Mercy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 5 (v.5) - Part I, Chapter 5

Submitted: July 06, 2018

Reads: 98

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Submitted: July 06, 2018

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Chapter 5

Her summer was uneventful.  She hung out with Madison and Travis and did the usual summer things. She got a part-time job at a local fabric and craft store.  Mercy was trying to save money for a car to use when she went off to college.

The first Monday morning after Labor Day, it was back to school again. The summer flew by.  The air had a fine mist in it and was dark and gray, just how Mercy felt today.  She would miss seeing Benton at school.  Benton left for college last month.  Mercy overheard Benton's mother talking in the super market and she said he was going to one of those fancy colleges up north and wouldn't be home until November, his fall break.  Benton was taking pre-med.  He certainly was smart enough to be a doctor.  Mercy thought, he was head of Student Council and a million other things when he was in high school.  Mercy also made better than average grades and was a lot smarter than most of the people in her family.  She knew she wanted to go to college, but she didn't know what she wanted to be yet.  She would be the first person in her family that she knew of, to go to college. Her older sister dropped out of her cosmetology classes after only four months.

(1972)

Mercy was a senior this year and couldn't wait for school to be over.  Her mother talked to her about going to college.  Even though her parents couldn't afford college, they knew that they lived below the poverty level and Mercy could get enough grants and free money to go to college.  Her mother told her she should go to “secretary” school.  There wasn't really anything special Mercy wanted to do so she let her mother talk her into going to school to be a secretary, to wait on someone else, to be at someone else’s beck and call.  Her mother said her other choice, she could find a rich man to marry and have babies. Somehow, the latter didn't seem too appealing to Mercy.  The only man she wanted to have babies for is Benton.  She told her mother that she would think about it.  Benton was due to come home for fall break and she didn't want to think about anything else right now.  She didn’t know what, but she knew she had to devise a plan to see Benton while he was home, otherwise, he wouldn't be home again until Christmas.

  Thanksgiving weekend was fast approaching.  The Friday after Thanksgiving, she went to the mall with Madison. Madison's father let her use his car. Mercy couldn't afford to buy anything, they were just hanging out.  She was walking along, kind of looking down and not really paying much attention and BAM! She ran right smack dab into Benton.  She said, “excuse me.”  When she looked up into those beautiful, blue eyes, she was in shock. She couldn't believe it was him!  They made small talk, as Madison kept pulling on Mercy's arm.  Madison didn't like what Benton did to her friend on prom night.  Finally, Benton quickly said, “There is going to be a bar-b-q down on the Ohio river at a friend’s house tonight and he wanted to know if she could meet him there.  She said she would see what she could do and then she let Madison pull her towards the door.  When they were outside, Mercy's face lit up and she was so excited to see him, much less to be asked out by him!  Madison wasn't excited in the least and told Mercy that Benton had hurt her once and that she should stay away from him, of course, Madison was also jealous.  Mercy knew where his friend, Todd, lived on the river.  She would have to find a way to get down there.  She wouldn't tell her mother because she knew that her mother wouldn't allow her to go.  Her mother was still curious about what had happened on prom night and didn't believe Mercy's whole story.  Mercy knew that she would have to lie to her mother one more time, to see Benton again.  After this weekend, he wouldn’t be home again until Christmas.  She decided to tell her mother that she was spending the night with Madison.  Madison would tell Mercy's mother the same story if asked, although Madison still wasn't too excited about Mercy going, especially lying to Mercy's mother.  Again, Travis was the only one she knew with a car.  She stopped at his house on the way home.  She knocked on the front door.  An old, tired-looking woman opened the front door just a crack, just enough to see who it was.  Mercy knew this was Travis's Grandma.  She said, “What do you want?” Mercy replied, “Is Travis home?”  The elderly woman said that he was home, he was upstairs playing his guitar, as usual.  The old woman was never overly friendly towards Mercy.  Once, she told Mercy that if she ever broke Travis's heart, there would be hell to pay from her.  Mercy was afraid of Travis's Grandma.  She let Mercy in and told her to go on upstairs, where Travis was sitting on his bed, playing guitar.  Mercy went up and lightly knocked on Travis's bedroom door. “Come in!” she heard him shout.  When she opened his door and he saw that it was her, he jumped up, smoothed his hands down his shirt and combed his fingers through his hair.  He was standing there looking a little self-conscious, which Mercy thought was odd for him.  He said, “Hey Mercy, what's up?”  “Not much” she replied.  I have a really big favor to ask of you Cowboy.” She had been calling him cowboy for a few years now.  Travis said, “Of course, you know I'd do anything for you.”  “Can you take me somewhere tonight?”  He said, “Sure, is this a date, I knew you would go out with me sooner or later.  Where do you want to go?”  For a fleeting minute, he thought she wanted to go somewhere with him, but that good feeling it gave him, soon vanished.  She said, “Would you take me down to the river tonight, to one of Benton's friend’s house?  I know where it is.”  He looked puzzled for a moment and then he tried to hide the disappointment on his face as he said, “Sure, I guess so, what time would you like to go?”  She answered, “Oh about nine o'clock, can you pick me up from Madison's house?”  He said, “Is Madison going?”  She said, “No, just me.”  Travis said, “I thought you were over that Benton guy?”  He could see clearly on her face that she wasn't.  Mercy said that she was going to see other people she knew there also, but Travis wasn't buying what she was selling.  Mercy asked him how he was doing and what he had been up to lately.  He said, “I've been working at the garage with my dad a lot, but I still have to keep my part time job as a stock boy down at the supermarket.  Mercy said, “Oh, Cowboy, that's wonderful that you are working at your dad's shop.” Travis replied, “That's what I'm going to do after graduation, work with my dad.  He eventually wants it to be a father/son business.”  Mercy said, “I'm glad you know what you want to do with your life.  I still don't know what I'm going to do.  My mother says I could be a secretary or find a rich husband.  Neither one appeals to me.  I'm kind of kicking around the idea of going to nursing school up at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati.  It will take me two years but if I can make it, I will be pretty much set for life.  People will always need nurses.”  Travis replied, “It looks like you are pretty well set on what you want to do with your life also.”  They both laughed and gave each other a light hug.  Travis loved Mercy more than anything and would do anything just to be with her for a few minutes, even if it meant taking her to see another guy.  To hug her was like heaven.  She was so warm and soft and felt like a newborn bird in his arms, light and fragile.  He thought, “Well, here goes nothing, I'm going to ask Mercy out yet again.  All that can happen is that she will say no.”  He's used to it, she has said “no” to him several times before.  “Mercy, would you like to go out with me next weekend, to the movies or something?  Of course, she said, “no” again.  She says she loves him as a friend but rather leave dating out of it.  He said, “You can't blame a cowboy for trying.  I'll never give up on you Mercy.”  Mercy told Travis” Bye” and that she would see him tonight at Madison's house.  He said, “Okay, do you want me to go ahead and take you over to Madison's house?”  Mercy said, “No thanks, I'll just walk over to Madison's house.”  Mercy would have liked the ride, but she didn't want to take a chance of anyone in her family seeing her in Travis's truck. Besides, Madison only lived one street over.  She started walking over to Madison's house.  She had a few moments to herself to think.  She still really loved Benton, but she would have to find out tonight if Gloria's baby was his or not.  She just didn't think she could be in a relationship with someone who already had a baby.  She thought about Travis.  He was such a good guy, and so handsome.  She just never thought of him as boyfriend material since she grew up with him.  She thought about if he could ever be her boyfriend in the future, and she just didn't think so.

  She got to Madison's about 7:30 that evening.  Madison's parents were home and sitting in front of the television.  Madison's mom yelled, “Hey Mercy!” when she started up the stairs to Madison's room.

Madison's family was as poor as hers but at least Madison was an only child and therefore, she had her own room.  They listened to music while they painted their fingernails.  About 8:30, Madison went down to tell her parents goodnight.  She said that she and Mercy were tired and would probably go to bed early.  Madison went back upstairs.  Madison had twin beds in her room and they made up one of the beds to look like Mercy was sleeping in it.  It looked perfect.  Mercy then climbed out the second story window onto the trellis and down.  She walked a couple of houses down to meet Travis.  Travis picked her up at exactly 9:00.  Travis really didn't like helping her to sneak out of the house and he told Mercy that.  Mercy didn't say anything, just thanked him for the ride.”

Twenty minutes later, they were at Benton's friend’s house on the river.  Mercy hopped out of the truck and thanked Travis again, He said, “Do you want me to pick you up later?”  Mercy said, “No, I'll find a ride, thank you so much Cowboy for bringing me down here.  You could tell what house it was by all the cars out front and the balloons on the mailbox.  They called it a bar-b-q party.  There were so many people there, some Mercy had seen before at school and some she hadn't.  She walked around the house to the back.  The back walk was full of teenagers walking on the walk from the house to the river and back.  There was a huge bon-fire down by the river and you could see some people with sticks in their hands roasting marshmallows.  She casually walked down the walk and she saw Benton sitting on one of the hay bales sitting around the fire, talking to some of his friends.  She walked right up to him and said, “Hi, how ya doing?”  He jumped up when he saw her.  She looked like an angel in her white dress and long, black hair.  She seemed to have a glow about her.  He couldn't believe how excited he felt to see her.  He knew he could have almost any girl here, but he wasn't interested in any of them.  He had one girl sitting by him that had her arm through his like she was holding him tightly and giving Mercy a look that could kill.  He said, “Hey Mercy, I'm doing fine, how bout you?”

She said, “fine thanks.”  He asks her to sit down beside him.  She noticed as she sat down that everyone was staring at her.  Of course, the mean girls were there, and she knew they all hated her.  They were all so jealous of her, and Mercy didn't know if she liked that feeling or not.  She and Benton made small talk for a while, and the girl next to him didn't let go of his arm the whole time and it was obvious that Benton was trying to let go.  Mercy noticed that Benton was drinking coke also, instead of beer like the rest of the guys here.  Benton got her a drink and then he asks her if she'd like to take a walk down to the boat dock on the river.  The girl that had been hanging onto him said, “Benton, remember, you were going to tell me about your college?”  Benton, barely looking at her said, “I'll tell you about it later.”  The girl was so angry, her face was turning red.  Mercy said, “I'd love to take a walk with you Benton.”  As they were slowly strolling down the walk, Benton casually took Mercy's hand in his.  This sent a thrill through Mercy and she was struck by the feeling of its casualness.  They made small talk and Mercy ask Benton how he liked college.  He said he liked it very much.  He didn't tell her how being a freshman at college made him feel like the lowest of the low.  He didn't tell her how the other guys bullied him.  He didn't tell Mercy that the other guys made fun of him because he studied so much.  He only told her the good things about college.  Mercy told him of her plans to go to nursing school and he thought that was great.  Finally, he said, “Mercy, I'm really sorry about our first date.  I should have stood up for you.  I was a jerk and I hope you can forgive me for that.”  Mercy said, “Don't worry, I’ve already forgotten about it.  He told her how beautiful she looks in the moon light.  He gently brushed her hair back off her cheek with the back of his hand.  Her skin was as soft as velvet.  He leaned down and gently kissed her full, soft lips.  He looked up and saw that her eyes were closed, he pulled her closer to him and kissed her again, being very gentle with how he held her.  His kiss made her knees feel weak, it felt like he was holding her up. She was dizzy with the pleasure of his kiss.  She considered this her first real kiss, the first one they had while they were alone.  She wanted her first kiss to be special and it was everything that she had ever dreamed it would be. 

  He finally turned her lose and stepped back to look at her.  He said, “You are a very special girl, Mercy and I'd really like to see you again when I come back into town on Christmas and maybe we could write or call until I come back.  She said that she would write or call him and that she would miss him while he was gone, but she was glad he was doing well in college.  They spent the rest of the evening talking, laughing, kissing, just like they had been doing it forever.  Benton ask her if she would be his girlfriend and if she would come up to his college sometime and see him and see where he lived.  She said she would like that very much.  The very envious looks that she got from the other girls there made her very uncomfortable, but she tried to ignore them.  Benton whispered in her ear, “They can't hold a candle to you, just ignore them.”  They roasted marshmallows, made smores laughed and had a great time.  It was getting late and Mercy regretfully had to go.  Benton asked her if he could take her home and she said that would be very nice.  She told him she was staying at her friend Madison's tonight and he could just drop her off there.  They got in his Mustang and he took her back to Madison's.  It didn't go unnoticed by the other girls there that they had left together.  The mean girls decided that Mercy would pay for coming to the party and taking Benton away.  Mercy asked him not to pull right up to the house because she didn't want to wake anyone.  He went around to the other side of the car and opened the door for her.  He took her hand to help her out.  He gently pulled her to him and kissed her goodnight.  She said, “Sweet dreams” and walked on to Madison's a couple doors down.  He watched her walk down and disappear to the side of the house to make sure she was safe and then he got in his car and went back to the party.  Neither he or Mercy saw the red pick-up truck parked across the street on a side street.  Benton wasn't the only one who wanted to make sure Mercy was safe tonight.

  Mercy quietly climbed the trellis up to Madison's room and in through the window.  She heard a truck go by the house, but all was quiet in the house.  Madison was half awake and groggily, she asked Mercy if she had a good time.  She said she had a wonderful time and that she would tell her all about it tomorrow.  Mercy couldn't sleep.  She wondered if this night could have been any more perfect.  She was in love with Benton.  She lay there remembering every second of being with him tonight.  His smile, his touch, his warm kiss, his thoughtfulness.  She wished she could have stayed at the party forever. The night just went too quickly.

  The next day, she told Madison everything that had happened on her date with Benton.  After what seemed like the hundredth time of telling it, Madison wished she'd never even heard the name Benton. 

  Mercy spent most of the afternoon at Madison’s and then she walked home.  Her mother asked her if she had a good time and she said that she had a great time.  Mercy went up to her room to do her homework for Monday, but all the pages seem to blur together.  She was so tired, she closed her eyes for just a second and she fell into a deep sleep, with her head on top of her pile of books.  Before she knew it, it was 6:00 and her mother was calling her to come down for dinner.

  Mercy's mother said that one of the financial advisers from Christ Hospital had called and wanted to talk to her about coming to nursing school next year


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