The Sailor's Stories

1009 Chapter nine – The Sailor’s Awakening.

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Roughly an hour later the boys were all downstairs, dressed and ready to hit the mall. Not exactly parade standards but decently dressed none the less. Corey in his usual “Skate Punk” attire, of cargo cut-off shorts, t-shirt, hoodie and shoes of some skate brand. Dale had gone with the emo look, tight jeans, t-shirt and a tight cardigan with the sleeves pulled up. I couldn’t understand it, but if that was what he wanted then fine, I just thought he was drawing to much attention to himself. Carl was the normal one comparatively speaking. He had on a pair of red boardies, dark navy tee, and black skate shoes.

While the boys had been getting ready, I’d gotten a little busy myself, and had called an old buddy from the academy. We weren’t that close anymore really, not at all  unfriendly, just the distance had opened a small rift. After graduation he’d gone into submarines, but a car accident had caused him to go off the active list, and he ended up in JAG. In fact I hadn’t heard from him for so long that I didn’t even know we were posted to the same base until I literally ran into him one a few weeks ago. He was a good guy, and we got along well…, when we were together. We hadn’t really kept in touch, but as soon as he heard my voice on the line, he was all smiles and greetings…

“Cam what the hell man…, you never call, you never write…”

I could tell he was laughing. Like every other time we had gotten together, we slipped back into our old relationship…, like sliding on a pair of comfortable old shoes.

“Well neither do you asshole.” I replied with a chuckle of my own.

“To what do I owe this somewhat dubious pleasure?”

“Professional call buddy, I need this in the strictest confidence.”

“I’m listening…”

“Well I have a bit of a problem….”

We spent the next twenty or so minutes with mostly just me talking. He threw out the odd pointed question here and there. I soon found that I couldn’t hide anything from him, or some things just wouldn’t make sense. Once I had finished retelling the whole story, there was a very audible sigh over the line…

“Jesus Cameran!” Like most people, who knew me well, he only ever used my full name when the situation was serious. “Ah ok…, well I can look into it, gotta warn you though, custody battles aren’t common in military law.”

“But you can do your thing in a civilian court though right?”

“Probably, if I have to, but lets just wait and see if it gets that far. I’ll give you a call in a couple of hours.” I could almost hear his mind ticking over, “Are you and the boys prepared for this to come out?”

“They’re gonna to have to be.., I guess.”

“What about you…, I hate to ask, but if I’m going to be your lawyer I have to know…”

“You mean, am I? Professionally I will say unequivocally No. To a friend I would say that, I doubt it.”

“That’s pretty ambiguous Cam…, I have to tell you if it gets that far, some questions will be asked why a single guy your age, is in this position. Look I know you…, I have no doubts that everything is above board this is just a warning.”

“You really think it would come to that, I mean what difference does it make?”

“Three teen boys living with an unmarried man…, in this day and age…, a big difference. Listen, leave it with me, I’ll do some digging and get back to you.”

“All right…, talk to you soon.” I said.

The line went dead, just as the boys made their way downstairs.

“So…, we ready to go?”

They nodded, and I opened the door. Short minutes later, we were in the jeep headed to the mall. This was a two fold mission; one, I wanted to get the boys minds off of the last few days, and two, Carl needed a few things…, well a lot of things really. He hadn’t mentioned his almost complete lack of belongings, but I knew he was feeling it.

When Reggie had gotten back from Carl’s former house the afternoon before, the look on his face was so pitiful and heartbreaking. She hadn’t been able to salvage much…, and had described the scene pretty well to me later on. Apparently after getting home his dad, had gone into another rage and tore through Carl’s bedroom, his brothers had then picked off the rest. She’d managed to get some clothes and a few books, some CD’s, but that was about it.

I loved the mall, as soon as we got there the boys jumped out and made to scatter, but a shrill whistle from me and they stopped dead in their tracks. We discussed the plan…, Corey wanted to go to the skate shop, to pick up a few things for his deck. Dale was itching to get to Barnes and Nobles…, apparently there was this new vampire book he wanted. Carl, was deathly silent. So I said that he would be coming with me, he gave a small shy smile, but said nothing about it. I told the boys to rendezvous at the food court in two hours. Once the plan was set, they scarpered, and Carl and I walked sedately into the mall.

I took him first to the Apple store, he milled around for a bit, while I looked at iphones. The look on his face was priceless, bewilderment mixed with lust for the toys he was seeing. I chuckled, then sent him to go and look at the laptops. While he was occupied I made a deal for four of the new phones, then went over to where he was standing….

“See anything you like?”

“Yeah Cam they’re all so cool…”

“Pick one.”

“What…?”

“You heard…, pick one.” I said as I hailed the salesman.

“But Cam I can’t afford one, I don’t have any money.”

“I didn’t say buy one…, I said…, pick one.”

We walked out of the store, with four phones and a new Mac book. He was all smiles, and didn’t stop talking about it until we hit American Eagle. He went all shy again…, and blushed as I thrust him through the door.

“Look kid, I know this isn’t really your style, but as you don’t have much we need to fill in the gaps. So go through and get yourself what you need to look respectable then we’ll hit some of the other stores and get you the casual stuff.”

He picked out several nice shirts, some pants, and underwear, socks and the like. I picked out a few things for myself, then we hit the rest of the stores. By the time we got to the food court, we were right on deadline and both laden with bags. I hadn’t shopped for anyone else in a couple of years, when it came to the boys, I usually just let them go wild and get what they wanted. I figured they were old enough to sort their own shopping. But to tell you the truth I kinda missed it, and really enjoyed shopping with Carl. The constant looks of gratitude were just an added bonus. We Grabbed cokes and subs from Subway, then we carried all the bags out to the jeep and headed for home.

As we pulled into the driveway, Caleb stepped out of his Shelby…, I had always loved that car, he’d had it since the academy. I’d known it was him as soon as we rounded the corner. He must have come straight from the base, as he was still in his summer whites.

“Boys I would like you to meet an old friend of mine…, this is Lieutenant Commander Caleb Green. Caleb this is Dale, Corey, and Carl.” I said pointing to each boy.

“Pleased to meet you boys…, ah Cam can we talk?”

“Sure…, why don’t you boys take Carl upstairs and help him get squared away.” As I opened the door, I looked at Caleb, “Come on through to the kitchen.”

Walking in I indicated a chair, and he sat down. Like the good host I put the kettle on and offered him a cup of tea, he declined that but took the coffee I offered him instead…

“I’ve looked into it Cam, and it can be done…, all we need to do is get an agreement from the boys parents, signing over guardianship to you. Once you have that, you can adopt, or do whatever.”

“It’s that easy?”

“It can be sure…, unless they fight it. You never mentioned a mother, what does she think of all this?”

“To be honest I don’t know if she’s even in the picture, I’ve never heard him talking about one.”

“Well here are the papers…, what does the boy think of all this?”

“Carl…, can you come down here a moment?” I said poking my head out the door.

He made his way down a few seconds later.

“Carl, Caleb is my lawyer. He’s come over with some papers that will make me your legal guardian if your dad signs them. I wanted to know what you thought about that. I also want to mention that in no way do I want to replace your dad, I am doing this as a friend…, what do you think?”

He just sat there for a moment thinking things through…., then he burst into tears, I went down on one knee beside him and gently wrapped my arm around his shoulder…

“It’s ok buddy we don’t have to do this now…”

“No…, it’s ok, I know dad won’t take me back, and you’ve been so good to me, but I don’t want you to go to any trouble…”

“Aww dude it’s no trouble, you’re a kid that’s been dealt a really shitty hand…, I’m just doing what any reasonable adult would do.”

“So if dad signs the papers, then I will be staying here?”

“Yeah, if you want to, no one’s forcing you to do anything though.”

“Ok.”

“Look I have to ask Carl….” Said Caleb, looking a little anxious, “But what about your mom…, how will she take all this?”

“Mom died when I was little…, that’s why dad left the marines, coz he had to take care of us, I think he resents us for it…”

“Ok little guy, go on back up to your room.” I said…, as he got up, he wrapped his arms around me in a hug. I couldn’t help myself, I hugged him back, trying my hardest to absorb some of that little boy’s pain.

Caleb agreed to go over to Carl’s house with the papers, he called me a little while later and said that Sommers had signed them. He also told me that the guy had said several nasty things about the boy, and that he was glad to be shot of him. I shed a single tear at that, and thanked Caleb after he said he would file the papers at the court house in the morning. That settled it I guess…, I now had three boys to raise.

I wiped my face and headed upstairs, taking the bag with the phones in with me. I headed to Corey’s room first, his door was open but I knocked anyway…

“Hey Uncle Cam, come in.”

He was sitting cross legged on his bed, several skateboard parts strewn around him.

“Hey kid…” I said as I sat down on his bed. “I have to apologise bud, I never asked you how you felt about all this.”

“What Carl? Yeah I don’t know, he seems alright, and Dale likes him…., a lot! I guess it’s cool.”

“You don’t mind he moved in with us? It’s all happened rather fast.” I looked him in the eyes and tried to discern what he was thinking, “I want you to know that this doesn’t change how I feel about you…”

I must have looked pretty serious, because he was very quick to respond…

“Nah…, you did what you had to do. Honestly Uncle Cam, I get it…, it’s all good.”

“Ok well don’t be a stranger…, by the way have a phone.” I said as I got up, and tossed him one of the phones.

“Cool thanks.” He said, with an excited smile.

“It’s time we all get a new one. Put on something nice, I’m taking us all out to dinner.”

With that I left and went to Dale’s room, he wasn’t there, so I headed to Carl’s. The door was open, so again I knocked and just went straight in. Should have waited…, as I stepped in I got an unwanted view of the two boys locked in a very intimate embrace. I coughed and they broke apart, looking at me rather sheepishly. I tossed them a phone each, told them about dinner then walked out. I got about two steps out of the door, before I burst out laughing…., the looks on their faces then was just too funny.

About an hour later we were seated at a nice table, in a pretty good restaurant down town. My card was taking quite a beating today, but it really was worth it…, besides, it was not like I couldn’t afford it. Dinner was nice, the boys had ordered burgers, and I had a nice piece of braised venison and salad.

I was obliged to mention when the boys ordered, that if all they wanted was burgers we could have saved a lot of time, trouble and money by just going to Burger King. The twins knew I was joking, but Carl was horrified and was about to change his order, when Dale leaned over and whispered in his ear. When Carl looked back at me, I couldn’t suppress the laughter any longer. He eyes shot daggers at me, but he was soon laughing right along with us…, it was good to see a smile on his face again.

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Written by bigct/Octavius

November 20, 2009 at 15:39

7 Responses

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  1. I have nothing else to add besides AWESOME!

    Dawngreeter

    November 21, 2009 at 02:01

  2. Well, for a story that I discovered just today I now find myself riveted to each chapter. Your work flows exceptionally well and I have enjoyed the ups and downs (OK worried with them too) but I really want to thank you for putting a “positive” picture out there. thanks!

    Steve

    Steve

    March 12, 2010 at 02:07

    • All I can do is try, but thank you for your kind words.

      CT/Octavius.

      bigct

      March 12, 2010 at 10:14

  3. Not fair Not fair
    a damned good story, well written and here I sit at !AM and still reading Guess I will be reading a while 🙂
    Thanks, Great storyline great writing!

    Beach

    June 7, 2011 at 17:05

    • OH god (OMG) it’s only been 11 months and here I am again 🙂

      Beach

      May 4, 2012 at 19:20

      • O forgot to mention that it’s 3:20 AM 0320 hours 🙂 here on My Caribbean island!

        Beach

        May 4, 2012 at 19:22


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