The Sailor's Stories

1003 Chapter Three – The Sailor’s Awakening.

with 7 comments

Have you ever looked into the fiery pits of hell? Have you ever looked, and stood helpless as something looked back? Have you ever stared at death…, and poked him  in the eyes? I have…, I was once a warrior…, a soldier for the state…, a fine edged deliverer of death. I have sweated…, drawn blood…, and felt my own leave my body…, in some of the worst places this world has to offer. But nothing…, and I seriously mean nothing…, could have prepared me for the conversation I was about to have.

As I stood in the doorway, marvelling at the level of clean, I wasn’t really surprised…, this was just another of those little differences, between my two boys. In fact, it had been rather comical when they lived together…, it was like looking at a before and after picture. Clean…, that was the best, and only way, to describe Dale’s room. Everything was ordered neatly…, a place for everything, and everything in it’s place…, right down to the alphabetized CD and book collections, on the many shelves. If I was to be honest…, even the hardest of Jarhead drill instructors, would be hard pressed to find anything to yell about in here. Though thinking seriously about it…,  I couldn’t even remember the last time, I had been in here in the daytime. I respected the boy’s privacy, and they respected me for it. I had little to worry about…, or so I thought.

I took a step further, Dale was in his desk chair, facing away from me…, when I stepped up beside him, putting my hand on his shoulder. He was smaller than his chair, so it took me half the room to even see him…, even though I knew he was there. Without the blaring music, I was shocked at how quiet, it now was. He had hadn’t made a sound as I approached…, but as soon as I touched him he broke, well shattered would be a better word. I dropped instantly to my knee beside him and spun his chair to face me. As soon as he was, he fell into my arms sobbing into my shoulder…, his soft blond hair caressing my cheek, as I melted into him with worry.

“What is it short stack?”

“They all (sob)…, hate (sniffle)…, me…, Uncle Cam.”

“Who? Who hates you…, what’s wrong?”

He just kept crying…, old habits die hard, even though I hadn’t had to do it in a long time. Kids cry you get used to it. They cry when they hurt themselves…, they cry when they’re sad…, frustrated, tired…, or just plain moody. Some grow out of it, some don’t. Dale it seemed…, hadn’t. Yelling at a kid for crying has never worked, and as I held him…, I was thrust back to that first time I’d had to do this. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing then…, and to be fair, even with years of practice…, I still didn’t really. All I could do in this situation, was do what I always did…, I channelled my father.

My father was the most loving and caring man, I had ever met…, and would probably ever know. He was already old by the time I was born, in his late forties. My mom was ten years younger than him. I guess I was one of those miracle babies, the ones that women are not supposed to be able to have. He may have been old, but he was young at heart. He never missed a beat…, I guess I can thank my sister for that…, giving him a test run. He was always there for both of us…, always with a helping hand, or good piece of advice…, not to mention, a strong pair of arms to climb into. This is what I aspired to be for my boys.

So anyways like I said, I channelled my dad. Whenever I’d had to cry, he would pick me up and hold me…, or just hold me as I got older. He never said anything, he would just be there for me until I got it all out. So that’s what I did for Dale…, I held him, and just kept holding him. Even though, after about ten minutes my legs started to cramp up, still I held him…, rubbing his back gently. Soon though, I felt his breathing start to calm, and his body, stopped shaking. When he moved back a little, I let him go…, and he flopped back in his large leather office chair…, creaking ever so slightly as he fell into it. He then did something that was just…, so Dale. Grabbing hold of the left side, and it was always the left side for some reason, of his open brown hoodie…, he lifted it to his face, wiping his nose and eyes. It was quite gross actually, but I didn’t have the heart to stop him this time.

Now that the situation was more relaxed I stood, and taking hold of the arms I pulled the chair over to his bed…, so I could sit down while still having him close. My shirt was soaked, the creases long since gone, but I didn’t care. I reached out and took his chin gently in my hand and said to him…

“You feel up to telling me what’s wrong?”

“You’ll hate me…, everyone else does.”

“Look at me Dale! I could never hate you…, you could be the worst person on this earth…, which I know you aren’t…, but I could never hate you.”

I could almost see it, when you have senses that are trained to be as sharp as they can be, you can pick up on things most people can’t. Hint’s of an expression…, a subtle look here, a twist of the body there…, the ever so slight body tension of the moment. All that being said…, that doesn’t mean I was ready for it….

“I tell you what…, I’ll promise never to hate you…, if you promise to let me in…, how does that sound?”

“You…, promise?” he said with the hint of sob.

“I promise. Come on pal nothing can be that bad.”


It was woefully obvious, that he was still struggling with some internal demon…, so I took his hands in mine and just let him have his own time. His hands were so soft, as they gripped mine…, as if holding on for dear life. His little chest wrapped in one of my old t-shirts…, one of my favourite bands that I’d been missing for some time now…, started to rise and fall with more urgency. He closed his eyes, taking a few deep breathes…, managing finally to get his breathing under control. I watched him intently,  all the while…, my concern mounting. Still I said nothing…, I just sat there holding his hands gently, waiting…

“I…, I think…., I might…, be…, gay.”


I’d been right on the money…, once again my instincts had won out. It took a moment for the actual revelation to sink in though however…, as I sat there all wide eyed. To be fair…, thinking back on it, there had been some clues…, I just hadn’t taken that much notice feeling it to be down to hormones once again.

Dale was looking at me now…, with those puffy eyes that are usually the most beautiful shade of green, threatening to brim with tears at any moment. Even the expectation on his face was palpable, I could tell he was getting more and more scared, as I hesitated. If I could freeze time, right then…, I would have, I just needed so much more of it, to process what I was feeling. In his fear he started to pull away, but I held on tight, I think that made him even more anxious to tell the truth. As the fear grew in his eyes…, I got the feeling right then, that he had thought he had made a terrible and irreversible mistake. I had to take hold of the situation again…, I had to get control back…, but most importantly…, I had to cut through the tension now or I’d lose him…

“JESUS CHRIST DALE! … Is that all? … I thought you were going to tell me you’d robbed a bank…, or murdered your gym teacher, or something.”

“Stop it!” He said, looking almost hurt, tearing up again. “I’m being serious here and you’re just making this harder.”

“Dale calm down, I’m sorry…, ok?” I said, giving his hands a gentle fatherly squeeze. “But gay? … Why did you think I would have a problem with that?”

“Don’t ask, don’t tell…, ring any bells?”

“Aw come on Dale…, you really think that means anything to me…., after all…, I am In the Navy.” That last bit, I said in the best camp voice I could…, batting my eyelids at him.

“That’s not funny!”

“But you are smiling…, huh? … Come on…, yeesss there it is!”

That big grin I liked to see, broke out on his face. If he’d had a spare hand, he may have tried to hit me…, but as I was still holding both of his firmly…, he was out of luck.

“Look Dale, there is nothing wrong with you…, if you’re gay…, then that’s how you’re supposed to be…, I loved you before, and I still love you…, nothing could ever change that…., well…, unless you joined the army that is…”

I paused for a moment to let that sink in. I had so much more to say…, but once again instincts took over, and I let it rest…, for the moment. I knew he was desperate to get it out, now that he’d started, so I sat back a bit and left him to it.

“You wanna talk about why you came home so upset?”

I could tell he was still worried, even though he was cheering up ever so slightly…, so I just sat there and let him collect himself. I think I’d dodged a serious bullet though, that whole thing could have gone either way on me, and I felt that I had almost lost him for good. To tell you the truth…, I wasn’t happy about it…, but I also wasn’t about to abandon him. I mean I didn’t care that he was gay, as long as he was happy. I just knew how the world worked…, and knew what he was getting himself into…, more than he knew in fact. He looked up at me again, this time there was a bit of fire in his eyes…

“I think I may’ve been outed at school…”

I then let go of his left hand and lifted up the bottom of his shirt. It was kinda funny really, because I just knew exactly what I would find,

“Well…, to be fair dude…, that would be a dead give away.” He was wearing his rainbow coloured belt again, “But why don’t you tell me what happened?”

“Um…, well…, I had gym last period…, it was wrestling…” he said. Rather sheepishly I could remember thinking at the time.

Oh oh…, I know where this is going…

“I was on the bottom, and my wrestling partner…, Carl Sommers…, was on top…, and…, well…,  I got a…”

“You got hard?”

“Yeah…, well…, I thought I could control it, but he’s just so damn cute! … Then coach blew his whistle to switch places…, so we did…, I didn’t want to…” He said earnestly, looking deep into my eyes to see if I believed him. “I had no choice honest!” He was on the verge of tears again… “So as soon as we crouched…, well…, I guess Carl felt it.”

There went the water works again, and once again I just patiently waited it out. This was Dale’s time and I was determined for him to take it at his own pace. As he was about to speak again though, the whole thing came crashing down on both of us as Corey burst through the door…, the very same one that I had forgotten to close properly…

“Uncle Cam, Reggie says she’d love to…, aw what the actual fuck?? … Are you still crying?”

“COREY!!! Jesus! … Give us a moment will ya…, go down stairs and start making a grocery list…, we’ll be down shortly.”

Throwing his hands into the air, he turned to leave with a ‘Whatever’ look on his face, I let him go, deciding I would talk to him later about the necessities of knocking…

“And close the door!” I yelled at his retreating form, before I turned my attention back to Dale, “Come on short stack…, don’t stop now.”

He didn’t look like he was going to…, in fact, it looked more like he had drawn back into himself. I knew that if I didn’t get him to open up again, I wouldn’t ever get another chance…, well…, maybe not for several years at least. The last thing I wanted was for him to go through this on his own. Smiling encouragingly, looking deep into his eyes…, I started to gently caress his hands…, just to let him know I was still there…, for him and only him…

“Well…” He continued after a minute or two. “Like I said…, Carl must have felt it, coz he jumped a mile screaming nasty things at me…”

“Like what?”

“He said, ‘What the fuck you fuckin homo!’ and ‘Get this fucking fag away from me!’, I didn’t know what to do…, everyone was looking at me, and the coach just stood there with that stupid smirk on his face! Uncle Cam, I was so embarrassed, and I’ve got such a crush on him to! … So I did the only thing I could…, I ran out before I started crying…, or worse, got angry.”

I well knew what he meant. From pretty much the time the boys had come to live with me, I had taught them how to look after themselves. From a good diet, to good exercise, to martial arts. They were both pretty dangerous if pushed to far.

“What did you do, then?”

“I ran to the locker room, got dressed, then went outside and hid till the bus came.”

“So you think you’re gay because you have a crush on this boy, and got hard in gym?”

“No! I know I’m gay…, because I got hard in gym and…, I….”

“And you…, what?”

“I…, liked it…” As he said this, a determined strong expression broke onto his face, and I knew he meant it. “That’s not the first time it’s happened either…, I keep having dreams…, about boys…, you know…, the sticky kind you told us about when we were little?”

“Ha! … Yeah I remember…., so you’ve never dreamt about girls?”


“So you’re sure then?”

“Yes Uncle Cam…, I’m sure.”

I pulled him onto my lap…, just like I used to do, when they were small…, and hugged him tight.

“So other than today…, you’re happy about it?”

“Yes.” He said into my shoulder.

“Then…, I don’t care…, as long as you’re happy…, I don’t care what you are attracted to.”

“Thanks Uncle Cam, that means a lot to me.”

I held him for another few minutes…, he just melted into me. I could feel all the stress of the moment boil off him, as I just kept holding him. Dad would have been proud of me at that moment…, I think.

“I take it then, that you haven’t told your brother?”

“God no!”

“Don’t you think you should…., I mean, he can be quite a dick sometimes, but he still loves you. Wait…, is that why you moved in here?”

“Yeah…, I had to get away from him…, I had to have some space of my own to think this through. He kept bugging me to get a girlfriend, and trying to get me to double with him…, I couldn’t take who I was really attracted to now could I?”

“Well I guess not…, so is there someone? … Because you know…, he would be welcome here anytime. Dad kicked the last bigot out of here when I was small, and I don’t remember there ever being another one.”

“Thanks Uncle Cam…, I’ll keep that in mind. But no…, there isn’t anyone.”

“I want you to know, that you can come to me with anything…, no matter how big or small. I will always be here for you kiddo…, I won’t let anything hurt you… I love you, you know that right? Don’t shut me out…, ok?”

“I know. I won’t…, I mean…”

“I know what you mean…, and thanks…, Ok…, well I gotta change and go to the store, before your brother’s stomach caves in.”

With that I lifted him back into his chair, and stood…, I took a few steps towards the door, and he spun his chair to follow me. Turning back to him, he got up and leapt into my arms. I was caught a little off guard…, staggering backwards slightly, but held firm as I continued…

“I’ll take Corey with me…, so why don’t you have a long shower hmm? … By the time you’re finished we’ll be back…, then we can all go out on the water together…, how’s that sound?”

“Sounds good.”

“You want anything from the store?”

“Strawberry condoms and some KY?” He said with a smirk. “Nah…, whatever you get will be fine…, I’ll see you soon.”

“HA! … That’s funny…, that’s real funny.” I said with a playful slap to his butt.

His pained expression didn’t last long…, before he gave me a soft kiss on the cheek…, then just pressed his smooth cheek to mine, as he held me tight. I hugged him back just as tight for a few minutes, then went to get changed. I don’t think any “Father” is happy with that kind of news at first, but whatever, I loved him. Of course with my own past, I couldn’t really turn him away now could I?

Changing quickly, I even considered a shower of my own, but I knew there was no time…, after all…, Corey was waiting. Having stripped out of my sodden whites, I hefted them into the hamper, and pulled on a pair of old cargo cut-offs, and a hoodie…, even though it was still damp, I didn’t bother changing my t-shirt. He was probably growing quite impatient by now, you know how young teen boys are. There was just something not quite right though, I could feel it building, but I was still unprepared for it when it hit. It wasn’t until I was sitting on my bed, pulling on a pair of shoes that it struck. FEAR! … I hadn’t noticed it at first, because it had been so long since I had felt it…, sitting behind a desk will do that to you. It started with a slight shake of the hands, growing into a subtle underlying sense of panic, I just froze. Looking at my hands, with their slight shake…, realisation washed over me in cold waves. Hello old friend, as my face sank to my hands meeting in the middle. I heard the shower start in Dale’s room his and mine shared a wall, walls which weren’t exactly thick…, if you know what I mean.


Written by bigct/Octavius

October 27, 2009 at 15:23

7 Responses

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  1. aww 🙂 sweet story, Cam’s an awesome uncle.
    i wish my family would see things the same way as well. too bad.


    December 11, 2009 at 14:12

  2. I like this story cant wait to move on the next chapter… Oh and thanks for posting such a good story…


    March 23, 2010 at 03:03

  3. the desk chairs that our mom use are always leather based instead of using cloth covers;“

    Buck Teeth Treatment :

    October 28, 2010 at 06:22

  4. I love the story and having seen the photo’s first,really helps to set the scene and visualise the situations. Sincerest congratulations and greatful thanks for posting this story,and even though I have only read up to the end of Chapter 3, I very much look forward to enjoying the rest of this beautiful story.


    December 2, 2010 at 12:00

  5. Thanks CT for the beginnings of an awesome story…just finished the 3rd chpt. Looking forward to all the remaining chpts. Keep ’em cummin’!! Vern


    July 8, 2011 at 09:28

  6. Trying to get into this, and so far I really like the story, but the grammar nazi in me keeps rearing its head and wanting to know, what’s with all the ellipses “…” with commas attached “…,” is this intentional, should there just be an overuse of ellipses, or should most of those just be commas (the standard method of indicating a separation of ideas or slight pause?) Generally, ellipses are only used when something is left out. For instance, cutting short the Star Spangled Banner, “Oh, say can you… oh you know the rest.”
    I hate to nitpick on this, but it’s right up there with misuse of it’s as one of the most common mistakes I see among web authors, and the most annoying.


    September 26, 2011 at 08:23

  7. A fine example of the fears and dreams, not only of a boy lost, but an adult dealing with past and future outpourings of fear of the truth.

    Remmy Meggs

    April 29, 2012 at 17:13

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