I spy with my little bright eyes
I’d love to be able to say that night of Northern Light watching and hand holding was romantic, but it wasn’t. David had grabbed my hand in shock and awe. I held on because quite frankly, boys as boyfriends were a complete mystery to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I understood and understand men/boys better then I will ever understand women, but back then, boys were competition and men were something to look up to and aspire to be like, not someone to get goonie goo goo eyed over. Even at 14 ½ years old, boys were gross as far as love went. Heck even Love was gross.
Saber, -now she had already succumbed to the wonders of sweet talk and hand holding. To her, boys were soooooo cute. To me, boys were either dumb, or really brave. Most of my peers that were male fell into the dumb category. Daddy and his marines fell into the brave category and any stray male I met – well he was a stray so he didn’t matter!
That night that David visited me ay Grey’s house, we laid in that meadow for a long time – watching the night sky. In fact, when I woke up the next morning, there was no David beside me; only a solo doe sweetly browsing on grass. I was really glad David wasn’t there when I woke with the sun, most likely he’d have scared the doe off.
It wasn’t until later that day, as I packed my rucksack for my monthly weekend in the woods, that I found out why David even came out there. When Grey handed me my fishing pole and tackle box, I recalled I left it with David the day my mother showed up. That explained it to me. David was merely returning my possessions. After checking my tackle box thoroughly I knew I could trust David. All my best lures were still there; in fact all of my lures were there. David was trustworthy and I was glad.
I’m sure many people wonder where my adult supervision was. I just stated I was packing for my weekend in the woods. I just wrote of leaving my own home and going to Grey’s for rest and recuperation. In all of that I never mentioned my daddy and where he was or why he wasn’t trying to find me when it appeared I was up and out of site.
Well truth be told, I did not grow up with much direct supervision. By the time I was eight, I was so capable of taking care of myself that often I was allowed to stay home if my father had duty – instead of going to a babysitter. Granted he called home every hour, and granted the neighbor lady always watched me from afar – but from an early early age, I was allowed independence as I earned it.
The more I could be trusted to ‘do the right thing’ or ‘be responsible’ the less I had to check in like most kids my age. So when I wasn’t with Daddy and the Marines, or at school or Grey’s, I was often found wandering the forests of our island.
I was always required to check into the duty hut should I fancy myself off to a weekend in the woods. There I would have to leave the precise location on the map that I’d be camping. I always checked in and sometimes daddy checked to make sure I was where I said I’d be. But by the time I was 14 ½ rarely did he do that anymore. I had truly earned my privileges. And I cherished them so highly; there was no way I’d get caught doing something to lose them.
Please note, I said get caught – not ‘would not do something’ to risk losing them. I risked losing them a lot. Getting caught however, that was an entirely different matter. I didn’t get caught – ever. Until David – but I am getting ahead of myself here. Allow me to go back a few paces.
Do you recall me mentioning the “treasure” Saber and I were constantly looking for? The crate of something that my father and six other Marines secretly loaded full, nailed shut and then drove off into the wilderness to hide…..well it was that treasure, and the secret driving it, that was now fueling my weekends in the woods.
You see at that age, secrets were the most awesome thing in the entire world as long as they were mine. If anyone else should have a secret that I did not know details of – that was highly unacceptable – HIGHLY. I truly felt the only person entitled to a true secret was myself. All other people had a right to their secrets as long as they gave me the details of them. If they did not, then I did nothing more then focus on finding out their secrets and exposing them publicly.
I was a bad kid.
I had more dirt on the people who lived on that island, in form of pictures, recordings, notes, and visually spying on them then anyone should have to endure. Adult, child, male, female, it didn’t matter. I was an equal opportunity extortionist. Should I get close to being caught at something I should not be doing, something that would threaten my freedom, I’d extort the cooperation of others by threatening (and sometimes exposing) their secrets.
I told you I was bad, and now I’ve told you how I managed never to get caught. I extorted the hell out of folks – terrorized them with my covert observations of their lives and extorting the fear they had that I’d open my big mouth. I was a one girl Mafia and I did it WELL!
So keeping that in mind, and recalling the secret crate my father had – now you know why I was packing to go out in the woods. There was NO WAY I’d allow my daddy or anyone else on that island to know something I didn’t. Period.
Somebody should have beaten the shit out of me back then. Someone should have knocked my chip off my shoulders, ripped my head off and shit down my throat, or at least stood up to me. Nobody did though. I had gotten so good at instilling fear of reprisal that NO ONE stood against me – child or adult.
The only person who even came close to addressing the issue of my spy like and mafia like nature was Grey. Once he said “You know Ray of Sun, the seeds you sew today shall ripen into tomorrow’s fruit.”
Being the typical 14 ½ year old I was, cocky, arrogant and all knowing, I rolled my eyes and laughed at him. Then I set off on Operation I Spy.
Operation I-Spy was the name of my ongoing covert operation in which I investigated and found the secrets I wanted to know. Being raised as Marine Like as I was, I conducted it as a full blown, military intelligence gathering operation. I didn’t know any other way. Strategies were formed, Contingencies laid out, masterful and cunning plans of attack were always used. Always.
I had spent years learning to dress covertly, walk silently, hide in any sort of climate or terrain. I was a master of disguise, could lie on the spot and make you believe it in a heartbeat, and absolutely one of the best covert operatives ever seen. That’s not bragging, or it isn’t meant to be – but it is true – as my later years would prove.
So after a night of hand holding, and a week of puking and mother crap – off I went on another trek for Operation I-Spy. By this time, the intelligence Saber and I gathered on the mysterious crate, and the marines who handled it, gave me a good clue as to where they might have placed it. Two days of hiking and I was in my grid (the area I planned to search). After setting up my camp and getting myself some rest, I planned to really search this area over. I was in my glory.
It was day two of my search that I heard something odd in the forest. The animals, especially birds had gone from an excited, nearly exasperated alert type of noises to deadly silent. I knew instantly someone was in the area. It took me less then three hours to locate them, but sure enough there beyond the blueberry bushes I hid in, was my father and the same six Marines – sitting around a freshly unearthed crate.
If I had been a Boy, I would have had a hard on I was so excited. Instead, I silently gloated to the universe about my mastery of it. Then I moved in closer, to listen.
At this point, I am opting not to tell you what it is I heard and saw that day. If I tell you now, it will make the rest of “Our History” pale and lame. Because what happened that day in that forest as I spied on those men – it began the one strand of the web that would later be woven into every aspect of Mine and David’s life. So for now you will have to settle with hearing what occurred and how I felt as opposed to being told what I found.
I had gotten as physically close to the seven grown men as I possible could without getting caught. For nearly four hours I laid completely motionless, barely even breathing so that I’d go completely undetected. It wasn’t the sheer difficulty of being silent and still for that long that got to me. What got to me as I laid there was, finally understanding the truth of that crate – and my beloved daddy.
I struggled to keep still, to not run out and scream “this is some mistake, my daddy wouldn’t do this…he’s working against you bad men….” Deep inside I knew it wasn’t a mistake. Daddy could never lie to me. Sure he lied all the time, but I always knew it when he did. Some lies were acceptable. The ones where he said, “Oh we’re just going to such and such base to train” when really they were shipping out on some covert operation somewhere not on a base. Those I could understand in the context of his work.
But my daddy never lied to me about the real things. If he said the sky was black, then at that moment I could look up and see it was black. Words like Honor, Trust, Loyalty, Courage, ….all of those and more were his inner core…or so I thought. Until that day in the forest, my daddy could have faced God himself and been the better man – in my eyes.
Seeing what I saw, hearing what I heard didn’t just break my heart – it fractured my soul. It shook me to my core because I truly thought my daddy hung the moon.
Daddy and the others left, leaving behind the crate that killed my soul – but still I couldn’t move. For hours, I don’t even know how many; I laid there still as the dead….lost in the agony that my young age and cockiness had brought me too.
Now I knew and I only had one problem – I had to tell someone because it was more then wrong.
Shattered – I was shattered in every way a person can be. I knew what the right thing to do was – I had to turn these seven men in before anyone died. I had to – but HOW? He was my daddy……..my life………the only soul on the face of the planet who loved me for me and kept me from the cruel, hateful hands of my mother.
I wanted to die as I laid there. I swear to you, I truly wanted to die before I had to do the right thing.
Obviously, I didn’t die though. No amount of mentally forcing my body to stop living, could make me die. And I tried! Ha ha ha!
As the sun rose upon my now blackened forest, I stood up. Hours had passed since my father and the others left. I didn’t have to worry about being seen.
Then I heard the hammer of a pistol being cocked.
“Put your weapons down and eat dirt – NOW” a gruff voice growled form behind me.
I froze with one hand on the trigger of my rifle. I had been caught. HOLY SHIT
I was covered head to toe in camouflage even my exposed skin had been painted with the colors and patterns of the forest floor. I looked like a spy I’m sure. But I was not a spy at that moment, at that moment I was the one spied upon – and man o man was I pissed off about that.
The voice was about to say something else, I heard only the first syllable; “Put…”
I whirled around and had my rifle to the ready before anything further got out of the person’s mouth. In the scope of my rifle I had the inner edges of two eyebrows and eyes, and a perfect forehead shot.
“You shoot I shoot asshole” I hissed.
The target moved slightly but I kept my sights locked on. I heard his feet rustle just before his gasp.
I recognized the voice instantly
“David!” I cried as I looked past my rifle sight.
Sure enough, dressed in nearly identical camouflaging techniques, stood David with his hands securely clasped around the pistol he had trained on me.
“PUT IT DOWN” he screamed in rage.
“Over my dead body Sutterland” I raged back.
There we stood, two trembling, infuriated, deadly marksmen – each with the other in our sights, each with the mentality that would allow us to kill if need be – and each of us wondering “What the fuck?”
“I ain’t fucking around woman, put it down!”
“Make ME” I growled. “One shot, one kill you pussy – bring it on!”
I was more then furious, I was nearly out of my mind. My anger at the universe for showing me what I saw was pouring through my body, out my rifle sights and locked on the center of David’s head – friend or not.
“On the count of three we lower our weapons” he suddenly braked. “One, two, three”
David lowered his pistol, and I heard the safety being clicked on. I stepped forward two quick steps and kept my rifle dead center between his eyes.
“Drop your weapon!” I demanded.
David was floored. Apparently he thought I’d go for the one, two, three trick and when I didn’t he didn’t know what the fuck to do.
“LOWER YOUR RIFLE CYL” he yelled ferociously. I stepped forward one more pace – without lowering my weapon.
“Drop your goddamn weapon or I WILL SHOOT”
David stared at me. I don’t know why, because I never asked him later – but for some reason, I’ll be damned if David didn’t drop his weapon. Quickly, just as I had been taught, keeping my rifle and eyes on David, I slid out a toe and kicked the pistol away.
“On your knees” I screamed.
I was treating David just as I had been trained to do when approaching the enemy in combat. Get their weapons dropped, get them on the ground, subdue them- and then talk. Too many years I had been put through this training – it was second nature to me and nothing was going to stop me.
I think, in truth; David recognized this and knew better then to push it. Within a second he dropped to his knees and then went down to the ground – as per my instructions. I kept my rifle trained on the back of his head as I felt him up and down for any more weapons. Having him remove the second, hidden pistol, I kicked that away too…before I was finally satisfied that at least David could not shoot me dead.
I backed up three feet and kept my rifle aimed at his chest. “What are you doing here?” I demanded. Rage the likes of which I had never experienced was pouring through my veins. I wanted to hurt this intruder, this enemy – and I didn’t really know why. It’s what I had been trained to do.
Maybe my daddy and the others didn’t think I took their training to heart – but that moment in the forest, with David, proved to me and at least David – I had. The only difference between me and any real marine in a combat situation similar to that moment was I never went to a real boot camp.
“Sutterland, David Thomas- Lcpl – 113 – 24 – 1157” David barked from the ground. He was still laying face down, with his hands behind his head and now he was giving me the only thing they were allowed to say if captured – name, rank and serial number.
Oh Shit and Mercy upon the world, did that not sit right with me. I less then a heartbeat I had my rifle on the back of David’s skull and I recall screaming in a voice that I’ve never used before or since. “Don’t fuck with me……”
“Then back off bitch!” David roared.
Thank God he did scream those words – because looking back – I was close to killing him the rage was so all encompassing.
Nobody every talked to me the way he screamed at me just then. I really do think the shock of hearing someone yell at me as he did – as if I were a force to be reckoned with, it stunned me. It also began making me think – Oh shit, what am I doing?
When I jumped back from David’s prone body and lowered my weapon, I was trembling violently.
David however, sprung up like a Wildman and instantly had me by both upper arms. Shaking me so hard that I could not focus my eyesight, David screamed in my face. “If you EVER do that to me again – I’ll KILL YOU.”
That brought on the tears of confusion. David kept shaking me, screaming something about “I don’t know what the fuck your problem is but…” as I shook my head, tried to speak but could only whimper while hot tears stung my eyes.
Those first few seconds were one hell of a moment! Whewwwwwww
I don’t know what it was that caught David’s right mind, but just as I had suddenly snapped out of the automatic Marine Corps mentality and back into that of a young girl, David’s mind also snapped back to reality.
All at once he let go of my arms. His hand flew to his head and off came the cover he wore. He was just as shocked, horrified and confused as I was. We stood there lost in our hazes.
How long we stood lost in the harrowing experience we’d just been through, I’m not sure. But suddenly David paused, whirled around to look at me and shook his head helplessly and with awe.
“What are you doing here?” he whispered. “Do you realize how much trouble you’re in? I could have killed you bright eyes.”
I had no reply.
In my mind, I could only think one thing; did I really have bright eyes?