This story is loosely written about the song ‘Mr. Lonely’ by Bobby Vinton. Thank you to WanderingScot for his editing.
Here I was in the barracks listening to a radio station that played old time music. They were playing a song I could relate to. Hell, this song was written before I was even born, it was ‘Mr. Lonely’ sung by Bobby Vinton. I knew it was my parents’ kind of music. I remembered them playing records and tapes like this when I was growing up back in Ohio.
Iraq, my new home away from home. I enlisted in the service when I couldn’t find work. I worked a number of jobs after graduation from high school but kept getting laid off. I wasn’t really college material but did like working with my hands.
I often thought I’d like to be an electrician but I needed to go to a trade school for that and my parents just didn’t have the money. I came from a fairly large family, one brother and three sisters. I was the youngest of the crew.
I figured I would work for a year or so and then save up my money. My parents didn’t charge me anything to live at home, and I would go to a trade school. The problem was I kept getting laid off and was lucky to have enough to make my car payment and pay for my insurance.
I talked with my parents about going into the service. They were nervous about it with all the conflicts in the Middle East but they told me it was my decision to make and they wouldn’t stop me. My parents always stood by me. I know they wish they could have helped us all out more but times were a little tough right now. They did the best the could for us.
My last job was working with dad in the furniture warehouse where he’s been employed for thirty years. They had a cut back and I was one of the youngest employees and got laid off.
I guess this is where I talk about Julie. She has been my friend most of my life. She just lived down the block from us. Once we got into junior high school, she became my girlfriend. We went steady and broke up probably a dozen times throughout high school. After all we were still kids. We were still dating while I worked at the warehouse. She went away to college but we kept in touch.
She got pissed at me when she came home one weekend and I told her I enlisted in the Air Force. I would be leaving for San Antonio Texas for boot camp the following week.
We made up and went out for something to eat. Then, back to her basement for some wild sex. I told her it would have to last till I got through boot camp. Damn, we were good together. We’ve been having sex ever since our prom. We were going to wait till we got married but we had no idea when that would have been. We had sex every chance we got.
She was on the pill so I didn’t wear condoms with her. I know for a fact, we were each others’ first. We put a towel on the couch to catch any possible blood the first time. We really didn’t know what to expect. She told me it hurt but only for a little bit. I should mention I did wear a condom till she got on the pill which was about a week after our first time.
I was gone for basic training and sure did miss her. My nights were me lying there wishing she was there. I had a picture of her that I always carried in my vest pocket. Kind of a good luck charm.
Through basic training I stayed faithful to her. It wasn’t easy with all the girls running around but I did stay true. I figured she did too but I really had no way of knowing except for her word.
I came home for three weeks before going on for training. I saw Julie as much as I could but she was at college. I did see all my sisters and my brother and their families. I had one sister not married who was in college also. She was smart and had gotten a scholastic scholarship.
Cheri, my youngest sister told me all through high school that I shouldn’t date just one girl. “James, some day you will get burnt. I hate to say it and I like Julie but you need to date other girls.”
Of course I was a teenager and thought I knew better than anyone. No one could tell me shit. Cheri did date a lot but she dated a number of boys. She was as popular as I was. I guess looking back, I should have listened to her.
I spent most of my first year in the States. I was stationed outside of Las Vegas. I was being trained to be sent to the Middle East. I was also studying to be an electrician. My commanding officer said that we would be helping to rebuild cities and electricians were needed. That’s part of the reason I joined the Air Force.
I made it home twice during the year. Julie and I spent a little time together but she seemed a little different. We still had sex as often as we could.
I was told that we were being sent to Kuwait when I returned to base. I had to admit I was scared and nervous. I guess it was expected but I had to wonder if I made the right choice.
In Kuwait we actually lived in some decent barracks. We spent our days helping to rebuild the cities. It was different than any place I have ever been. If it wasn’t for casino siteleri my fellow soldiers it would have really been a lonely place. I got letters from my mom about once a month and even less from Julie.
In one letter from Julie she told me she would understand if I wasn’t totally faithful to her. She said she talked with her friends and they told her it was hard on servicemen overseas.
I had to wonder if it was me she was worried about or was it that she was the one who was being unfaithful. After that letter I was a little pissed. A couple of buddies and I went into town and went to a bar. It wasn’t long before we were quite drunk and with some women.
When this one gal began rubbing my leg it didn’t take long before I was hard. There were rooms upstairs and we took the girls up there and had sex. When we were done I felt bad, I had cheated on my girl at home.
It was just sex. There wasn’t any loving feeling like I felt with Julie. I mainly just wanted to get off. I tried to stay true to Julie but it was so damn hard, especially when she wasn’t sending me any letters. I would write her and tell her I missed her and wondered how she was doing.
I still got letters from my mom and once in awhile from my sisters but nothing from Julie. I began to go to town on my days off with my buddies and was screwing different women. Most were older than me but I didn’t care. I just wanted to get my rocks off. Sometimes a blowjob and other times I would fuck them.
It cost anywhere from five to twenty dollars depending on what you wanted. The women always acted like they were having a great time and even faked their orgasms. It really wasn’t hard to tell.
I had a couple of months to go on my tour of duty when I got basically a ‘Dear John’ letter from Julie. She told me she hadn’t written me because she was ashamed. She had met a guy at college and had fallen in love with him. She went on and on apologizing to me but the bottom line was the same. She had dumped me.
I really felt bad. That night I kept remembering over and over what my sister had told me. She was right, most childhood love affairs end up just being memories. I even wrote my sister and told her that she was right and now not only was I lonely but also felt very foolish.
I was to go home in two months but for some reason felt ashamed. I went in and signed up for another tour of duty. I would be in the Middle East for another year. Maybe by then things would change on how I felt.
I wrote home and told my parents about Julie and me and that I would be overseas for another year. They told me that they thought I made a mistake signing up for another tour but they would stand behind me.
I was already into my second tour. I made it through the holidays ok. My family sent me gifts and letters. I got a lot of cards from other relatives and people from our church. It was nice but now the holidays were over and I felt alone again.
I was sitting there listening to some of the words of the song. It kind of fit my situation. Sure I knew I was moody but I did feel somewhat alone.
“Lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I have nobody for my own
I am so lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
Wish I had someone to call my own”
“Now I’m a soldier, a lonely soldier
Away from home through no wish of my own
That’s why I’m lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I wish that I could go back home.”
That’s how I felt much of the time. I figured I made a mistake by re-upping but now I had to live with it. Our troop was told that we would be going to Afghanistan to help out there. We knew it was somewhat of a hellhole. We would work there during the day and camp away from the area at night.
It was dangerous but we had a job to do and did our best. It was a relief to get away for a couple of days and go to other small towns even to just visit. The areas seemed so poor. Most everyone was happy to see us. They called us their protector. The sex was easy to get. When the women saw our uniforms I guess they knew we were probably lonely and gave us sex.
I should say they charged us but to fuck a woman for ten dollars was almost nothing. Every time we went to the small villages I had sex with a woman if she was willing. Am I proud of it? No, but everyone did it. Sex is part of life and I was only twenty-one and horny as hell. We always carried condoms to be as safe as we could. We also always traveled in at least pairs.
Sometimes we couldn’t tell who our enemies were, everyone looked alike. I did wonder about the terrorists and suicide bombers. They were going to get all these virgins after they killed themselves and went to Mecca. These virgins weren’t coming from any of the towns I visited. Men sold their wives, daughters, sisters or even their mother if they could. Where were all these virgins coming from? I sure the hell didn’t see them.
Back to the song. I was listening to it and half feeling sorry for myself when we had a mail call. I received a letter from a Mindy Sue Ridenbaugh. canlı casino I had no idea who this person was. I open the letter and in it was a Christmas card along with a letter. Here’s what it said.
I know you are probably wondering who I am and why I’m sending you a Christmas card so late. I went to Christmas Eve service at the church your sister Cheri attends when she’s not in college. I really don’t know her except by sight.
She put your name on a tree for anyone who would like to send cards to our men in uniform. This is odd for me because I don’t usually do things like this but I remember you from high school. I was a freshman the year you were a senior.
I know it must be hard to be away from friends and family. I’m an only child and attend college now. If you would like to correspond, just write me back. I would be happy to send you clips from the newspaper and tell you the latest town gossip.
Who was this Mindy Sue? I thought it was nice of her to write to me and it was a cute card. It’s funny how the simple things like getting a card can cheer you up.
I wrote her back and told her I would love to correspond with her. I did ask her if she would send me a picture of herself so I can picture her while writing to her.
Again Cheri was right. If I had paid more attention to other girls in school instead of spending all my time with Julie, I might have remembered Mindy.
I got a card on Valentine’s Day from Mindy. She wished me the best and hoped I was doing well. She went on to tell me how I was one of the few guys in school who treated her nicely. That made her feel good. She also said that she remembered me always being with Julie and asked if I thought Julie would mind me corresponding with her. She still didn’t send me a picture.
I wrote her back and told her that Julie and I were no longer together and that I was happy to see the Valentines card. I reminded her to send me a picture. I didn’t tell her but I ripped up my picture of Julie and mailed it back to her. I liked to carry a picture as sort of a good luck charm.
I kept thinking about some of the girls at school and did remember a Mindy in school but she was short, rather heavy, a red haired girl with glasses and braces. I had to wonder if this might be her. Needless to say every guy would prefer a sexy looking chick but this girl had heart.
She was the one who gave of her time to write to me and keep me updated on my hometown. Then I remember guys telling me that often the awkward girls at school ended up being the swan. I had to wonder if Mindy might be the same way.
I received letters from her at least every other week. She told me about her family and about her schooling. She did say she was an honor student and was taking secretarial classes. I came to find out that her father owned an Electrical and Furnace supply business. He had three offices and Mindy said after she got a degree she was going to replace her mother in the office.
According to Mindy, her mom was ready to only work part-time and was waiting for Mindy to take her place. In one of my letters I told Mindy that I was taking courses in electrical circuits. I wanted to be an electrician when I finally got out of the service.
She finally sent me a picture. It must have been her graduation picture. It was a head and shoulder shot. It was the Mindy I remembered. She was pretty and had the reddest hair. I could tell she was still heavy but she was now wearing contacts and had her braces removed.
I thanked her for the picture and told her I remembered her. She joked about her weight but said it ran in the family. She hoped I wouldn’t stop writing to her because of her weight.
“Mindy, I’m not that shallow. You have been nice enough to write to me and send cards on every little occasion. I honestly look forward to getting my mail in hopes that I might receive a letter from you.”
She kept writing to me and I really did look forward to her cards and letters. She never said anything about dating or having a boyfriend. Whenever I asked questions about it she by-passed them and went on to tell me other things.
I still had sex with the town women. Of course I never told Mindy nor did she ask. We were just good friends now and I found she really had a humorous side. She sent me some pictures of some girls in bikinis, (none of her) she said so I could tell my buddies these were my women back home.
When I asked her for one of her in a bathing suit she said she laughed and said, “not hardly.” Some day she hoped to lose weight and maybe she might give me one in a one piece bathing suit but she added, she would have a robe on also.
That’s the way it was with Mindy and me. We were pen pals but in a sense I really cared for her. I was no longer ‘Mr. Lonely’- I had a friend who kept in touch with me.
I got one letter from her and she told me that through the grapevine she heard that my old girlfriend, Julie, was pregnant. One kaçak casino weekend when she was home she saw Julie and her mother shopping. She did have a little belly on her. Mindy didn’t mean to be mean as far as I knew she always passed along information about people I knew. It’s been over a year since my Dear John letter.
The winter holidays were arriving again and I got my packages from home. I even got a couple of gifts from Mindy. I sent home gifts for my family and decided to buy something nice for Mindy. I found I could buy jewelry pretty reasonably and sent her a necklace and matching earrings.
When she wrote me back she said she cried when she opened it. She had never received a gift from a man before. I told her I would be coming home at the end of January and asked if she would go out with me on Valentine’s Day.
She wrote back, “James, are you sure you want to be seen with me? Look, I wrote you because I figured you were lonely and could use a friend from home. You’re not obligated to take me out or even see me. I just want you to know I would understand if you should change your mind.”
I did get home at the end of January. I would have four weeks before I would be going back to Nevada to put in my last year of service. I would be going to electrical school and also working on the base. Hopefully I wouldn’t have to return to the Middle East but it could happen. The Air Force owned me for another year.
I called Mindy at school which was in Columbus ninety miles away. I reminded her of our Valentine’s Day date and wanted to make sure she still wanted to go out.
She told me she went home on some weekends but planned on staying at school the weekend of Valentine’s Day. I would have to go there and she would love to go out with me.
I stopped and picked up a heart shaped box of chocolates and a card that said, ‘To my friend’. I arrived at her apartment. It was an apartment that four girls shared. It had a kitchen, bath and living room. It did have four separate bedrooms, one for each girl which gave her privacy. I knew all this from my letters with Mindy.
I knocked on the door and my red haired friend answered it. She looked pretty much like I expected. She was quite overweight but dressed appropriately for a heavier woman. She had on a pair of black slacks and a pretty red blouse.
She did have the most beautiful face and naturally red hair. Her dimples showed when she smiled. Because of her weight, she had quite the rack.
She smiled and invited me in while she got her coat. “Hi James, do you prefer to be called James instead of Jim or Jimmy?” she asked.
“For some reason my family and friends always called me James and it just stuck. I’m named after my dad but everyone calls him Jim. That’s probably how I got stuck with James.”
I handed her the box of candy and the card. She thanked me for the chocolates but said she was going to go on a strict diet and exercise program. She added, “after I eat these chocolates.”
I asked about her roomies and she said two went home for the weekend and the other went out with her boyfriend. She didn’t expect her back that night. She got her coat and we headed out for dinner. I did call ahead and had reservations at a nice restaurant.
We figured we would eat first and then take in a movie. As we ate we talked about our high school. She had told me again how I was one of the few guys who acted nicely toward her. She also mentioned that half the girls in high school would have gone out with me if I had asked them, but I was all wrapped up with Julie.
Mindy did tell me that she did go on a few dates but all the guys wanted was sex and she wasn’t going to put out just so she could have dates. She even told me because she was heavy and had big boobs that guys figured she would be easy.
“I wasn’t that hard up to be with a man,” replied Mindy. “Just because a woman is heavy or fat in my case, doesn’t mean I don’t have a sense of decency. After awhile I pretty much just stopped going out and put more time studying. Every once in awhile I did go out with a group of friends but never went steady with anyone.”
“Why do you keep putting yourself down? Yes, you might be overweight but you’re a beautiful person with a very loving heart. I know that better than anyone. I looked forward to your letters each month. It helped me make it through some very trying times.”
“Thank you! That is the nicest thing that anyone has ever told me. No wonder we all had a crush on you,” she smiled after saying that.
We had a nice dinner and then went to the movies. We shared a tub of popcorn and I did hold her hand. After the movie I took her back to her apartment. She asked me if I wanted to come in.
I told her I had a long drive home but I could come in for a little while. I loved talking to her. Besides, I might even get lucky, I thought to myself. We went inside and she got us each a beverage and we sat on the sofa next to each other and were talking.
I don’t know what made me do it but I leaned forward and kissed her. Her lips were so warm and soft. I backed away a few inches and looked at her for a reaction. She just looked at me so I leaned forward and kissed her again. This time she closed her eyes and kissed me back.