Issuu on Google+


(#)%*#)+ The author chooses to spare the reader from a lengthy introduction, preface, or the traditional acknowledgments. Let’s just get on with it. While this book is based on a true story, surnames have been used for nearly all of the characters simply because it seemed the right thing to do. You all know who you are in the author’s life, as well as who you are in the lives of others. My love and genuine thanks to each of you for your encouragement and support. Where names of actual institutions or characters are used, it is out of enormous respect and heartfelt appreciation for the professional attributes, care, and services provided. Any personal conclusions drawn by the author for actual events contained in this story are purely conjecture.


!"#$

!"##$%$&'$ %&'

()$*+)&',"--.


For Sher

Copyright Š 2012 Gregory Mills All rights reserved. ISBN: 1466448040 ISBN-13: 9781466448049 Cover Photo by Gregory Mills www.lifechoosesus.com


For Sher

Copyright Š 2012 Gregory Mills All rights reserved. ISBN: 1466448040 ISBN-13: 9781466448049 Cover Photo by Gregory Mills www.lifechoosesus.com


(#)%*#)+ The author chooses to spare the reader from a lengthy introduction, preface, or the traditional acknowledgments. Let’s just get on with it. While this book is based on a true story, surnames have been used for nearly all of the characters simply because it seemed the right thing to do. You all know who you are in the author’s life, as well as who you are in the lives of others. My love and genuine thanks to each of you for your encouragement and support. Where names of actual institutions or characters are used, it is out of enormous respect and heartfelt appreciation for the professional attributes, care, and services provided. Any personal conclusions drawn by the author for actual events contained in this story are purely conjecture.


(#)%*#)+ The author chooses to spare the reader from a lengthy introduction, preface, or the traditional acknowledgments. Let’s just get on with it. While this book is based on a true story, surnames have been used for nearly all of the characters simply because it seemed the right thing to do. You all know who you are in the author’s life, as well as who you are in the lives of others. My love and genuine thanks to each of you for your encouragement and support. Where names of actual institutions or characters are used, it is out of enormous respect and heartfelt appreciation for the professional attributes, care, and services provided. Any personal conclusions drawn by the author for actual events contained in this story are purely conjecture.


(#)%*#)+ The author chooses to spare the reader from a lengthy introduction, preface, or the traditional acknowledgments. Let’s just get on with it. While this book is based on a true story, surnames have been used for nearly all of the characters simply because it seemed the right thing to do. You all know who you are in the author’s life, as well as who you are in the lives of others. My love and genuine thanks to each of you for your encouragement and support. Where names of actual institutions or characters are used, it is out of enormous respect and heartfelt appreciation for the professional attributes, care, and services provided. Any personal conclusions drawn by the author for actual events contained in this story are purely conjecture.


"#$

/0$'1+)20 34'56.'6'7)"86&'698:'6.';.;6-:'0$'56.'."44"9*'+9'40$'<+)20'+#' 40$'-"44-$'0+;.$:'40$')6"9'=$64"9*'8+59';<+9'40$')++#:'+>$)? ÁRZLQJ WKH FORJJHG JXWWHUV DQG ZDVKLQJ GRZQ DURXQG 40$' ;.$-$..' 8+59.<+;4.@' 34' .$$A$8' 4064' "4' 068' )6"9$8' #+)' A+940.' 698:' "9' 6--' )$6-"4&:' "4' <)+=6=-&' 068@' B0$9' .4)69*? $).'6.C$8'0"A'+>$)'40$'&$6).'"#'"4')$6--&')6"9$8'"9'D$644-$'6.' PXFKDVIRONVVDLGKH·GÀQDOO\JLYHQXSWKHIDLUSHUVSHFWLYH 698' ."A<-&' .6"8:' EF$.@@@A+)$:' 624;6--&@G' H98' 4+86&' 56.9I4'' 69&'8"##$)$94@ J$'8)+<<$8'40$'-6.4'+#'0".'2"*6)$44$'"94+'40$');.4&'2+##$$' 269' 4064' .64' 64+<' 6' 2++-$)' =$."8$' 40$' 5+)9' 698' 4644$)$8' +>$).4;##$8'206")K40$'$L4$94'+#'40$'#;)9"4;)$'+9'40$'5++8? $9'<+)20@',+)*69'56.9I4'A;20'#+)'2+A<69&'+)'-"#$'"9'*$9? HUDOWKHVHGD\VDQGZDVVDWLVÀ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

!


()$*+)&',"--. ,+)*69' <)+=6=-&' .<$94' 6' 2+;<-$' 0+;).' 6' 86&' +9' 0".' <+)20:' +)' 0+5$>$)' -+9*' "4' 4++C' 0"A' 4+' ;.$' ;<' 6' <62C' +#' VPRNHVZDWFKLQJWKHĂ&#x20AC;WDQGDFWLYHMRJJHUVDQGELF\FOLVWV "9' 40$' <6)C' =&' 40$' -6C$' 62)+..' 40$' .4)$$4@' J$' $9>"$8' 40$")' $9$)*&' 698' 50$9' 0$' 2+;-8' 8".4)624' 0"A.$-#' #)+A' 0".' +59' 40+;*04.:'5+98$)$8'5064'$620'+#'40$")'-">$.'698'40$")'#6A"? -"$.'5$)$'-"C$@'O$)46"9-&:'40$")'$L".4$92$'56.'#6)'8"##$)$94'#)+A' KLV IXOO RI WKHLU MREV WKHLU NLGV LQ VFKRRO IULHQGV QHLJKERUV 40$'$>$9"9*'A$6-:'698'40$")'9$L4'<-699$8'0+-"86&'4+*$40$)@' J$I8'068'6--'+#'4064'+92$:'=;4'9+5:'"9'40$'=62C'$98'+#'0".' Ă&#x20AC;IWLHVLWKDGDOOEHFRPHOLWWOHPRUHWKDQSDWFKHVRIGLVFRQ? QHFWHGPHPRULHVHDFKLQFUHDVLQJO\GLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWWRUHFDOO /0$' 56"-"9*' .")$9' +#' 69' 6"8' 26)' "9' 40$' 8".4692$' "94$)? );<4$8'0".'"98"##$)$92$'698'0$'2+;-8'"AA$8"64$-&'4$--'4064' 40$'.+;98'56.'2+A"9*'2-+.$)@'J$'C9$5'"9.4694-&'4064'"4'56.' 2+A"9*';<'0".'.4)$$4'698'5+;-8'<6..'=&'0".'0+;.$@@@694"2"? <64"9*'698'064"9*'40$')$6-"4&'+#'5064'0$'56.'6=+;4'4+')$26--' 698' $98;)$@' D;88$9-&' 40$' )$.2;$).' 5$)$' ;<+9' 0".' 0+;.$:' DOWHULQJWKHLUVLUHQDWWKHLQWHUVHFWLRQRIWKHSDUNOLJKWVĂ DVK? LQJUHĂ HFWHGE\WKHEODFNZHWQHVVRIWKHURDGDQGWKHQ .<$$8"9*' <6.4@' /0$' .+;98' +#' 40$' 0$6)4?)$98"9*' .")$9' *)$5' 5$6C$)' 6.' 40$&' 8".6<<$6)$8' 8+59' 40$' .4)$$4@' ,+)*69' #+;98' -"44-$' )$-"$#' "9' 40$' #624' 4064' 40$&' 0689I4' .4+<<$8@' J".' WKRXJKWVZHUHUXSWXUHGE\WKHĂ DVKEDFNRIWKDW)ULGD\DI? 4$)9++9:'50$9'40$&'068@

,-.

,"%&./%0123"4&546/+ Their eyes met across the dance floor as the sounds of Kool and the Gangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Celebrateâ&#x20AC;? thumped above the rhythmic throng, pushing the sensual tension of a singles Saturday night beneath the glittering disco ball. It was 1982. Michael had seen her in the club a week or so before and she had captured his attention then. By his guess, she was a little older than him, sun-bed tanned, tall, dark-haired, and dressed in a white tuxedo blouse, black slacks, and a red bow tie and cummerbundâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all smartly complementing her knockout body. The entire package had been assembled to be noticed, subtly outrageous and slightly over the top. Even at a distance, the beacon of her smile conveyed her confidence and let all in sight of her appreciate the way she carried herself and that, indeed, she was the real deal. Being shy and somewhat conscious of rejection, he hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mustered up the stuff to ask her to dance the week before and it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t any different this night. His bashful nature kept him attached to his stool at the bar, often hoping that the lady would take the initiative, ask him to dance or strike up a conversation. He was a decent enough looking guy and, occasionally, his looks would serve and the woman would make the first move. When Michael had his â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;on the prowlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wits about him and did step up to the plate, he usually engaged the patented ploy of asking the

%

3


()$*+)&',"--. ,+)*69' <)+=6=-&' .<$94' 6' 2+;<-$' 0+;).' 6' 86&' +9' 0".' <+)20:' +)' 0+5$>$)' -+9*' "4' 4++C' 0"A' 4+' ;.$' ;<' 6' <62C' +#' VPRNHVZDWFKLQJWKHĂ&#x20AC;WDQGDFWLYHMRJJHUVDQGELF\FOLVWV "9' 40$' <6)C' =&' 40$' -6C$' 62)+..' 40$' .4)$$4@' J$' $9>"$8' 40$")' $9$)*&' 698' 50$9' 0$' 2+;-8' 8".4)624' 0"A.$-#' #)+A' 0".' +59' 40+;*04.:'5+98$)$8'5064'$620'+#'40$")'-">$.'698'40$")'#6A"? -"$.'5$)$'-"C$@'O$)46"9-&:'40$")'$L".4$92$'56.'#6)'8"##$)$94'#)+A' KLV IXOO RI WKHLU MREV WKHLU NLGV LQ VFKRRO IULHQGV QHLJKERUV 40$'$>$9"9*'A$6-:'698'40$")'9$L4'<-699$8'0+-"86&'4+*$40$)@' J$I8'068'6--'+#'4064'+92$:'=;4'9+5:'"9'40$'=62C'$98'+#'0".' Ă&#x20AC;IWLHVLWKDGDOOEHFRPHOLWWOHPRUHWKDQSDWFKHVRIGLVFRQ? QHFWHGPHPRULHVHDFKLQFUHDVLQJO\GLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWWRUHFDOO /0$' 56"-"9*' .")$9' +#' 69' 6"8' 26)' "9' 40$' 8".4692$' "94$)? );<4$8'0".'"98"##$)$92$'698'0$'2+;-8'"AA$8"64$-&'4$--'4064' 40$'.+;98'56.'2+A"9*'2-+.$)@'J$'C9$5'"9.4694-&'4064'"4'56.' 2+A"9*';<'0".'.4)$$4'698'5+;-8'<6..'=&'0".'0+;.$@@@694"2"? <64"9*'698'064"9*'40$')$6-"4&'+#'5064'0$'56.'6=+;4'4+')$26--' 698' $98;)$@' D;88$9-&' 40$' )$.2;$).' 5$)$' ;<+9' 0".' 0+;.$:' DOWHULQJWKHLUVLUHQDWWKHLQWHUVHFWLRQRIWKHSDUNOLJKWVĂ DVK? LQJUHĂ HFWHGE\WKHEODFNZHWQHVVRIWKHURDGDQGWKHQ .<$$8"9*' <6.4@' /0$' .+;98' +#' 40$' 0$6)4?)$98"9*' .")$9' *)$5' 5$6C$)' 6.' 40$&' 8".6<<$6)$8' 8+59' 40$' .4)$$4@' ,+)*69' #+;98' -"44-$' )$-"$#' "9' 40$' #624' 4064' 40$&' 0689I4' .4+<<$8@' J".' WKRXJKWVZHUHUXSWXUHGE\WKHĂ DVKEDFNRIWKDW)ULGD\DI? 4$)9++9:'50$9'40$&'068@

,-.

,"%&./%0123"4&546/+ Their eyes met across the dance floor as the sounds of Kool and the Gangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Celebrateâ&#x20AC;? thumped above the rhythmic throng, pushing the sensual tension of a singles Saturday night beneath the glittering disco ball. It was 1982. Michael had seen her in the club a week or so before and she had captured his attention then. By his guess, she was a little older than him, sun-bed tanned, tall, dark-haired, and dressed in a white tuxedo blouse, black slacks, and a red bow tie and cummerbundâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all smartly complementing her knockout body. The entire package had been assembled to be noticed, subtly outrageous and slightly over the top. Even at a distance, the beacon of her smile conveyed her confidence and let all in sight of her appreciate the way she carried herself and that, indeed, she was the real deal. Being shy and somewhat conscious of rejection, he hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mustered up the stuff to ask her to dance the week before and it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t any different this night. His bashful nature kept him attached to his stool at the bar, often hoping that the lady would take the initiative, ask him to dance or strike up a conversation. He was a decent enough looking guy and, occasionally, his looks would serve and the woman would make the first move. When Michael had his â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;on the prowlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wits about him and did step up to the plate, he usually engaged the patented ploy of asking the

%

3


!"#$'!"##$%$&'$

()$*+)&',"--. target babe’s lesser-looking friend to dance first. This invariably caused the desired two reactions from the woman he prized. First, she would decide that he was kind and gentle enough to ask her homely girlfriend to dance and, secondly, she would inevitably wonder why he had asked her friend and not her. On some nights this gambit worked and on others he went home alone. At thirtytwo, Michael had enjoyed his full share of fun through the ’70s and had dated a lot of women. “There she is again,” Michael said to Barry as they looked across the floor. “You like that old stuff?” “That old stuff, I do.” Michael and Barry weren’t close pals, but they’d gone through high school together and found each other on the same slow-pitch softball team this past spring. Both single, they’d started to hang out together sometimes on weekends, choosing bars with babes and hoping to score. Michael had agreed to go back to a trendy cowboy bar with Barry on this night, even though Barry had surprised him the week before when, stepping away from their table to ride the mechanical bull, he had dropped his concealed .45-mm under the table and into Michael’s lap. “Hang on to this for a minute,” Barry had said. The act had startled Michael as he’d never been much on guns since losing a childhood friend to a hunting accident back in high school. The piece was heavy and cold and he was relieved when Barry returned after a very brief encounter with the mechanical bull. Barry split an hour later and, quite frankly, Michael was half glad to see him go. He hadn’t been much conversation to Barry, remaining completely taken with the brunette. Ever smiling, she had graciously danced the evening away with any guy that mustered up the courage to ask. She danced provocatively and with

4

incredible rhythm for every funky tune the DJ spun from her station at the corner of the floor. It was a little past midnight and, returning to her table, she was laughing with her friends after giving another suggestive dance clinic to some poor sap who, despite his deepest desires, would be going home alone tonight. At least without her, anyway. She stood, sipping her drink, and looked across the floor, where again she met Michael’s eyes. Surprised, he averted his gaze at first but forced himself back into the moment and met her eyes. She blushed and then also looked away for a moment, whispering something to her friend. They both laughed and then, setting her glass down, she filtered through the crowd and approached Michael at the bar. While it seemed his plan to get her attention had worked, he was surprised just the same and grateful for the casual attitude and courage he’d found in the scotch that he had nursed throughout the course of the evening. As she drew closer, Michael realized that she was even better-looking than he’d imagined. She paused before him a moment, thoughtfully studying the features of his face. Flashing her smile and extending her hand, she softly said, “Come dance with me,” taking Michael to the center of the floor—her spot, and the ground she’d dominated all evening. Michael didn’t dance very well, particularly to the funky beat of disco, but figured he wasn’t much worse than the rest of the white guys in the club. It always helped if he’d had a drink or two to help loosen his gears. But dancing with her at that moment was an intimidating experience. She was perfect, exotic, and Michael wished that he’d paid a little more attention to John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Halfway through the song, she looked up at him smiling and said, “You’re a great dancer!” And while he felt he might have been holding his own, he was surprised and pleased she would say so. The next song was a slow dance and, feeling

5


!"#$'!"##$%$&'$

()$*+)&',"--. target babe’s lesser-looking friend to dance first. This invariably caused the desired two reactions from the woman he prized. First, she would decide that he was kind and gentle enough to ask her homely girlfriend to dance and, secondly, she would inevitably wonder why he had asked her friend and not her. On some nights this gambit worked and on others he went home alone. At thirtytwo, Michael had enjoyed his full share of fun through the ’70s and had dated a lot of women. “There she is again,” Michael said to Barry as they looked across the floor. “You like that old stuff?” “That old stuff, I do.” Michael and Barry weren’t close pals, but they’d gone through high school together and found each other on the same slow-pitch softball team this past spring. Both single, they’d started to hang out together sometimes on weekends, choosing bars with babes and hoping to score. Michael had agreed to go back to a trendy cowboy bar with Barry on this night, even though Barry had surprised him the week before when, stepping away from their table to ride the mechanical bull, he had dropped his concealed .45-mm under the table and into Michael’s lap. “Hang on to this for a minute,” Barry had said. The act had startled Michael as he’d never been much on guns since losing a childhood friend to a hunting accident back in high school. The piece was heavy and cold and he was relieved when Barry returned after a very brief encounter with the mechanical bull. Barry split an hour later and, quite frankly, Michael was half glad to see him go. He hadn’t been much conversation to Barry, remaining completely taken with the brunette. Ever smiling, she had graciously danced the evening away with any guy that mustered up the courage to ask. She danced provocatively and with

4

incredible rhythm for every funky tune the DJ spun from her station at the corner of the floor. It was a little past midnight and, returning to her table, she was laughing with her friends after giving another suggestive dance clinic to some poor sap who, despite his deepest desires, would be going home alone tonight. At least without her, anyway. She stood, sipping her drink, and looked across the floor, where again she met Michael’s eyes. Surprised, he averted his gaze at first but forced himself back into the moment and met her eyes. She blushed and then also looked away for a moment, whispering something to her friend. They both laughed and then, setting her glass down, she filtered through the crowd and approached Michael at the bar. While it seemed his plan to get her attention had worked, he was surprised just the same and grateful for the casual attitude and courage he’d found in the scotch that he had nursed throughout the course of the evening. As she drew closer, Michael realized that she was even better-looking than he’d imagined. She paused before him a moment, thoughtfully studying the features of his face. Flashing her smile and extending her hand, she softly said, “Come dance with me,” taking Michael to the center of the floor—her spot, and the ground she’d dominated all evening. Michael didn’t dance very well, particularly to the funky beat of disco, but figured he wasn’t much worse than the rest of the white guys in the club. It always helped if he’d had a drink or two to help loosen his gears. But dancing with her at that moment was an intimidating experience. She was perfect, exotic, and Michael wished that he’d paid a little more attention to John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Halfway through the song, she looked up at him smiling and said, “You’re a great dancer!” And while he felt he might have been holding his own, he was surprised and pleased she would say so. The next song was a slow dance and, feeling

5


()$*+)&',"--. like the play was his this time, he asked her to dance again...and then again. She followed him back to his place that night and they made passionate love. For both, it had been a one-night stand, at best, and in the darkness of the early morning, she had quietly gathered herself up and departed, forgetting her red bowtie and cummerbund on the chair next to his bed. Awaking and finding her gone, Michael could hardly know or imagine that they were to never stop dancing again.

'()$$

/0$'P"420$9 34' 56.' A+A$94.' -64$):' 6#4$)' 40$' 6A=;-692$' 068' <6..$8@' ,+)*69'.0;88$)$8'.-"*04-&'698'.0++C'0".'0$68:'2-$6)"9*'40$' GHWDLORIWKHĂ DVKEDFNDQGWKHRYHUZKHOPLQJDQGXQEHDU? 6=-$' *)6.<' "9' 50"20' "4' "9>6)"6=-&' 0$-8' 0"A@' ()62"+;.-&:' 40$' A$A+)&'56.'.-+5-&'2+A"9*'4+'0"A'-$..'+#4$9'40$.$'86&.@'J$' C9$5'4064'"4'5+;-8'0+-8'0"A'#+)'-"#$:'=;4'5+;-89I4'A$946--&' 2)"<<-$'0"A'6.'"4'+92$'068@ J$'-"#4$8'40$'=;44'269'+##'+#'0".'$98'46=-$'698')$620$8' IRUDQRWKHUFDQRI+LJK/LIHĂ&#x20AC;QGLQJKLVFRROHUHPSW\DJDLQ 34'.$$A$8'4064'40".'56.'06<<$9"9*'5"40'"92)$6."9*'#)$Q;$9? 2&' 698:' 6.' 5"40' 40$' $98-$..' A&)"68' +#' Q;$.4"+9.' 0$' 6.C$8' +#'0"A.$-#'$620'86&:'0$'5+98$)$8'"#'0$'56.'8)"9C"9*'A+)$' 4069'0$'.0+;-8@ 1;--"9*' 0"A.$-#' +;4' +#' 40$' ="*' 6)A206"):' 0$' .5;9*' 40$' .2)$$9' 8++)' +<$9' 698:' 0$6)"9*' "4' 2-62C' .0;4' =$0"98' 0"A:' 56-C$8'40)+;*0'40$'.A6--'#)+94')++A'698'4+'40$'C"420$9'"9' 40$'=62C'+#'40$'0+;.$@'/0$'IRS.?$)6'P$9A+)$'0;AA$8'6.' 0$'+<$9$8'40$'8++)'698')$4)"$>$8'69+40$)'=$$)@'T6"98)+<.' .4)$6A$8'8+59'40$'5"98+5'4064'-++C$8'"94+'40$'=62C&6)8@' /0$' 8;--:' *)6&' -"*04' +#' 40$' 6#4$)9++9' .0+9$' 40)+;*0' ;<+9' 40$'&$--+5'8"9$44$'.$4'4064'.64'=$9$640'40$'5"98+5@'J$')$? 26--$8'5064'.$$A$8'4+'=$'40$'.6A$'46=-$'698'206").'"9'0".' =+&0++8'0+A$@'%;4'9+5:'40$'6*$8'>"9&-'+9'40$'206").'068'

6

&


Life Chooses Us - by Gregory Mills