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Hard Promise 10 14


-------------------------------- Welcome to the Church of The Right
Reverend Cotton Mather. This story is the sole property of the author, and
may not be copied or downloaded for the intent of profit. Permission is
freely given for anyone to download or copy for their personal pleasure or
use, as long as there is no intent to charge money or barter for the
privilege of acquiring this material.

( 2001, Rev. Cotton Mather

HARD PROMISE Rev. Cotton Mather

- 10 The next few weeks were hell on me, but in my state of mind I
didn't much care if I was in pain or not. Actually, my attitude probably
helped me play football better, because now I had a nice, legal outlet for
the mayhem I wanted to inflict. I hit harder in practice and during games,
and jumped back up and asked for more if I was knocked down.

Micki began dressing a little more conservatively, and stopped hitting
on other guys, seemingly having learned her lesson. On the other hand, she
turned her not inconsiderable charms in my direction, trying to convince me
through her sexual skills to be her boyfriend.

Brad and Jared and the other guys on the football team rallied around me
in support as much as they could, but I know that Brad, at least, was
taking considerable heat from Lindsey about our continued friendship.

My class ring appeared in my locker one day, returned by Melissa, who
had not spoken a single word to me since our long distance phone call. I
heard through the grapevine that her friends were setting her up with blind
dates, trying to get her out of her depression, but not many boys from our
school wanted to get involved in this bloody mess of ours.

Micki was not my girlfriend, despite her efforts to convince me
otherwise. I didn't call her in the evenings to talk, I didn't spend a lot
of time with her at school, I didn't hold her hand at lunch, I didn't look
for her on the sidelines during our games. She was a receptacle for me, a
cum receptacle. She did the work for me so I didn't have to use my hand to
jack off. Every Friday night, every Saturday night, and one time on a
Sunday afternoon, we managed to meet somewhere to jump each other's bones.
I ate her out, she gave me head, I fucked her or she fucked me. But there
was no feeling of affection there, no inclinations of romantic attachment,
no murmurs of love afterward from me. animal instinct took over as soon as
I felt her tits, or she shoved her hand down my jeans, and we just let it
happen. The only time any real emotion was shown was one Saturday night
when, having already blown my wad once down her throat, she turned her slim
ass toward me in invitation and said, "You want a piece of ass, for real?"

I looked at her, not understanding, until she spread her cheeks for me
and slowly stuck a finger up her own butt. She looked back around at me
and said, "Got anything a little bigger you can use here?"

Just the thought of fucking her there made my cock stiffen, so I started
licking and kissing her ass and her pussy, spreading moisture around. I
paid special attention to her asshole, licking and drooling all over it,
all the while twisting my middle finger into her.

Finally she impatiently said, "Come on, stud, fuck me in the ass." So I
knelt behind her and rubbed my cock up and down her pussy lips to add some
of her oily slickness to me, and then I pressed the head against her tiny
brown asshole. I pressed forward while she held her ground, and grunted
when the head finally broke through her sphincter into her.

"Oof," she said. "Go slow, Ray. Let me get used to it for a minute.
I've never done this before."

"What did you just say?" I asked in surprise.

"I've never done this before. Okay, Ray, I'm ready. Keep going in.
Ohhh, yeah, that feels good," she moaned as I flexed and pushed more of my
length into her. She was so tiny, barely five feet tall and not even 100
pounds, and her ass was tighter than anything I had ever experienced
before. Looking down at her, it looked like she was trying to stick a
telephone pole up her ass. Slowly I was able to push about half my shaft
into her before I had to start pulling back out to relieve the pressure.
By the third time I had pushed into her, she was taking most of my length,
and her passageway was becoming slicker and easier to move in. She was
moaning and grunting with the effort of taking me, her eyes closed and head
thrown back, her long hair cascading down around her face. Her forehead
was sweaty, and strands of her hair were stuck to her.

I, too, was grunting and sweating. I had my hands on her hips, pulling
her back onto me as I pushed in, then pushing on her waist as I pulled
slowly back out. It was a lot of work, but the results were sure to be
spectacular. As I watched, she reached down and started diddling her clit,
so I knew her orgasm was close. I struggled to get as deep as I could in
her, determined to shoot off with her if I could. Suddenly, I felt her
tense up. Her sphincter tightened on me as she came, and I screamed as my
cock expanded against her constricting ring of muscle, then pumped
painfully hard, unleashing a torrent of sperm deep into her bowels.

Micki collapsed in exhaustion, and I fell breathless next to her. After
we had caught our breath, I asked, "What did you mean, you had never done
that before?"

Without looking at me, she answered, "Just what I said. You were the

My brain was addled from spending the evening in carnal knowledge with
her. "What made you decide that tonight was the night you wanted to pop
that particular cherry?"

She turned her head away and didn't answer.


No answer, no reaction. It was as if she had fallen asleep, which I
knew didn't happen. Micki really got energized, almost manic, after sex.
I, on the other hand, had trouble keeping my eyes open sometimes afterward.

"Micki, answer me." I grasped her shoulder and rolled her over to me.
She resisted momentarily, and then allowed herself to be turned. Tears
were streaming down her face.

"What, Micki? Tell me what's going on," I insisted.

She sobbed, and it was if the dam broke. She put her hands to her face
and bent over as if she was in pain, the top of her head pressing against
my sweaty chest as she cried miserably.

"B.b.because was the o.o.only thing I could g.g.give you," she
hiccupped. "I...I couldn't be a virgin for you....and I couldn't think of
anything else..." she paused.

"Anything else what?" I asked, a little impatiently.

She looked up at me dejectedly. Her makeup was smeared from her crying,
her hair was plastered to her face, and the tears were still coursing down
her cheeks. Her eyes were red, and for the first time I saw she had dark
circles under her eyes. She looked miserable.

"I had nothing else to give you," she whispered. "Nothing else but that
to give you, to try to make you love me." She started crying harder again.

You stupid cunt, I wanted to scream, you can't make me love you! Almost
immediately, however, guilt and common sense combined to make me look at
myself. I didn't like what I saw, but I was trapped in this loop of my own
making. I sat up and turned away from her, my head in my hands, and
surrendered to the depression that was constantly hovering around me.

I just wished I could find my way out of this miserable maze.

- 11 The next Friday night, after the football game, a big crowd was at
Fabrice's as usual. I had been feeling sorry for myself, and feeling sorry
for Micki, so I tried to act more like a boyfriend for her sake, even
though my heart really wasn't in it. We were sitting together in a booth
with Jared and Mattie, and for a change my mood wasn't as black as it had
been. I was almost having fun.

I got up to go to the john. As I was finishing up, standing at one of
the row of urinals, I heard the bathroom door open. I was just zipping up
when Donny Hammach, Brittany Felson's old boyfriend, stepped up to the
urinal next to mine.

"How ya doin', Kennedy?" he drawled. "How's your love life?"

"What's it to you, Donny?" I said. He was talking like he had been
drinking. Normally he was such a chickenshit, especially after Jared had
cleaned his clock when he broke up with Brittany, that he wouldn't have
said more than two words to me.

'Oh, just wonderin'," he said lazily. "By the way, mine's just fine,
thanks for asking."

"I didn't ask, and I don't want to know," I said angrily.

"Hey, it's all right, I don't mind you asking," he continued, as if I
had asked him to elaborate. "You wanna smell?" He held up the middle
finger of his right hand to me, offering me to take a sniff. "No? Don't
mind if I do." He raised his finger to his own nose and inhaled deeply.
"Ah, luscious," he sighed. He slipped his finger into his mouth. "And
tasty, too," he said, looking at me craftily. "Tastes like a Samuelson to me!" he said gleefully.

Just the thought of this mope touching Melissa was enough to set me off.
In a rage, I grabbed the back of his collar as he was standing there and
pulled him back and down onto the restroom floor. He was taken by
surprise, before he was done urinating. His flabby prick was still
sticking out of his pants, and he was peeing on himself. I dropped to my
knee on his stomach, and he let out with a breathy "Hoooofffff". I reached
down and grabbed him by the hair and pulled his head up toward me, my knee
still in his gut.

"If you want to stay alive, you'd better be telling me you're lying," I
said quietly.

"'t...breathe..." he gasped.

"Too fucking bad," I said. "Is it true?"

He didn't have enough breath to say anything, so he shook his head
violently from side to side, not caring that some of his hair was coming
out in my hands as I held on tight.

I let up on him just enough for him to take a long, panicky gasp in,
then pressed down on him again. "Are you going to tell me what that was
all about, then?" I asked.

"Yeah, okay, get off me first, will ya?" I clear look of panic was
starting to show itself in his eyes, which I liked to see.

"Nope," I said, smiling. "I'm not letting you up yet." But I did let up
on the pressure on his spasming diaphragm so he could painfully take small
breaths. "Talk, motherfucker."

"All right, all right," he said. He knew his situation was not good,
and his best hope was to come clean with me. That panicky look faded a
little, but he was still scared. "I got someone to fix me up with her on
kind of a blind date. We were out tonight, but nothing happened."

"How much of 'nothing' are we talking about here, Donny?" I asked.

"Nothing nothing, goddamn it!" he cried. "She wanted to go home, so I
took her home. I tried to get her to at least kiss me good night, maybe
cop a feel, but, man, what a cold fish!" I pressed down harder on him for
that comment. "Hey, take it easy, Kennedy!" he wheezed, the panic rising
again in his eyes. "You wanted to know what happened, I'm telling you. I
thought you'd be happy she was cold to me, for crissakes!"

"You're right, I should have known better than to think she might have
let a loser like you into her life," I said. I stood up and looked down at
him. "Get up, you human waste of skin. Can't you see you're lying down on
a filthy restroom floor? And by the way, you pissed all over yourself," I
said as I headed for the door.

Wow, I thought, now THAT put me in a good mood. All I had to do was
beat on someone not wearing pads, and I was happy. I laughed as I sat back
down again.

"What's up with you, Ray?" asked Jared.

"Let me take a look at your face," said Micki, grabbing my ear and
turning my head toward her. "Jesus, is that a smile I see there? Where'd
that come from? It looks so strange on that face."

"Cut it out, Micki. Can I help it if I'm in a good mood?" I said.

"Hey," said Mattie, looking past us toward the back of the restaurant,
"isn't that Donny Hammach coming out of the john?"

Jared looked up, his eyes narrowing. "Where? I told that buckethead
not to show his face anywhere near me or Brit."

"Hey, what happened to him? He looks like he fell into the toilet. Oh,
it's okay, Jare, he's leaving," said Mattie.

Jared looked over at me, a sudden realization dawning. "Was he in there
while you were there, Ray?"

I smiled at him happily. "Oh, yes, he was," I said with a grin.

"And did you assist in getting him to look like he does?" he asked,

"Well, his parents had a lot to do with the way he looks, but, yes, I
assisted in his current state of disarray," I said.

We all burst out laughing, and Jared gave me a high-five. Kids at the
other tables looked at us, and were probably wondering about what happened.
The Ray Machine hadn't laughed in a long time, and it felt kind of good.

By Thanksgiving, Micki and I had evolved into a more comfortable
relationship. We weren't as close as Micki probably wanted us to be, but I
had begun to appreciate her as an individual, and most of my friends were
accepting her.

The biggest fallout, other than Melissa and me, was that eventually Brad
and Lindsey broke up. Knowing Brad, it was probably inevitable, but what
happened at the campout accelerated the disintegration of their
relationship. Hardly missing a beat, Brad asked Jared's sister Brittany
out, and they were now a pretty steady couple. Lindsey and Missy, from
what I heard, did a lot of double dating, but not with anyone steady.
Missy still wouldn't talk to me, but I was slowly getting beyond that.

Or, at least, I hoped I was.

Just before Thanksgiving, Marcus's two brothers, Jerry and Ev, came home
from college for the holiday. By Friday afternoon, the day after
Thanksgiving, the North High telephone tree was a-shaking. It all kind of
started right after Marcus called me, around noon.

"Hey, Ray, Marcus here. How are you doing?"

"Okay, I guess, what's up?"

"Jerry and Ev are home. They told me what happened at the campout. Why
didn't you tell anybody, man? You were a fucking hero, and you didn't say
a word to anybody."

"Wait a minute, Marcus. What did they tell you?" I was a little

"They told my whole family about it at breakfast yesterday, about how
you fought off those two other guys and kept them from raping Micki. Why
didn't you tell us? You could have saved yourself an awful lot of grief if
you had just told us all about what happened, Ray."

"I couldn't tell anybody, Marcus," I said. "Micki made me promise I
wouldn't tell anybody about it."

"Oh, man, I can't believe you kept that promise, buddy. It really cost

"Well," I said, "it would have cost me more in the long run if I hadn't
kept my promise."

"I'm not so sure, Ray. But I admire you for keeping your promise,
despite all that's happened. Anyway," Marcus continued, "I wondered why
Jerry and Ev and their friends had just packed up so quickly that morning
and left without a word, and now we know. Jerry says that that guy got
back to campus in even worse shape than you left him, and he ended up
dropping out of school. Jerry said that he was really impressed with the
way you took care of things, and told me to tell you that if you need a
reference to help you get into the university, that you've got it. Both he
and Ev, and that other guy Carl, are now huge fans of the Ray Machine."

"Wow, that's really great of them, Marcus. Thank them for me, will you?
I really appreciate it."

"That's not all, buddy. The word is spreading. I think your days as a
pariah are over. Expect a bunch of phone calls, Ray. There are a lot of
kids who will be swallowing a lot of words over this one. And Ray?"


"I'm a huge fan of the Ray Machine, too. That was a hell of a thing you
did for Micki."

"Thanks, Marcus. Thanks for calling."

Marcus was right. The rest of that night, and all weekend, the phone
hardly stopped ringing. Around midnight, Micki called, very upset. We
were on the phone for a good two hours, reliving that night, while I tried
to reassure her that nobody would think she was a bad person. She was
afraid people would see her as dumb for being caught in the position she
was in, and she was afraid people would hold it against her that I had kept
my promise.

I was finally able to convince her that she had no control whatsoever
over how I kept any of my promises, and she reluctantly agreed that, now
that the story was out, we could tell our version of what happened in the

I stopped answering the phone by the next day. Brad and Brittany came
over around noon, and we hopped into Brad's car and drove over to pick up
Micki. The four of us then headed out to a big shopping mall in another
town, just so we wouldn't have to run into anybody we knew. We spent the
entire afternoon shopping, laughing and joking and deliberately keeping off
the subject of the campout.

After we were all shopped out (or at least Brad and I were shopped out.
I don't think either Micki or Brit could ever be said to be "shopped out"),
we stopped at a chinese restaurant for dinner. We passed around kung pao
chicken, sweet-and-sour shrimp, Mongolian beef, and vegetable chow mien in
a frenzy of hunger, and afterwards, over tiny cups of green tea, we talked,
finally, about that weekend.

"I can't believe that you refused to say anything, even to me, that
whole time, Ray," complained Brad. "You're my best friend, and you
wouldn't even tell me what went on that weekend."

"A secret isn't secret if someone outside the circle knows it,
Grasshopper," I replied.

"Ah, so," said Brad, smiling. "Is this Oriental wisdom you picked up
during your time in the monastery, oh wise one?"

'Nah," I said. "It's what my fortune cookie says." I passed around my
fortune for all to see.

"How appropriate," said Micki. "Here's mine."

She passed the slip of paper over to me to read. Behind her smile, I
could just detect the beginnings of tears filling her eyes. I read the
paper, and silently passed it around to Brittany, who read aloud, "'That
which was lost may soon be found.' Very mysterious."

Brad cracked open his fortune cookie, popped half into his mouth, and
extracted the slip of paper from the other half. "'Good luck smiles most
often on the industrious.' Damn it, I guess that means I'd better study for
that physics test, then. What about yours, Brit?"

Brittany opened her cookie, dropping both halves onto her plate as she
unfurled the scrap of paper. Brad immediately reached over and grabbed the
pieces of cookie and ate them.

"Well, mine seems to fit the occasion, too. It says, 'The boy on your
right must pay for your dinner.'"

"Hey," said Brad as he tried to grab the paper from Brittany's hand.
"Does it really say that?"

She moved her hand out of his reach, laughing, and said, "No, Brad, I
was just funnin' ya. It says, 'A true heart can move the world.'"

"Well," said Brad, it sounds like we all got some little bits of wisdom
that fit our situations. So now what?"

We all sat there, thinking our own thoughts.

"I don't have a clue," I finally said. Micki reached out and took my
hand in hers. Her hand was icy cold, and I could feel her trembling.

On the way home, Micki stayed snuggled up next to me, her head down and
resting on my chest as I held her. Every now and then I heard her sniffle,
and felt her breath catch, and I knew she was crying, and trying not to let
me know. Brad dropped us off at my house, and we went down into the
basement and turned on the television. I kissed her tenderly as I held
her, down there on the old couch, trying to kiss away all the tears, the
pain, the uncertainty.

Silently we undressed, hardly looking at each other, until we were both
naked as newborns. We melted into each other, our fingers and our palms,
our lips and our tongues no longer needing to explore, but rather needing
to give comfort. Her cheeks were salty with the tracks of her tears, and
her tiny breasts and expressive nipples were warm and inviting.

With a minimum of movement, a minimum of fuss, we positioned ourselves
on the couch. Her legs opened to envelop me, and wrapped around my waist
tightly as we made love. It was the tenderest, quietest, sweetest time
ever for us, and when we had each worked to our climaxes, we kissed, eyes
closed, and each silently sent up prayers of thanksgiving and forgiveness.

In a reversal of our usual roles, Micki fell into an exhausted sleep
afterward. I, on the other hand, was up and awake. I covered her with an
afghan, and crept upstairs quietly. I needed time alone to think things
through before I woke her and took her home.

- 12 On Sunday morning, my parents and I got home from church to find a
car sitting in front of our house. When we walked from the garage toward
the house, a car door opened and Melissa stepped out. She looked over the
hood of the car, as if waiting for a signal of some sort. I stopped when I
saw her. My heart was beating fast, and there was an empty feeling in my
stomach. Finally, I looked away from her, and continued into the house
without acknowledging her.

I figured that if she wanted to talk about something, she could come up
and knock on the door, but I wasn't going to make it easy on her by
inviting her in.

Finally, after about fifteen minutes, the doorbell rang. My mom opened
the door and let Melissa in, and called up the stairs to me to come down.
Mom left Melissa standing by the front door instead of inviting her in, an
indication of her displeasure in seeing her there.

When I came downstairs, Melissa was standing there, still wearing her
long wool coat. Her hair was pulled back into a severe ponytail, and her
face was very pale. She looked nervous.

"Hello, Ray," she said hesitantly.

"Hi. Why are you here?"

Tears started to form in her eyes at my harsh words. "I...I need to
talk to you."


"Why? Because Lindsey called me yesterday and told me what happened."

"Okay, so Lindsey called you. Why do you want to talk to me?"

The tears spilled over and down her cheeks, but I don't think she
noticed them. "" And, like a summer squall overpowering a
hot and humid day, her face collapsed into a series of sobs she could not
stop. She stood there, hands to her cheeks, looking forlornly at me, and

As hard as I tried to be, I could not be that cold-hearted. I took her
hand and led her into the living room, and sat down beside her on the couch
facing the cold fireplace. I waited until the squall passed, holding her
hand passively, until she took it away to rummage in her coat pocket for a
tissue. She blew her nose and wiped her eyes.

"What happened, Ray?" she asked. "I want to hear it from you. I don't
want to hear it from Lindsey, or from Brad, or from Marcus, or from anybody
else. Just from you. What happened?"

"You want to know what happened?" I was angry, and she was about to be
the unfortunate recipient. "Okay, I'll tell you what happened. You hung
up on me, that's what happened."

She looked up at me, startled and hurt. Without a word, she stood up as
the tears began again, and strode to the front door. She opened the door
and never looked back as she walked down the sidewalk to her car, got in,
and drove away. The momentary satisfaction I felt when I let my tongue wag
before I put my brain in gear left me suddenly, and I felt terrible. Maybe
she deserved it, maybe she didn't, but I should have been a bigger man than
to let such pettiness take over. I mentally kicked myself, and closed the

So of course, like a hangnail or a paper cut you just can't leave alone,
Missy's visit gnawed at me all day. By that evening, I was irritable,
unfit company for any other human in the vicinity. I did the only thing I
could do. I called her.

"Look," I said when she finally came to the phone, "I'm sorry I treated
you like that this morning. I really am."

"Don't apologize, Ray. I deserved it. You're right, I did hang up on
you, and I never gave you a chance to explain." She sounded subdued,
depressed, and near tears again. "I knew I could trust you, and I still
doubted. I thought I knew Micki, and I was eager to put all the blame on
her. Oh, God, now I have to call Micki and apologize! Oh, God, I was such
a raving BITCH to that poor girl!" She started sobbing again.

I heard her mother in the background. "Melissa? Are you all right?"

Missy covered the handset and called out, "Yes, Mother. I'm okay."
Then, back to me, she said, "I don't know what to do, Ray. I don't know
how to fix this."

"I don't know if it's even fixable, Missy."

She sobbed again. With a hitch in her voice, she finally said, "I'm so
sorry, Ray. I love you." She hung up the phone.

Now I really felt like shit.

- 13 As you are no doubt all too aware, when you're 15, or 16, or 17, or
18, emotions rule your world. The blackest day can be followed by the most
marvelous evening you have ever known, and it all seems so natural at the
time. It's only with the passage of years that you look back on that time
with a mixture of awe and humor that you managed to live through those
times relatively unscathed.

Yes, that one phone call opened up the lines of communication between
Melissa and I. Within a couple of weeks, we were actually on friendly
terms. The summer's upheaval, if not exactly forgotten, was pushed into
the background, where it mercifully faded away to practically nothing.
Melissa and Micki were never going to be best friends, but they at least
found a way to put aside their animosity for my sake. I, on the other
hand, faced a dilemma that kept me up nights for a long time. I had
learned to respect and appreciate Micki, and maybe even to love her, during
our time of stress. I wasn't about to abandon her now, especially
considering how fragile she seemed to be. I couldn't help thinking,
however, that maybe it was Melissa who was supposed to be my soulmate.
Wait and watch, wait and watch was my mantra for a long time while I tried
untangling that lovers' knot. Eventually, I saw the solution, the one that
was probably there the whole time, waiting to be seen in its elegance.

The Ray Machine saw a real surge in popularity, which culminated in my
election in the spring as Prom King, with Brittany Felson reigning as Prom
Queen. True to his word, Ev Delaney provided a character reference for me
that was almost embarrassing in its praise, but it helped get me into the
University in the fall.

And, of course, in the fashion of a good old romance, after I graduated
from college, I was proud to stand up and make my high school sweetheart my
wife, to love and honor and cherish forever.

- 14 Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you:

She was surprised and delighted by my news when finally, after a tender
lovemaking session, I remembered to tell her about our surprise vacation.
She loved the idea of going to Bermuda on a whim, and we both managed to
get a week off from work.

And Bermuda was lovely, as delightful as she remembered, as beautiful as
she described. And on our last night there, we were standing on the
balcony of our hotel room, watching the sunset, when she turned to me and
took both my hands in hers. We were dressed for dinner, enjoying a glass
of wine before going down to the restaurant. In her high heels, she was
nearly as tall as I. Holding my hands, she leaned closer and kissed me
softly before whispering, "Darling Ray, light of my life, holder of my
heart, and now the father of our child."

I was dumbfounded. "What? You''re..."

She simply nodded, a small, secret smile on her lips, her eyes
glistening in joy, squeezing my fingers in hers.



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