her arms around my neck, and as soft as the flapping of a butterfly's wings, she gently placed her soft lips against mine and gave me the sweetest kiss I'd ever received. It was just a small peck really, but the tenderness with which it was delivered left an impact on me that I'd never forget. Then she turned back to the stove and giggled, "That should hold you until after we're finished eating.
She made meat loaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, and a hand tossed salad, all of which tasted great, making me realizing how much I'd missed a good home cooked meal. And when we were done, I helped Carly clean off the table and do the dishes much to her objections, which, in the end she actually appreciated.