Answer #3. Oh my, this goes all the way back to second grade. We lived about as far out in the country in southeastern Colorado as one could possibly get without being closer to some other town. Our nearest neighbor, old Mr. Kelley, was a farmer same as us. He had the same sort of luck at farming as did most everyone in that part of the world (bloody awful). He did have one treasure that he valued above all others - his three daughters.
The eldest daughter was the smart one. She wore thick glasses and had "academic curves"; that is, the rounded shoulders of someone who clutched books too close to her chest too tightly and too often, the thick and sturdy middle that comes with preferring pastry to P.E., and the smile of a angel too bashful to share.
The middle daughter was the strong one. She wore skirts that touched her ankles so that no one would ever forget that her mother had given birth to three girl babies, not just two. This daughter could run, jump and throw, and was singularly un-afflicted by beauty. She inherited every mustachioed crumb of East German Olympian (shot put) in her family tree. If the tractor broke down and the horses tired, she could pull the plow by herself.
The Angels themselves decorated the youngest daughter, Christie, with beauty and elegance, but left her as fragile as glass. Her skin had to be hidden from the Sun because she was as pale as the wind driven snow. She had hair that touched the middle of her back and was the color of the wheat fields the week before harvest. From time to time she would lift her dark glasses and let the boys look into her amethyst eyes with which she froze them still as statues where they stood. She was the first girl that ever made us say, WoW!
One day my mom needed to buy some milk, so we went to visit Mr. Kelley. He had an old Guernsey that give milk so thick and rich that the cats had to scratch through the cream just to get a drink. While the grown ups were in the big house talking, I was outside rousting chickens and playing with the dogs. Christie and the middle daughter came out to play. Christie was a year older than I was and her sister was two more than that.
Her parents didn't let Christie come out of the house very often and I just wanted to be near her. So I asked her what game she wanted to play. She said, "If you catch me, you can kiss me." Then she raised her glasses and winked at me. I couldn't move! For a minute I thought I had just wished those words into being. Then she ran off, laughing out loud, with her sister sprinting ahead and the dogs trailing behind.
I tried a few permutations of the words she said, trying to find some combination of them that made more sense than "If you catch me, you can kiss me." The world just doesn't work that way. I mean really! How often do you find money on the ground, or get free ice cream, or collect enough empty Coca Cola bottles to redeem for a candy bar, or have the object of your earthly desires ... just lay it out there like that? Couldn't be real.
That's when I saw them round the corner of the milking barn and disappear. What if it wasn't real and I just ran up to her, caught her and kissed her anyway? Sure, it was bold, but ... what if? She would slap me for sure, probably knee me in the groin, and might even call her sister over to whoop me, but you know, it didn't seem that bad when you thought about it more. I could take a black eye home with me AND still have that kiss from her and no one could make me give it back!
So I started running. I looped through the barn and over the corrals and saw them head toward the haystack. The whelping dogs were going to guide me on victory. I pumped my arms and drove my legs as hard as they would go, and I was gaining ground on all of them.
We ran around the biggest, tallest haystack in the world once and started in for a second. I rounded the corner closest to the house and heard those dogs running straight on from the other side. I came out of the turn and saw Christie and the dogs making a beeline toward the hay meadow. The knee deep grass there would slow them down considerably. This wasn't going to be easy, but it was within reach now.
All of the sudden and arm reached out of the haystack and hooked me hard under the chin. My head stopped, but my feet went up into the air, and at that moment when no more motion was going to happen, gravity yanked me down onto a hay bale and crushed the air out of me.
I struggled to catch my breath and a face appeared over me. It was the middle daughter, puckering up. She held me down and kissed me. I thought I would die from lack of oxygen. The air eventually came back, and she kept on kissing. You know, as long as my eyes were closed, it wasn't too bad really. In fact I kind of liked it. The more she kissed, the more I liked it actually. Then she started liking it too, and it was really, really good. That's when both of us began to worry.
My Mother had told me a story about a dread molecule ... that boys had inside of them that was exceedingly dangerous.
This molecule would leave the boys body and enter a girls body and make them pregnant. The molecule had power, and people were supposed to be afraid of it. And I was. I didn't even know where the molecule was at inside of me. Mom hadn't told me how this evil molecule escaped from the boys body in the first place, and I had never thought to ask before that very moment. Another thing I needed to ask was ... what happened next? Would I even know if the molecule had left my body? If so, how bad would it hurt? Would I need surgery or stitches to repair the wound it made when it escaped? Exactly what kind of damage would this molecule do to me after it was done with the girl ... and it wanted to climb back inside of me?
The middle daughter and I never spoke of ... atoms or molecules ever again. It was just too scary.
My mom and I never talked about the molecule after that, but the time it was "time" to talk about that, I had already seen the sex education film at school and learned that people have babies the same way that farm animals do ... only without the veterinarian.
Mr. Kelley's eldest daughter went to the University, got a degree in Industrial Engineering and came back to southeastern Colorado to run a commercial bakery. It was her dream job.
The middle daughter went to Colorado State University on an athletic scholarship.
Christie disappeared when her family quit farming and moved to the city during the economic catastrophe of the late 70's. She had lots of boyfriends, none of which were me.