Sherri returns and a war rages in us both
Swinging in the Neighborhood Chapter 28 The Daughter War begins

In my last Chapter Sherri had returned to Art School for her second year. Life went on so to speak. All seemed to be OK as Sherri would call about every other day. She seemed to be doing well and she had sent some of her projects from Art School home. Her drawings and paintings were amazing. Sherri had told us that they had a little art show at the school and all of her paintings had sold except for the two she had sent to us. One was of Coco and the other was a winter scene of our house on the lake.

I was proud of her, as I had always hoped that she would become a great artist someday. I would have given anything to have that came true. Sherri’s phone calls stopped just before Halloween. Then when she did call, I was not home. I tried calling her many times and each time Pam told me that she was not there. I rather figured something was up or going on I just did not know what it was until I heard Kay and Cathy talking one day in November.

“You are going to have to tell him sooner or later,” Cathy said to Kay.

“I can’t it will break his heart,” “I am not for sure what he will do,” Kay replied.

I was in that living room in an instant as I yelled, “ONE of you had better tell me what the fuck is going on or else.”

Kay stood up and as she came to me, she stuck out her hand to rub against my face. I grabbed her by the wrist as I said; “Tell me Kay,” as I held her hand back from rubbing on my face.

Kay looked to the floor then into my eyes as she replied, “Sherri quit Art School the first week of November.”

I released her hand as I asked loudly, “She quit school,” “Where is she at then?”

Kay looked to Cathy then back to me as she replied, “She ran off with some boy.”

I became enraged over her quitting school and running off with this boy who we did not even know. I was more upset over the fact that Sherri had not told me. Sure, I would have stopped her anyway; I could however, I did not get a chance. Along with that, Kay and Cathy had hid it from me, which only enraged me more. To me it seemed as they all had broken my trust of them.

I suggest you read my last chapter as well as all the other ones. You would be doing yourself a favor if you do.

My heart grew cold and bitter as winter came to our neighborhood. It was a bad winter that had came as well. The snow started piling up around Thanksgiving and was still going strong in mid December. Kay and Cathy had thought Sherri would call for Thanksgiving or maybe even show up at home to surprise us all.

However she did not I tried to make it as if I did not care. If I kept telling myself that, it did not hurt as bad. It was a Saturday night a week or so before Christmas. I had spent most of the afternoon and the evening clearing snow from the back lake roads. I was tired, cold and hungry when I got home around midnight.

Kay and Cathy were up waiting for me. The three of us had patched up our differences however, I warned them not to ever do anything like that again or else I would disown them as well. I walked into the house to the smell of pork chops cooking. The girls helped me out of my heavy winter suit and told me to go take a quick shower as they got my dinner ready.

I did as they suggested and returned to see our plates set upon the kitchen table. The three of us sat down and we began to eat. They asked me how the roads were. I looked to our patio doors with the curtains pulled back. I saw that big snowflakes were coming down once again.

“They were cleared however I think I will be back out in a few hours,” I said.

I dug into my food as I was starving. I was on my third pork chops when the phone rang. Kay got up from the table to answer it. I just kept on eating until I heard her yell.

“YOUR WHERE, Sherri,” Kay yelled into the phone. “YOU’RE WHAT?” Kay asked as I watched her eyes get big.

I sat there eating not even looking toward Kay standing near the living room with the phone in her hand. I had disowned Sherri so what did I care. Cathy looked at me giving me one of her looks.

“Could you pass me the mash potatoes?” I asked Cathy.

“JOHN, it’s Sherri,” Cathy replied giving me one of her looks again.

“Sherri who,” I replied reaching for the mash potatoes myself.

“JONATHAN, that girl saved your life,” Cathy screamed at me shaking her finger at me.

“That girl took away my hopes and dreams and left me alone,” I yelled back at her angrily.

“So that is it.” “Art School was your dream, your hope that Sherri became a great artist,” Cathy yelled at me. “Maybe Sherri did not carry your dreams and hopes,” “Not that anyone should ever have dreams and hopes of their own.” “Heaven forbid that she did not follow the dreams and the fucking hopes of the GREAT FUCKING SGT. J,” Cathy yelled at me at the top of her lungs.

I looked down at the table, as I could not stay in eye contact with her. I had never seen her so angry with me over anything before. On top of that, she had chosen her words well and had hit me where she knew it would hurt the most. Cathy’s words did make sense however that still did not give Sherri the right not to tell me. I looked to Cathy with pleading eyes.

“I don’t want to fight with you Cathy,” I said calmly.

“Right, after all you once fought in a war bravely to stop others from forcing their dreams and hopes on others,” Cathy replied still angry with me shaking her head side to side.

Kay came into the kitchen and she stood there looking at me as she said, “Sherri just got married in Las Vegas.”

“JUST FUCKING GREAT,” I replied as I stood up from the table, storming out of the room.

I went into the little room off the kitchen I grabbed my winter snowsuit and my boots. I slipped the suit on then my boots. I walked to the kitchen door and I placed my hand onto the doorknob. I turned to the girls in the kitchen.

“Thanks for waiting dinner on me,” “I have better be getting back at the roads,” I said to them. “Don’t bother waiting up for me as it will be early morning before I finish the roads,” I added as I walked out the door.

I jumped into my truck and drove up to the spot Carrie and I shared. I sat there in my truck watching the big heavy flakes fall. I sat there trying to figure out where I had gone wrong raising Sherri. The winds started to howl as the snowflakes doubled in size and in the amount coming down. The lake’s snow machine had kicked in which meant this was going to be a long night.

I tried to keep my mind on plowing as I drove. It was snowing and blowing so hard I could not see where I had just plowed. I had just picked up some salt and rock mix to use on the roads. My truck was full and heavy as I went back to work. I looked at my watch it was 4:30 in the morning.

I was plowing a lonely back section of road just off the lake. I had plowed this road thousands of time. I knew it like the back of my hand. As I drove, I started to think about what Cathy had said. I also thought about the last time that I had talked to Sherri. She had came home the third weekend in October. I was on a job site when she walked over to me and wanted to know if she could take me to lunch. So the two of us went to lunch where I asked her if everything was all right, as it seemed like she had something on her mind.

“Yes, daddy I am just a little home sick that is all,” Sherri, replied. “I am alone a lot when I am there and I miss being here with you,” She added.

“I am always with you, princess,” I replied.

“Sometimes I wish I never went to Art School,” Sherri said. “I am not quitting or anything like that,” Sherri added quickly as I stared at her.

“Princess, it makes me proud to see you using your talent and learning how to use it more.” “I look forward to the day you are a great artist,” I said.

“I know daddy it has always been your dream,” Sherri replied looking away from me.

I guess maybe that she had tried to tell me after all. I just did not listen to what she was trying to tell me. I had also wondered why she had returned to school that Saturday before I came home from work. Kay told me that someone had called for her and she told her mom she was going back to school. I also knew why now. However, I then thought about how Sherri had taken something else from me when she ran off with this boy. She had taken the pleasure of me walking her down the aisle on her wedding day.

That thought enraged me once more. Suddenly and without warning, my truck came abruptly to a stop. I flew up smacking into the windshield of my truck as it went downward. It felt as if I hit a big hole in the road and the front of my truck fell into it.

I soon realized that I had driven off the road. I got out and looked I could hardly see as it was snowing and blowing so hard. The snow was pelting me in my face as well as the cold blowing winds coming off the lake. It took me about 45 minutes to get myself out of that ditch.

At least the truck had stayed running and I did not freeze to death; at least yet. I got out of my truck with it running to check for any damage. There was a little damage but nothing that bad. I walked back to check the salt spreader as it will freeze up every now especially if it sits for a while. Just my luck it had froze up. I had not grabbed my gloves when I had gotten out of the truck. I fiddled with it for a while. My hands were burning and turning numb by the time I got it unfroze.

The warmth of my truck was going to feel good I thought as I reached up for the door handle. I pressed the handle in only to find that I had locked the damn door when I jumped out of the truck.

“GOD DAMN IT,” I screamed however, I could barely hear it over the howling winds.

I kicked at the snow as ever cuss word I knew came from my mouth. I shook my fist to the heavens as I left god have it. What had I ever done for you to place such suffering on me I asked? His reply was winds twice as powerful, which blew the snow from the roof of my truck down into my face.

I had to get into my truck as I was freezing by now. I stood up on the gas tank mounted at the side below the door. I wrapped one arm around the mirrors on the door. I drew back my right arm and I punched at the glass in the trucks door. My hand was so cold I could barely make a fist.

The first hit did nothing but bring pain to my hand. The second hit brought excruciating pain to my closed fist. However, the window broke and I unlocked the door climbing into my truck. Luckily, I had some good old duct tape in the truck and a piece of cardboard. I fashioned a make shift window out of it.

My hand looked swollen with a big gash in it. I returned to plowing after wrapping my hand with duct tape. The duct tape would stop the bleeding for now. In about an hour or so, the snow started to let up and I started to make up for lost time. I pulled back into my own snowed in driveway at around nine in the morning.

My hand was throbbing as I walked into the house. I slipped my snowsuit off as well as my boots. I went over to the kitchen sink where I removed the duct tape from my hand. The tape ripped the wound back open as I removed it from my hand. Blood ran freely with the warm water from the faucet as I stuck my hand under it.

“John, you’re bleeding,” Cathy screamed.

“It’s nothing it will be OK,” I replied.

Cathy reached under the water pulling my hand from under the water. She looked at it then told me that she would be right back. I stuck it back under the water, as it did not hurt as bad there. Cathy came back into the kitchen with our first aid kit. She checked the wound again as she rinsed my hand under the water. Cathy wrapped my hand in a towel as she told me to come over to the kitchen table.

Cathy took my hand from the towel and as she checked it out she said, “This should have stitches in it but I know you won’t go to the hospital.”

Cathy held my hand in one hand as she cleaned the wound. Her touch was gentle and loving as she did. She then wrapped some gauze around it followed by wrapping and tape. I had not said a word to her as she did. I just sat there staring at her.

Nine hours ago, she would have ripped my face off with those same hands that were now healing my wounds. It caused me to think back on my own judgment of Sherri. I might have been too quick to judge her.

“Where is Kay at?” I asked Cathy.

“She only just fell asleep when you pulled in,” “We both were worried about you, John.” Cathy said.

“What happened to calling me JONATHAN?” I asked.

Jonathan is my true full name however; I never liked it so I always went by John. Cathy was one of the few people who knew that. She only ever called me that when she was truly upset with me. She knew that by calling me by my real name she was very angry with me.

“I am no longer upset with you just disappointed,” Cathy replied smiling at me.

“I know believe me I know,” I replied as I told her what had happened while I was plowing.

I told Cathy she had been right about what she had said about those hopes and dreams. Those hopes and dreams did belong to me. They were not ones that Sherri carried with her. I happened to remember that once Sherri had told me that someday she looked forward to running my construction company. That was her dream and she hoped to do it someday.

“I guess maybe I over reacted I just can not figure out why she did not tell me,” I said to Cathy.

“She couldn’t John the same way you could never tell Terri that you loved her,” Cathy replied. “Terri wanted something you did not,” Cathy added staring at me.

“The great Sgt. J is not so great anymore,” I replied hanging my head.

“No he is just more stubborn and bullheaded as he gets older,” Cathy said lifting my head up with her hands.

“Have I imposed my ways onto Kay and you as well?” I asked.

“Never on Kay and only on me when you saw me as Carrie,” replied Cathy.

“Maybe it is time I let Carrie go,” I said looking at her.

“NO never John,” “Just don’t expect Sherri to be Carrie as she is not.” “She is Sherri your special loving daughter,” Cathy replied. “You do understand John don’t you?” Cathy asked as she rubbed her hand to the side of my face.

“Yes I understand,” I replied.

I knew what she meant and I knew that I had never really asked Sherri what she wanted. I could be the very one at blame here as it was I who had sent her to New York to attend the Art School. I was to busy trying to make her into what I wanted. Thinking back on it now it was a wonder she had not ran off before now.

“I wonder what kind of man this boy she got married too is.” I asked.

“You will soon find out as they are coming home in January,” Cathy replied.

I took Cathy’s hand from my face into my hand as I asked, “You and Kay will be here in case I get out of line won’t you?”

I felt Kay’s arms wrapping around my neck as she replied, “We will always be here for you John.” “What happened to your hand John?” Kay asked as I pulled her into my lap.

“Just a stubborn old man who was mad at the world,” I replied.

I went on to tell her what happened. The reality of it was down right stupid anyways. As the passenger door of the truck was unlocked. I saw that as I wrapped my hand with the duct tape. Once again, I had jumped the gun so to speak. In my haste to survive, I used brute force instead of my brain. I knew that I needed to start paying more attention not only to things around me but also to the people; I cared about the most.

I had always tried to give or provide any wants or needs to everyone around me. That was except for two people in my life. Cathy and Sherri, to be truthful I had used them for my own well-being. Cathy had been Carrie to me until I had finally saw her as Cathy. I now believe the reason was as Sherri got older and she started to look so much like Carrie. I replaced Cathy with Sherri. That only made it worst as I was already over protective of Sherri and seeing her as Carrie tripled my madness as I now called it.

Kay had been right all along when she had told me, “Sherri has to make her own mistakes just like all of us had.”

I sat there at the kitchen table with Kay and Cathy telling them that. I also realized that none of them had broken my trust. I had broken the trust of myself. I felt ashamed for how I acted while at the same time I still felt hurt over it. I simply could not figure out why Sherri had not told me what she was going to do. I started to feel if I might have forced her to be doing something we all would regret.

“John, you’re tired and you need some sleep,” Kay said as she got up from the table. “Help me get him into bed Cathy,” Kay added.

The girls walked me back to our bedroom. They helped me out of my clothes and into the bed. I lie there physically and mentally exhausted. My hand hurt, my back hurt from driving, my mind hurt from thinking. Mostly my heart hurt for it knew I may have caused hurt to the people I cared about the most. I lie there closing my eyes as I thought about the letter Sherri had written to me.

You once asked me if I could stop it from happening and I told you I could not as it was your destiny. I was wrong daddy it was mine not yours. I knew there was no way to stop it from happening especially after Angel Carrie left me. Angel Carrie told me good-bye in my last dream of her. She told me that I must face what was about to happen without her help. “You will seek help from one who has turned his back on you,” “Only he may save you, when it is time,” she told me daddy.

She must have written that letter when she came home in October. I was now sure that Sherri was talking about me in her letter. I had turned my back on her and I began to think I might have been wrong in doing so. I awoke and night had fallen it was almost 10 pm I had slept for 12 hours. I slipped on my robe and walked out into the hallway. I heard the girls talking as I did.

“At least he understands and he will be there when she needs him the most,” Cathy said to Kay.

“I fear when that day comes for whomever or whatever has to face his rage,” Kay replied.

“I understand as well Sgt. J and I lie in wait for that day to come,” the monster within said to me.

I walked out into the living room and joined the girls on the sofa. I split them apart as I sat down between them. I wrapped my arms around them both as I pulled them closer to me.

“Thanks for being here girls,” “I do not tell you two that enough,” I said to them as I cuddled them both up to me.

I saw the girls smile to each other then at me. They lay their heads against my arms. I sat there just holding them both no talking just holding them something I had not none in a long time. As I held them, I worried about them leaving me. I made a mental note to myself not to piss either of them off. I also decided that I would no longer share my feelings toward Sherri with either of them. About an hour later, we all went to bed.

We rather skipped Christmas that year. No decorating, no tree as to me it did not feel like Christmas. The three of us exchanged our gifts to each other on Christmas Eve, which was the closes we had to a real Christmas on the lake.

I apologized to the girls for not being in any sort of Christmas sprint. They both understood my feelings. I felt hurt by the fact Sherri never called Christmas Eve or Christmas day. If she was mad at me, fine I could live with that but she could have at least called her mom. It only enraged me more as I thought about it.

I did do one good deed at Christmas time. I called Pam’s aunt to see if Pam had come home from Art School for Christmas. She told me that she had. I informed her aunt to have Pam go outside Christmas morning, as Santa would be leaving her a present. I had brought her a new four-wheel drive truck, as I knew she had no way to get home on weekends without Sherri being in school. I had left a card that simply said from Santa.

Pam drove over to our house to thank me on Christmas day as her aunt had told her who Santa really was. She was not the daughter I wanted at home. However, she did bring a bit of good cheer into me at that time of the year. I told her if she ever needed anything for school to call Kay or me at the office and we would see that she got it. Pam gave Kay and Cathy hugs and thanks as I walked her to her new truck.

I opened her truck door for her and she threw her arms around my neck as she said, “Thanks daddy I mean Mr.____.”

“Call me John, Pam,” I replied.

“Thanks John you made me believe in Santa Claus again,” Pam said as she kissed me on my cheek.

Pam drove away as I walked back into the house. Kay and Cathy were waiting for me, When I walked in the girls blocked me from entering the kitchen. Each time I moved or tried to get bye them they would not let me. I looked at them and asked what was going on with them.

Kay smiled as she said, “That was so sweet and kind of you to do John.”

Cathy smiled as she added, “You returned her believes in Santa to her as well as opening your heart once more to her.”

“I can only hope it will be as easy with Sherri,” I replied with a troubled look in my eyes.

Kay hug me from one side as Cathy hugged me from the other as Kay said, “Sherri knows nothing of your disappointment of her and we will never tell her John.”

I did not smile nor did I reply. I never got the chance to tell Sherri about being disappointed it her. I knew that she already that knew from letter she had left me. I must have had that look or something on my face.

“John, there is something you are not telling us,” Kay said.

“Not at all,” I replied.

I did not want to worry either of them with the letter Sherri had written to me. I also felt that this was between Sheri and me. If I kept it that way, she would not place either of them in the middle of it. I walked the girls into the living room and sat them down onto the sofa.

“Sherri will know how I felt as I will tell her myself,” I said to them both. I smiled to Cathy as I added, “I own her that much.”

The girls were busy getting the house in shape, which to me was stupid. However, I guess it is a woman’s thing. I mean it was only Sherri returning home. Along with whomever the fuck she got married too. Yeah I know and you are right I still was not pleased with this damn marriage thing. To be truthful I was not really over being mad at Sherri as well.

However, I did what I did best I hid it from the girls. I suppose you could almost say I ran away again however when the time came I would handle it. At least that was my thinking at that time.

It also seemed each time I thought about Sherri not only did I get mad about it; I also kept thinking about how Kay and Cathy had kept it from me. I worried what else they were keeping from me. I rather took my anger at Sherri out on them by not loving them as often or talking to them.

To make matters worst I had a dream where they ran off together leaving me alone. I even started to believe that my dream was going to come true. The girls had gotten home before I had after work as I had a long hard project that I had finished. I saw that they were home when I pulled into the driveway. I entered our home and they were not in the kitchen or the living room.

I walked back to the bedroom to find the two of them in our bed making love as only two women can. They were lying side by side across the bed. They were kissing and caressing each other as I watched from the doorway.

Their kisses were deep and passionate as their hands stroked at the other’s hair. Soft moans escaped their lips as they rubbed their bodies together. Kay started to suckle at Cathy’s breasts. She would lovingly lick her nipples hard before she gently sucked at them. My cock grew hard as I watched them.

Kay rolled Cathy onto her back as she slipped down between her legs. Cathy raised her legs up into the air as Kay crawled between them. Cathy draped her legs over Kay’s shoulders as I watched Kay’s head start to move. I knew Kay was licking at her sweet pussy.

Cathy’s hands went to the back on Kay’s head. I could hear wet slurps as she bucked her hips upward as she pulled Kay’s face into her wet pussy. I watched as Kay slipped her hand up to Cathy’s pussy as well. I figured Kay was sucking at her clit as she fingered fucked Cathy’s pussy.

“AHHh KAY,” Cathy screamed out.

Cathy started to buck wildly on the bed as Kay’s face went in many directions on her pussy. Cathy moaned and squirmed for some time before Kay slowly kissed her way up Cathy’s body. She stopped to kiss, lick and suck on those lovely big tits as well.

Kay finally worked her way to Cathy’s face. Their lips touched as they locked into a deep and passionate kiss. I watched as their tongues poked into her others mouths.

Kay broke their kiss as she said, “I should have never left you all those years ago.”

Cathy kissed her then replied, “You don’t know how many times I have wished you never had.”

It was probably just my state of mind as I thought they have each other; neither of them needs me. My cock slowly grew soft as I stood there watching them. Cathy got up from the bed and walked to her dresser. She pulled out her strap on and stepped into it.

Cathy walked back toward the bed as I hid in the hallway for fear she would see me. I peeked around to see that Kay had gotten onto her hands and knees. Kay backed up so that she was at the edge of the bed. Cathy walked up behind her and she playfully smacked at Kay’s butt.

“Fuck me my pussy is dripping,” Kay said to her looking over her shoulder.

Cathy’s hand went between Kay’s legs. She rubbed at it as I heard her fingers playing in her wetness. Kay had been right her pussy was dripping. Cathy took a hold on the strap on she worn and she rubbed it against Kay’s pussy. She did not stick it into her she just rubbed it against her pussy.

“Stop teasing me,” Kay yelled. “John hasn’t been giving me any,” Kay added.

“Join the crowd,” Cathy added as she pushed the strap on into her from behind.

The girls were right I had been somewhat less loveable lately. Cathy started to fuck Kay slowly working up to a steady pace. Kay was soon rocking back against the strap on as Cathy fucked her. I could hear the wet in her pussy as the strap on slipped in and out of her.

“AHhhhh yeah fuck me like that,” Kay moaned out as Cathy started to drive it deep and hard.

I watched as Cathy reached under Kay and played with her clit as she fucked her. I could tell that they both were enjoying themselves. It only made me think more about them not needing me. I heard Kay screaming out in orgasm as I walked down the hallway to the living room.

I sat down on the sofa thinking about Sherri. It would be her fault if Kay and Cathy ran off together. Every problem I had was due to that girl I thought as I sat there. It was not true Sherri had done nothing however; my mind blamed her for everything. I sat there as my body and my mind filled with hate and anger toward her.

“STOP IT,” “Damn you STOP IT,” I yelled at myself.

This is your own fault Sherri has nothing to do with your relationship with Kay and Cathy. If they walk out on you, it is your fault not Sherri. Maybe if you showed them the love you used too. Those thoughts raced through my mind as I sat there putting my face into my hands.

“John, who are you yelling at?” Kay asked.

I looked up to see Kay and Cathy standing there together with just the sheet wrapped around them. I realized that I must have yelled aloud to myself. I just shook my head back and forth at them.

“John, please let us help,” Cathy said giving me a caring look.

I stared at the two of them for a few seconds then I replied, “Girls sit with me please.”

The girls got on each side of me draping the sheet over us all. They cuddled up to me as I told them what was going on inside my mind. I explained how I had just watched them only to have it make me think they were going to run away together leaving me alone.

I explained my mixed feeling toward Sherri how on one hand I was worried sick about her and on the other; I did not give a damn. How this whole mess might be my fault to begin with.

Kay turned my face toward her as she said, “First off MISTER I am never leaving you again.” “Second my love for Cathy is only second to my love for you.”

Cathy then turned my face toward her as she added, “John, you were there when I needed you and I will always be here for you.” “Your feelings toward Sherri is between you two not Kay and I.”

Kay took a hold of my hand as she said, “I am sure that Sherri and you can work this out between yourselves.”

Cathy grabbed my other hand as she added, “That is as long as you both think with your heart and not your head.”

“Thanks girls,” I replied as I cuddled them both. “Sorry if I have been a little less loving lately,” I added.

They both reached for my cock as they replied in unison, “Just don’t make a habit of it,” as they smiled to me.

We all ended up in the shower together where I made up for some of my wrongdoing. I also talked with them both when I felt an issue coming on and believe me I was having a lot of them lately.

My main issue was Sherri I just could not get her out of my mind. I would have a day of the good Sherri on my mind. Then the next day the bad Sherri was on my mind, which only enraged me.

The girls explained to me that was because she had not broken my heart just bruised it. Cathy also explained to me that I could be facing a completely different person than the Sherri I wanted to face. At first, I did not understand what she meant. That was until she explained it to me.

“That girl can be as loving as you or as angry as you John,” Cathy said. “I have seen you in her when she is mad, hurt or angry,” She added.

“When did you see that?” I asked.

“Remember when we came back from our cruise,” Cathy said.

I shook my head yes, as she explained. I went to her right away because I wanted to find out from her just what she had meant when she told us she tried to seduce you. I was up set with her as at that time I wanted you all to myself. Sherri told me how she tried to seduce you and that you rejected her.

“I rather flew off the handle at her so to speak,” Cathy explained. “I told her to keep her hands off of you or else,” “He belongs to me,” Cathy added.

Cathy explained how back then she had plans of her own for me. She also told me the next thing she knew was that she was on the floor with Sherri on top of her. Sherri had her hands around her throat choking her. Her eyes were full of hate as her hands squeezed at my throat. I thought for sure she was trying to kill me.

“Sherri did, my Sherri?” I asked in disbelief.

“Yes John, she had the same look in her eyes as you did that day you saved me,” Cathy replied. “She released me as she said, “I will let you live bitch only because someday John will not see you as Carrie,” “That and you will need him to save you so that he will need me,” Cathy added.

Cathy went on to tell me that Sherri got off her apologized to her telling her she did not know what had came over her. She begged me to forgive her. Then she asked me not to tell you what had happened. I should have told you back then however I was so hooked on coke I did not know what was real or a dream sometimes. It was as if she was one person one second then another next.

“About like I am sometimes,” I said.

“Let’s say that she might not be Sherri when she returns,” Cathy replied.

I thought about that and how we had fought that day, I got mad at her for driving crazy. I remember that look in her eyes. My little talk with Cathy did nothing but cause me to worry more. I might be to blame for all of this.

It was the second Friday of January; we were at work when Kay told me that she had just spoken to Sherri. She told me they would be arriving tomorrow around noon. Kay and Cathy were to pick them up at the airport, which made me wonder what had happened to her new truck. Good I thought as they were calling for more snow tonight, which meant I would probably be out plowing when they arrived. I would not have to face her right away.

Just my luck it snowed but just a few inches early on Saturday morning. However, I still used it to get away from home. I had finished the roads and was just pulling the truck back behind my office to put it away. I walked toward the office and I looked at my watch it was a little before ten.

I took maybe two more steps and I froze. I had to look down to my feet. Because as fast as I had stopped I thought, I had stepped on a trip wire. As I looked down to my feet the hairs on my neck stood up as a chill came over me. I looked at the snow and saw fresh tracks in the snow leading into the office.

I saw that the new morning snow had covered mine. I looked to the fresh tracks leading to the door. I could tell from the shape and size they belonged to a woman. I also saw that they went into the building and that they had not came back out of the building.

I walked up to the door knowing that I had locked it because I remembered checking it. The door handle turned in my hand as I opened the door. I walked into the main part of our offices. I saw no one there; I looked to Kay and Cathy’s office, as I walked by and I saw no one.

I turned to my office to see that the door closed. Someone was in my office, as I know I had not closed my door today. I walked over turn the doorknob pushing the door wide open.

“Hello daddy,” Sherri said as she stood by my desk.

I stood there looking at her for a few seconds. Who was this girl saying she was Sherri I thought? The girl standing by my desk had short messy blonde hair cut just above her shoulders. My Sherri had long lovely blonde hair that hung down to her ass.

The girl was dressed rather plain with long baggy pants on that looked a size to big on her. My Sherri would be in skintight jeans. The girl’s shirt was as her pants baggy and loose fitting. This girl could not be Sherri I could not even tell if she had tits under her shirt. I said nothing as I walked toward her. I stopped dead in my tracks as I looked into her eyes. Her eyes were blue like Sherri’s but they did not sparkle and shine.

“Say something daddy,” Sherri said as she tilted her head.

“You cut your hair,” I replied staring at her.

“Yes, Brad likes me in short hair,” Sherri replied.

“So BRAD is this boy you married,” I said.

“Yes, didn’t mom tell you his name?” Sherri asked.

“NO and I did not ask,” as I walked over to my desk and sat down reading paperwork not looking at her.

Sherri turned and she looked at me, as she said, “So this is how it is to be,” “No taking me into your arms.” “Telling me I missed you.”

I looked up at her just staring as she added, “No yelling or telling me how much I hurt you,” “No asking me of why?”

“It’s your life princess I can not tell you how to live it,” I replied looking away from her. “Remember it’s your destiny,” I added as I looked to her.

“I know Daddy,” “Just as I know I have become a disappointment to you,” Sherri said as she started to cry.

I got up from behind my desk. I walked over to her. I wrapped my arms around her as I rubbed my hand on her back as she cried into my chest. I felt sorry for her; I knew those tears where for her and not for anyone else. I knew because I had done the same thing once myself when I returned from Vietnam only I had no one to hold me.

I decided to tell her just why I felt that way. “Princess, you …,” I started to say as I unwrapped my arms around her.

“Just hold me Daddy,” “Please just hold me and tell me everything is going to be alright,” Sherri said as she sobbed heavily against me.

I held her tightly in my arms as I whispered into her ear, “Hush, hush my child daddy is here and he always will be,” as I rubbed my hand on the back of her head.

We stood there for a very long time before I got her calmed down. I sat her down on my desk as I returned to my chair. I had some paper work to fill out. As I did, that Sherri got up and she walked around the room looking at the photos that hung on the wall photos that she had seen a thousand times.

Yet she stared at them as if it was the first time she had ever saw them. The way she looked at them was as if she liked what she saw then she hated what she was looking at. It seemed as if when she looked at the picture of Carrie and I disgust came to her face as well as hate.

“Princess, are you alright?” I asked.

Sherri turned to me as she replied, “Yes daddy I am just in love that’s all.”

When Sherri turned to me, she was standing with the sunlight hitting her from the window. There was no bright pulsating glow around her. I noticed my little girl no longer had that aura around her. Without it, she looked so unlike my daughter Sherri. I sat there just staring at her wondering why. My little girl was no longer special and it angered me.

“You will like Brad once you get to know him daddy,” “I know you will,” Sherri said as she walked toward me.

“So love made you quit school, love made you forget about those at home who loved you, love made you not to call your own mom during Christmas,” I replied in an rather harsh tone giving her a stern look as well.

“Daddy, I was alone and Brad gave me comfort,” Sherri said. “Besides, you have no FUCKING idea how it feels to be alone,” she added in a loud harsh tone while giving me an angry look.

“You do not even know the meaning of being alone young lady,” I replied loudly. “And another thing young lady, swear at me again and I will wash your mouth out with soap,” I added angrily.

“I knew you would not understand daddy,” Sherri yelled back with her eyes full of hate.

“I DON’T UNDERSTAND being alone,” “I suppose I had my mom and all my fucking friends around me when I would sit for days in that fucking jungle of Vietnam.” I screamed back at her.

“I suppose I was not alone when Carrie and Melissa were taken from me as well,” “DON”T YOU EVER TELL ME I do not understand about being alone,” I yelled as my fist pounded at my desk.

Sherri stood there looking at me as she asked calmly, “What has happened to us daddy?”

I was still angry with her and the words just slipped from my mouth as I replied, “You FUCKING left me alone. You broke your DAMN promise to me.” “You became a disappointment to me.”

“WHY WAS THAT JOHN?” Sherri asked. I did not get a chance to reply before she screamed, “Because I am fucking not who or what you wanted me to become.” “SO FUCKING SORRY JOHN if I did not live up to your hopes and you’re FUCKING DREAMS.”

I sat there behind my desk looking at her knowing that she was as angry as I was. I knew that when she called me John. I could also see the pain and despair in her eyes; I could only hope that I had not put it there.

I replied, “Princess, I am sorry I never meant to impose my will onto you or to force you do anything you did not want to do.” “Why didn’t you say anything to me?” I asked.

“I couldn’t daddy, you were everything to me,” Sherri said. “You were the one who fixed my skate.” “You were the one who made my nightmares go away.” “You were the one who had Angel Carrie watch over me,” “You took her from me and then I was alone all alone,” Sherri added.

Sherri stood there with a pleading look in her eyes. The same help me look my own eyes have had in them. That look I had seen in too many men that had returned from Vietnam with a little more baggage than they had brought with them. Sherri’ lips started to tremble as I stared at her.

“I did not want to break your heart daddy,” Sherri said. “When Angel Carrie left me I was alone for the first time in my life.” “Until I met Brad,” “He filled the emptiness in me as well as in my heart,” Sherri added.

“Why didn’t you just tell me?” I asked as I stood up walking to her.

“I tried too the last time I saw you but I was afraid too daddy,” Sherri replied looking at me with those help me eyes again. “I did what you would have done, what we both do best daddy,” “I ran away,” Sherri added looking down to the floor.

“Princess, running away only creates problems it never fixes them,” I said as I raised her head up with my finger.

I once again took her into my arms. I held her tight as my hand rubbed at her back. As I did, I explained to her that it took me some time but I finally figured out that there are not any rules to running away from your problems. No checklist of things to cross off, no instructions it just eeny, meeny, pick a path and go. I know I had run away many times in my life. I found out the hard way when I lost Carrie and Melissa.

I was not fishing across the county to California to see the sunset. I was running from my fear of being alone I told her. I woke up one day packed my truck and I hit the road. I would watch all the pretty colors go by until I found a town harmless enough to hide in from my problems. However, my problems always found me. Sometimes quicker than others sometimes one month and sometimes, it would take six months.

There is no rule when it comes to that, either. Not about how long it takes the problems to catch up with you. Just that they will that much is a given as well as any new problem you may have picked up along the way.

“We only run away to avoid coming face to face with ourselves,” I said to her as I held her.

Sherri had stopped sobbing as I held her telling her that. She seemed to be at peace as I held her. I closed my eyes as I held her. I filtered all the surrounding sounds in my office until I heard nothing. I then heard “Lub-dub, Lub-dub” the sound of my own heart beating.

I waited patiently as I held Sherri hoping to hear hers. However, I heard only my own. I did not hear the beating of her heart joining with mine. I knew I had lost that little girl whose skates I had once fixed.

“Will you take me home daddy?” Sheri asked. “Cathy dropped me off as I sold my truck to get plane tickets for us to come home.”

I felt anger filling my body once more however I held it in as I replied, “Give me an few minutes to finish my paperwork.”

Sherri walked out of my office and into her mom’s office. She sat down behind the desk looking aimlessly out the window. I watched her as I sat there. My little girl seemed broken and I did not know if I could ever fix her.

I was not for sure what had caused it. However, I thought that it might have been my fault. All those years of dealing with my own demons I must have over looked some buried deep within her. Maybe my own demons had left me only to dwell deep in her soul now. I sat there thinking what I should do as I looked down at the paperwork on my desk. I wanted to help her I just did not know how.

“Daddy, I am sorry I cussed at you,” Sherri said as she walked back into my office. “I did not come home to fight with you,” “I came home to ask you to forgive me,” Sherri added as she got beside me at my desk.

“Forgive you for what?” I asked.

“For breaking my promise I would never leave you alone,” Sherri replied.

“You really never left me Princess as you will always be in my heart,” I replied as I stood up.

Sherri wrapped her arms around my waist placing her head with her ear against my chest. I wrapped my arms around her once more. Sherri held her head there on my chest for a while then she pulled it from my chest. She looked up at me and into my eyes. Sherri stared deeply into them.

“Our hearts no longer beat as one and I can no longer read your thoughts within your eyes,” Sherri said with deep sorrow in her eyes.

I looked into her darken eyes as she added, “You have turned your back on me now,” “However I know you will be there that day when I need you the most,” as she smiled at me.

“I am here princess, I am here,” I replied.

Sherri’s hand went to my face as she said, “The time is not upon us yet daddy but soon it will be,” as her hand rubbed at my face.

The rage, the hate and the anger I had felt earlier left my body as her hand caressed at my face. I looked into her face as she stroked my face. I did not see Carrie, I saw Sherri that little girl who skates I had fixed many years ago. I knew then she was still in her just buried deep beneath her troubled soul. I stared at her as I thought there has to be a way to bring that little girl back for the sake of us both.

Sherri and I locked up the office and we drove home. On the way, I asked her what their plans were now that they had gotten married. Sherri told me that she had hoped that I would let her come back and work once more with me.

“What about your new husband Brad was it?” “Does he want to work with us too?” I asked.

“I don’t want him working with me,” Sherri replied. “He will find his own job,” she added.

I thought about that as I drove us home. Kay and I had worked together for the last ten years. We always had people asking us how you can work with each other. I could never work with or for my husband they would tell us. Kay and I would just smile at them.

“Our love does not allow us to see each other as one of us being above or better than the other.” “The love we share makes us equals,” we would tell them.

I did not give it much more thought as I drove us home. It might be better if he did not work for me I thought as well. We soon arrived at home; as I pulled into the driveway, Sherri reached over and took a hold of my hand. She rubbed at it as he eyes looked deeply into mine.

“Daddy, remember he holds my heart as Carrie once held yours,” Sherri said smiling at me.

I was still thinking about that as I parked the truck and Sherri jumped out of the truck. She was inside the house before I even got out of my truck. I was wondering if that was her polite way telling me to be nice to her new husband Brad. I shook my head from side to side, as I mumbled “WOMEN” as I walked into the house.

I walked in to see a young man sitting at the table with Kay and Cathy. Sherri was standing beside him with her arm around his shoulder. I took my boots off before walking into the kitchen. I could hear them all laughing as I walked toward the kitchen table.

“Brad, this is my father, John,” Sherri said.

“How you doing daddy,” Brad said never looking toward me.

I stood there looking down on the man my daughter supposedly loved. A man I did not like already. Brad was only about 5’ 10” in height I figured, of average weight, which was hard to tell, as he never stood up when I entered the kitchen. He had long hair down to his shoulders, which reminded me of the hippies back in the days. I also thought it strange that he had long hair. After all, he had Sherri cut her hair probably because hers was longer than his was.

“SON, I am not your DADDY so don’t call me that,” I said in a firm however polite voice.

Brad looked my way as he asked smartly, “Would SGT. J do?”

“Call him John,” Sherri said leaning down kissing him on his lips.

“NO, he can call me MR.______ for now,” I replied in a loud tone.

My anger must have been showing because I felt Cathy grabbing my arm. She led me down the hall way and into the bedroom. I did not even give her time to say anything.

“The boy gets no respect from me unless he shows me some respect,” I said.

“I won’t argue with you on that one,” Cathy replied with a smile. “I just figured I had better remove you before you beat that respect into him,” Cathy added.

“It showed that much,” I asked.

Cathy did not say anything she just pointed to my closed fists at my side. I did not realize I even had my hands clinch in a fist as I stood in the kitchen. Cathy wrapped her arms around my neck pulling me down to her.

“A nice long shower is what you need,” Cathy said smiling to me.

“Only if you join me,” I replied.

Cathy led me into the bathroom where she turned the shower on before we undressed each other. I wrapped Cathy in my arms bending over to place my lips to hers. I kissed her deep and with passion. I felt my cock growing hard pressing up against her body.

“I see you’re happy to see me,” Cathy said as she licked at my lips.

“I was thinking of you today as I was plowing,” I replied smiling at her. “I was thinking maybe it was time to train you to plow snow with me,” I added as my hands went to her lovely plump ass.

“John, Sherri is back she could be doing that with you instead of me,” Cathy replied.

“I would enjoy it more with you,” I said as I tongued at her ear.

Cathy pushed me toward the shower where we both stepped in under the cascading water. She washed my body then I washed hers. I spent a lot of time washing her hairy pussy, as I love seeing the suds running through all her hair. I removed the shower attachment using it to rinse the suds from her hairy pussy. I reached over and turned the water a little bit hotter splashing it against her pussy and at her clit. I used the shower attachment to tease her pussy and her clit until she squeezed her thighs together.

“John, you going to make me pee,” Cathy said smiling as her hands went to my shoulders.

Cathy pushed me down until I was in front of her on my knees. Her hands went to the back of my head as she pushed her hairy box into my face. Cathy rubbed her pussy on my face as I stuck my tongue out teasing her clit as she did.

“Ahhh JOHN,” Cathy cried out.

A warm splash of her golden pee splashed at my face. I buried my face into her pussy as it started to come out. I reached up between her legs slipping a finger between her exposed hanging pussy lips. Cathy moaned as I ran my finger in and out of her pussy. I fingered banged her pussy until she had a quick wet orgasm. Cathy was screaming my name as her orgasm over took her. I withdrew my fingers from her pussy looking up at her.

“Fuck me John,” Cathy yelled out as she helped me to get off my knees in front of her.

Cathy washed and rinsed my face then she kissed me deeply before she turned with her back to me. Cathy took her foot and placed it as high into the corner of the shower stall as she could. She reached back and down with her hand. Cathy pulled her butt cheek up exposing her open pussy between her hanging lips.

“Slip it in like this John,” Cathy cooed out smiling at me.

I worked my way behind her and almost to the side of her with my cock in my hand. I slipped my cock up into her pussy. Cathy moaned as my cock entered her. I started to take my cock in and out working to a deep and steady pace. Her pussy started to squeeze at my cock as I fucked her that way.

I reached around and played with her big bouncing tit pulling on her nipple. Cathy was moaning and breathing heavily as I started to fuck her harder with my cock. Cathy started telling me how good it felt as my cock started to throb.

“AHhhh John,” Cathy moaned out as her orgasm came over her.

I just kept fucking her watching her tit roll as I did. Cathy finished her orgasm on my cock and she smiled at me. She dropped her leg from the wall and turned to me as my cock dropped from her pussy.

Cathy kissed me deeply once then she said, “I want you to cum in my mouth.”

I did not get a chance to say anything as she dropped to her knees in front of me. Cathy wrapped her mouth around my cock as she started to suck and bob her head on it. I looked down to see that she was taking my whole cock into her mouth. I felt my cock throb then twitch as cum shot from my cock.

Cum splashed deeply into her mouth as she just kept sucking on my cock. Cathy just sucked at my cock until she had nursed it all from my cock into her mouth. The girl had not spilled a drop. She pulled her mouth from my cock and gave it a few licks with her tongue. She stood up as I took her into my arms.

We kissed passionately as we told each other that we loved the other. We stepped from the shower and we dried each other off with towels. As Cathy dried me, she told that if that boy upsets me to just think about what we had done in the shower. I told her I would try to keep it all together.

“If you do John I will let you have my butt tonight,” Cathy said smiling then pulling her butt cheeks apart showing me her cute little asshole.

I pulled her into my arms as I replied, “You don’t have to bribe me just ask and I will follow your advice,” before I kissed her again.

We went into the bedroom and I sat on the bed watching her get dressed. I have always loved watching a woman dress or undress. I felt my cock growing hard again as she pulled a thong from her drawer and slipped it on.

I saw that her hairy pussy was showing from the sides. I took my cock into my hand as I watched her slipping those lovely tits into a push up bra. They pushed them together and up forming some lovely cleavage. Cathy slipped a low cut top on then a pair of tight jogging pants. They clung to her lovely plump butt as her ass shook when she walked by me.

I shook my cock at her to which she shook her head no as she said, “John, get dressed.”

Cathy was dressed and walked out of the bedroom. I finished dressing then walked out to the living room. Brad and Sherri were kissing on the sofa as I walked into the kitchen. I walked over to Kay who was preparing dinner. I took her into my arms kissing her deeply and with passion.

“I see you still love mom,” Sherri said smartly as she walked by us.

I was going to say something when Kay pressed her finger to my lips. I watched Sherri take two beers from the refrigerator before going back into the living room. Kay removed her finger from my lips as she wrapped her arms around my neck pulling me down to her level.

Kay whispered into my ear, “Give her time.”

I grabbed a beer and walked into the living room myself. I sat down onto the end of the sofa with distance between Sherri and Brad. Sherri looked at me as I looked at her. She rather gave me a look and nodded her head toward Brad. I looked away as I took a big gulp of my beer. If she thought, I was going to start the conversation she was dead wrong. I saw her hit her hand against Brad’s leg. Brad stood up and he walked over to me.

“Sorry sir we may have gotten off on the wrong foot,” Brad said as he held out his hand.

“Call me John,” I replied standing up shaking his hand.

Brad sat back down as I did except I heard him whisper into Sherri’s ear as he did, “Happy now.”

At least Sherri had made him do the right thing I thought. Cathy came walking from around the corner. It seemed as if those lovely big tits were bouncing in slow motion as she walked toward me. I turned to see that Brad was checking her out with his mouth hanging open. I almost busted out laughing as Sherri pushed his mouth closed for him. Brad looked harshly at her.

“WHAT,” Brad cried out when she had.

“DON”T even think about it,” Sherri said to Brad.

Cathy came over and she sat down beside me. I wrapped my arm around her pulling her into me. Sherri looked to Cathy giving her a halfhearted smile. Cathy pulled herself from me as she cuddled up next to Sherri.

“I still love you too,” Cathy said as she hugged Sherri.

“I see you still love showering with daddy too,” Sherri replied with attitude as she returned the hug while giving me the eye.

I just turned from her as I finished my beer. Cathy turned to me giving me one of her looks as well. She then cuddled up to me and whispered lightly into my ear.

“You could end up right where you sit for bedtime,” Cathy whispered into my ear.

I knew what she was getting at so I leaned past Cathy looking to Sherri then to Brad. Sherri had a lonely blank look on her face. Brad was looking around the room. I leaned to Cathy as I whispered back into her ear.

“Only because you asked,” I whispered.

“So Brad, tell me a little something about you,” I said as I looked down toward him.

“I am 23 grew up in New York, lost both my parents at an early age was raised by my aunt,” Brad replied with out any emotions in his tone. “I used to go to the same Art School as Sherri but I dropped out as they sucked,” Brad added.

“Brad studied music there daddy,” Sherri said.

“Cool so you play the guitar?” I asked Brad.

“YEP,” Brad replied.

“Looking forward to hearing you tickle the strings,” I said as I stood up from the sofa. I walked over to the front of him and Sherri as I asked, “You two ready for another beer?”

“Yeah I could handle another one,” Brad replied.

Sherri smiled as she stood up and said, “I will help you daddy.”

Sherri laced her arm through mine as she looked up to me smiling. Her lovely blue eyes shined and sparkled. I patted her hand with mine as I walked her into the kitchen. I opened the refrigerator and saw there was only one beer in there. Sherri closed the door and walked me to the basement door. We walked down the steps together and over to the other refrigerator in the corner of the basement.

Sherri stopped me as I opened the door. She threw her arms around my neck. She pulled my face to hers as our lips met. Sherri kissed me deeply on my lips. She broke the kiss as she stood looking into my eyes.

“Thanks daddy,” Sherri said with a lovely smile, which was the first I had seen from her.

“I am trying princess,” I replied.

“That is all I ask daddy just give him a chance,” Sherri said. “I know how you feel toward me,” Sherri added hanging her head.

“Princess I still love you,” I replied.

“I am not for sure daddy,” Sherri said. “We no longer share hearts or the bond we once had,” she added as I saw her start to tremble and tears ran down her cheeks.

I took her into my arms tightly as I whispered into her ear, “Hush, hush my love or the creatures of the night will get you.”

Sherri pushed back from me looking up at me as she replied, “They already got me daddy.”

“What do you mean princess?” I asked.

“Like you once I am not ready to tell you,” Sherri replied.

“STOP all this shit and fucking around tell me damn it,” I screamed out of desperation at her.

“I wouldn’t tell YOU FUCKING SHIT,” Sherri screamed as she beat against my chest with her fists. “YOU fucking rejected me when I wanted you the most.” “Because of you I became a creature of the night.” “I may even hate you as much as you fucking hate me,” Sherri yelled as she stormed from the basement.

“PRINCESS, wait please,” I cried out.

I had screwed up again, I thought, as I stood there in the basement alone. Once again, I had tried to use force to get her to explain it all to me. How stupid of me to think she was like some raw recruit in Vietnam. I had put the fear of god into many young men back then and maybe even saved some of their lives with it. However, it would not work on Sherri.

I stood there in shock over what had just happened. That sweet little girl I once knew had turned into something or someone else before my eyes. Her eyes had gone black while she yelled and hit upon my chest. None of her words made any sense to me. All I knew was that something was not right with her.

I grabbed another case of beer and walked back up the steps. I carried it to the refrigerator and placed it into the bottom tray. I turned to find Sherri standing there smiling at me.

Her eyes were blue again and they sparkled as she looked at me. Sherri walked over to me and wrapped her arms around my neck. She pulled me down to her mouth and she whispered into my ear.

“Sorry daddy I lost my way for a few seconds please forgive me,” Sherri whispered into my ear.

She was gone from me before I had a chance to say or ask her anything. Kay looked to me with a concern look on her face. Kay came walking over to me and she wrapped her arms around my waist. She cuddled tightly against me as I wrapped my arms around her.

Kay looked up to me as she asked, “Remember what I told you once John?”

I thought for a second then replied, “About not breaking her heart back when she came of age.”

I did not tell Kay that she was wrong this time, as it had nothing to do with that. My little girl had something happen to her or was put through something that had caused her to become the stranger she was to me now. I just smiled to her shaking my head up and down. I just had to find out what was wrong with her first. All I could think of was that my own demons had gotten into her.

Had I raised her by filling her full of my own demons I thought as I walked back into the living room. Her words filled my mind as I did. ““YOU fucking rejected me when I wanted you the most;” “I may even hate you as much as you fucking hate me.”

Cathy, Sherri and Brad were all laughing and having a good time. I handed everyone a beer and sat down. I wondered if I was the one having the episodes instead of Sherri. I was sitting there lost in my thoughts.

“Daddy, Brad asked you about your medals,” Sherri said.

“What was that?” I asked as I came out of my brain fog.

“He wants to hear the story from you,” Sherri said.

“Not tonight princess,” I replied as I stood up and walked to the patio doors.

I slipped the curtain partly back as I looked at the snow starting to fall. The flakes were big and heavy as they fell. I knew I would have to go plow the roads later tonight.

“It is snowing princess and I will have to leave shortly to plow,” I said looking at her. “Would you like to help me?” I asked.

Sherri looked to Brad who just shrugged his shoulders. She then turned back to me as she replied, “NO daddy, Brad needs me here with him,” Sherri replied cuddling up to Brad.

I turned to Cathy and looked at her. Cathy looked back at me as her eyes told me that she was sorry for Sherri’s reply. Kay entered the room and with a smile, she told us that dinner was ready. The five of us sat down and we ate dinner. Everything seemed to be normal once again. We all talked and laughed over dinner.

After dinner we all went into the living room and sat. I drank coffee as everyone else had drinks. I asked Sherri and Brad where they were going to live.

“We will live in a hotel like always until we get our own place,” Sherri replied as Brad just sat there.

“Why don’t you two stay here with us until then,” I said.

Sherri looked to Brad and he just shrugged his shoulders then Sherri replied, “Thanks daddy it will only be until you give me my first paycheck,” smiling at me.

I looked back outside through the patio doors to see that the wind was blowing and the snow was falling heavily. This winter was turning into one I would not forget. I knew this was going to be a long night of plowing. I stood up and I walked over to Brad.

I smiled down at him as I asked, “Care to ride along tonight I might even let you run over some mail boxes later?”

“NO, DADDY he is not going with you,” Sherri replied quickly and giving me an angry look. “I will help you instead,” She added as her angry look turned into a smile.

“Just forget it you both are probably tired from your flight home,” I said.

“You just don’t want me around you do you daddy,” Sherri yelled out as tears filled her eyes and she ran for her bedroom.

I stood there just watching her run down the hallway. I turned to see that everyone was looking at me. Kay and Cathy sat there giving me a sorrowful look. I looked to Brad who was almost laughing about it. I was going to say something and I even thought about wiping that smile from his face.

“Sorry sir she is just tired it had been a long flight and day,” Brad said as he stood up from the sofa. “If you ladies will excuse me I have some husbandly duties to perform,” he added looking to Kay and Cathy.

I looked to Kay and Cathy as I just shook my head from side to side. I walked out through the kitchen and into the little room off the kitchen. I slipped my snowsuit on as well as my boots. I grabbed my stocking hat and my gloves as well as the keys to the plow truck. I put the stocking cap on as well as my gloves. I walked from the room to find Cathy standing there.

“Would you like for me to ride with you tonight?” Cathy asked.

“No, I will be OK,” I replied.

Cathy reached her hand to my face where she rubbed at it as she said, “Be careful out there John and keep your mind on the job,” “Please John for me.”

I nodded my head yes, as I walked out the door. I damn near got my own truck stuck before I even got out of the driveway. I looked at my watch; it was a little bit after nine at night. It snowed heavy until around midnight. It was four in the morning before I got the roads cleared.

I returned home tired and just as lost about Sherri as when I had left. I was thinking a good long sleep would help. I pulled into the driveway and went into the house. I removed my snowsuit and boots and walked into the living room removing my tee shirt. I felt exhausted as I sat down onto the sofa.

“Sit down daddy,” Sherri said. She got off the sofa as she added, “I made you a little snack for when you got home,” as she walked by me toward the kitchen.

I put my face into my hands. I was tired and I did not want to fight or argue with her anymore tonight. I leaned back into the sofa resting my head. I was resting my eyes when I heard singing; it was Sherri in the kitchen. The song “Hush little Baby,” filled my ears as I rested my eyes. To be truthful Sherri had a lovely singing voice something I never knew. The song and her singing started to make peace return to my body until I heard.

“Hush little baby,”
Don’t you cry.
Daddy not sure if he raised me right.
No one to hold me tight tonight,
It just wrong and so not right,
That we both should feel so alone.

The song faded as I opened my eyes. Sherri was walking back into the living room with sandwiches on a plate. She laid the plate down in front of me as she smiled to me and walked back to the kitchen. Sherri returned with two cups of hot chocolate in her hand.

“Drink it daddy, it will warm your soul,” Sherri said almost evilly as she handed me the cup.

I took the cup and I took a long drink of it. I also thought there might have been poison in it as I did. I was so tired I just did not care. Sherri sipped at her cup as she watched me eat and drink my hot chocolate. I looked into her eyes as I saw skulls fill her eyes. The look she gave me was one of pure evil as fear gripped at my body and my soul.

“Princess what ever I have done to you, please forgive me,” I said as I looked at her.

Sherri tilted her head as she replied, “My nguoi linh chet.” “This was Vietnamese for U.S. soldier dead.

I shot up from the sofa in a panic. Sweat pouring from my forehead running down my chest. I looked around the room realizing I was alone. It was just a nightmare as I sat back down onto the sofa. I shook my head from side to side, as I once again buried my face into my hands. I realized my own demons might have returned.

“My nightmares returned too daddy,” Sherri said.

I looked from my hands to see Sherri standing in the living room staring at me. I stared at her for a few seconds wondering if I was still dreaming. Sherri just stood there looking at me.

“Are yours about me?” I asked.

“Yes daddy,” Sherri replied as she walked over to me.

“Sit down princess lets talk,” I said to her as I patted my hand beside me on the sofa.

Sherri sat down but there was a full cushion of sofa between us. We both sat there staring at each other. I was trying to think what to say. I believe she was trying to read my eyes however, I knew she would not be able too. As I stared back at her, his voice grew in my head.

“She is not like the others Sgt. J,” “She has no fear of the darkness or of the light,” “For this child has seen them both through us,” the monster within voice echoed in my head.

“Forgive me princess for everything I have caused you to do or go through,” I said looking at her. “I raised you on my hopes, my dreams and mostly my fears.” “I forgot you had your own,” I added.

Sherri placed her finger to my lips. However I removed it as I said, “Not this time as I need to finish,” “If this Brad is what you feel that you want and need the most then I will accept it.” I looked down to the sofa as I added, “I can not forgive myself for becoming a nightmare to you, and I can only hope you can forgive me.”

Sherri raised my head with her hand as she scooted over next to me. She laced her arm through mine as she laid her head against my arm. As she cuddled up next to me, she smiled at me.

“Princess, how can you smile when your nightmares are of me?” I asked.

Sherri smiled at me as she replied, “You forget daddy I know how this will all turn out for us.”

“I am glad one of us knows,” I said as I wrapped my arms around her pulling her tightly against me.

Sherri rested her head against my chest. I knew what she was doing. She was listening to my heartbeat to see if our hearts were beating as one. I closed my eyes not to hear hers but to ask angel Carrie to let Sherri hear our hearts beating together.

“Do you hear them daddy?” Sherri asked with joy in her voice.

“Yes princess,” I replied still only hearing my own heart slowly beating.

Yes, I had lied to her however; I did it for her and not for myself. As long as it made her feel better that was what was important right now. I sat with her just holding her for about an hour. I believe we both felt calmer and at peace with ourselves. I told her we both should be getting to bed before someone misses us. I walked her back to her bedroom and before she opened the door, she wrapped her arms around me as she whispered into my ear.

“I was with who I missed the most,” before she kissed me lightly on my cheek.

I walked into our bedroom where I took a long hot shower. I had my hands placed against the wall with the hot water cascading down my over my head. My thoughts were on Sherri as the water rained down on me.

A voice once again filled my head, “You show that sweet girl compassion and I will give her my protection, Sgt. J,” the monster within said.

I reached up shutting the water off as the voice left my head. I grabbed a towel and dried myself. I looked at myself in the mirror as I thought. The years had been kind to me noticing hardly any hair loss. A slight touch of gray well white hair was starting to form at my sides. My chest still stuck out proudly. My stomach was not the six-pack it once was however it still had a nice four pack left.

I turned slightly to the side as the X scar came into view. I ran my finger over the long part of the X. I remembered how that booby trap had caused it. I ran my finger over the smaller part as I remembered the burning pain as the shrapnel torn into my chest. I turned with my back toward the mirror looking at the chunks missing here and there as I remembered the removal of more shrapnel.

I turned back to face the mirror as I ran my finger around my chest finding all the little spots where tubes had once been. I felt my heart beating as I did. I smiled as I remembered asking Carrie while I lie in the hospital why those tubes seemed to be running to my heart.

The light above the mirror gave a flicker as I heard Carrie’s voice tell me, “They are filling it with compassion John as you will need it someday.”

I never knew just what she meant by that until I stood there looking at myself in the mirror that day. I turned the light out as I opened the door and silently climbed into bed. I climbed behind Kay as she lie with Cathy cuddled up to her. I put my arm over Kay as I cuddle up to her.

Kay turns her head toward me as she asked, “John, who were you talking to in the bathroom?”

“Just some old friends,” I replied as I cuddled up to her closing my eyes.

I awoke the next morning to an empty bed. I looked to the clock on the nightstand it read well after one in the afternoon. I freshened up before dressing and walked out to find the girls all sitting at the kitchen table talking. I walked over to Kay bending down to kiss her on the lips. I went from Kay to Cathy kissing her also on her lips.

I looked to Sherri who had her head down looking at the tabletop. I walked over to her and wrapped one arm around her. I brought my lips to the side of her face. I kissed her lightly and gently on her cheek.

“Good morning princess how did you sleep?” I asked as I stood behind her.

Sherri turned and looked up to me as she replied, “Like angel Carrie was looking over me daddy,” as she smiled at me.

I smiled back at her as I looked into those lovely deep blue eyes I remembered. Sherri stood up and wrapped her arms around me laying her head once again to my chest. I rubbed my hand at her back as I looked to Kay and Cathy as they stared at us.

Sherri broke the hug and removed her head from my chest as she said, “They are calling for a big storm tonight daddy.” “We should go make sure our trucks are ready,” she said as her hand trailed down taking mine into hers.

“Will Brad be joining us?” I asked.

“He is still sleeping,” Sherri replied looking at me.

I was going to throw a tantrum over that boy still being in bed. However as I looked into Sherri’s eyes I saw the blue start to fade away. I saw her become tense as if bracing herself for the fit I was about to throw. I thought for a second before I said anything.

“That’s fine princess you and I can manage on our own,” I said. “I also got you a new snowsuit like mine it’s in the boot room there,” I added as I pointed to the small room off the kitchen.

Sherri smiled, as her eyes got brighter, she walked to the boot room leaving me with Kay and Cathy. The girls looked at me and they both smiled at me. I walked over to the counter and put on a fresh batch of coffee. I turned to see the girls still looking at me. I knew they were wondering what had came over me.

I wrapped my arms around them both pulling their heads toward mine as I said, “Maybe I can reach her with compassion.”

Sherri came back into the kitchen and I told her we would go check out the trucks after my cup of coffee. Sherri told me that would be fine and she went to her bedroom to change her clothes. The girls heard her door close and they both were at me.

“That boy has been in that bed since you left last night,” Kay said.

“I am glad he was as he did nothing but stare at my tits and my ass,” Cathy added.

I just sat there drinking my coffee as the girls went on about this and that. They could say anything they wanted however, my hands were tied I knew if I flew into a rage over it Sherri would too. Believe me I wanted too like nothing else in the world however, I kept it inside of myself.

“Give them both some time girls,” I said leaving them at the table to go get dressed myself.

Sherri and I rather met in the hallway after getting dressed. I smiled at her as she laced her arm through mine. We walked out to the boot room.We slipped on our snowsuits, boots and gloves then walked into the kitchen.

Kay and Cathy were standing by the patio doors. Kay left Cathy standing there looking out as the wind and the snow started to come down. Kay walked over to the counter where she grabbed two thermos bottles and two bags. She handed one to each of us.

“There’s hot chocolate in your thermos and sandwiches in the bags,” Kay said smiling to us both. She kissed Sherri then me.

Cathy came into the kitchen where she hugged and kissed Sherri as she said, “You watch over your dad out there.”

Cathy came over to me and she pulled me down to her as she wrapped her hands around my neck hugging me tightly. She kissed me lightly on my lips then she said, “Be careful John this looks like a bad storm.” Cathy moved her lips to my ear where she whispered lightly, “Keep her close John.”

Sherri and I walked out the backdoor toward my truck. The north wind was howling and blowing snow already sideways as we did. All I could think of were Cathy’s words “Keep her close John.” I opened Sherri’s door on my truck as she smiled to me getting inside. I closed her door and ran to my side of the truck. I stood there looking to our boathouse as it disappeared from my sight in the blowing snow.

Sherri and I went to our office where we prepared our trucks for what lie ahead of us. The snow was coming down at a tremendous rate I knew it was going to be a long afternoon as well as a long night. My mind still echoed of Cathy’s words “Keep her close John,” as I readied my truck.

I also watched Sheri making sure she had remembered how to ready her truck. I watched how she filled with anger when the salt spreader did not work. How she used the tire stick to beat on it as cuss words filled the air. I went to her taking the stick from her as I noticed the pain and hate in her eyes. I told her to go inside and warm up I would get it working.

I had gone through a similar period in my life I thought as I got it to work. I soon joined her inside to warm up a bit. Sherri was standing in my office rubbing her hand over the picture of Carrie that hung on my wall.

Sherri turned to me as she said, “I know now how you feel without her,” as she fought back her tears.

I looked to her as I replied, “To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die.”

Sherri gave me a little smile as she asked, “So what is our plan for this storm?”

“We will tandem plow,” I said to Sherri.

You will follow me slightly to the right of my truck. That way we will be able to plow a bigger section of the road at one time. Make sure you do not go to the left of me at any time as my truck is the lead truck and I am looking for any on coming traffic. Which there should be none but you never know.

The storm was upon us as we left the office. We fought a losing battle for most of the afternoon and into the night. The wind would blow snow back over where we had just plowed. The wind would even rock our trucks when we got low on salt in the back of them. We had radio in our truck so at least we could talk to each other. We soon found ourselves on that road up beside the lake.

It was after three in the morning already. The wind was howling and rocking my truck side to side, as I came to a stop. I was tired and my eyes hurt from straining to see the road. I rubbed at my eyes trying to get them to focus.

“Daddy, are you OK?” Sherri asked over the radio.

“Just having some trouble with my eyes that’s all,” I replied into the radio.

“Let me lead and you follow me then daddy,” Sherri said.

I sat there thinking for a few seconds. She was probably right as normally the person behind could at least see the truck in front of them. My eyes did need a rest.

“OK, but take it slowly,” I told her over the radio.

Sherri pulled her truck around me and we went back to plowing. At least she had taken my advice on moving slowly at only 30 to maybe 40 mph. This did not give you much time to stop if you ran into trouble ahead of you. My eyes felt a bit better with following her. I left my mind drift for a while. I was following her as I thought about the day Sherri had came into my life. How she gave me that feeling of need again. How I had made her happy and placed a smile on her face that day I fixed her skates for her.

I thought back to how cute it was when she had seen Carrie’s picture in my truck. How it worried her little heart that she was my girlfriend and I would not take up with her mom. How she was saddened and filled with hope when I had told her that Carrie was my wife but that she lived in heaven now. My mind took me back to the first time I had tucked her into bed.

My own words filled my head as I heard, “Good night sweet child and have no fears for I know an angel who walks with us and she is here and always near.”

Those words filled my ears as I looked toward the lake. I saw two red eyes peering at me through the night. The left eye blinked then the right eye blinked. My hand grabbed for my radio.

“SHERRI STOP,” SHERRI STOP RIGHT NOW,” I screamed with panic into the radio.

I saw the small red brake lights come on her truck as she slowed to a stop. I heard her asking me on the radio what was wrong. I looked back toward the lake to see those eyes peering at me until they faded away through the snow. I got out of my truck and I walked up to her truck. I stepped up on to the gas tank as I grabbed her mirror. Sherri rolled her window looking at me wondering why I had her stop.

“Stay here,” I said to her as I climbed back down from her truck.

I walked to the front of her truck looking up ahead down the road. I turned back to see her looking at me from her truck. I walked forward away from her truck and out of the light from its headlights. The wind was blowing snow up in front of me to where I could see nothing within a foot of my face.

I walked about 100 yards until I saw what looked like a trucks trailer blocking the road. It was not just a truck’s trailer but a fuel trailer. I walked over to see the truck cab was down off the side of the road and the trailer was across the whole road. I made my way to the cab to find the driver cold but alive. He told me he was OK other than a gash to his forehead.

The driver explained to me that he had hit an icy spot and lost control of his truck and trailer jack knifing as it slid off the road. He went to tell me that his truck would not start again and that he had been there since around 11 pm. I made sure he was able to walk before I helped him from his cab.

Sherri got out of her truck as she saw us coming into her trucks headlights. She got out and helped me get him into my truck. I told the man I would be right back as I led Sherri back to her truck where we both climbed inside.

“Where did he come from daddy?” Sherri asked.

I pulled my gloves from my hands reaching for the radio as I replied, “His gas tanker is across the road about 100 yards in front of us.”

Sherri’s face took on the same look I had on mine when I had seen it. That look of what if we had not stopped when we had. I got on the emergency channel to the sheriff department. I explained to them what had happened. They explained that it might be a while before they could get out there due to the storm. I informed them I would do what I could.

“Daddy, what made you stop?” Sherri asked looking at me with her head tilted.

“Never mind right now princess, I want you to take that driver to the hospital to get him checked out,” I replied.

“DADDY, I don’t want to leave you alone,” Sherri said with worry in her tone.

“Don’t worry about me just get that man safely to the hospital,” “I will be here when you get back,” I replied. Sherri sat there staring at me with a worry look as I added, “I promise princess I will be OK,” as I took her hand into mine.

I walked her back to my truck where I grabbed some flares before sending her on her way. I watched her pulling away before I returned to the other snowplow. I grabbed more flares from the truck and returned out into the cold wind driven snowy night.

I had to walk back to the tanker to make sure there was no fuel leaking before I sat up the flares. I was not even for sure if anyone who was out would be able to see them. I could not smell any gasoline so I figured it was safe enough to light the flares.

I placed them a safe distance from the fuel trailer. It took me almost 40 minutes to set the area up around the trailer due to all the snow and the wind coming off the lake. My face was frozen and I felt chilled to the bone by the time I got back to my truck. I climbed into the truck as I heard Sherri’s voice on the radio.

“Daddy, are you there?” “Daddy, please answer me,” Sherri said over the radio with worry in her voice.

“Daddy is here princess a little cold but I am here,” I replied.

Sherri explained to me that she was worried for a while when I had not answered her call. She informed me that they were only about 15 minutes from the hospital. I told her to go ahead and just return to the office, as there was no need for us both to be here.

“NO daddy I will not leave you again,” Sherri said over the radio her voice a little broken.

“OK princess just be safe when you return,” I replied hanging the radio up in the truck.

I sat thinking in the truck if not for seeing those eyes again we both might not had survived this night. I looked to the lake wondering exactly what I had seen. I sat there just staring at the lake for the next hour or so.

The weather started to improve greatly as daylight came upon me. I got out of the truck and walked to the gas tanker. The snow had pretty much drifted up around it. I also saw that the tanker was white in color. There would have been no way for Sherri or me to see it in time to stop. I also noticed that this accident was right around where I had driven off the road just before Christmas time.

I set up some more flares before I returned to the plow truck. I climbed in and as I did, my eyes looked toward the lake. I could now see that there was a large cargo ship in the bay. I also saw that there were two blinking red lights up by the stack. I figured that the ship probably moved into that bay to get out of the weather last night. I also thought how lucky for us that the ship had been there. For with in a few weeks the lake would freeze solid there with no ships able to hide from storms.

The morning sun was rising from the east as I sat there watching it arise from the waters of the lake. Orange Island appeared to me as a smile came across my face. With the sun up, I could also see the name written on the ship. I could not read it good. I remembered there was a pair of binoculars in the glove box.

I removed them and I brought them up to my eyes. I looked to the name on the side of the bow. It was out of focus so I adjusted the binoculars until it came in clearly. I lowered the glasses and looked to the heavens as orange streaks from the morning sun reflected off the few remaining clouds.

“Thank you,” I said aloud as tears ran down my cheek. The name on the side of that ship had read, “The Star of Carrie.”

I was starting to worry about Sherri, as she should have been back a long time ago. I walked back down to the tanker truck as I seen our snowplow coming in from that way. Sherri pulled over with the sheriff department right behind her. We turned the road over to them as I told Sherri it was time to call it quits for now.

“You plow that section back to our office and I will plow the other way,” I said to her.

Sherri shook her head yes and we both jumped into our trucks. We both pulled into our office at around the same time. We parked our trucks around back and I walked her to her side of my truck. I opened her door for her as she smiled to me as she got inside my truck. I got in my side and we drove for home.

“Daddy, why did you tell me to stop?” Sherri asked as I drove home.

I thought for a few seconds before I replied, “Princess, I had to pee,” as I smiled to her.

I had only told her that for her own good. I no longer wanted to involve her with whatever seemed to be guiding my life. I feared that might have brought her troubles upon her. I only knew that she or no one would ever hear about “The Star of Carrie.”

I have never told anyone about that night until now. I sit here typing as tears flow freely down my face. My feelings are mixed. As on one hand, they are happy tears and thankful tears for Carrie watching over us. On the other hand they are tears of sorrow and despair knowing I could not hold her let allow feel her body against mine to thank her by whispering in her ear just how much I miss her and wish she was here.

However back to my story once again. Sherri gave me one of her looks, as I knew she knew I was not telling her something. It did not matter as we both were here at least I thought as I pulled us into our driveway. We walked into the house and into the little room off the kitchen. It was almost eight in the morning as we did. Sherri helped me off with my snowsuit then I helped her to get out of hers.

Sherri pulled the sweatshirt she worn off and over her head. When she had, I noticed marks on her arms. Little round bruises like; they were needle marks that I knew only to well. I grabbed her by the wrist turning the inside of her arm toward me as I looked at it.

I shook my head from side to side as I asked, “WHY, Sherri, WHY?” “Why would you do this?”

“It keeps my demons away,” Sherri replied looking at me.

“NO it only makes your demons stronger,” I said to her as I held her arm up to her.

“LET GO OF MY ARM JOHN,” Sherri screamed at me.

I did not let go of her arm instead I gave it a little twist. Sherri did nothing she just stood there and looked away from me. I had been waiting to see her thigh twitch or her foot to move toward me. I had figured she would defend herself to free her arm from my hand. I looked at her as she just kept staring at the ground as I hear a voice in my head.

“She has no fight left in her Sgt. J she is defenseless and vulnerable,” the monster within me said.

I left her arm go and she looked to me as she said, “I know daddy I have disappointed you once more,” before she ran through the kitchen, down the hallway and into her room.

Kay came running from our bedroom out to me and she asked, “Why was Sherri crying this time?”

I wrapped my arms around Kay pulling her tightly against me as I whispered into her ear these words, “The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.”

I walked her back to our bedroom telling her nothing only that there was no need for any of us to go to work today. I closed the door behind me as I told her I was going to shower then to bed, as it had been a long night. Both girls were gone from the bedroom as I crawled into bed. I was exhausted and still had Sherri on my mind. It seemed as if she was reliving my life through herself. At least all the bad parts, I fell asleep and into nightmares of my own.

I awoke screaming “NO NOT AGAIN,” with sweat poring from my body. I sat there trying to remember the nightmare that had just awoken me. I could not remember any of it. The door opened with Cathy rushing to me.

“JOHN, what is it?” as she came to me on the bed.

I just stared at her not tell her anything. Cathy got off the bed returning with a towel she wiped at the sweat pouring from my pores and from my soul. I closed my eyes, as I knew I had just returned from hell to face another day of a worst hell on earth than anything I faced in my nightmares.

“John, please I want to help you both,” Cathy said as her hand took the towel wiping at my face.

“Please talk to Sherri about the demons with addiction when you see her,” “Say nothing to Kay on this matter,” I said to her

Cathy replied, “I will John I had thought maybe drugs were at play here.” She tilted her head to one side as she asked, “What about you John?”

I placed my hand to the side of her face as I replied, “Thank you but my soul knows its way around these dark places we all visit from time to time.” I smiled to her as I added, “Besides I have others who walks with me at all times to guide me when I become lost or confused.”

I lie back in the bed with Cathy beside me. She rubs her hand on my chest as I close my eyes once again. I awake to another hand pushing at my chest.

“Get up daddy,” “Daddy get up dinner is ready,” Sherri is saying as she stands over me by the bed.

“Yeah OK I am awake,” I replied still in a daze.

“You might want to take care of that before you get up Daddy,” Sherri said.

“Take care of what?” I asked sitting part way up in the bed.

Sherri yanked the bed covers from me and replied, “That thing,” as she points to my hard morning wake you up cock.

Sherri gives a laugh and runs from the room. I swing my feet off the bed as I place my face into my hands. I tell myself I do not know if I can take much more of this. One minute my daughter is that sweet little girl I remember watching grow up and then she is the other person who I just do not know.

I heard the monster with in say, “Does not matter whom she is Sgt. J for she will always be in our hearts.”

I got dressed to the smell of pork chops that brings a little bit of happiness to my mind and my tired body. I make my way out to the kitchen to see that everyone is at the table sitting down even Brad. I know he is to blame as I sit there staring at him. The fucking young punk will not even look me in the eye.

“Eat John, Sherri did all the cooking,” Kay said as her hand touches mine.

“It’s not poisoned is it?” I ask in a whisper.

“What did you say?” Kay asked.

“It sure smells good,” I replied smiling to her.

I start to eat and I look toward Sherri. I see that she has a long shirt on to cover the tracks on her arms. It sickens me as I look at her covered arm. I look to Brad who is finally making eye contact with me. I stare deeply into his soul with rage in my eyes

“DAMN dude why don’t you just jump across the table and kill me,” Brad said with a slight smile on his face.

Cathy’s hand went to mine as I replied, “Don’t tempt me son,” “Don’t ever tempt me.”

Kay’s hand turns my face toward hers as she said, “Sherri told us about last night John,” “You two were lucky you had to pee.”

“I had to what?” I asked. “OH yeah I had to pee,” I then said remembering what I had told Sherri.

I turned back to see Brad walking back toward Sherri’s bedroom. I shook my head from side to side, as I return to eating. I look over to see Sherri staring at me.

“That boy sure sleeps a lot,” I said looking away from her.

“I wear him out like mom and Cathy do you,” Sherri replies smartly.

I started to say something back to her when Kay suddenly stood up as she yells, “WILL YOU two stop it, just fucking stop it,” as she runs from the kitchen crying toward the bedroom.

I turn to Cathy as I said, “Please go to her Cathy she needs you more than she needs me right now.”

I waited until Cathy was out of the kitchen and into our bedroom with Kay. I then turn my attention to Sherri. I stare at her for a few seconds as she stares at me.

“If you would like princess you and Brad can find a place and I will cover it until you can pay me back,” I said to her.

“That may be best daddy and I am sorry for what I said,” Sherri replied as she came over to me.

I scooted back from the table in my chair as I pulled her down onto my lap. She wrapped her arms around me as I wrapped my arms around her. We rested our heads together for a while before Sherri removed hers from mine.

“Cathy talked to me daddy, I understand about doing what I had been,” “I will stop before I no longer can,” Sherri said to me.

“That’s the girl I remember,” I replied hugging her.

Sherri whispered into my ear as I did, “I know angel Carrie had some thing to do with last night daddy.” Sherri pulled herself from me standing up as she added, “I can only hope you will be there when I need you.”

I reach my hand out touching the side of her face as I replied, “All of us will be there when you need us,” as a lone tear ran down my cheek.

Sherri smiled at me as her finger caught my tear. She held it on her fingertip looking at it. Then she placed her fingertip onto my lips, as I taste the tear that I shed for her.

“Shed your tears not for me for I only cry for myself now,” “Soon daddy this will all be over and we can cry together as one,” Sherri said with a smile as she walked away from me.

The fighting between Sherri and I started to take its toll on Kay. I had to do something; I thought that getting them their own place was the best choice. Sherri and Brad found their own place the next day. I reissued her credit card and told her to get what ever they needed as long as it was not drugs. Things started to return to normal somewhat. At least peace returned to our house on the lake when those two moved out.

Sherri came to work for me and she was always there waiting for me in the morning. She helped me plow every day and on weekends when we had too. I would check her arms every now and then. She hated when I did however, I told her I had to do it, as it was policy with our company.

The men on our crew took Sherri back with open arms. They all made her feel welcomed and I even heard a few of them tell her if she ever needed to talk they were there. I was proud of my men for doing just that and in the fact; they saw the same troubled eyes I did.

OH Sherri and I still had words but always in private. We made sure that Kay never heard or knew that we still were not getting along with each other. We took turns on telling the other how sorry we were for the fight we just had. As to Brad, we all only seen him when we had a family get together. This was OK with me because I just did not like that boy. I always kept it to myself only because of Kay.

I wanted to start going out again on Friday nights just Sherri and I once again. I thought maybe that it would help us. However, Sherri told me she could not because of Brad. I grew to dislike this boy every day. Winter turned to spring then into summer.

That lazy good for nothing bastard still was not working. All he did was lay around at home, as Sherri worked. Sherri came into work one day with her sunglasses on and she worn them right into her office.

I asked her about it and she told me her eyes had been bothering her and the doctor had told her to wear dark glasses. I did not think anymore of it.
Then a few weeks later Sherri had came over to join her mom and Cathy in our hot tub. I noticed a big bruise on her thigh. I asked about it and she explained she had fallen getting out of her truck.

“I am clumsy sometimes like you daddy,” Sherri said with a smile.

Now I do trip some times, however Sherri was 20 years younger than I was. However, it slipped through my mind not giving it much of a thought. I had to go away for a business convection; well OK it was a big party where construction guys go to get together maybe play with some new big boy toys that are out on the market.

I had asked each of the girls to go with me. I got a NO from Kay, I got a No from Cathy, and I asked Sherri if she wanted to come along with me. She also told me No as well. They all told me I deserved to go and have fun all by myself.

I thought a whole two week to get away from all my problems, my troubles. I decided to do it. The first week of September I hit the road for a little long over due RR. Two days into my little vacation and my nightmares returned. I took to hitting the bottle a little heavier than I should have as well. It did nothing for my nightmares however; it did alone me to get my frustration out of my system. The best way a man knows how.

That was by busting a few heads opened. They were just three to five simple separate bar fights. Nothing-major just men not agreeing with something one had said or done. It was 1995 I was going to turn 44 when I returned home. I think I went on that trip just to raise hell one more time in my life. One last man thing before I finally settle my ass down. It may have been just to see if I could still run with the big dogs.

I did not do badly at it; oh sure I took a few more hits than I probably should have; maybe some bruised ribs that hurt like hell. However, I walked out of those bar fights never carried from the bar. Besides the other person always looked worst than I did.

That and I also made some new friends along the way. I always enjoying running into a fellow vet while on the road. I was surprised that most of them were just like me. We all thought we had left that dam war far behind us only to have it strike back at us some way or the other. I would give special thanks to two vets who helped me when I had bit off a little too much for me to handle.

I had met them as soon as I walked into the bar. I was wearing a flight jacket that commemorated Vietnam. Sherri had gotten it for me it had Sgt. J on it as well as the places I saw action at while in Vietnam. They saw the jacket and they came over to talk. I found out that the three of us had a lot in common.

We all were Vietnam vets, we all returned home with more baggage than we went there with. They were feeling as I was and they too were having some problems with their sons at home. Thanks Walt and Carl Semper Fi to you both. You two helped Sgt. J make it home once again, safely from a war I was fighting with myself.

I was feeling old and useless before I went on my little get away. It seemed as I was getting nowhere with Sherri other than she seemed to be happy while at work. I came damn real close to just giving up on her however; my soul would not allow that to happen. To be truthful I felt like running away and never coming back. The daughter I had grown so fond of was beginning to get on my nerves. The two of us did not even fish together anymore. Sure Kay and Cathy picked up fishing right away and I enjoyed my time with them on the lake. However, I wanted Sherri in my boat.

The daughter I had grown to cherish and love had become my enemy. It sickens me to think about just how badly we treated each other back then. Our fights would be over stupid little things and we both knew it however, we were just too stubborn to end them. That and the fact Sherri would turn submissive on me if our fights got to where I had to grab her arm. If only she would have kicked me in my balls or hip tossed me to the ground. My daughter won all our verbal fights, as she knew where to hurt me the most. Her words stabbed deep into my heart during our fights. I had to get away before it did anymore damage to me.

Only one person back at home knew what I was feeling or going through. That was my dear wife Kay. I thought I had hidden it well however she saw right through me. The woman I loved more than anything knew what was going through my mind.

“I will not try to stop you John for I know you must do what you believe you have to do.” “I could tell you hundreds or thousands of reasons why you don’t, however I know it would not stop you,” Kay said to me when she dropped me off at the airport. “Just you make sure that you make it back to me in one piece, you hear ME MISTER,” Kay added with a smile and a tear.

After the bar fight in which Walt and Carl joined me defending the honor of soldiers fighting in a land far from their own. I returned to my hotel room, checked out, and hailed a cab. I went to the airport and booked myself on the next plane home. I sat in the airport waiting for my plane to take off. I saw a lovely longhaired blonde standing by the unloading gate. She rather reminded me of Carrie from the back. I found myself watching her as I could tell from the look on her face what and whom she was waiting for.

I watched as the people from the plane that had just landed started to filter through those gates. The lovely blonde-haired woman was standing on her tiptoes looking and searching. I spotted him long before she did. A young soldier dress in desert camo walking with his pack slung over his shoulder.

The smile on the blonde-haired women face grew as she finally spotted him. He finally got to where she could run to him. She ran to him and as she got to him, he dropped his pack taking her into his arms. They kissed as he swung her around.

I watched them as I wiped the tear from my eye before it rolled down my cheek. I made it as if I had something in my eye just in case anyone was watching me. They kissed forever it seemed like before they walked toward me. I could see the Sgt. stripes on his uniform. I also seen his Operation Desert Storm patch on his bag so I knew he had seen some action 3 years early when that was going down. I stood up as the soldier got near me and I held out my hand.

The soldier took mine shaking it as I said, “Welcome home Sgt.”

“Good to be back and thanks Sgt. J,” the soldier replied giving me a little smile and the nod of his head.

I was at a lost when he called me Sgt. J until I remembered that I was wearing that jacket. The lovely blonde-haired woman smiled at me as she laid her head to his arm and they walked away. I could tell she was happy to have him back. I sat back down and said a small pray hoping that they lived a happy and long life together. I called Kay to tell her I was coming home.

I soon boarded my own plane for home. I was no returning soldier coming from battle but my tired body sure felt like it. The bruised ribs I had were making it hard to breathe with each step I took. My lip had a small cut on it as well as the small band-aid that covered a cut above my left eye. Battle scars from my last bar fight which I wore proudly.

I saw Kay and Cathy standing there waiting for me. They hugged each other and pointed to me. They rather jumped up and down while in each other’s arms. I stopped and looked behind me to see if maybe some one famous was behind me. I walked up to them sitting my briefcase down and opening my arms. I took them both into my arms leaving out a sigh of pain as they wrapped their arms around me hugging me tightly.

“Easy girls I have some bruised ribs,” I said to them trying to catch my breath.

Cathy pulled the shirt I had on up looking to the bruising at the side of my chest. She shook her head from side to side as she said, “JOHN, those are broken ribs not bruised.”

“OH really I had not noticed,” I replied smiling.

Kay turned my face toward her as she stared into my eyes. Her hand rubbed at my face. She took her finger over the cut on my lip. Her finger went up to my eye where she traced it across the bad aid over my eye. Her finger returned to my lips as her lovely blue eyes shined and sparkled.

“Do you feel better John?” Kay asked with a smile.

I smiled at her and then to Cathy as I replied, “Only because I am back where I belong.”

The girls pulled me down to their size as they kissed me all over my face. My ribs really started to hurt as I left out a little laugh at what some had just said as they walked by us. They had said, “Gee get a room.”

The girls took me home and Cathy wrapped my ribs up to where I could breathe a whole lot easier. I remembered I had gotten the two of them a little something while I was away. I got my briefcase and pulled out two wrapped boxes that I gave to them. They ripped their boxes open and their eyes got big.

“JOHN, you shouldn’t have,” They both said in unison.

“Lovely diamond hearts for the two loveliest ladies with the biggest hearts I know of as well as the strength to put up with me,” I said to them.

The girls loved their necklaces and I loved the fact they did. I also told the girls not to let Sherri know that I had returned. I needed some time to heal physically before I returned to dealing with her. Within a week, I could not stand being home alone so I returned to work. My ribs were still killing me however; I hid the pain from everyone. Sherri came to me when I returned to work and she hugged me.

It was a quick hug then she backed away from me as she said, “Daddy you’re hurt.”

“Just some broken ribs I will heal,” I replied to her.

“I know that hurts daddy,” Sherri said and ran from me.

Cathy and Kay saw her run out the door and they came into my office closing the door behind them. I listened to the girls as they told me everything I already knew about Sherri. Her anger, how she can suddenly become very submissive, how she could go from being the good little girl to a foul mouth spoiled little brat in a heartbeat. How her lovely blue eyes never sparkled anymore. The only one thing I did not know was what Kay told me.

“John, she thought you had run away leaving her,” Kay said.

“We both explained to her why you went away however she blamed herself for that as well,” Cathy added.

“Cathy and I realized something while you were gone as well John,” Kay said.

“What was that?” I asked.

“John, she acts as if something is very wrong especially in the way she looks at me lately,” Kay replied. Kay hung her head to the floor then looked up into my eyes as she added, “John, she reminds me of what I went through.”

“We are not for sure but we think Brad is abusing her,” Cathy added.

“She can defend herself, she knows how to deal with men like that,” I replied as I sat down behind my desk.

The girls just stared at me as if I was crazy or something. I told them both not to worry, as it would all end soon. They both stood there still staring at me.

“JOHN, you’re not thinking right,” Kay yelled out.

Cathy put her arms around her as she said, “Leave it be Kay he knows what he is doing,” as she took her from my office.

I leaned back in my chair taking in a big gulp of air into my lungs. The pain I should have felt masked by the rage building up inside me. I could feel all my nerve ending firing at once as if my body had just been turned on to high alert. I looked to Carrie’s photo hanging on the wall. I closed my eyes as her voice filled my head.

“The time will come soon take no action until then or lose your daughter forever,” her voice echoed in my head.

I followed her voice while at the same time I kept my eye on Sherri every second we worked. I took her off her project and had her as my right hand again. I gave her the excuse that I needed her help on this project.

I studied her for two weeks and I believed that Kay’s fears were right, as make up will only hide some of the bruising. I also noticed that the fighting between us had ended. I also noticed that she would stare at me from time to time. I asked her if she wanted to tell me something.

“No daddy just tired you know how it is,” Sherri said to me as she looked to the floor.

I went to her and I lifted her head up as I replied, “We all are here when you need us.”

“I know daddy, I know,” Sherri said even managing a little smile.

I had a business meeting to go to which would take me out of town for the last weekend of September. A few days before I was to leave I got a feeling. I asked Kay and Cathy to go to the meeting for me. I did not tell them my reasoning only that I was too busy to go. The girls left Friday afternoon nothing happened or anything and I thought that maybe I had been wrong. I went to work Saturday and Sherri called me telling me that she did not feel good. I told her to stay home I could handle it alone.

I worked until around two in the afternoon before I returned home. I sat by the phone the rest of the day and into the night. I slipped my all black outfit on as well. Halloween was about to come early again to our neighborhood.

The phone rang loudly at 9:15 that night.

That will end this chapter. As always, please let me know that you are enjoying my story. Sorry I took a little longer in getting this chapter out as it was a time in my life I just soon forget. Nothing breaks your heart or your will more than thinking your little girl does not love you anymore at least it did to me. I leave you with what I learned from this time in my life.

I learned the art of war at a young age playing army in our neighborhood. I also learned of it at NCO school through Sun Tzu the Art of War. During this turbulent time with my daughter Sherri, our lives were chaotic and restless: marked by changes, disturbances, and unrest. I blame the soldier in me. Yes, the great Sgt. J was wrong and human after all.

While in the army I learned to regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them, as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.

I thought I was doing right in my thinking. However, I was not. I know now you must listen and read between the lines that your child is trying to say to you. Sure, it may bruise your heart but if you love that daughter or son, they will never break your heart no matter what they have done.
Sgt. J

Anonymous readerReport

2015-09-11 16:55:21
I have read your story from the beginning to this chapter and i was say your story is ver 'catchy' and mind blowing. Love your story Sgt.J

anonymous readerReport

2013-11-25 12:08:22
One of the first things I learned as a 30 year police officer is you can do just about anything to a mans son and you will only make him moderately angry. However if you hurt a mans daughter, he will do his level best to put you in the ground.

anonymous readerReport

2013-08-17 13:21:05
I can only say one thing at this point...This is as much therapy for Sgt J as it is enlightening for us, the reader...There are those out there that only want to complain about the writing....To them I say, "If you do not like this story, or the way it is written, then stop reading it...I, along with many other vets, fought to defend your right to be ill mannered and ignorant....Hang i there Semper Fi, Sgt J."

anonymous readerReport

2013-07-13 22:22:45
I agree fully with ElBlanco, I''ve found that all your chapters have been fantastic, some of them took me a while to get through - I've discovered since starting to read your story that's it's a bit hard to read when you have tears in your eyes!!!
I disagree with ElBlanco on one minor point, I honestly believe that you have a LOT MORE THAN JUST "ONE" DEVOTED READER?

anonymous readerReport

2013-07-13 04:00:20
I agree fully with ElBlanco, I''ve found that all your chapters have been fantastic, some of them took me a while to get through - I've discovered since starting to read your story that's it's a bit hard to read when you have tears in your eyes!!!
I disagree with ElBlanco on one minor point, I honestly believe that you have a LOT MORE THAN JUST "ONE" DEVOTED READER?

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