The Sailor's Stories

1018 Chapter eighteen – The Sailor’s Awakening.

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I was still marvelling at that beautiful sunrise, near two hours later, as I dished up breakfast. This morning was scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage. I can’t explain it really, but after last night, that morning had just gone so right. The run with Corey, the sunrise over the park, just like that time so long ago, and now breakfast with the boys. I was, as they say, on cloud nine. Corey and I had gotten back about an hour before, having watched the sun, until it was high in the sky. Weary but at the same time invigorated, we had both climbed the stairs to our respective showers. I was quicker, I soon discovered, beating him back down to the kitchen, to start breakfast.

When Dale and Carl came down, Corey had looked over at me…, we shared a moment, at the astonishment on Dales face. Had it really been that long since he had seen his brother dressed for breakfast? Well it certainly showed…, Carl of course, was oblivious to all this, being the relative newcomer. The talk around the table that morning, was the upcoming baseball season.  Corey and Carl were the most excited, they had both been star players last year.  I had to admit that even Dale was showing an interest, in rejoining his old team. The three boys started to talk eagerly about the tryouts, that afternoon…

“What the hell man, why not?”

Huh? What the hell had I missed there? Things were getting a little heated…, Maybe I should rejoin the conversation…

“Why not? What kind of a dumbass question is that?” Corey was incredulous.

“It’s not a dumbass question…, why can’t I pitch?”

“Dale I love you…, you know that…? But this isn’t little league anymore…, this is juniors…, besides…, you throw like a girl.”

“I do not, asshole!”

“Hey! Don’t be like that dude…, I’m just trying to save you some embarrassment.”

Dale’s face was reddening…, he was getting seriously pissed, I hadn’t seen him as mad, as what he was getting, in a very long time. The twins didn’t often fight, but when they did…, well…, let’s just say, I hope nothing got broken. There was no point in even trying to mediate…, but I forged on anyway…

“Ah…, boys? Breakfast table… I don’t want you two at each others throats. Let’s all play nicely, and have a proper discussion about this…, ok?”

“Sorry Uncle Cam…, sorry Dale. You are a good pitcher…, but you aren’t fast enough, you should just stick to batting…, that’s where you kill man!”

It’s true, I had caught a few games last year…, before Dale left the team, he was probably one of the better hitters the team had. That last bit, really hit Dale, and the blood rushed from his face, faster than it had arrived. Like I said, the boys didn’t fight often…, and were obviously too close, to let something like this, cause a rift.

“Yeah I’m sorry too bro…, but I’m still going to try out!”

Sometimes the boys just amaze me. I had never thought in my wildest dreams…, and hey, they were getting pretty wild lately, that I could diffuse that situation that quickly. Though to be fair, it was mostly Corey.

“Alright then…, now, if you want to discuss this further…, do it peacefully while you clear away the dishes?”

The boys looked sheepishly at each other, as they started to pick up the table. I looked over at Carl, he seemed just as resigned as I was…, though I’m sure for different reasons. He still had yet to say anything in either direction. He looked as though, he was not about to place his chips on either side. I knew then though, that if he didn’t start taking his boyfriend’s side, he was going to be in just as much trouble as Corey would have been.

“Carl…, can I see you outside for a few minutes…, I know…, why don’t you go and put on some trunks, and join me in the hot tub.”

“Ah yeah…, ok Cam.”

The boys were still discussing the try outs, as I lifted the cover off of the tub. I set the jets running, and was just taking off my shirt, when I heard a sharp intake of breath. As I turned my head to the sound, I instantly knew my mistake. Carl was standing there, in just his trunks, his mouth wide open, the shock evident on his face. I realised then, that Carl had never seen me with my shirt off. What anyone would see was bad enough, but to a young fourteen year old, that was beginning to care for me greatly…, well…, I guess it would be pretty horrific. My back and side, was a map of scar tissue. The two worst of course, were long jagged lines of pink, puckered skin, that curved from my spine to around my side.


“Oh shit! … Sorry little man, I probably should’ve given you some warning.”

“You think? … “

He stepped closer, up behind me…, and I felt the very tips of his fingers, brush gently over the scars. He traced the whole length slowly….

“That must have hurt…, what happened?”

“I got shot, and got a collapsed lung for my troubles…, took the docs quiet a while to get me squared away…, had to crack my ribs to re-inflate it.”

“I don’t like it…”

As he said that I turned to face him. Internally I cried out, as I watched a tear slide slowly down his face. Dropping to a knee, I took him into my arms and held him, while he started sobbing in earnest…

“Hey, it’s ok buddy…, It was years ago, and as you can see I’m still here…”

He recovered relatively quickly…, wiping his tears with the back of his hand, he looked down into my eyes. I have to admit the stern look on his face, so at contrast to the last few minutes, startled me greatly…

“I hate what you do…, I hate it all…, what it made dad into, what it did to Mark…, what it has done to you… I hate it…, I hate it, and I don’t understand it!”

Jesus! What I could I say to that, I couldn’t even think of a way to explain it. Even the talk I had had with Corey on the boat, wouldn’t have been enough. This little boy, had had so much go wrong in his life, and to him at least, it all stemmed from the military. Standing, I rested back against the side of the tub. I looked at him, and I could see he was looking for me to challenge him…

“I don’t know what I can tell you little man…”

As luck would have it I didn’t have to…, as I was about to continue, we were joined from the side of the house…

“Sup white dudes?”

The new arrival was none other than, Theodore Emerson Tenaka, or Teddy for short. Teddy was the thirteen year old son of Jacob and Emuri Tenaka. He was Japanese, but born and raised in the States, like his parents. Though unlike his very traditional parents, Teddy was far more ‘Ghetto’, preferring to adopt the more colourful parts of the American culture. At 4’10”, he was shorter than most of his cotemporaries, but what he lacked in stature, he made up for in attitude. Don’t let that fool you though, Teddy was sharp as a tack, and a highly efficient and intelligent mind, hid under that mop of straight black hair. Not to mention the fact that he had reflexes like a cat, which is what made him a superb baseball player, and martial artist…

“Jesus Teddy! We do have names you know?” I said.

“Yeah…, but all you white guys look the same to me…, it’s hard to tell sometimes who’s who, ya know?”

“Ha! Fuck you too Teddy!” Said Carl, with a small grin, as they pressed their fists together.

“Hey Carl, what are you doing here… Shit Cam, you weren’t proposing or anything were you?

My only response to that, was an upraised middle finger, and a wide grin on my face. Carl on the other hand was a little taken aback…, not to mention, more than a little nervous. With a slight shake…

“Um…., I live here now…, my dad…, kicked me out…”

“What da fuck! Why?”

“Ah…, because…, well, I guess you’ll find out about it soon enough anyway…, I’m Gay…, that’s why dad kicked me out.”

“No shit! Never would’ve picked you for a ‘poo pusher’…, I mean…, I think Dale might be, but never you…, oh well who gives a shit right? … Oh shit, sorry…”

Carl was quick, but he couldn’t quite hide his shock, at that revelation…, he recovered quickly though…

“Nah.., it’s ok man…, are we…, cool?”

“Yeah homey I don’t care.., more ho’s for me right?” As he spoke his face changed, and he went back to the boy I knew…, “Look dude, seriously I don’t care…, your still the same guy I knew before…, nothing’s changed man.”

To be honest I had missed the little shit, well…, maybe not his mouth. Teddy and the twins were very close. He was the only other boy in the neighbourhood in fact, and they had pretty much grown up together. There had been many sleepovers in the last few years, so much so that he was almost a part of the furniture. He kinda grows on you…

“Ha! Laugh it up you little shit…, when did you get back?” I said.

“Yesterday.., flight was da shizzle…, hot cabin crew too…”

His more serious side took a step back, as his cocky ghetto self retook control of his persona. It was good to have him around again though, and by the looks of the glove on his backpack, he was also on his way to try outs. Teddy hadn’t been around lately, as the Tenaka’s had spent some time with family in Japan, for the start of summer, and the boys had been missing him. I couldn’t help myself though, I had to try and chop a piece off of that ego…

“Ah.., aren’t you a little young for that kind of talk?”

“Nah.., gots to get me da bitches!” he said, as he struck a rather cocky pose. I think he was meaning it to look tough, but his dopey grin, and smiling eyes, just made it look funny. Both Carl and I burst out laughing…

“Ok…, I’ve heard enough…., the boys are inside.”

Satisfyingly chastened, he walked off into the house. I looked over at Carl, as I slipped into the tub. He was still a little upset about earlier, but followed me in. Over the next several minutes he looked over at me, as if he had something to say…, I didn’t want to push, so I just let him think his way through it. Then, just out of the blue…

“I’m sorry I went off at you before…, I know I was out of line, talking about stuff like that…”

“It’s all right Carl, you said what you felt…, I’m not angry or anything. I really want to give you what you need…, some kind of explanation…, I just don’t know what you need…, or at least what you want to hear…”

“You don’t have to…, you don’t owe me anything…, I just…”

We had been sitting at opposite ends, and corners…, but when he started to cry again, I shifted over, so I was sitting next to him. I reached over and took his hand in mine, I gave him a gentle squeeze, as I waited for him to continue…

“I just really care about you…, I like you a lot…, you’ve really done so much for me in such a short time…, I hate the thought of you getting hurt…”

I couldn’t stop myself, I just pulled him over into my arms again and held him tight…

“Its all right little man…, I’m not going anywhere…”

I got a bit of shock, as he snuggled into me…, like someone that was much younger would. There was nothing sexual, in fact the love I felt welling up inside for this young man, was so far than anything like that. I came to the conclusion then, that finally he had found something he had always craved. Something…, he had never had in his life before…, someone to love and protect him…, someone to accept him for who he is. In that moment, I think we both got what we wanted…, he got a loving father, and I got…, a fresh start.

I could have stayed in that moment forever, but fate had other plans…, as Teddy and the twins, came out of the house and jumped into the tub. Warm frothy water, splashed everywhere, and Carl and I were caught up in it. As the water settled, Carl and Dale came together, Carl ended up in Dale’s lap. As we all looked on, their lips met, as Carl’s arms slid around the other boy’s neck…

“I knew he was gay!” exclaimed Teddy. “Cool man…., WHAT!?”

Looking on we all cracked up laughing…, and pretty soon Teddy joined in. A new moment replaced the last, almost as nicely. Once again, I marvelled at how truly lucky I really was.


Written by bigct/Octavius

December 10, 2009 at 16:31

5 Responses

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  1. God, Would’nt have been nice if when I was that age people were so accepting? I was off yesterday and reread the whole story again. As far as superlatives… Heartwarming, endearing, life affirming come to mind. Keep writing. Share your gift.


    December 11, 2009 at 02:22

    • Dude, thank you.

      Your words mean more to me than you could know. I really appreciate it.



      December 11, 2009 at 02:32

    • Ahh Dawngreeter has said it so perfectly! CT U ROCK! as I have said this is my second time reading this story! HGUgs from a US Virgin Island


      May 5, 2012 at 06:52

  2. Well bigct, you have written another great chapter. If only the real world could work that way, full of love and acceptance for everyone. Thank you for writing a what could be world..

    Dead on perfectly nailed characters, never ever wavering from who they are. From chapter to chapter there is never a moment of personality drift. You have my cheers that you accomplish that each time out of the gate!


    December 11, 2009 at 16:39

  3. I came across this short story and I’m so happy I did. I love the storytelling! I read all of the chapters in one sitting. I’m anxious to read more!! Keep up the good work and please let me know if you have other stories to read. A great piece of writing here…..


    December 14, 2009 at 01:19

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