The Sailor's Stories

1033 Chapter thirty three – The Sailor’s Awakening.

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You know…, I’ve always liked that Harry kid…, have read all the books so far to, it was something that Mark got me into. To be honest, I think I started reading them just to shut him up about it, I can remember him going on and on about them…, of course he only had the chance to read the first two. Since then, I guess I do it for him as well, not just for me anymore. I often wonder how he would react to the others, they have certainly gotten a lot darker. I bet you this too, if that kid were here, I’m sure he could conjure up some genius way out of this. It’s kinda weird what you think about in times like these.

Unfortunately for me though, I am not that kid, and my kind of magic is no good in these situations. As the shock of the scene threatened to overtake me, I stood there stock still, dumbstruck and in awe of my own stupidity. What the hell had I done? GOD! I’m such an asshole…, have I just made things worse? Honestly…, what the fuck is wrong with me? And more to the point…, have I just become what I most despise? Sure it felt good at the time, but really…, did it prove anything? Did it solve anything? You’ve really opened ‘Pandora’s Box’ this time dipshit!

I didn’t wait to find out how much I’d screwed up, to be fair I really didn’t want to know anyway. As soon as the principal stopped talking, I scampered for the door, I just had to get the hell out of there. There was one unmistakable problem with this however, I knew the halls would be full of screaming kids. In a desperate attempt to avoid more drama, I took the outside route making my way to the parking lot and my Jeep. With all those thoughts, and questions running through my mind, it startled me to discover that I hadn’t even stopped to consider just how much I may have fucked it up for the boys. I had no idea how they were going to take it and I have to admit, that the thought of them hadn’t even entered into my mind, when I said what I said.

Five minutes, a slight sweat, and some heavy breathing later, found me leaning against the Jeep, trying desperately to smoke another cigarette, my hands shaking uncontrollably as the ember burned brightly down to the quik. I just couldn’t escape the knowledge that at that last moment I had, in fact, bullied that young man. My heart was still pounding relentlessly in my chest, even though I had been standing almost dead still for the last two minutes. The action I had taken, regardless of how justified it felt at the time, was truly inexcusable. At least, it was by my own reckoning of right and wrong. Coping with that fact was indeed a struggle…, one that I am sorry to say, right then…, I was losing. The ‘Fall Out’ of that comment, that was what was troubling me most right now. There was no possible way of gauging, at the time, what it was going to be. In times like those, I could only imagine. Unfortunately for me though, to be honest…, at those very same times…, I can imagine quite a lot.

I was still standing there when Caleb walked out the main doors. Most of the kids had already left, and so the immediate area was fairly quiet. I can’t say for sure if he had been looking for me, but when he saw me, he immediately ‘Bee-lined’ his way over. As he strode purposefully my way, I felt the sharp pain of the ember caressing the skin on the inside of my fingers. With a muffled curse, I dropped it to the ground, crushing the butt under my heel…

“Hit that kid pretty hard Cam.”

“I know…”

“Honestly…, what were you thinking?”

“I wasn’t.” Was my reply, as I lit another cigarette.

“No doubt!”

“It is what it is Cabe…, I just have to hope the boys can survive it.”

“Me too…, look…” He said, as he placed his hand on my shoulder and gave me a gentle brotherly squeeze. “I’ve gotten to know Corey pretty well lately, he’s a tough kid, and if his brother is half as tough, I think they’ll do fine…, I know how you feel Cam, but you can’t look out for them forever.”

I looked first at his hand, then followed his arm down to his shoulder, crossing to his soft but square jaw, then to his eyes…, that’s where I stopped. It had been a while, but I could well remember those eyes, they  were still the same ones that I had seen all those years ago. I was gratified to see that they still had the love of friendship in them. Other than the regular college roommate antics…, and of course, getting completely smashed on several occasions, Caleb and I had never really done anything together…, and definitely not in that way! But, we were and probably still are, good friends…, I am sure he had my back just as much now as he did back then, as for myself…, well, you never leave a man behind, so there is not even a question there. So as I looked deep into those eyes of his, I felt nothing but the warmth of concern.

“Hey the kids are coming…, look…, I’ll call you tomorrow…, ok?”

“Sure…, thanks.” I said, as he wandered off to catch up with Sam.

Looking on, I watched as he stood there waiting patiently, while Sam and Corey embraced in a rather brazenly fashion. As they said their goodbyes, Sam leaned in and stole a kiss. I couldn’t help but smirk at Caleb’s reaction…, a father’s feelings of love and protection are never that far away it seems regardless of whether or not he accepted the pairing, which he obviously did. I may not have known that he was her dad before today, but I did know that she was the only daughter of the family, so it was understandable that Caleb was overly protective, most fathers are in these circumstances.

Having said that though, the courage of my nephew in that situation was also unmistakable. All he did was to simply look up at Caleb, I think he took the hint as he turned his head away. For his part, Corey took the cue, and pulled Sam closer into a more passionate kiss. It was quite a sight really, and though there was very few people around, the fact they could share that moment without ridicule, was both beautiful, and upsetting. Especially given that I knew that, for the moment at least, the other two couldn’t…, even though the love they shared was at the very least equal if not greater. I had to admit though, that if the relationship between Sam and my nephew was going to go any further, I would have to properly reopen that friendship. Maybe a cookout on the deck this weekend might be a good idea. Still…, there was no point in planning anything yet…, I had today to get through first, and it wasn’t looking that good for me right now.

The plan for that afternoon had been pretty simple. I would show up at the end of the day, give my talk, then the boys and I would head home together rather than them taking the bus. It had all seemed so simple that morning at breakfast…, but then these things usually do, over buttered toast and cereal. Then again though, it has also been said that, ‘No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.’ With Caleb and Sam speeding off in the Shelby, and now well and truly on their way, I could see the boys approaching. For the second time in only a few minutes, I let go of my smoke…, before it burned me this time, and watched as it fell to the pavement. Looking down at it, I saw a small wispy trail of smoke stretching lazily for the sky, before grinding it in to the ground slowly with the heel of my shoe. I think in the end, I just needed a little more time before I met their eyes. I had no idea what their reaction was going to be, so I was not disappointed by the look on their faces when I met their eyes.

Corey was non committal as if nothing had changed between us, but then that was to be expected, as I doubt he quite realized yet just how much what I had done could affect him. He did have a little glint in his eye, and a subtle smirk going, though I think that had more to do with the last few minutes, rather than the action I had taken earlier. Carl on the other hand, was equal parts bemused and angry. Right then I doubted that he was willing to go too far on the emotional front. It was all too obvious, that he still thought that his position with us was precarious. I felt a brief moment of anger at that, as after all we had been through, it seemed that I still hadn’t managed to get him to fully accept his place with us. I loved him dearly…, almost as much as the twins, but that boy was just such hard work at times. I had to quickly check those thoughts though…, right now I had no rite to be anything other than ashamed of myself.

Dale…, he was the kicker to the whole situation…, as what I had done, would affect him the most. I was terrified that my selfish and pointless action would cause some kind of reversion in him. When he had ‘Come Out’ to me, it was almost as if the slight rift in our relationship that had developed slowly over the years, had been mended…, then when I had told the guys about my own past, again it was like he and I had found some decent common ground. Like he now had a kind of kindred spirit, or at least someone who truly understood what he was going through. I had to admit that I felt the same, and to be honest, I truly couldn’t afford to lose him again. But, as I looked up…, staring deep into those emerald green eyes, I realized that I would have no choice but to accept whatever punishment the universe was ready and oh so eager to hand out.

He was pissed, that much was obvious…, but worst of all…, he wasn’t talking. That alone was scaring the hell out of me. I could handle pissed, but the lack of an opportunity to defend myself pretty much meant I was on my own for the time being. We had made eye contact, when I had looked at him, he had looked back, at least that was something…, but sadly there just wasn’t much there. He was understandably a little vacant. I could see the hurt of Eddie’s comment…, and the anger over mine…, but I think the thing that I found the most chilling…, was the disappointment.

Sadly, the moment was cut off far too short, when he dumped his bag in the back of the jeep as he climbed up into the back seat. Carl was still subdued even though he did give me a brief somewhat supportive smile, until he followed suit taking a seat with his boyfriend. When Corey went round and jumped into the front, I figured my time was at an end. Turning away from them, I raised my hands to my face, and slowly tried to massage the strain from my eyes. But all too soon, I felt the tears begin to build, and when they started to flow slowly, I took a step to the side and put on my aviators…, in the vain hope that I could hide my sadness from the boys. They had a rite to be angry, I didn’t want them to think that I was going for the sympathy vote. All that remained to be done, was to get in and drive home. I had had thoughts of stopping for ice cream, but there seemed little point in that now. Not to mention the fact, that I didn’t want them to think I was trying to buy them off. Nope, I had dug my hole, and now I had to well and truly lye in it.

Pulling myself up by the windscreen mount, I slide into the drivers seat and stabbed the key into the ignition. I threw my cap up on the dash, checked the mirrors…, there was no one around. When I looked forward, I thought to myself that I probably could make it up the steep but small grassy rise in front of me, and out onto the main road, but in the end thought better of it…, what would that prove anyway? So instead I pulled the trans angrily back into reverse gear and floored it out of the park. Once clear, I pulled back even further into drive and the tires squealed as I once again floored the poor old girl. A Jeep is by no means a sports car, but I was that angry at myself that I was treating it like one…, I’m still surprised to this day that I didn’t get pulled over…, or worse.

The ride home was, however, quiet and uneventful. This was both a good and a bad thing…, good in that I had time to think, even though I spent more time stewing than thinking…, bad in that it seemed no one was willing to break through the tension. Tears still trickled down my face, all the way home, though they were slow and gentle, so I doubt anyone noticed. That is, right up until I felt a small hand come to rest on the top of mine. It was comforting in a way…, and I so desperately needed that comfort, but at first I was too scared to even contemplate looking at where it was coming from. In the end though my better judgment…, or was it my more insecure nature…, took over. While stopped at some lights not that far into our journey home, I looked down and followed the hand quickly to it’s source. It belonged to Corey…, maybe he realized more than he was letting on…, I don’t know, and right then I didn’t care.

That alone, I think, was what saved us. In that moment, when I looked at Corey’s scared, but strong smile, I realized what it was I was doing. The light went green, just I came back to myself, and much slower this time I drove off. It took a little over ten minutes to get home from there, and once again the ride had been quiet, but Corey’s hand never moved from mine. I don’t know when it happened, but as I pulled into the driveway, I noticed that I had turned my hand over, and Corey had intertwined his fingers with mine. It is impossible to recount in words the love I felt for him in that moment.

It all came to a head when I pulled into the drive that Friday afternoon. Putting the Jeep into park, I once again had that overwhelming  need for escape, so without saying a word, I slid out and made my way to the door. I stepped in, leaving it open for the boys, and headed upstairs to change. I near tore my uniform off, before I slipped into jeans and a hoodie. They were in the family room when I came back down, they had been talking rather heatedly, but stopped instantly as I entered the room. I could only assume what that was about, and I would probably be right too, but I paid it no mind, as I went to the liquor cabinet. I selected that same bottle of Laphroaig that Doug had cracked all those weeks ago. I couldn’t even meet their eyes as I made my escape for the fourth time that day. I used the front door and walked slowly down the street before I doubled back to the beach. I had a date with oblivion, and as I didn’t want to be disturbed I had to make sure I wasn’t being followed first.

Before I realized what was happening the bottle was nearly gone, sitting there on the beach…, running my fingers drunkenly through the sand lost in my own thoughts. The day itself just kept rolling over and over in my mind. The happy buzz just refused to come to me, all I could feel was…, nothing. Well that’s not entirely true either, I was still so very angry. This wasn’t like the last time, I didn’t feel the need to shoot something…, nope this time it was all me. The last thing I can completely remember was the thought of why…, why am I such a fuck up lately? I finally met up with oblivion just as the sun was going down. I caught one brief glimpse of a most satisfying sunset, before I felt myself slide over into numbness.

Though I wasn’t completely passed out, I was almost there. That night seemed to be going in moments, moments stuck in time, sometimes awake sometimes not. It was the fire that finally got my attention a few hours later. It wasn’t a big one, but it was well banked against the wind so it wouldn’t spread, and well fuelled so it wouldn’t lose it’s heat. I had to take pause at that, as I was sure I hadn’t lit it, it was then that I realized that I shouldn’t be this warm either. This alone forced me to take stock of the situation, I discovered I was wrapped in a blanket, and I had a warm body nestled into my front. Instantly overwhelmed, I could do nothing but tighten my grip as the tears started to flow anew. My mind was still a little hazy, I decided I couldn’t let go, because I didn’t want this dream to end.

“Jeez Uncle Cam…, ease up a little…, I can’t breath.”

“I can’t…, I don’t want you to go….”

“I’m not going anywhere.” He said, as I drifted back into hazy sleep.

He was still there when I woke up again, what seemed like moments later, but in actual fact it was probably more like hours. I could tell that last bit, as I lay there listening to his soft sleep filled breathing. My memories of the past few hours were still kinda hazy, and at first I thought it was Mark, I can remember in vivid detail several nights that we had spent together, under a blanket on this very beach. He was still sleeping when I reached my arm out of the blanket to stoke what was left of the fire. The moon was full and high in the sky so there was plenty of light, but coupled with that which was provided by the fire I looked down to see who my guest was. The first time, I thought it was Corey, but as I looked closer, the face was thinner. Even though the boys were technically identical, there were some solid, yet subtle differences. Differences that enabled the more observant to tell them apart.

My movements caused a stir, and I looked back down into those beautiful, but sleep puffy green eyes. The hurt, disappointment and anger were gone, like times all to often of late, all that was replaced with worry. I slid my hand down and gently caressed some stray hair from his eyes, as he smiled softly back at me.

“I’m so sorry short stack, I didn’t even stop to think what I was doing yesterday.”

“It’s ok Uncle Cam…, yeah I was super pissed off at you, but I know what you were trying to do…, I just wish you’d chosen a better time…, you know?”

“I know…, I am sorry kiddo…, hey? How did you know I was down here?”

“Reggie.”

“What?”

“Ha ha ha…, you’re not as good as you think you are, when you’re all emotional…, she saw you sneak through her garden…, we were so worried when you didn’t come back we called her and she said where you would probably be.”

“Never misses a trick that woman…”

“When I got here you were already passed out, so I ran back to tell the others then came down with this blanket and set the fire…, didn’t want you to get cold.”

“I love you so much kiddo.”

“I couldn’t just leave you here…, even if I was really mad, I still love you too…, I’d die if anything happened to you.”

“I don’t deserve you guys…”

“Shut UP! … Don’t say that…, of course you do…., honestly you gotta stop beating yourself up so much!”

He didn’t say anything further and I did as I was told…, old habits die hard, if you hit that tone just right. All he did was slide around so that he was little spoon, and I hugged him tight, as we watched the sun come slowly up over the water.

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Written by bigct/Octavius

March 4, 2010 at 13:44

5 Responses

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  1. Emotionally true, raw and eloquent.

    Cam needs someone to talk to, he seems to be in a very bad place. I think Reggie would be a good choice as she loves and cares for him so much.

    Biki

    March 4, 2010 at 19:42

  2. Great chapter. Worth the wait.

    Dawngreeter

    March 5, 2010 at 00:10

  3. Another good chapter…yeah..Cam really needs an outlet.

    reddecatur

    March 7, 2010 at 15:03

  4. Cam’s definitely lost it! He’s gone off the deep end and needs help badly. I don’t think I like where this is going…sadly.

    Vern

    July 9, 2011 at 15:17

  5. ahhh al ye of little Faith tho it is a dark place and yes he was the bully Have faith in your author
    !!!! Good Job CT

    Beach

    May 6, 2012 at 17:56


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