It was brilliant! At least at the time it seemed so.
So, I set off on the task of breaking the news to Billy Jean. I am sure I could have picked a better time, but one night, while she and I was on a “double date” with Larry, another friend from the base, and his girl, I decided to tell her my sad news.
This guy, before I knew what was happening, was on the roof of my Falcon going at it with his girl. Suddenly there was a loud pop and the roof dented in from their weight. I got out and began screaming at Larry for being so inconsiderate as to ruin my car!
“Ah man, it ain’t hurt!” he shouted back.
He hopped into the backseat and put his feet up against the roof and pushed. There was another loud pop as the metal returned to its former shape! Man, was I relived.
Anyway, he got out, took the GI blanket I kept in the trunk, and walked off into the darkness.
I settled back in with Billy Jean, who was determined to calm me down, and before I knew it we were “going at it” too! This was not what I wanted to happen, but, hey, you take what you can get, when you can get it!
So, I decided to wait for another opportunity.
It came soon enough, so I started telling her, and about how I had to do the right thing.
“You don’t have to do that, we can run away and start over somewhere else,” she sobbed. “How could you anyway?”
“I…I don’t know…it…it just happened, that’s all,” I said.
The rest of the evening was nothing but sobs, and questions about “why” and her telling me “you don’t have to,” and I began to realize that this was not going to work and that it was hurting her worse than the truth would have. However, I was deep into the deception now and I had to play it out and make that night the last night.
With Billy Jean, nothing was easy. She was so attached and thought she was so in love that it took days before I could leave work or the barracks again.
She began by sitting inside my car, so I locked it. So, she started sitting on it!
For about a week, every day I left work and crossed the street to the barracks, she would be sitting on the front fender of my car! Once she even started in the door where I worked, but I ran to the bathroom, raised the big window, stepped out on the ground on the opposite side of the building, and ran to the barracks. Lucky for me the Sgt. Hollingshead and Lt. Summers were gone for the day!
For several weeks she called the barrack’s pay phone and asked for me. Everyone knew to tell her I was not there.
Finally, late one evening I left the barracks to go to the NCO Club, and there she sat. I decided to confront her one last time…if that was possible.
Somehow I convinced her that there was no future for us and she needed to stay away. I even threatened to have her base pass pulled. Oh, I saw her from time-to-time dancing in the club, but finally she stopped making eye contact.
Looking back on this, I do feel shame, and for years she haunted me.
Sometime after we were married, Connie once sat in the car while I stood a two hour guard duty on an “Open House Weekend” at the base, and later as I stood an “honor guard.” When her book became boring, she began to rummage through my glove-compartment and found pictures of Billy Jean at some party. Man, did I do some tall talking! I think I told her she was seeing a friend of mine and he had left the photos there.
Even after we had been married for a couple of years, and while I was attending the
I will never know for sure, but I knew I had never been there, and the only person I could think of that might have put the matches there was Billy Jean. It was a long time before I got over the feeling that she was out there watching me – waiting for the right moment!