The attractive blond looked very young. The waitress had automatically asked for ID when the adult beverage order was placed. Always cautious as she examined the girl’s driver’s license, the waitress had asked for a second form of photo ID which the young woman produced. It appeared to be either a student ID card or possibly an employee identification badge. After careful scrutiny of both identifying documents the bar maid seemed satisfied and went to retrieve the young woman’s order. The young girl looked in his direction, fixing his gaze with her own and smiled.
It was still early in this popular San Diego night spot; she was alone, but would soon have company whether she wanted it or not. They were both in a nicer than average Southern California club known to be a prime pickup venue. Successful young metro males vied with the occasional young Marine officer for female attention. He fell into that second category. He was a handsome young Lieutenant only recently returned from Iraq.
He had himself on more than one occasion asked a young lady to prove that she was at least eighteen—a statutory rape charge would do little to enhance his military career. This attractive young woman had to be at least twenty-one to order alcohol in California. At twenty-five the young officer had no interest in woman under that age. The maturity brought on by combat had lessened his interest in the giggly young high school girls looking for—whatever it was they were looking for. Certainly he wanted to get laid; that went without question.
With his surfer good looks, lean, muscular young body and easy manner he was usually successful—but always picky. He was naturally athletic and had been involved in numerous sports throughout high school and college. He hoped to complete his Masters degree in night school in the next year. He would make Captain by then. With the specter of another tour of duty in Iraq he would quite probably request release from active duty a year later.
He loved the Corps and was proud that he had been bloodied in that God forsaken country—but did not wish to visit it again. He had lost friends and watched young men under his command die. His vehicle had been hit more times than any other officer in the Battalion—or at least any other officer who was still alive.
He actually had the surf board to go with the surfer look. It had been the first major purchase he had made on returning to Camp Pendleton. He had learned to ski in college; he had become a proficient surfer very quickly. Other than his present activity—attempting to get laid—surfing had become his primary recreational activity. While he worked long hours, the long days of summer and the legendary Southern California weather gave him ample opportunity to pursue his new found addiction.
Sensing an opportunity and the wordless invitation of her acknowledgment the young man left his friends and moved over to join the young blond. He didn’t have some prearranged pickup line. He didn’t really need one. He had an easy, confident manner and a quick friendly smile. He paid attention to the women he was interested in. He was a handsome kid whose closely cropped USMC haircut did nothing to distract from his good looks. He had been told by more than one young blond that he had beautiful eyes.
Young blonds—his other addiction after surfing. Tight little butts, compact and athletic little bodies. He wasn’t that big a breast man; he had been quite adequately suckled as a breast fed infant until he ate his first hamburger. He was also at heart a bit of a romantic. Certainly he pursued and caught the occasional coyote—an older women just looking for a vigorous fuck from a virile young Marine. When it came to young blonds, however, there was always that thought in his mind—is this the one? Will I fall in love with her? He had always been reasonably lucky in lust but less so in love.
He loved strong, confident and assertive women. They needed to have a brain and a sharp wit. To date, his serious relationships had been with a small number of complex young women. Their complexity made them interesting. It also on occasion made them difficult. He had pledged his undying love twice in his young life. His overture was immediately accepted on both occasions. Also in both instances the woman in question had gotten cold feet and had withdrawn from the idea of eternal love and marriage. So, he thought, here I am, ready to spend the rest of my life with that one special woman—supposedly what many young women of his age were looking for—and I keep striking out.
Every woman who knew him who hadn’t been the object of his undying love knew what an incredible catch this young man was—and wished they were the object of his affections. He was a damned good kid who would do good things with his life—and love some special woman totally and faithfully. Those that cared for him knew that special woman was out there. It would be a woman who, having dated reasonably extensively and having had some crappy relationships of her own, would go, “Holy shit—this guy’s a keeper!” That special woman would be at just that right moment in her young life when she was ready, and able, to commit—to return his affections—to love him to death forever.
Was this the one, he thought as he slid into the chair beside her? He introduced himself, as he always did, often making a self deprecating comment about his minority status—as a Marine as opposed to a yuppie. He had, on occasion received a terse response, to wit, “I don’t date Marines—please go away.” That had been an all too common response in Georgetown when had been assigned to the Quantico Marine base South of DC. The hot little Washington interns as a demographic group shunned Marines like the plague.
This young lady was different; her name was Megan with an obviously Irish surname. She extended her hand warmly, immediately asking him if he was with the unit which had recently returned from Iraq. When he responded in the affirmative, she took his hand in both of hers, looked him in the eye, smiled warmly and said, sincerely. “Thank you for your service. We who do not serve all owe you who do our extreme heartfelt thanks and are in your debt.”
He was blown away. A greeting of this sort was far more common today than it had been for his father thirty five years earlier when he had returned from Vietnam. He was instantly smitten. He definitely needed to get to know this girl better—possibly forego the opportunity to get laid tonight in lieu of something more serious. He thanked her, barely able to keep the moisture from his eyes as he considered the special words she had just uttered.
They got to know each other. Her dad had been a Marine in Vietnam. She was the youngest of three; she had two brothers—neither had served in the military. She worked for a systems firm in Del Mar—her first job following graduation. She had attended the University of Texas at Austin. She was twenty-two—having graduated from high school a year early.
Her father, now nearing the end of a successful corporate career, lived with her mother in North Carolina—not far from where the young Marine had attended college. They spoke of music. Her taste was eclectic as was his, ranging from John Coltrane and Miles Davis to Maroon 5—with some Led Zeppelin and George Strait thrown in the middle—and a special place in both their hearts for Mozart.
As they grew in understanding how much they had in common and charmed each other with quick wit and healthy irreverence, it was music—the house band that threatened to end their quiet chat. He was about to suggest that they go someplace else—someplace they could continue to talk. She beat him to the punch.
“This is my first time here—the band is a little loud and a bit grating. Why don’t we get out of here?” She said, taking his hand in hers.
As they exited the rapidly filling club the relative serenity of the San Diego street and the soft ocean breeze were a welcome relief. As he was trying to think of someplace they might go, Megan again took the initiative.
“Which is closer—I’m really new to this area, Cardiff—where you live, or Del Mar—where I live?” She asked.
“It’s probably twenty minutes from here to your apartment—another eight or ten farther North to where I live.” The young Marine replied.
“Are you close to the beach?” Megan asked.
“I’m actually very close—not more than a couple hundred yards.” He told her.
“Will we be disturbing anyone—your roommate?” She asked innocently.
“I had a roommate in my last apartment—prior to Iraq—my best friend, actually. When I got back I just decided I was getting too old for a roommate. I love my friends—but I enjoy my privacy.” He informed her.
“Great! I’ll follow you. Give me your cell phone number in case I lose you—here’s mine.” Megan said.
A few minutes later as the young officer headed up the 805 in his late model pickup truck with Megan’s Accord tucked tightly in behind him, he mulled over what had transpired. The two young people had clicked so damned well. He was young; getting laid certainly was on his mind. He might well forego carnal activities if it meant seeing this intriguing young woman again—and a lot. He hadn’t enjoyed anyone’s company this much in a very long time. It had been so easy to talk with her. She made him laugh; he made her laugh. He almost had lost sight of the fact that she was stunning—his dream girl. It wouldn’t have mattered. He would have wanted to spend more time with her regardless of her physical attributes.
They arrived at his apartment which was not part of a large complex but an older, privately owned unit—literally in sight of the ocean. He gave her the Cook’s tour of his place. They decided to take some wine and walk down to the beach. They continued to chat comfortably as if they had known each other forever. Their talk never got suggestive but it did touch on relationships.
“So my fine young Lieutenant—is there a special girl friend back home? Hell I’m being less candid than I always strive to be. Are you seeing anyone—any one that matters?” Megan asked.
He told her of his somewhat unlucky legacy of love—clearly indicating that no one had any ties to his heart at the present time. He asked her essentially the same question. She laughed as she related her short saga of loves lost—not unlike his own. She closed by indicating that there was no one—special or otherwise in her life. She then surprised him with her next comments.
“Is there some deep dark sinister thing somewhere in your life that I’ll discover some day? If there is—please tell me now before either of has more than a very pleasant evening invested. I’ll make it easier for you. I’ve never done drugs, never been arrested, never slept with a married man, never taken my clothes off for money or peddled my butt to pay the rent. My family loves me and I, in return love them. We’re close—we speak often. I have no clinically defined psychological issues. I don’t go to church often—but I believe. Your turn.” Megan said following her brief soliloquy.
He started by telling her that he was pretty proud that he had never slept with a married man either—other than his dad when they had to share a motel room bed one night while touring prospective colleges—which made her laugh so hard she almost choked on her cup of wine. But no, he was a normal kid, with normal parents and he had done nothing more radical in his life than decide to become a USMC officer. He was an all American boy with few hang-ups and nothing remotely pathological. As he finished his short review, Megan dropped her cup and kissed him. They soon had their arms around each other and continued to kiss in the moon light.
She broke the kiss first, softly speaking his name. “I’m a good girl. I’m a nice girl. I don’t pick up strange men in bars and go to bed with them. I’ve never slept with any man on the first date—the third or fourth—maybe.”
After pausing to collect her thoughts and choose her words, Megan continued. “I want to spend the night with you. I want to make love to you like I’ve never wanted to make love to any man—ever. So my fine young Marine—you’re going to get lucky. You need to know in your heart that I’m neither easy nor a slut. I thought seriously about not doing this—giving it more time. I want to be more than friends; I sense that you do too. So, take me back to your bed—a new one I noted—and have your way with me.”
Their love making was every bit as easy and playful as the rest of their short relationship had been. The young officer’s equipment was of average size but his muscled young body had stamina developed over months of leading his young charges up and down the barren hills of Camp Pendleton. He was at heart a gentle and caring man and the tenderness of his love making clearly demonstrated his nurturing nature.
From a purely physical standpoint it was an astounding night for both young lovers. Neither could stand to be separated from the other—even for minute. It clearly surprised them both that, never having coupled before there was no awkwardness between them; they fit together and moved together in perfect harmony.
As he penetrated her sweet young body one more time in the predawn hour he told her he loved her. It was neither a mistake in the heat of passion nor something he would have said capriciously. She said those same three words to him—slapping him playfully for stealing her inner thoughts. They grinned at each other in the soft light rising over the Pacific. They both new it was true. They both believed it had been fate that introduced them—that some mystical force had brought them together. Neither intended to ever let anything separate them. They spent every moment of the weekend together, seldom losing physical contact with each other.
In the month that followed all of their spare time was spent together. Minor disagreements—and they were both minor and infrequent—arose. They overcame them. Their love and friendship grew deeper with each passing day. They shared their most intimate secrets—their hopes and dreams. They talked of children—they both wanted them desperately. They spoke for hours of the future—their future.
He called his parents first to tell them that he had finally met her—the one—and that he was positive that she would not disappoint as others had. Megan called her parents with equal results. The two sets of parents contacted each other. They knew and loved their respective children; they knew this was for real.
On their one month anniversary the young Marine officer proposed, placing a small but exquisite diamond on her finger. He did so with some trepidation. He had made this gesture once before—and still had the diamond sequestered away in a safe deposit box—returned three months and two days after the proposal—past the time in which he could return it. Megan of course accepted.
They traveled together to meet each other’s parents. The parents later traveled to meet each other. All got along famously. Their respective parents joyfully shared and reveled in the special love that their respective off spring had found—a love much like their own.
Three months later she was still wearing that diamond as he slipped the second ring on her finger and said, “I do”. To his delight and relief, she agreed. They were married at Camp Pendleton. Both families loved Southern California and agree that it was the perfect place. After a quiet reception with close family and dear friends, they left for Maui on their honeymoon.
And that is where this story ends. The story of Megan and her strong young Marine will, I hope find reality. There will be tough times and sometimes a rocky road. They will overcome it as their love becomes deeper over the ensuing years. There will be heartbreak, possibly even tragedy. There will also be more than enough great joy to make the difficult times seem insignificant. There will be children—grand children for the Marine’s father—me.
That special young Marine Lieutenant will be there in that San Diego night spot. He’ll be sitting with friends who served with him in combat in Iraq. He’ll be looking for his Megan—the special one—the one he will give himself to. The one he will love until the day he passes. He hasn’t met her yet—but he won’t stop looking until he finds her. He’ll be there tonight—it’s Friday. Say hello to him for me—give him a big hug from his dad—thank him for his valor. If you’re the one, hold on to him tightly and never let him go.