The Sailor's Stories

1016 Chapter sixteen – The Sailor’s Awakening.

with 2 comments

I don’t know how long I had stayed there…, with him…, or at least the memory of him. Or even how long the drive home had taken, what with the twists and turns of the midsummer streets, just slipping by almost of their own accord. What I did know, was that I was now, more and more, looking forward to getting home to see the boys. The twins had for the longest time, been my primary concern, and of course Carl was thrown into the mix as well. But I really needed them right now, I needed them to be there for…, me. I can’t really explain it. Though if I was pushed far enough, I would have to say that, they were my lifelines. The only things holding me grounded. Looking back at it, I knew this wasn’t fair, they were after all, still trying to find their own feet in the world…, but at that moment, I needed them more than I cared to admit.

Pulling into the drive, my heart swelled, looking on at the lit house. So warm and inviting. In my excitement, the complete lack of noise, didn’t even register on my flayed raw psyche. I simply jumped from the jeep and bounded up the steps, into the house….

“BOYS…?”

”They aren’t here Cameran…, I’m in the kitchen…., we need to talk…”

I certainly wasn’t expecting that, though in and of itself, not at all unpleasant. Still my disappointment was evident, as I made my way down that long hallway and into the kitchen. As I rounded the corner through the door, there she was sitting at the table, the dim lighting, giving the illusion to the warm feeling, though from her at that moment… there was anything but…

“My god boy, you look a sight…, what have you been doing?”

Following her eyes, I took in a quick appraisal of my appearance…, I was stunned, I hadn’t noticed how dirty I had become. My whites were only so in places, showing some deep patches of a brownish green in others. My usually meticulous ironing, long since losing it’s hold. All that time sitting on the grass, in the rain, had certainly taken it’s toll. I had to admit that…, I looked terrible.

“Never mind that…, go have a shower, and get changed…, then you and I are going to have a talk. Hurry up, and I’ll put the kettle on.”

Seeing no room for argument, I simply turned round and headed upstairs. Climbing into the shower, I let the stream of steaming hot water, wash away the day. I could sense…, well to be honest I didn’t have to, the reason she wanted to talk. It was as glaringly obvious, as the shiner on Corey’s face. It had to be that…, hopefully she hadn’t assumed that I had done that on purpose. I knew that she had cornered Corey the night of our return, but I didn’t know how much he had told her. I should have known though, even his cocksure, winning smile, could not get him away from her determined questioning…, I knew that from personal experience.

Feeling slightly refreshed, from the hot shower, I slipped into a pair of jeans, and an old SEAL t-shirt. Knowing that I couldn’t delay it any longer, I took the long walk downstairs…, Why do I somehow feel like a condemned man? Brushing the thought from my mind, I sat down at the table across from my oldest friend…, and the closest thing I had to a parent.

She said nothing for the longest time, barely even looking at me, as she went through the process of pouring a cup of tea. She was…, almost scary, in the mechanical efficiency, with which she prepared the brew. Finally she stirred the cup, tapped the spoon three times, then slid it in front me. As I picked it up, savouring the smell, for the briefest of moments, I pressed it to my lips and took the first sip. Her eyes never left mine…

“Did you do it?”

I needed no imagination to know what ‘It’ meant. I also knew that there would be no lying to her. To be honest I never had been particularly good at that…, especially with Reggie. She somehow had always had this way of knowing…, and had never let any, but the smallest ones, ever slip by. Resigned to my fate I had no real choice…

“Yes.”

“On purpose?”

“Of course not!”

“Don’t you raise your voice to me!” She admonished, “Now…, tell me what happened.”

It wasn’t a question…, or even a statement of fact, it was simply something that I couldn’t avoid. In actuality it didn’t take long, though it felt so much longer while doing it, to explain to her what had happened. I left nothing out, explaining the whole scene, and of course, the outcome. She just sat there unmoving, taking it all in. When she asked about the dreams…, for the second time that day, I unraveled my soul. My already flayed emotions, got a new beating, as I told her everything. Her face remained passive throughout the whole telling, but I had sharp eyes. I watched her, as the colour of her face rose and fell at certain points, her embarrassment at some parts of the story evident.

At the end, still having said nothing, she got up and came round the table. She looked down at me, her anger…, or was it pity, warring with her love. I knew she had given up her anger, as she bent a little and embraced me. Once again I felt the warmth, that that embrace could provide, and I let myself fall back into it. I raised my own hand, placing it over her arm, and held it there.

“Oh Cameran….,” She whispered, as her face pressed into my still slightly damp hair. “I knew you two were close, but I never would’ve even considered that.”

She stepped back in horror, for the briefest of moments, then continued…

“Not that there is anything wrong with it…, I just never….”

“It’s alright Reggie…, I know what you mean…, if I hadn’t been there myself, I never would’ve thought of it either.”

“Do the…, do the boys know?”

“Yeah…, they know most of it…, well…, not the juicy parts, but yeah most of it. Took it rather well actually.”

“Well…, after the month they’ve had, it’s hardly surprising.”

“Where are they by the way?”

“Oh…, I sent them to the movies…, so we could have this chat…”

“How long have you been here…, how long were you waiting?”

“Oh not long…, well…, long enough to feed them and send them out. I would’ve thought they’d be back by now actually.”

As she said this, her eyes drifted lazily to the clock on the far wall. I looked at it myself, and noticed for the first time, how late it had gotten. It was a quarter past ten, the boys certainly were late. They had never, without good reason, or a phone call, stayed out this late before. Well I suppose it wasn’t a school night, and they were together…, hopefully, so I let it rest for the time being.

Seeing my concern wash away, for the time being, Reggie made to refill our cups. Though she suddenly realised the state of the tea pot, and got up to refill it. I took that opportunity to escape, making my way out the back door. Stepping out into the, comfortable yet brisk, night air I lit up. I still had not redropped the habit. Knowing that I shouldn’t, but doing it anyway, I had smoked my way through half of the cigarette, before Reggie stepped up beside me. I’m going to be paying for this in the morning! I thought, as to my astonishment, she took the half butt from my hand, and sucked back with seeming relish.

“I tried to tell you before…, about all this.”

“What…, that you started smoking again? It really is a disgusting habit Cameran…, I’m very disappointed in you.” She said, before she sucked back another drag.

I could see that I was not going to be getting that one back. So rolling with it, I pulled another of Virginia’s finest from the pack, and lit it.

“No about the dreams, about what I was going through.”

“On the boat?”

“Yeah…, before we were ambushed that is.”

I couldn’t help but notice the memory slide onto her face, in the form of a mischievous school girl grin.

“I knew you were dealing with some things…, especially after the night you had. I was desperate for you to talk to me, I so wanted to help…., but then at lunch, you just seemed so…., different. I guess, well…, I hoped, that you would come to me when you were ready.”

She was still smiling, though no longer in the same way…., now it was more of that motherly love, that I had come accustomed to, and desperately needed. Her expression quickly changed, however as the shrill whistle, of the kettle broke the silence. Stubbing the butt out with her foot, she stepped back inside. Finishing my own, I did the same thing. I watched her pour hot water into the pot, before I stepped back inside closing the door, shutting out the night. I went over to the table, and took a seat, as she poured a fresh cup…

“I thought about it again…, telling you everything…., that morning we had coffee, but it was too…, I don’t know…, embarrassing, by that point. Then Carl came along, and I…, just had too much on my mind. I thought that I could deal with it on my own, but as the days stretched into weeks, it just got worse.”

“Well I can’t say that I am happy, that it took this situation, for you to open up. But, I am glad you have. I don’t know how much help I can be in this, just know that you have always had my love and support…, all of you.”

“I went to see the headshrinker today…, that’s where I was. “

“Oh…, did you tell him all of what you just told me…, are you safe?”

“About the gay thing, yeah I think so…, for the moment at least. He understands I think…”

“Well at least that’s something, will you be seeing him again?”

“Yeah…, he wants to meet weekly for a while…, I guess he still thinks I need to work through a few things.”

“Were you there all day?”

“No…, I went past Green hills on my way home…, I had a little unfinished business to take care of…, I needed to say goodbye.”

This statement brought on a new round, of hugging. Reggie, for this round, had foregone her seat on the other side of the table, and head instead sat down next to me. As she again pressed her face against the top of my head, I felt my hair dampen again and realized she was crying.

I could tell she had more to say, but just then, three very excited boys came through the front door. I smiled at her, as we heard the TV go on in the sitting room. Not much had been said by this point, but we both knew what was coming and just sat back and waited. It was not long before Corey made his way into the kitchen…, he looked at the two of us briefly, smiled, then went straight to the fridge. In awe inspired amusement, we just sat back and watched him build one of his masterful  monstrosities, that he called a sandwich. The skill it took, and the determination on his face, was just to much…, and we both erupted in laughter. Looking up, he looked at us dumbfounded…

“What?”

“How about you make another one of those and come over and join us.”

“Oh…, sure,”

Once seated and plowing his way through…, I got up to get a knife to cut the second in half. We sat there…, the three of us and just enjoyed the moment.

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Written by bigct/Octavius

December 6, 2009 at 14:04

2 Responses

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  1. Good to see you back. Wonderfull chapter. I don’t think Cameron is out of the woods yet but he took the most vital step.

    Dawngreeter

    December 6, 2009 at 20:25

  2. I love Reggie!! You do a wonderful job of writing her she is part parent, part best friend, part confessor. The end of this chapter made me smile! I have seen that concentrated building a skyscraper of a sandwich from my boys, and you got Corey’s description down perfectly.

    This was a wonderful segue from the last extremely emotional chapter. Good bridge between what had happened and what is coming. This are a pain to write, I am working on one of those myself, getting it just right so the rest of the story will ‘hang’ right is a bitch. But, you sure nailed it!!!

    biki

    December 7, 2009 at 07:52


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