Farm Living Is The Life For Me (R)

Even I knew I had gone to far this time as I sat in the cop station waiting for the old man to show up.

"I'm going to be grounded for life," I told Danielson who sat next to me on the lobby bench waiting for his old man to show up too.

"Aren't we too old to be grounded?" He asked.

My father didn't say anything when he entered the station with my sister Lisa by his side. He looked tired and resigned but not necessarily pissed off, unlike Lisa who was definitely perturbed. I glanced at my watch and saw that it was 2:12 a.m.

"Where's my car, you jerk?" Lisa demanded.

"Miss," the Desk Sergeant called out, motioning for Lisa to talk to him.

Twenty minutes later, after my father 'signed me out', we walked toward the exit. "See you, moron," Lisa said, twisting her retrieved car keys on her finger. "You're lucky I didn't charge you with grand theft auto."

"Just get your car and go home," my father sighed tiredly and Lisa followed an officer in the other direction.

Danielson was still waiting to be sprung and he theorized that his old man was going to make him sit there all night.

"So, let's review," my father sighed as he slipped behind the driver's seat of the car in the parking lot on the warm early summer night. "You 'borrowed' your sister's car without permission and got nabbed for speeding."

"I don't think we were doing eighty like the cop charged," I said defensively.

"At least you weren't drinking this time," My father sighed as he began driving us home.

He was referring to the episode a few weeks earlier when Danielson and I got busted with a bunch of other kids for underage drinking at Brunwick's unauthorized end of school year party.

"What in the hell were you thinking?" My father demanded.

"I was thinking I should have my own car," I replied. "Then this wouldn't have happened.

"You don't have your own car because you wrapped it around a tree out on Route 36," My father was quick to point out. "Just be glad you're still among the living."

"It won't happen again, Dad," I said (for the 437th time in the past few years).

"That's what you said when you got busted on the school trip for drinking in the hotel room," my father reminded me.

"Well, I wasn't drinking this time," I pointed out.

"And that's what you said when you got suspended for a week for nearly killing the Mudhen's mascot."

"That was just a prank gone bad," I said.

"Are you going to live long enough to make it through senior year?" He wanted to know.

"Okay, I know I've done some stupid things lately but isn't that just part of growing up?" I asked.

"You're not going to spend the summer hanging around Hillsboro getting in trouble every night," My father informed me.

"I promise to get a job real soon," I replied. "It's a tough teenage job market out there."

"Yeah, right," My father grumbled. "And how are you going to pay me back for the fines and fees I just paid off for you?"

"I don't know," I admitted.

"You and Danielson need a time out from each other," My father decided. "And your mother and I need a break from your tomfoolery."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean we're shipping you out," my father announced.

"What? Where?"

"Gloria Anderson's," my father responded.

"The Farm Lady?" I groaned.

Gloria was an old high school friend of my mother's. We used to visit her and her family on their country farm when I was younger but we hadn't been up there in years.

"You need to get out of town," My father informed me. "You need to think long and hard about how you want to handle yourself during senior year. You need to think about your future and what kind of person you want to be. But mostly," he concluded as he pulled the car into the driveway. "You need to stop driving me crazy."

So that's how I ended up sitting on a smelly bus travelling to Clarkton, Vermont, Population who cares. I rested my head against the window watching the scenery go by, most of which was farmland, fields, pastures, meadows, cows, and barns. I could smell the manure even over the bus fumes going sixty miles per hour.

The bus eventually turned off the country road onto a smaller country road and pulled to a stop in front a dumpy looking country store with a couple of gas pumps out front. I stumbled off the bus and waited for the driver to drag my luggage out from the compartment underneath.

He didn't say a word as he piled the three pieces in front of me, climbed back onto the bus and drove off in a cloud of fumes, smoke and dust. I glanced around the surroundings which offered no signs of life. Suddenly, a green twenty-five year old pick up truck came around the corner and screeched to a stop in front of me.

"You Brent?" A girl around my age asked from the cab of the truck.

"Yeah."

"Get in," she ordered.

I tossed the suitcases into the back of the truck and then slipped into the passenger's side of the truck's cab.

"Who are you?" I asked as she put the truck in gear and sped off.

"You don't remember?" She asked.

I shook my head no.

"Maria, Gloria's kid," she said. "You barged into the bathroom when I was ten and saw my bare ass."

"Sorry," I said, remembering the incident of long ago.

"I bet," she said sarcastically.

What I remembered most was how she didn't even react. She just looked over her shoulder and stared at me waiting for me to either say something or get out. I was embarrassed yet intrigued – I had never seen a girl's naked backside before.

"You look different," I observed, glancing at her firm and full figure, her long blond hair, the hint of a few freckles on her cheeks, and a bandana holding her pretty hair back.

"Well, it's been what…..seven years?"

"Yeah," I confirmed.

I had vague memories of goofing off around the farm with Maria. I remembered the big red barn, swinging on a rope from the loft, climbing on hay bales, and eating watermelon by a stream, but not much else. It had been a long time ago.

Maria turned the truck off the road and onto a dirt road with the proud Anderson Farm sign above a wooden gate that led to the large front yard of the sprawling property. I saw corn for as long as the eye could see.

Maria pulled the truck to a stop in the turnaround on the side of the house. I saw the two red barns off to the side. Maria climbed out of the truck and I followed, noticing her skin tight jeans and checkered shirt.

"Welcome!" Maria's mother Gloria called as she came out the kitchen door wearing a pair of bib jean overalls over a yellow tee shirt. "Good God, Brent, you're all grown up!"

The last time she saw me I was ten years old so I'd obviously changed in the meantime. I was as thin as I had been when I was but I was probably six inches taller. I wore my brown hair long and I realized I probably should have gotten it cut before coming as I reached up and shoved some of it out of my face.

Gloria pulled me into a tight hug which surprised me since I didn't think we were that close. "So, it's been awhile since we've seen each other," she said.

"Yeah," I agreed

"I'm sorry for your troubles," Gloria remarked. "But I'm glad you're here."

"We could use the help," Maria noted.

"He's not our slave, Maria!" Gloria laughed.

"Oh, I thought this was some sort of punitive work release program," Maria said sarcastically.

"It is," I mumbled, realizing I was about as far from Hillsboro as I could imagine.

Gloria was my mother's age and being a woman of the farm gave her a muscled and strong look. I could see Maria in her face, although she was huskier than her daughter.

"Maria can help you bring your belongs upstairs," Gloria said, motioning for her daughter to give me a hand.

"Geez, how much crap did you bring?" Maria groaned as she grabbed one of the suitcases from the back of the truck.

"I wasn't sure how much I'd need," I admitted, knowing my sentence here was for the rest of the summer.

I grabbed the two heavier bags and followed Maria into the farmhouse which I remembered as a kid. The house was old but it was warm and friendly, open and bright with wood floors and plenty of windows, three fire places, a wood stove, and rooms that went on forever. It was handsomely furnished with a mixture of older antique like pieces and more modern furniture.

Maria led me through the rooms to the front hall and then up the winding stairs to the second floor.

"Your room is down here," she explained, leading me down the hall past various closed doors that led to assorted rooms.

She stopped at the last room at the end of the hall and turned to me. "This is it," she said opening the door.

I went in first and looked around. The room was small and almost forgotten looking. The wallpaper was faded and peeling. There was a large oak dresser, a twin bed, a desk with a mirror over it, and a tattered looking reading chair by the large window overlooking the fields.

"It's not exactly the Ritz!" Maria laughed as she set the bag she was carrying down. I put my two bags down by the closet door.

"Bu not as bad as a cell," I replied.

"Yeah, you'll get three squares a day here and some time outside too!"

"Right," I said.

"Okay, well, see you around."

I nodded as she left the room. I glanced out the window and I had to admit it was beautiful here. After I settled in, I went back downstairs and found Gloria in the living room with a plate of cookies and some lemonade.

"I realize it's not what you're used to drinking but I figured you might be thirsty after the bus ride," Gloria said.

"Actually, I am," I said with appreciation. "Thanks."

"So Brent," Gloria said, sounding careful. "I can trust you not to burn the place down, right?"

I swallowed some of lemonade from the glass she had handed me. "I'll be on my best behavior," I promised.

"So, you're a senior this year, huh?" Gloria asked, taking a seat on the couch.

"Somehow I made it," I replied.

"Any plans for college?"

"I'm focusing on getting through high school first," I semi-joked.

"You really do need to pull your head out of your ass," Gloria agreed bluntly.

I felt embarrassed by the critical comment. I finished the drink as quickly as I could and escaped through the kitchen door to the side yard.

It was a comfortable New England summer's day. There was a slight breeze but it was still warm and refreshingly pleasant. The farm seemed to sprawl on forever beyond the confines of the yard.

I saw Maria coming out of the barn and her eyes brightened when she saw me.

"Want to help me with some chores?" She asked.

I nodded.

"Good!"

I followed her to the large garden on the side of the first barn. There were rows of plants and Maria led me a particular section.

"Start here," she directed, pointing to a row of green something.

We got to work but I had a hard time keeping up with Maria who could really move.

"So, what do you do when you aren't working the farm?" I asked.

"Sleep," she replied sarcastically.

I wiped the sweat off my forehead. It felt hot all of a sudden.

"Keep going," she instructed, hardly missing beat as she continued to pick the vegetables.

I lost count of the number of baskets we filled and loaded onto a wagon which we dragged behind a golf cart to the small farm stand shack that was on the side of the main road at the bottom of the drive. A middle aged woman was manning the cash register.

"Hi, Aunt Rita," Maria said the first time we dragged some of the haul in.

"So, this must be the convict," Rita replied, giving me the look over.

She was short with graying hair but she had a mischievous grin on her face and I couldn't help but laugh at her dig.

"Do you think I'll get time off for good behavior?" I asked.

I spent the rest of my first day on the farm doing various chores with Maria. After a shower, I joined the family for supper. Gloria's husband Steve returned from the fields along with a couple of the summer workers. Steve was as I remembered him, somewhat portly with a scraggly beard but he was a friendly and humorous guy who made me feel right at home.

After dinner, we sat out on the front porch and watched the sun set. I was exhausted and went to bed pretty early.

###

The next morning, I was awoken by a loud rap on my door.

"Rise and shine!" Maria yelled from the other side. "Plenty of work to do!"

It was barely light outside and I stumbled out of bed to the various animal noises outside. I threw on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt and made my way down stairs where I found Maria seated at the kitchen table eating a bagel with cream cheese.

"There's cereal in the far left cupboard," she said.

I poured myself a bowl of rice krispies and took a seat across from her.

"Don't fall asleep on me," she warned.

And that was basically my routine at the Anderson Farm as the days unfolded. Up at dawn, quick breakfast, then outside to perform various tasks, chores, assignments, jobs, and projects as directed by either Steve, Gloria or Maria, all of which seemed to have equal authority, although the other hands largely ignored me.

Gloria would make a quick lunch and we would sit on the back porch or in the kitchen eating and then it was back to work for the rest of the day until supper time. I was usually too exhausted to do anything afterwards except sit on the front porch. Steve was a die hard Red Sox fan so the game was usually on the radio but I hadn't seen a television since I got there. Didn't matter much. Life on the farm consisted of working, eating, and sleeping and not much else!

I sat in a rocking chair on the front porch listening to the Sox game on the radio with Steve. Maria was on the porch swing reading some tattered old paperback. It seemed we spent most of our time together but the weird thing was we hardly talked. Just worked. Maria might bark an order or explain something but she wasn't much for small talk and I didn't mind all that much.

This was the first time I had actually slowed down, stopped drinking, and avoided trouble in three or four years. No pranks. No stupidity. No dares. No temptations. No peer pressure. I should have been bored or squirrely but surprisingly I felt relaxed and at peace.

Maria glanced up from her book and gave me an amused smile, almost as if she had read my mind and knew I had been tamed.

"I guess I'll turn in," I announced when I found myself falling asleep in the rocking chair. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Good night," Maria replied pleasantly and I smiled as I dragged myself up the stairs for bed.

The next night, after another long day of work, Maria invited me to take a walk after supper and I gladly agreed. You could walk forever on Anderson Farm and still not get anywhere. We walked along the corn fields and between rows of the stalks. I told Maria a little bit about Hillsboro, admitting that I'd probably be out with Danielson and my other vagabond friends getting drunk or chasing girls or sitting around playing mindless video games if I was home.

"You're not that kind of guy here," Maria pointed out.

"Farm living is the life for me," I joked, although I doubted she got the Green Acres reference.

It was dark and we circled around back towards the house, stopping behind the second barn where Maria leaned against the wall and stared at me.

"So," she said. "Are you going to do something?"

I was happy to oblige her 'dare.' I lifted my finger to her lips and stepped in closer to her, wrapping my arm around her waist. Then I pressed her against the side of the wall and I kissed her on the mouth. Suddenly, her hands were in my long brown hair pulling me closer to deepen the kiss.

"Wow!" Maria giggled when she finally broke the kiss, leaning her forehead against mine as we tried to catch our breath.

"Yeah," I agreed with a grin.

"Sure took you long enough," she said with an annoyed frown.

"I didn't know that's what you wanted," I apologized.

"Get serious, Brent," she replied, kissing me without hesitation.

Suddenly, a summer on Anderson Farm wasn't such a bad thing.

Until the next day, anyway, when we started detasseling the corn stalks at Steve's order. Maria warned me that it would be the worst job I'd do all summer.

Detasseling corn is removing the pollen-producing flowers (the tassel) from the tops of corn plants and placing them on the ground. It is a form of pollination controland it's also used to cross-breed (or hypridize) two varieties of corn which produces dramatically higher yields than corn produced by open pollination.

Detasseling corn is like running a non stop sleep-deprived, heatstroke-inducing, cross-country marathon pulling the tops off of corn plants. Maria and I (and occasionally some of the other hired help) worked through the day practically non-stop. The mornings would start off with the corn being cold and covered in dew and sometimes we wore ponchos made out of garbage bags. By early afternoon, the humidity in the fields made it feel like it was 115 degrees and in order to see the tassels we had to look into the sun.

"Is it possible to sunburn your eyeballs?" I asked Maria who was smart enough to wear sun glasses or a ball cap with a bill most days.

I also wore the kind of gloves fast food workers wear because getting a paper cut on your finger repeated about 10,000 times was pretty painful. Even with gloves and long sleeves, I was still bloodied, itchy and cut. One time, I cut my ear so badly on a wet corn leaf (that's like a knife when it's wet) that I soaked the entire shoulder of my shirt in blood before I realized I had hurt myself. I got blisters on my feet and on my hands as too which made it especially hard to try and grip the tassels. It was brutal and the most physically demanding work I had ever done.

But being out there in the field with Marie at least made it tolerable. Sometimes I couldn't even see her through the corn stalks but I'd hear her humming or singing and all I could think of was Ray Kinsella in "Field of Dreams" only instead of Shoeless Joe Jackson coming out of the corn field I had the beautiful Maria Anderson!

Maria was the one thing that relieved the total tedium of corn detasseling. After that kiss out behind the barn, she had a twinkle to her blue eyes as she peered out from under her long light brown hair that was usually pulled back behind some sort of hat. For the first time since my arrival at Anderson Farm, I realized just how sexy and sensual Maria really was.

I found out more about this one day when we somehow got on the unexpected subject of vibrators and dildos while detasseling after I made some joke about cucumbers.

"It is possible to use zucchini and ears of corn or similarly shaped fruits and vegetables as dildos," Maria announced and I wasn't sure if she was teasing me, trying to turn me on, or being completely serious.

"Maybe we can go up in the barn loft one of these days and you can demonstrate that for me," I joked.

"Carrots work too," she said without missing a beat.

I laughed, trying not to feel embarrassed by the brazen conversation.

A few days later it rained cats and dogs. Steve sent the help home and he and Gloria went into town to run errands and have lunch out, leaving Maria and me behind to do some of the necessary chores, like tending to the animals.

When we were done feeding the horses, Maria grinned at me, grabbed a leftover carrot from the whicker basket, and climbed up the ladder that led to the hay loft.

"Where you going?" I asked.

'Come and see!" She teased.

I followed her up the ladder but when I got to the hay loft, Maria was no where to be seen.

"Maria?" I asked with confusion. "What's going on?"

"I thought maybe you'd want to see my naked ass again!" Maria giggled as she stepped out from behind some hay bales with her back to me, totally naked!

"Well, I'd be a fool not to!" I responded, admiring her lovely backside. "You're much more womanly now."

"Think so?" She asked, looking over her shoulder at me.

"How come you didn't care the last time I saw you like this?" I wondered.

"I guess I was flattered," she said with a shrug of her shoulders. "The look on your face let me know that I had nothing to be ashamed of."

"You definitely don't," I let her know.

She laughed and then held the carrot she was holding in her hand up to her mouth as if it was a microphone. "Green Acres is the place to be," She sang, "Farm Living is the life for me. Land spread out, so far and wide, keep Manhattan just give me that countryside!"

I burst out laughing. "The chores, Fresh air, Anderson Farm we are there!"

"I thought you'd like that!" She laughed.

I didn't know exactly what to expect but I was willing to find out with this lovely farm girl. I tried not to stare when she turned around and revealed her prim breasts and the light blonde hair of her pubic hair to me. Her lovely white breasts contrasted against the dark tan of her face, arms, and neck. Maria's breasts were perfectly shaped and her nipples were dark pink.

"What do you think?" She asked.

"I think you're lovely," I said, trying not to gawk.

She waved the carrot she was still holding about in the air. "Do you think I was making it up what I said the other day?" She wanted to know. "About the dildo?"

"I don't know," I said nervously. "It wasn't a conversation I was expecting to have."

She lowered the carrot to the V of her womanhood and I felt myself becoming hard.

"Holy cow, Maria," I said, swallowing with disbelief.

"We're on a farm, Brent," she reasoned. "All of this is quite natural. I learned the facts of life when I was six."

"I imagine so," I said, trying not to stare at her.

She rubbed the carrot along her slit.

"What are you going to do with that?" I asked nervously.

"What do you think?" She grinned seductively.

Maria sat back on the bale and spread her legs open. The skin around her pussy was soft and smooth and I watched as she rubbed the tip of the carrot against her sensitive area. Slowly, she ran her hands around her hips and under her ass while continuing to fondle her private parts with the carrot.

"You have to be careful as to not have the carrot break off inside," she said as her breathing began to increase. "That's why some of the stronger vegetables are better suited for this sort of thing."

I gazed in awe at her incredible pussy a few feet in front of me. I could smell the aroma of the juices that were dripping from her, mixed with the scent of the vegetable. She must have seen my bulge pressing against my pants along with the anguish on my face.

"Why don't you make yourself more comfortable?" She suggested.

I gladly unbuckled my jeans and hurriedly pulled them down my legs. My penis was pleading for freedom so I pulled down my underwear too, allowing my stiff cock to breathe.

"That's much more appealing than a carrot!" She laughed, dropping the vegetable from her hand.

I could hear the rain pattering against the barn's roof but the only thing I could see was the beauty of Maria before me.
"I've been getting tired of playing with myself, Brent," Maria said with a knowing look my way.
Her legs were spread wide apart as I took a few steps toward her and dropped to my knees, still gazing at her beautiful womanhood. I leaned in closer and breathed in her incredible aroma. She raised her legs and put them on the top of my shoulders. I leaned forward and let my tongue caress the sensitive skin on the inside of one of her thighs and she sighed happily.
"What are you waiting for?" She pleaded.

I licked the delicious juices from the insides of her thighs and then my tongue started on her crotch, stroking one outer lip before moving to the other and eventually working my way inside of her as she squirmed above me.
I glanced up at her gorgeous body writhing from the pleasure I was giving her. I moved my face back down and returned to the fresh juices her pussy had produced, mixed with a lingering scent of the carrot. Maria began to moan in bliss as I continued with the oral sex.

"Mmmmmm," she was moaning which was a treat to hear and I knew she was enjoying this as much as I was by the way her body was moving under my mouth.

When I reached her clit, Maria raised herself up off the bale of hay and screamed out in pleasure. I slipped my hands underneath her ass and rocked her back and forth while I continued with my tongue inside of her. She was thrashing about on the bale now with her breasts rising and falling and her head tossing from side to side. Her pussy was thrusting up against my face and her body was rocking from side to side while her heels drummed against my back.
Maria raised her ass up and her excited body began bouncing and pitching more rapidly from side to side while thrashing wildly on the hay bale. She shouted out with joy as she reached her climax and her thighs clamped onto my head as her pussy squashed into my face and Maria lost control of her body with her legs swinging wildly from side to side, taking my head along for the ride but I managed to continue sucking and licking. She was screaming now, loud enough to make the horses in the stalls below whine back in reply.
Maria's vagina muscles clenched and she rammed her crotch against my face for a final time before collapsing on the bale while I licked off the remains of her delicious juices before straightening up to gaze at Maria's beauty again.

"That was fantastic," she said breathlessly. "And I could tell you liked it too."
"I did," I said happily. "You're really great, Maria."

I lifted up on my knees with my hard cock aiming at her.

"Are you going to put your carrot in me?" She asked hopefully, pointing at my dick.
I laughed. "Boy, you're so much fun," I said happily.

"Yes, I am," She giggled in agreement. "Farm living, don't you know!"

I crawled over to my jeans and dug my wallet out, finding the condom package tucked away in one of the folds. I was sexually active, of course, but it was usually meaningless drunken romps with nameless party girls picked up late at night with trysts in backseats of cars, darkened stairwells, and bushes behind houses. This delight in the loft felt new and different, meaningful and special.

I tore the package open and rolled the white disk along the tip and then down the shaft of my penis. Maria made sure her legs were spread as she spread her lips further with her fingers, welcoming my entrance. I leaned forward, supporting my weight on one hand while the other guided my cock until it was positioned between her fingers.
I smiled at the beautiful Maria as I rubbed the head of my penis against her wetness. "Are you ready?" I asked.
"More than," she assured me.

I pushed forward and she moaned, and then moaned louder when more of me pushed into her and she started to react under me with physical delight as I repeatedly thrust firmly into her pussy. Soon, Maria was thrashing about under me and her head was rolling from side to side on the pillow of the hay bale. I stayed above her, looking affectionately at her beautiful face that was overcome with joy. I watched her pitching and tossing and then I slowly slid my hands under Maria's ass while lowering my body until my chest was resting lightly against her erect nipples.
Her eyes were closed in bliss but she opened them and reached up and put her arms around my neck while smiling happily.
"You're the best," I whispered.

She nodded her head in satisfied agreement.
I pulled my cock most of the way out of Maria, pausing briefly with just the tip still inside and then I started driving it back into her. She thrust back to meet me and our bodies came together with my cock buried in the most fabulous place it had ever been. I stayed in that position for a few seconds before pulling back for another thrust. Maria responded by fucking back to meet me again and the strokes ended with our bodies pressed tightly together. The side of my face was inches from her mouth and I heard her murmuring her happiness.
I drove my cock in and out and Maria met my strokes with equal vigor. As we continued, Maria's body rocked from side to side and her hands caressed my sides and back while she continued to moan with increasing pitch, tone and volume. I soon felt my climax building and I hoped Maria would come before I did. I shifted my position slightly so my cock was massaging her clit even more fully and I started driving in and out faster. Maria matched her movements that became even wilder under me.
Maria started screaming out as she came, howls of joy that got the horses below us whining again. I laughed at her cries of ecstasy and I knew she was coming as I continued driving my cock in and out of her while she bucked and bounced under me. I felt the tips of her fingers digging into the muscles of my back and then I started to come as Maria's arms and legs clamped onto me and her body rammed up against me as she completed her orgasm.

When we were both done, Maria relaxed under me and I let myself slip out of her, removing the condom filled with semen from my penis. I glanced down at Maria who was immersed in a warm afterglow as she lay panting on the bale of hay.

"Holy cow," was all she had to say as she rolled off the bale and onto the hay covered floor of the loft.

She was lying on her stomach and I moved down to her side, kissing the back of her neck and rubbing her beautiful ass.

"Farm living is the life for me," I said.

"Yes, we definitely know how to do it on the farm," she giggled, sticking a stalk of hay into her mouth.

She reached for the fallen carrot that she had dropped and handed it to me to eat. It was the best carrot I had ever tasted as we lay there listening to the rain, and the horses below us, and our own hearts beating.

###

On my last day on Anderson Farm, Maria and I took a walk along the fields. It was early and the sun was just coming up over the eastern horizon. We only had sex that one memorable time in the loft during the rain but it was enough to last me a life time. I almost didn't want to have sex with Maria again because I wasn't sure if we could ever match the magic of that fantastic day.

More importantly, I learned that a relationship was more than sex. When I thought about it, I had never seen a girl who I had sex with again, at least as far as I could remember. But I was sharing the farm with Maria and I learned how to have a relationship with her after we had done what we had done. It was the first time I became emotionally intimate with a girl after I had been physically intimate with her.

The rest of my summer was spent working hard, usually alongside Maria. There was always something to do, a new chore waiting, and old responsibility to be completed. And I learned how to talk with Maria, how to listen to her, how to appreciate her and value her. With the sex out of the way, I was now able to see her as a full person.

"Are you sad to be leaving?" Maria asked as she took my hand in hers.

"Very sad," I admitted.

"How come?" She wanted to know.

"This summer has meant a lot to me," I answered. "I've experienced so much here. The work, the crops, the cows, the horses, the chickens, the dogs, the satisfaction of a job well done, the seriousness of making sure what needs to be done is done. It's been a real eye opener."

"You're a lot different now than you were when you first go here," Maria told me.

"I'm really going to miss you most of all, Maria," I sighed, squeezing her hand. "You're the one who made farm living fun."

"Thanks," she replied.

"You know, I'm not the kind of person who spends a lot of time looking back," I admitted. "It used to be because I didn't like what I saw but now when I look back after my summer here it feels like all that stupid stuff I did was somebody's else life. I know I'm better than that and I'm eager to go home and show my family that I'm capable of being dependable, reliable, mature and trustworthy."

"You were all those things here," Maria assured me.

"I'm sad leaving such a beautiful and eye opening place as Anderson Farm," I sighed. "I'm sad to be leaving you, but I want to prove that this place and this summer changed me for the better."

We stopped walking and I glanced back toward the farm, with the silo and the two barns shining in the morning sun.
"Seeing the farm through your eyes has been really special," I told her.
"But now you're leaving."

"It wasn't my idea to come but I wouldn't be leaving if I didn't have to," I said, fearing I might start to cry.
"We had a good summer together," Maria said proudly. "Thanks for coming."

"Thank you for everything you taught me," I said with a sad smile. "Everything you showed me."
She smiled knowingly. "I bet you'll never look at a carrot the same way again!" She teased.
''I wish I could transport the entire farm back to Hillsboro," I said.
"Only in your dreams," Maria replied. "But you're going home ready to make some big changes I bet neither of us can imagine."

"Maybe," I agreed.

"Is there anything you'd like to do before you leave?" Maria wanted to know.

"Go to the loft," I grinned.

"Besides that," she giggled.

"Like what?" I wondered.

'Have you ever run through a corn field naked?" She dared.

I burst out laughing. "I'm not sure if that was quite the change my father was hoping for!"

"One last hurrah," Maria replied as she began peeling out of her clothes. "Down to the end of this row and back again!"

"You're on!" I laughed as I began stripping too. "This is definitely my field of dreams!"

Maria laughed as she began running down her row. I wasn't stupid, of course. I had learned a thing or two this summer so instead of running down my own row to try to beat her, I ran down her row, chasing her the entire way, knowing what we were going to do when I caught her.