“Honestly Wyatt, you’re 25-years old. You need to settle down. Enough is enough already. Your father and I want grandkids. She’s a nice girl. You may not be in love now, but you will be. You’ll learn to love her. Wait and see. What do you have to lose?”

Well the answer to the question of my mother’s tirade was “time”. I lost just under a year of my life.

Tiffany, or Tiff to her friends, met me at a mutual friend’s party. It was a set-up and we talked for a few minutes, only to agree that we didn’t agree on much, one of those being that she really didn’t care for me and I felt the same about her. I thought that she was loud, arrogant, and intrusive, with a side order of bitchiness thrown in, just in case the other things weren’t enough for you.

Because I had a home office, from which I worked, she thought that I was a fat and lazy underachiever. I tried to explain that just because I worked from home, didn’t make my job any less important. She didn’t agree. Apparently, driving into Sam’s Club for work every day, was far more important.

After 3 or 4 house parties and arranged dates we appeared to be destined for “couple-hood”. On our very first date where we went out on our own, Tiff made it very clear to me that she still thought I was too fat for her and that if I planned on a future with her, I’d had to be more motivated. She knew that she could do better. In her words, she was “way outta me league, but due to her ticking biological clock, she was running outta time”. After that date, my opinion of her hadn’t changed. She was a total bitch. The saying “You be a bitch just because you can be”, was meant for her

I clearly remember our first-time having sex. Tiff was living at home and her parents had gone to a wedding out of town, so we planned on spending the night together. I showed up at her place with a bottle of her favorite wine, a pizza and some condoms. My friend’s wife told him that Tiff had said that tonight would be the night, and I had to say, I was a little excited.

All night I tried to be romantic. I said all the right things. Made all the right moves. But got shot down all the way. Finally, the show that she had been binge watching came to its conclusion and she noticed my existents.

“Okay. Let’s go and get this out of the way.”

Tiff’s room was decorated exactly the way that you would imagine a spoiled little girl’s room might be. Lots of sparkly shit on the walls. Lots of pink. Lots of stuffed animals. She went into her walk-in closet and when she came out, she was naked.

“Well?” She gestured her hand up and down questioning why I was still dressed.


I have to admit that even though Tiff was a bitch extraordinaire, in my eyes, she was still hot. At just over 5 feet she was a about 14 inches shorter than me. She had an ample chest, a nice round ass and only a slight belly.

Obviously, my belly was bigger. A doctor had once told me that I was 40 — 50 pounds overweight, but he said that I was otherwise very healthy. So, it never bothered me, not until I stood naked in front of someone that I knew was judging me.

Her eyes focused on my cock, and she appeared to be pleased with it, but the rest of me was probably a bit of a disappointment to her.

“Shit you’re hairy. Ever think about a little manscaping? Maybe while you’re at it, you can get a haircut. I’m sure that style went out years ago.” Her words dug deep and didn’t help me to build any confidence, but not a drop of blood left my already hard dick.

Experience in the sex department for me was limited to 3 different girls. Tiff would be my fourth. I knew what I liked. I thought that I knew what women liked. And being a guy without tons of background knowledge, I worked my ass of when given the opportunity.

Like my father used to tell me, “A hard cock has no conscience”, I could feel myself getting harder as I looked Tiff up and down. Even if I truly disliked this girl, we were going to have sex, and for that, I loved her.

I went down on Tiff to start the ball rolling. She had great flavor. Sweet and tangy. Wet and musky. It came as no surprise what-so-ever when Tiff started to feed me instructions, and I did everything in my power to comply. Nips, bites, licks, sucks and fingers, I did it all. My tongue was pressed flat giving Tiffany’s clit a full massage when she came for the very first time in our relationship.

Pulling out from under me, she swung her hips up and over my head. Her still pulsing pussy once again covered my mouth, but now she was returning the favor. Her lips and mouth had engulfed my shaft.

Tiff knew how to give a blowjob. The perfect amount of pressure encircled my shaft and head. Every time that I thought I was about to plop out of her mouth, she would rim her tongue around my knob and increase suction.

Mumbling to her from the fleshy meat flaps coving my face, I paid her a compliment.

“Oh my god, Tiff, that feels so good.” Maybe we would be okay together.

“Enjoy it, because it’s the last time I do it, until you shave the fucking thing.” Maybe not.

As hairy as I was, it didn’t slow her down at all. Bobbing her wet mouth up and down, she slobbered up a storm. Traces of her drool puddled on my balls. Tiff sucked and had her way with my manhood and when it was all said and done, it was the best of my life.

“Tiff, I’m cumming.” I didn’t want to ruin any future events by not letting her know, but she forced me down her throat. Gagging only slightly as she did.

My hands pulled apart the cheeks of her ass and I buried my face into her as far as I could. Mumbling, moaning and working, we both came. Tiffany, who I found to be full of surprises, swallowed every single drop and didn’t complain once.

Cuddled up and resting, Tiff told me stories about everyone one of her stuffed animals. When and where they were “adopted” into her family. No detail was left untold. Luckily my wait time for regeneration is usually quite low. Just having her next to me naked and willing had me fully ready 20 minutes later.

“Nope. No way. You’re way too heavy. I’ll get on top. That way your big ass doesn’t crush me or if you want, you can fuck me doggy style.”

Fuck it. She already thought that I was lazy, so I laid back and let her do the work. With the RipnRoll firmly in place, Tiff squatted down on my hard, fully protected cock. My 8 months of a sexual drought came to an abrupt end when I bottomed out. I can only say that it felt great. Tiff was tight and wet, and the sex far exceeded any of my expectations. She was very in tune with her body. Moving in ways to please herself and me. Her hips rotated and ground on me in ways that I had never imagined. Every movement seemed to be very well orchestrated. And in the end, we were both thoroughly pleased with the outcome.

If only our entire life together could have been spent in bed, we would have grown old together.

Like many people our age, peer pressure got in the way of happiness. Instead of enjoying life, we did what “couples” did. We started by spending every spare moment scanning the want ads and interviewing for apartment rentals. Finally, the right one came along, and the “single” phase of our lives was a thing of the past.

For the first few months, thing went well. No fighting in public. We saved that for behind closed doors, in the privacy of our own home. Even with the fighting, we continued to have good sex. She would scream bloody murder, then fuck me like we didn’t have a care in the world. Like I say, the sex was great, but that alone proved to not be enough.

By the time we had lived together for 6 months, we couldn’t stand the sight of one another. I would never or never did rise a hand or my voice to her. I on the other hand took the verbal abuse of her constant put downs and complaints, as well as the occasional slap. The thing that made me question it all was, we had a good life. A real cool apartment. Super cool friends. We both had good jobs and we were never short of cash. We had really good sex. But in the end, I wasn’t some buffed GQ model, I wasn’t her forever guy, so, I just wasn’t what she wanted.

I put the self-loathing and self-deprecating part of my life behind me, and I searched for an apartment. It took 3 weeks to find the right one, but I did. Opting for something a little bit further out of town, I was able to get a very nice place for much less than the share of what I had been paying with Tiff.

Friday night and Saturday morning were enough trips needed to clear out my belongings. With my Jeep and a rental trailer loaded with the last remnants of my life with Tiff, I handed her the keys and a money stuffed envelope that would cover my share of whatever bills were leftover.

“This should more than cover any of the sundry items that come up.”

“Wyatt, do you hate me?”

“Not even a little. Stay safe Tiff.” It was what some might say was a bad break-up, but I didn’t hate her.

“Was it ever any good.”

“Yeah, we had some good times.”

“Name one.” A few came to mind. I could have told her a few and made her feel better, but that wasn’t going to happen, and it was time for us to part ways.

The goodbye hug was a hug of parting friends. The kiss on the cheek was one of lovers that were no longer.

I had read accounts of people gaining weight during the lockdown, but it had the exact opposite effect on me. With ample hiking, jogging and biking paths at my doorstep, I spent every spare minute outdoors. Often hiking and jogging with weight vests just to add strength and endurance. Combining the outdoor activities with weight exercise and a healthier diet, things improved. Slowly at first, but as time went on, my speed increased. I wasn’t about to win any races, but the pounds fell away, and by my 27th birthday I had made it down below the 200lbs mark for the first time in 6-years.

I know that to some people 200lbs is still big, but it sat fairly well on my 6’3″ frame. At between 190 and 200, I thought that I looked pretty damn good.

Being single has obvious disadvantages. Being single and working from home has even more. But the one advantage that it has, is getting ahead on your workload and having no one to answer to. And that’s where I found myself just before Independence Day. I found myself with a lot of spare time on my hands, and I came up with a plan for getting away.

With my backpack filled to the rim, I put it in the Jeep and headed out to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Holidays can be a bit overrun with tourists (like myself), but if you stay off the main trials, the odd deer, elk or coyote will cross your path. With any luck, you will only see a bobcat or a black bear from a distance.

My game plan was simple. Hike my ass off for the first full day. Make camp at a designated spot. Rest and relax. Get up early and start out again. Hike about 4 or 5 more hours and stop in paradise. Spend 2 full days alone, fishing in the stream by my camp and relaxing. Head home. It would be just under 1 week of alone time. Very simple. Very enjoyable.

With everything strapped tight. I left my Jeep and the real world behind. Other than my phone which was powered down, my trusty Nikon D3500 was my only other toy. I like pictures, and pictures of nature can’t be beat.

Making it to my first stop was way faster than planned, but I stuck to my schedule and stayed put for the night. Day 2 I told myself to slow the pace, but I wouldn’t listen. Just about 2 hours early I arrived by the brook and small falls.

Setting up camp, gathering firewood and purifying water took no more time than usual and by 6:00pm I had moved enough rocks to create a small whirlpool where the brook washed by my site. Sitting back, I let the water and world float past me.

Trips like this are great if you prepare enough. Only bring what you need and are going to use. Leave everything else behind, and don’t bring things that will draw unwanted attention, like lots of food. Food is the first thing that draws bears to you. So, I avoid bringing an over abundance of anything that attracts wildlife. A small fire for heat if needed and to cook supper. A bit bigger after darkness falls, to keep away scary monsters.

The comfort of my hammock tent under the light of the moon is the true meaning of outdoors. Opting to not put on the rain fly, I went with the mosquito netting only. Everything about the night was perfect. Nothing to worry about, especially with my SAR 9 resting on my lap while I lay swinging gently between the trees.

Regardless what anyone says, there is never silence in the forest, and after dark the noises always seem to get louder. The forest wakes up when night falls. It becomes alive. Animals move about and hunt at night. The wind moves the tree. The water babbles by on its way to bigger streams and lakes. Ground branches and twigs snap, causing even the most jaded camper to look in the direction of the noise. Usually they are just the noises of the night, but something was different tonight. The birds were uneasy. More than a few branches broke under foot of something, but what was it?

The human eye has amazing power to adjust to the darkness. It allows you to see certain things, like them or not. And tonight, under a waning moon, I didn’t like what I saw.

A muddy zombie inched closer and closer to my camp. I know. I know that there is no such thing as zombies but try telling yourself that in the dark when you see one heading toward your camp. Its left leg was half dragging, half hobbling, as if it were unsure what to do. The zombie’s muddy arms were held out in front of it, with its wrists bent weirdly. Elbows tucked close to the rib cage in a zombie version of a Frankenstein walk.

It was locked in on my fire. Walking or should I say Zombie walking, directly toward it.

Scrambling, I damn near fell out of the hammock while trying to get the zipper undone. Cocking the slide and releasing the trigger lock on my 9mm. I knew that I had 15 shots to rid myself of any zombie intruder. 30 more rounds were in my pack, if needed.

“Stop. Stop right fucking there.” At 50 feet there was no possible way I would miss.

The horsey, “heeyelp, heeyelp meee”, came from the vocal cords of the undead.

“Stop moving. I swear to fuck I’ll…” I held the gun pointed at my would-be assailant, but I didn’t need to. The closer it got, I could see that the zombie looked frail at best, and it was moving slowly. Reaching for my flashlight, I pressed the button.

My zombie wasn’t a zombie after all. In all the Walking Dead graphic novels that I’ve read, their pupils never constrict when subjected to bright light in the dark.

It was a she. A bruised, battered, broken, bloody, muddy, she.

“Stop.” Under the light, she stopped. I pulled up my campfire stump and put it behind her. “Can you sit, or do you need help?”


I put my hands under her armpits and assisted her down to the wood. The first thing that I noticed was the smell of her. I understand that we are outdoors, and camping, but she stunk badly. Almost like she was one of the undead. 5 minutes later we had more light from adding wood to the already burning fire. I filled my cup. Holding it for her, I placed it to her lips.

“Slowly or you’ll be sick.” She sipped at the water. I could tell that she wanted to gulp at it, but she took her time. When she finished it, I refilled, but asked some questions.

“Are you hungry?” Her head nodded. This could turn out to be problematic. I only had enough food for one, unless I caught more fish, or shot something, which was a big no-no. And, it was a 2-day walkout.

30 minutes later, she was eating a package of beef stroganoff. They start out dehydrated, but they’re not nearly as bad as some people think.

I put small bitefuls on the fork/spoon. I didn’t want her choking.

“Water. Please.” She drank another cup while I tilted it to her lips.

The food was gone, as was a third then fourth cups of water. She looked better from that standpoint, but she was still in a real shitty way.

“What happened to you?”

“Fell. Tripped on the ridge. Fell over the side. Slid down. Lost all my stuff. Broke my wrists and ankle.”

That explained a lot. The scrapes and scratches must have come from the rock and stuff that she slid down. The wrists might be broken, but the ankle wasn’t. If it were, I doubt that she could walk on it if it were.

“When did you fall?”

“Wed…Wednesday. Water please.” Her raspy voice was coming around.

Moving my pack closer to the fire, I searched for my makeshift first-aid kit. There was nothing in it that would help fix her damage tonight, but the bottle of Extra Strength Advil might take some of the edge off the pain.

One at a time she swallowed a pill and a mouth full of water. Three probably wasn’t enough, but it was a start.

1:45am. We weren’t going anywhere in the dark.

“I’ll lift you into the hammock. We’ll put the bug net over you, and you can rest until morning.”

Wow. That stench filled my nostrils again when I picked her up. She didn’t complin once about the pain when I laid her down, crossed her arms over her chest and removed the one hiking boot that she was wearing. If pushed, I’d swear that she was sleeping before I had secured the bug net.

I surprised myself by getting a few more hours of sleep while leaning my back to a tree. My new camp guest hadn’t stirred since I lifted her into my hammock, so I quietly went about preparing for what I imagined, would be a very long day.

Setting my priorities, I started with what would be needed most. Fire. Food. Coffee. The fire was simple, dry wood added to the already smoldering coals. Using every bit of my fishing skill, ethical and unethical, I was able to get us 3 nice sized brook trout. And the coffee was last, because if this girl was anywhere near normal, the smell of brewing coffee in the wild, would wake her immediately.

Sure enough, at 10:00am I could hear her groaning. Walking toward her, she was in a state of shock. Almost as though she was alarmed to see me.

“It’s okay. You found me last night. You’re safe now.” I waited for her to get her bearings on the surroundings. I’m sure that she didn’t remember what the camp looked like from when she arrived in the dark. When she made eye contact, I asked, “Can I take off the bug net now?” Her head bobbed slowly.

It was her. The smell was her. The closer I got, the surer I was.

“Okay. I’ll lift you up and I’ll set you on that stump.” Doing exactly that, she looked a mess. “Let’s get you some more Advil. What do you want first, water or coffee?”


She drank 3 more cups of water and took 3 more pills. That left us 18 more, but it should be enough.

“Look, I’m not a doctor, but I have certificates in sports medicine first-aid. Are you okay if I check you out?” She just nodded her head. “Great. Let’s start with names. I’m Wyatt. Let me know if I touch you anywhere that hurts.”

“Ashley, and everything hurts.”

“Nice to meet you Ashley, and I’m sure that it does.”

The first thing was a pinch test for dehydration. One, two, three, four. Yeah not good, but not critical. More water needed. Pupils looked good. No pain in the neck or spine. As my fingers moved over her skin, not once did she wince or complain. Scrapes, brush burn and dried blood on the abdomen, elbows, knees and palms. All of these things must have been from the fall. Plenty of bug bites. Not surprising. Face, brush burned on her right cheek, dirty, but otherwise, undamaged. Beneath everything it appeared to be pretty, but currently, it was looking sad, but luckily, it was not going to be permanently disfigured.

That took care of the first part. The second part wouldn’t be so easy.

Starting on her left arm I walked my fingertips down her skin, pushing at the bone. Nothing at the elbow and nothing until about 4″ from the wrist.