I was dreaming! I was walking in a forest! The trees were beautiful and majestic. Rich earthy smells and air heavy with the fragrence of coming rain. I realized that I was alone! I started to panic, but saw a seat made of flowers and leaves between two of the trees, and it was calling to me. I cautiously walked over and sat down. It was really comfortable and the seat became a swing and as I began to swing I started to drouse, it was so calm and peaceful. I looked up at the trees and saw a dark shape and the swing was going higher and higher and the shape became more discernable. I watched, still without fear as the shape became a black panther. She was huge, glossy black with golden eyes! She just watched me as I sat in my swing lazily swinging back and forth and somehow I knew this gorgeous creature would be important to me, and then I slept.
I was dreaming! I was awake in my bed and I looked over at the chair in the corner and the shadows there took the form of my lady and at her feet lay the huge black panther.
She gazed at me with those golden eyes and told me her name was Anu. She rose and gracefully stalked over to my bed. O.K, now I was a little nervous! When I say she was huge, I mean HUGE! She lay on the floor right beneath me. She was sinewy and strong and easily 7 feet long. She told me she would be with me throughout my life. That is true, she is with me today. She appears to me whenever I need strength and courage and sometimes if I call her she will come and comfort me and I know she is always there even when I can’t see her. I never saw my lady again after that night.
I was upset that my lady had left me. Anu said my lady was a guide and so was she. Anu explained to me that spirit guides come to us at different times in our lives , and they leave when we no longer need them. Some stay with us throughout our lives.
I had a lot to think about, so I cut school! What, did you think that I was going to do my thinking in school? I think not!
I did go to school, but I went to the ball park, and hid under the bleachers. I have always had a habit of talking out loud to my self. Talking about my lady and how I was going to miss her. Talking about Anu and her beauty and she was so smart and huge. I realized that I wasn’t alone. I looked over and saw my friend Karen sitting next to me and her mouth was open and her eyes were huge. She said “what are you talking about?” ” You know a 7 foot long panther and an Indian woman that come to your bedroom?” “How is that even possible?” I wasn’t sure what to say, but I had to say something fast. I had dealt with people thinking I was crazy before.
I said “wow, Karen, it’s a story I’m thinking about writing, you know, The lady and her panther!” We both laughed and I was thinking, that’s it! I’m finished with all this mystic stuff! I just want to be a normal teenager. Yeah, why not!
I proceeded to be as normal a teenager as I could. Wasn’t sure how to do that quite yet!
Our church was called the Erie Street Baptist church and I met a young man with brown hair, smokey brown eyes, adorable zits and a lantern jaw. he was thin and spoke with a West Virginia twang. I was in love. He was 2 years older than me. He asked me to go to the drive in with him. His name was Bill Ray Baker. My mom was not happy. I was only 15, and everyone knew the unmentionable bad things that went on at the “Drive in theatre”!! I didn’t know, but I sure did want to find out!
Betty, Bill’s older sister and her boy friend volunteered to chaperone. Betty talked to my mom and she reluctantly said I could go. I asked Anu what my mother was so worried about. Anu answered that my mother was worried about what could happen to a 15 year old girl filled with raging hormones, alone with a 17 year old boy also filled with raging hormones. I had no clue! It was 1966, and the hippies and flower children had not touched my generation as of yet. There was no sex education in schools and God fearing parents did not talk to their children about sex.
Bill had an old Beetle. It ran, but just barely and it was winter. Off we went to the drive in. Betty and her boyfriend in the back seat. I couldn’t believe this handsome boy wanted to be with me. I was so excited! At the drive in, there was a movie playing but I had no idea what it was! Elephants could have rampaged through that drive in and tore us all up, I would never have known. The car heater went out. Ah, mother nature I loved her! Bill and I were lost to the world, in each others arms. Moaning and groaning I think I scared myself! I had never known passion before, there was some light petting and lots of kissing, but that’s all . This was the guy I would have done anything for.
Bill pulled back and said “We had better cool it for a while!” I said “why?” I was frustrated Bill said”I have too much respect for you to do anything we would regret later!” He got out of the car in the cold, pacing and smoking. I’m going to say that I was really pissed, but I also felt kind of like I was being taken care of. Bill knew I didn’t have any experience and I don’t know if he did or not, but it made me feel good. I got home safe and sound hymen intact!
Bill and I dated for quite a while! I became good friends with his sister Kathy. We were the same age. Mr. and Mrs. Baker were good people. Both old West Virginians. Loved the accents! They smoked lots of cigarets and drank black coffee. Bill had a younger brother, Kenny. Smart kid like his big brother. I spent nights over there with Kathy and Betty. Bill and Kenny worked on Bills bug, his car, a lot of their time. I loved watching my boyfriend work on his car and hanging around with his family. We both loved Charlie Chaplin and went to his films whenever we found one. I was so in love!
My mother, bless her heart, got worried that I was seeing too much of Bill and we were getting too serious at such a young age. She started talking to me about breaking up with him She went on a real campaign about it. Still afraid of the old s e x! Boogeyman!
She finally convinced me that it would be best for me and Bill both! I broke up with him and he cried! I cried too!
He dropped me off at home and my mother said “are you alright?” I said ” like you care”, and it was on! I went to my room, and lay down and fell asleep.
I was dreaming! I was an old woman, sitting on a park bench, feeding the pigeons. watching a young couple walk over and sit on a nearby bench. It was Bill and a young woman. They were laughing and kissing and she was pregnant. Hey, it’s a dream!
I tried to forget Bill. I only hung around with Kathy at school, I couldn’t bear to see him date other girls. Kathy said he wasn’t dating, he was spending all his free time working on his car and going to old movies with Kenny. I was broken hearted and didn’t know what to do.
Our pastors nephew Danny asked me out, so I went out with him. He had a car and we went to the drive in. my mother didn’t say a word. She was just glad I was dating again. I felt like a piece of my heart had been torn away. Making out with Danny was nice, but he was no Bill. Still when he asked me to get in the back seat, I did. I lost my virginity that night. I cried and Danny asked if it hurt, and I said yes. It did hurt, it hurt that it wasn’t Bill.
I dated Danny for a while, but my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t care about much anymore. Anu tried to talk to me, but I wouldn’t listen. I hated my mother, my life and most of all I hated myself.
I turned 16, with a “sweet sixteen” party. I didn’t feel very sweet. Bill turned 18 and was drafted. He went off to Viet Nam. I had nightmares. We were the first generation to watch the war on t.v. It was horrible. They showed it on monitors at school. I tried not to watch. All I could think of was Bill. I had friends from church being drafted and I lost a couple of those friends to another senseless war.
When Christmas came around I got a really pretty pink pant suit, with the top a pretty sweater. I must have looked good in it, because I saw my dad looking at me funny. I thought, this is it. I can’t take it anymore. I went down to my friend Helen’s house. She lived down the street. I told her that I hate everything and I wanted to run away. To my surprise she said she could help me.
Who am I?