"Go say hi to Stephen." Nola prompted.
So mustering my courage, I walked from the kitchen in to the dining room. (Hmmm, not sure why we called it the dining room. We never had a table big enough to fit all of us, and so it really was the computer room/school room.)
Anyways, There he was talking to my dad, wearing a cowboy hat, a blue button up shirt, jeans and some lace up boots. He looked up from talking to my dad and smiled. He had blue eyes.
"Hi, I'm Stephen." He said as he stuck out his hand to shake mine. Just being honest here, I thought "Well duh, who else would you be?" But I didn't say it. (Stephen has told me as we talked about it later in time, that he had thought up something funny/witty to say when he met me, but his mind went blank when he saw me. He felt pretty dumb at saying something as obvious as Hi, I'm Stephen.)
I smiled back and shook his hand. "I know." I said. "It's nice to meet you, well, in person, since I kind of already know you."
We went into the kitchen where Nola was apologizing if Stephen smelled like a skunk (he didn't) and had him explain WHY he might smell like skunk.
That morning before they headed our way, Stephen had to chase the neighbors bull off of their property, and patch the fence where theirs and the neighbors bulls had been fighting. On his way back to the house he saw a skunk. He didn't have his gun on him (this still shocks me, as Stephen ALWAYS has a gun on if he is home, and has since he was about 14.) So instead of shooting it, he picked up a stick and threw it at the skunk. The skunk sprayed, but Stephen was far enough away, with the wind in his favor to not get a direct spray. But he did walk through the wet grass where the skunk had sprayed.
"That's why I have these ugly boots on." He said. "Mom wouldn't let me wear my skunked ones in the pickup. They didn't stink THAT bad though."
We visited for a while, and then they went to their other friend's house for the night.
The next morning Mom told me that we had been invited over to the friend's house, if we wanted to go. Well of course we did.
We all sat around in the dining room of Brenda's parents house. Everyone had funny stories to tell. Ones about Nola and Brenda as girls, about Stephen and his brother James. My mom even told ones about my brothers and I. I stood over against the wall and studied Stephen the whole time the talking was going on. He hardly even glanced in my direction. After a while he got up and went out the front door. The conversation kinda got boring for me after that. After a few minutes he Mom said "You ought to go outside with Stephen. He just can't stand being indoors for too long at a time. Ask him to show you his bull whip."
So I slowly went to the front door. I decided to pretend I needed something out of the car. I felt weird just following him outside. When I got out on the porch he was digging in the back of the pickup. I went to the car and messed around for a second, then went on over to where he was. Just because I had nothing better to do. Right.
He was getting his other boots out. I laughed. "I thought that cowboy's wore cowboy boots."
He smiled. "Well I would like to, but combat boots are comfortable, and I can't or won't afford to buy any cowboy boots that won't tear my feet up." That worked for me. I'm cheap. (He has really sensitive skin on his feet and they really do look terrible if he wears cheap boots.)
"Your mom told me to ask about your whip. She said you can pop it loud enough that it sounds like a gunshot. Will you show me?"
"Sure." He grabbed a bullwhip from the back of the pickup and hopped down. He walked over away from the vehicles. He spun the whip over his head and brought it down by his side, fast. POP. That was pretty loud. POP Pop Pop. He rolled it up and asked if I wanted to try.
"No thanks. I don't like embarrassing myself." I replied.
"Aww come on. You couldn't do any worse than my brother." Sure I could. I'd never even picked up a whip before. "Here is an easier way to pop it. Drag it on the ground til it is straight out behind you, the just bring it forward and pop it back." It is and isn't as easy as it sounds. It takes a while to get the technique down. I never could make it pop. And didn't try long. I did manage to hit myself a few times.
"Everybody does." He told me. "The worst I ever popped myself was when I got the back of my ear." Ow.
When we went back in , our moms said we could take the pickup over to my family's house. Dad was there with the boys. It was about a 15 minute drive. Brenda lived in a direction from our house that we didn't often travel often. In other words I didn't know the roads real well. As we came over a hill, there was a stop sign, right there. He hit the brakes and the stuff on the console went sliding forward, towards the floorboard. We both automatically reached to stop the stuff from falling. I won. His hand landed on top of mine. We both jerked our hands back and stared out our respective windows. He was prolly as red as I was. I felt like I was in a Disney movie. Something sliding off the console, they both reach to stop it and his hand lands on hers. They look sheepish and act like nothing happened.
When we got to the house we were swarmed by my 4 little brothers. I told them about his bullwhip and they wanted him to show off for them. So he had them line some sticks up on the ground. They were stabbed in so that they stood up straight-ish. Then he would flick the end of the whip towards them, the end would wrap around one, and he'd jerk it out of the ground and towards himself. I was impressed.
Then we decided to go shooting. I ran in to get my Ruger .22 and when I came back out he was holding a gun almost identical. His stock was slightly different, and his had a blued barrel, and mine was stainless. He also had a western type gun belt around his hips with a revolver in it.
We all headed down to the pond, where I usually did my shooting. I usually shot at targets bought at Wal Mart, but he just shot at things he found lying around. He shot to break things. I always shot to see how good I could group the bullets. So after shooting at some sticks to knock them over and such for a while. I said I was used to shooting paper targets. So he asked my brother for one of those little heart shaped candies with sayings on them yhat they had been eating all morning, and got out his electrical tape. (He carries it in his back pocket...it looks like a dip can.) He taped it to a board and put it about 30 yards out. "Can you hit that?" He asked.
I shot all ten rounds in my magazine at it. I did terrible. Compared to usual. I only hit it twice and the rest of the bullet holes could have been covered with a silver dollar, instead of a quarter like I was used to. ( I can't shoot that well anymore, as I don't practice often anymore. And I could only do it with MY gun.)
"Pretty good." He said. Then he threw a small log in the air with his left hand. With his right he pulled out his revolver and shot the log 3 or 4 times before it hit the ground. ( He also does not shoot as often or as well as he did then....but he's still pretty darn good. Not that you'd ever get him to say that. He acts like he couldn't shoot the broad side of a barn from the inside.)
I think that was about the time we decided we were gonna marry each other. LOL.
The thing is...we aren't show offs. I don't like to shoot in front of other people, I am embarrassed if I do bad and embarrassed if I do well. But you wouldn't think so the way we were acting that day. I think we knew each other well enough from talking online that it had just turned to a contest.
Once again, to be continued. I'm tired of typing :)