Dudley Brinkman had a crush on Cindy Fine in high school

Dudley Warren Brinkman was born December 10, 1974, to Warren and Martha Brinkman in Oxford, Mississippi, where Warren had established a dental practice several years before Dudley's birth.

Dudley was an excellent student, who worked hard because he loved school. His teachers thought the world of him, which created a bit of a problem with other students, especially the boys, who called him "teacher's pet" and other, less pleasant names. Some even called him "Dudley Do-Right" after the Mountie cartoon character.

Dudley was very shy and hated the other kids making fun of him. He tried to be friends with other boys but never quite pulled it off and finally quit even trying.

He played Little League one season with moderate success, but found he would rather spend time practicing the piano than playing baseball.

Dudley loved music and had taken advantage of the musical training offered by the Oxford School System. Michael Campbell was his music teacher at school, and when Dudley expressed an interest in taking private piano lessons, Michael Campbell became his private teacher as well.

Michael's daughter, Cindy Campbell, and Dudley were close in age and found they had a common interest in music. Dudley took piano lessons weekly at the Campbells' home for the lessons, where he often saw Cindy. They developed a fast friendship that lasted to adulthood.

Secretly, when in his teens, Dudley had a terrific crush on Cindy, but his shyness held him back. When he finally got up the courage to ask her out, they went to the movies a couple of times, but it was not as Dudley had hoped. She did not fall into his arms and declare undying love as he had dreamed, but treated him as she might a brother.

He had to content himself with adoring her from afar and watching her date other boys while aching to trade places with them.

After high school, Dudley attended Ole Miss on a partial scholarship based on his excellent grades and earned a degree in Nursing. When he graduated in 1997, he was hired by Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford and has worked there ever since.

Dudley found he was very successful as a nurse. He enjoyed the work and his co-workers and patients admired his skill, his dedication, and his compassion for both the patients and their families.

After he got his first paycheck, Dudley found an apartment near the hospital, where he lived alone until his father's death in 2010. His mother was so devastated by Warren's death that Dudley moved back home to watch over and care for her until she got back on her feet.

The "temporary arrangement" worked out well for both of them, and as Martha became more independent and began to socialize again with her many friends, Dudley was able to leave her more often to go about his own affairs. He had few close friends but kept up his church affiliation and occasionally went out to socialize at places like Duffy's Bar & Grill.

When Cindy married Andy in 1995, Dudley was disappointed and sorry to see his friend Cindy choose someone that he believed was so beneath her. Dudley felt he had a pretty good idea what kind of man Andy was and decided he would do what he could to be available if Cindy ever needed someone's help.

He knew Andy from high school as a bully, and he had often been the brunt of Andy's cutting remarks. Andy was known to indiscriminately toss insults — with "wimp," "fag" and "dud" among his favorite words — and liked to victimize shy, sensitive people like him. Dudley knew Andy's abuse would probably turn on Cindy one day, though he prayed it wouldn't.

Dudley had become even more of a loner as he grew older. He had seldom dated in school, and by the time he became an adult, he found it difficult to talk to women — except for Cindy Campbell Fine.

He and Cindy had remained friends through the years, although they hadn't been as close since Cindy's marriage. They saw each other at church and occasionally bumped into each other around town, as they did the evening of July 3rd at Duffy's.

Dudley couldn't help but notice her bruises and it saddened him to see her suffer at the hand of her brute husband. Although she always presented a cheerful and upbeat demeanor, he knew her well enough to see the hurt in her eyes and yearned to be able to alleviate her pain.

But Dudley had never gotten over his fear of Andy and could not summon the courage to confront him about his treatment of Cindy.

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