I met Mike at his 34th birthday party on September 1977. My cousins worked for him at the Swap Meet and invited me to join them as they wanted to surprise him. Mike had been in an accident weeks before and hadn't been at work. My cousins, Sandy & Vicky worked at the ticket booths and I had just moved in with them in late August. Vicky was 19 while Sandy & I were 16. Vicky was tall, blond, had huge boobs and was the biggest tease in town. Sandy was quiet, plain and my best friend. I was short, played basketball and just beginning to realize my sexuality. For the last 2 weeks, all I heard from all my cousins (8 siblings) that Mike was a great boss and great person to hang out with. So when Sandy asked me to stop by for the surprise birthday party for Mike, I was more than happy to finally meet the man in person.
I had a basketball game on Saturday and needed a little fun for a change. By the time I arrived, the party had been on for about an hour. I saw Sandy among a crowd of people that included teen & adult employees and vendors. Sandy grabbed me and turned looking at the corner of the concession stand as a smile radiated from her lips. I turned and stopped as my eyes locked with a man who stood just 5 feet away. He had brown wavy hair just touching his shoulders, dark blue eyes and a body that lacked an ounce of fat, broad shoulders tapering to a narrow waist. I swear to God that time stopped the instant his eyes locked with mine.
Sandy made the introductions and I wished Mike, "Happy birthday" and said, "I heard so much about you that I felt I had known you for years."
He gave me a smile and said, "Thanks, pleasure to finally meet me too."
I told him, "I didn't have a present or card for you."
He laughed saying, "A hug would do." We embraced and I wished him happy birthday again.
The next hour was a blur of drinking, laughing, and music. As it got dark, people started leaving and soon only Sandy, Ernest, David, Mike and myself were left. We all had a good beer buzz and went into Mike's office to wind down. Mike sat in his chair and Ernest pushed me into Mike's lap and proceeded to use duct tape to bind us together. They left the office saying something about us getting to know each other better.
All I know is that I was sitting on Mike's lap with duct tap around the arms of the chair and our wrists. At first we were laughing, expecting them back any moment, then I started to yell, "Hey, come on, please get your asses back in here and let us go."
Mike said very quietly, "Please stop yelling and squirming so much." Although he did note that he enjoyed the squirming part.
I stopped and asked, "What you thought we should do then."
Mike replied, "Tell me more about you."
I said, "There wasn't much to tell, I'm only 16 and going to prison for killing my cousins."
We both laughed and at that moment I thought 'this man is going to be someone special in my life'. That sobered me up quickly.
So Mike and I talked about his family. Later on, my anger with my mother for moving us to Apache Junction to live with our Aunt who had 8 children and 4 bedroom house.
We were deep into conversation when they returned and untied us. Mike offered to drive Sandy and me home. Sandy sat next to Mike and I was silent all the way home thinking. I felt a connection to Mike that was instant and made me feel more like a woman than a teenager. I knew Sandy had a crush on him and would be angry and hurt if I pursued Mike. She would get over her crush, I on the other hand felt pulled to Mike.
The next weekend I got up and went to Park N Swap. I hung out with Sandy at the ticket booth telling her about the game. I was a guard, short by basketball standards, but I moved fast, had a killer 25-foot shot and was dead on at the free throw line. We lost by one point, but I had an amazing game. Most work nights a group would stay after to drink beer and have some laughs. Most times Mike and I would sit and talk about things that were important to us. Everyone could tell there was something going on with us, but we never had an opportunity to be alone until sometime in November.
I hung out after closing waiting for everyone to go home wanting to be alone with Mike. Mike, Daniel and Sandy went to Circle K to get some beer and we all sat in the office drinking and talking.
Mike said, "I need to go to the store again for cigarettes and more beer. Would Iyou like to come too?" I literally jumped at the chance to be alone with him, if even for 15 minutes. We parked the truck behind the office when we got back and just sat for a moment.
The night was clear and cool enough to frost the window as we sat there talking. A silence fell over both of us as I pondered what to say next. I wanted to kiss Mike, but was suddenly afraid that he would reject me. The windows fogged more as Mike asked, "What are you thinking?"
I turned to him and said, "This night is perfect." What more could a girl want; beer, radio and you." Mike turned to me and I moved into his arms, lifting my face for our first kiss. I trembled as our lips touched, deepening the kiss when my lips parted to allow him to explore. I had no thoughts beyond that moment, savoring Mike's lips, his hands tangled in my hair pulling me deeper.
I don't remember breaking our connection to breathe. This kiss gave all I would ever need. Suddenly there was insistent pounding at Mike's window. Our lips parted and we both turned towards the sound, but could see nothing as the windows were fogged milky white. Mike rolled down the window and there stood Sandy, her eyes were wild with tears as her face flushed with embarrassment. She turned and ran away.
Mike turned to me and asked, "Are you ok?"
I said, "yes," but opened my door to go after her. He stayed in the truck. I turned the corner of the office to see Daniel's car leaving the parking lot. I just stood there shaken from the cold, my finger caressing my swollen lips.
I felt Mike come up behind me, placing his arms around my waist, gently pulling me into him. He whispered in my ear, "Are you ok?"
I nodded, 'Yes' and asked, "please take me home."
The drive was only 15 minutes and at first we were both silent. As Mike turned onto my street, I said, "I will talk to Sandy. She needs to understand that I want to be with you."
And I left the truck and went into the house. It was quiet, so I went to the bedroom that Sandy and I shared, only to find that Vonda was sleeping in the bed. All of Sandy's clothing and personal things were gone. I went into the bathroom and stared at my reflection in the mirror. My lips were still swollen so I touched them and smiled. I made the decision right there that no matter what; I was going to have an affair with Mike. I wanted to feel his lips again. Wanted to feel his hands move over my body. I removed my cloths, stepped into the shower and with my hands traced the path that I wanted Mike's hands to make.