The Sailor's Stories

1036 Chapter thirty six – The Sailor’s Awakening.

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I still didn’t know how I got through it…, it all seemed to go just way too fast. Standing in that door way, knowing that except for a few weeks or even just a few days here and there, it would be home for at least four years…, I couldn’t help but think how good it could have been if things had worked out differently. To be fair it wasn’t that much different from any other, two beds, two desks, and two closets. When I got there, it looked as though my new room mate had already been there for a while. I couldn’t help but notice at the time, there was a Texans poster over the bed on the left hand side, and hanging next to that very telling article was an even bigger one…, a black felt Stetson. I couldn’t help but snigger a little as I remembered what I thought to myself at the time, Of all the shitty luck! … It seems I got a ‘Good Ole Boy’ as a room mate…, yeah this is gonna be real fun! … before I moved over to the other bed and laid my bag down. Back then I was a Patriots fan, and seriously questioning myself, so I just knew it could have turned very interesting, yet also very ugly all at the same time.

Of course I hadn’t even met him yet, but my mind was working overtime on the worst possible outcomes. All I had was a slim and all too sketchy picture in my mind, of the bigoted tall dark and handsome type. It wasn’t until I was already half way through unpacking, that I heard a noise at the door, something like the sound you make when you clear your throat. That was the first I saw him, even though I still didn’t know who he was at that point. So when I looked over, leaning against the frame was what looked to be about 5’11” of solid  tanned muscle…, in fact it looked as though even his muscles had muscles, or at least I can remember thinking that at the time. Which of course was doing little to lighten my mood, or the thoughts of my very much impending doom.

Lean taught chiseled and well built, I think they would have been better descriptions, but it was quite a shock at the time. To top it off, the reddish brown hair, slightly darker at the moment as it was still quite wet, though you could easily tell, and eyes of a very soft blue, just added to an overwhelming picture. He still hadn’t said anything or even made a move yet, even though he had obviously just left the shower, as he was still a little damp, a white navy issue towel wrapped around his slim waist and it was pretty cold out in that hallway. He just stood there and eyed me for a little while, like he was sizing up some kind of prize calf or something…, I can remember feeling not a little uncomfortable under that steely gaze, no wonder he made a good lawyer, with that in his arsenal. All I could do at the time was sit there in a state of somewhat awe, but when he shouldered himself off the door frame and made his way in towards the other bed, I guess I got my answer.

Staring is awfully rude, I knew that, and my mother would’ve killed me if she had seen me doing it, but I just couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. I can remember at the time I was desperately hoping he hadn’t noticed, but then even though I was trying to make myself look busy, unfortunately for me, I was being rather obvious. Didn’t seem to faze him though, and I seem to remember hearing what, at the time I thought was, a slight chuckle. He just dropped his shaving kit on the bed and then proceeded to go over to the closet, where he dropped his towel and flicked it over the top of the door to dry. I caught one brief, but certainly not the last, glimpse of a set of very pert cheeks, before he slid on a pair of issue white boxer shorts.

Stepping back over to take a seat on his bed, he made no mention of the fact that I’d been staring at him, well at least he hadn’t yet. It was then that I noticed for the first time that his knees, which had been previously hidden by the towel, were slightly bowed…, obviously from many years spent riding horses, adding further credence to my assumption. Reaching over, he retrieved the black felt hat, placing it firmly on his short cropped hair, he looked at me from across the room, and cracked the widest grin I have ever seen. Cowboy, was all I could think of at the time….

“Well hey there…, how y’all doin…, the name’s Caleb.”

To be honest, I’ve never forgotten that day, it was one of my most fondest memories. Just one more to add to the list of good ones that I seem to be remembering lately…, I wonder why that is, all of a sudden? At the time there had been so many things going through my mind. Usual things really for a guy on his first day of the college journey, being away from home for the first time, having to make new friends, new surroundings, and all…, but foremost on my mind, was the very ‘Different’ relationship I shared with my best friend. All that could have led to this whole endeavor being a disaster and the biggest mistake I had yet made in my then young life, but from the very first moment, Caleb Green, my very own Texan cowboy and the first I had ever met in the flesh, had made me feel welcome. After all, we were both in the same predicament, and who doesn’t need a friend?

All these years later, walking up to me on that hot late September Indian summer afternoon, cooler in one hand, a smile, a free hand offered, I couldn’t help but think of that first time we met, it was like all the years in between that moment and this one just hadn’t happened for us. Of course we both knew different, but the feeling on that afternoon, was like we were meeting again for the first time all over again. It’s fair to say that right then, as friends go…, I truly loved him for that. Though I had to admit, as I stood there, there was also, at first, a small hint of jealousy. I mean, all the things I had been thinking about the last few days, partner, kids…, family, was standing right in front of me, but it wasn’t mine…, it was his. All that was short lived though, in fact the thought disappeared as fast as it came to me, as Cabe introduced his family. The feelings of love and connection between them all were as thunderous as a mid winter storm, they really were that strong.

“Good to see ya pal…” I said taking his hand warmly, “You know the boys already, but for the benefit of your truly wonderful wife…, Cassie, good to finally meet you by the way…” She smiled when I said that. “And JJ…, this is Dale, Corey’s the one mauling your sister, and the shy one over there is Carl.”

His wife I already sorta knew, well in passing at least, as we had spoken several times on the phone…, though I have to admit, it was nice to finally see her in person. Cassie was tall, taller than Caleb even, much like I am sure Sam was going to be, long blonde hair, strong yet soft features…, not pretty exactly, more one of those classical beauties you hear about. And with the same sweet blue eyes, just like Sam’s. It was quite obvious where Sam got her looks from, and definitely easy to see why Cabe would have been attracted to Cassie in the first place, she really was quite stunning. That wasn’t all though…, you could tell straight away, that she had some culture…, kinda like she was from old money or something…, you could see it in her bearing.

Caleb’s son JJ, however, was a completely unknown element to me, so I quickly took in everything I could. The boy certainly was cute there was no doubt about that, with his dad’s reddish brown hair, and very deep blue eyes. In fact looking closer, I couldn’t really see any of his mother there at all. He was roughly the same age as the boys, maybe a year older, judging by his height of around 5’7”, but like his father, he was well built even at this age, though still rather lean. He also had a rather nice smile, even if I only saw that for a second. You could definitely see he was a little gun-shy around new people. As soon as introductions were out of the way, he slipped in some ipod studs and drifted off into his own world.

“Those beers?” I asked pointing at the cooler.

“Sure are…, low alcoholic though…, I have a case I need to work on tomorrow.”

“Sounds good to me…, sooooo…, you going my way sailor?”

“Find me a place to put these down…, and I’m all yours big fella.”

“Awww…, you always say the sweetest things…” I said to him as I turned to the boys,” Hey Corey! … I would say get a room but you ain’t old enough yet, so disengage and take these good people round back so they can get comfortable.”

No embarrassment, just a tongue for my troubles, as the boys led our guests round to the back yard. Now alone I ushered Caleb into the garage, for a bit of man time…, something I had been looking forward too all day. What with work, and the kids I had little time for adult relationships, and ever since this morning I was determined to make this one work, not that I really had to much to worry about there. Nothing, it seemed, had changed between us. Caleb looked around a bit, then reached into the cooler, and popped two beers before joining me, to lean at the workbench. He handed me a beer, and then in unison we both leaned back to take long pulls on the frothy cold refreshing beverage…

“You know, I was expecting to see like a hidden door or something…, guy like you, I felt sure there would be some kind of terminator room or something in here…”

“Come on Cabe, you should know me better than that…, especially with kids around…” I waited until the bottle was at his lips, and as he began to drink, “It’s upstairs.”

Objective achieved…, as I said that, he damn near choked, before bursting out in raucous laughter, as whatever beer was left in his mouth went all over himself and the garage floor.

“Fucking asshole…” He said, as he wiped some stray beer off of his chin. I couldn’t help but laugh again as I looked at his t-shirt and saw that some had escaped his notice.

“Sorry pal…” I replied, handing him a rag to clean himself up a little. “I couldn’t resist busting your balls a bit.”

“Yeah I noticed…, so you obviously pulled me in here for a reason…, what did you want to talk to me about?”

Two beers and about thirty minutes later, Caleb and I were headed through the house. The place had only changed in atmosphere since the last time he had been here, so there was little comment made. When we hit the kitchen, standing at the sink, Reggie was putting the last minute touches on a fresh green salad. I turned to Caleb, as we had yet to make any discernable noise and motioned him to stay put and remain quiet. With a sly grin he nodded his head once, and I padded softly over to her. She was humming a soft tune, something from years ago that I couldn’t quite place. I was just about to give her the scare of her life, when in one slick movement she was facing me brandishing a rather sharp looking butchers knife…

“You’re not as good as you think you are Cameran Trevallian…, I know what you were doing…, I saw you in the window.” She was only half serious, as the smile she was so desperately trying to hide, just wouldn’t go away.

“Alright Comrade, alright you got me! … But I am sorry Reggie…, I just couldn’t help myself.” I said, with my arms up in defeat.

“Yes I’m sure…, so…, Caleb…, is that you? … I haven’t seen you in some time…., you’re looking well.”

Seamlessly shifting gears, knowing that we had guests, Reggie moved to the next target in the room. Caleb had come home with me every now and then, when we were on leave, or on semester break. And since that women seemed incapable of forgetting even the smallest of details, it looks as though she remembered him as well.

“Ah…, yes ma’am…, it’s good to see you again.”

“Mmhmm…, you have a very nice family, good to see someone has some wholesome values left.” She said, looking my way…, I just gave her the ‘What do you mean?’ shrug, as she looked back to Caleb, with a bit of a chuckle. “I had a sit down with JJ just before…, he’s a quiet boy.”

“He is that…, he just got home from school…, been pretty quiet about the whole thing too, except to beg his momma and I not to send him back again.”

“What school Cabe?” I asked, rejoining the conversation again.

“Navy school…, down in Florida…, why?”

“Boarding school?”

“It’s what he wanted, so I pulled some strings…, now he just wants to come on home…, but won’t tell me why…”

He sorta tailed off after that, and I could see that it was starting to make him upset. I doubt it was anything to do with the school itself, unless something happened there, and we all know what boarding schools are like. I think it was more that he seemed to think that his son felt that he couldn’t talk to him.

“I can have a word to him…, see if I can get him to talk to you…, I have three of them, and I’ve gotten pretty good at talking to teenaged boys over the last few years…, you want me to give it a shot?”

“Yeah…, he’s not talking to me, or his momma, so if you think you can then go ahead.”

Looking at Reggie, I could see that she instantly understood, and so she picked up right where she left off. While they caught up a bit, I went over and helped myself to a few carrot sticks, before my hand was slapped away quite unceremoniously, and I was told in no uncertain terms that if I did it again, I would lose something I enjoyed having attached. Knowing how good she was with a kitchen knife, I had little choice but to believe her, and decided that that was my cue to leave. By the time I left the house, she had Caleb helping her with the salads and drinks, it never ceased to amaze me how she could do that so fast, but she really is the perfect wingman sometimes.

The sun was beating down still, and the afternoon remained rather warm, when I stepped out onto the back deck. I took a look around for a moment. Not wanting to make it too obvious for the time being that I was looking for anything in particular, I casually took out my smokes and lit up. I got a disgusted look from Carl, and one not much better from Dale…, neither of them agreed with what I was doing, but hadn’t said anything about yet…, I knew it was just a matter of time. Those two were sitting together at the table, and JJ was sitting across from them, but no attention was really being paid by either side…, That’s odd…, my boys aren’t usually like that. The tension level didn’t seem to be that high, it seemed that they had tried, though must have at some point given up. I did notice, however, that JJ had his ipod on again. Looking the other way, I caught sight of Cassie, Sam and Corey, having a pretty deep conversation, that didn’t look that bad wither, so I decided to leave that one alone, and head over to the boys.

One thing you could say for the boy straight off the bat…, he certainly was polite, and well raised. As soon as he had seen me sitting down, he immediately took the studs out his ears, I caught something before he turned off his ipod, and unless I miss my guess, it sounded very country. Not the old school stuff, more the recent kind, like that McGraw guy. I have to admit, that some it really wasn’t that bad, even I got into it sometimes. Still hadn’t said anything though, and as soon as the other two greeted me warmly they went back to talking amongst themselves. He was kinda looking at me now, as if not quite sure what my game was, so I just turned to him and smiled…

“Well since everyone else is busy…, you wanna help me with the meat?”

“Ah sure sir…, I guess.”

“At ease sailor…, you are in my home…, you certainly don’t have to call me sir…, Cam is fine.”

“Yes sir…, ah Cam…”

“You’ll get used to it…, I did.” Said Carl, with a warm smile.

He smiled back but didn’t say anything, and just got up to follow me over to the grill. When I got there I could see that someone had thought ahead and brought out the meat…, it was waiting there in a cooler. Between the two of us we made short work of it, and within a very short time, there was steaks and burgers sizzling happily away on the grill. All through it though, JJ couldn’t keep his eyes off of Dale and Carl, and how they were interacting, so much so that I had to bring his attention back to what he was supposed to be helping me with occasionally. But now that there wasn’t much left for him to do, his attention had wandered again, then he started to look at me as though he wanted to say something. On his third attempt I looked back at him…

“What is it kiddo?”

“Nothing sir…, ah Cam…, nothing.”

“You can tell me little man…, I live with three boys…, I’m sure there’s nothing that you could say that’d surprise me.”

“Wouldn’t count on that one.” He mumbled almost under his breath, so much so that I almost didn’t catch it…, I still didn’t let on that I had though.

“Wait three…, so that means Carl as well?”

“That’s right.”

“But he’s not your son though right?”

“Nope…, but he’s still pretty special to me…, and to Dale.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just watch them…, especially when they think no ones looking.”

We both got quiet and I could see that JJ had become a little more observant than he already had been. Sure enough, after only a few minutes, Dale looked around rather nervously, then leaned into Carl and stole a quick kiss. There was a gasp from beside me, and then a muffled “Awesome”. As yet I still had no idea what to make of that, but I was starting to pick up on something…

“They’re together aren’t they?”

“Yes they are.”

“But doesn’t that bother you?”

“Nope…, not even close…, they love each other, and are very good together…, why should that bother me?”

“But dad says that you’re in the navy…, you’re supposed to hate gays.”

“Not all of us are like that JJ…, you can’t control what or who you’re into, you just are…, and as a parent sometimes you just have to sit back and let these things sort themselves out…, in this case I have two very loving boys that are totally into each other…, it would be wrong of me to try and break them apart because of some outdated social norm that says it’s wrong…, do you understand?”

“I think so yeah…, wow I wish my dad was like that…”

It wasn’t quite an admission, but it wasn’t far off. What I think we have here is a cute, but very confused young man, that’s not really sure of what’s going on his world right now. I only bring this up, because of the whole boarding school thing. I know what happens at these places, and when you are already questioning yourself, what may or may not happen can just make things so much harder.

“Hey wait a minute there kiddo…, give your old man some credit…”

“I love him Cam, but I don’t think he would be as accepting as you are.”

“Don’t be so sure, he’s known about those two from the very beginning…, does it seem to you that he has been bigoted towards them in any way?”

“Well no…, I guess not.”

“Look it’s none of my business, and it’s really up to you kiddo…, but if you are what I think you are, I think you should talk to your old man…, I’ve known him a lot longer than you have and he really isn’t as bad as you think…, at least let him in on what’s bugging you about school…, he really loves you, you know?”

“Yeah…, maybe I will…, can I go talk to the boys for a while?”

“Sure kiddo go knock yourself out.”

And with that he was gone. Ten minutes later, I saw all three head off towards the beach. I really hope he gets the answers he needs.

Written by bigct/Octavius

March 24, 2010 at 13:39

10 Responses

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  1. Another enjoyable chapter Octavius – you had me fooled at the start – thought you sent Cam away for 4 years – very clever.
    Sounds like JJ has a few issues to resolve – another interesting twist.
    Great read – can’t wait to see how it unravels.
    Regards Stef

    Stef

    March 24, 2010 at 14:40

  2. Wow, stumbled over your wonoderful story recently ans lost some sleep catching up. you certainly have a knack of drawing people very deep into the characters of your story. there are quite a few issues i feel very much related to. wonderful reading and waiting for further episodes. about the comments to get this published, they are right. save me a signed first edition

    Wijnand

    March 24, 2010 at 16:38

  3. Quit nice suprise such a quick new entry, wish they all came at this pace ;-).
    Good chapter again.

    Regards, Arjan

    Arjan

    March 24, 2010 at 17:59

  4. Thanks again for another great chapter. Are you sure you not a professional writer? If not, you are most certainly very well read. Cheers. Starting to get cool down there? It’s starting to get warm up here.

    Dawngreeter

    March 24, 2010 at 23:53

  5. Octavius? Are you saying I should talk to my dad? I don’t know if i should yet and the other guys don’t want me to yet either. I don’t like hiding it from them. I really don’t. I like the character. But he is way taller then me. I am only 5’1″ tall. But thats cool you made me bigger. Hugs JJ

    jj

    March 25, 2010 at 07:25

    • Nah dude, that’s not what I was saying at all. Sorry if I upset you, or caused you confusion. I only placed that in there for dramatic purposes. It was in no way meant to advise you. On the other note, I know so little about you personally, I just got an idea in my head and ran with it. The music was also a little out there, am not even sure what you listen to?

      Sorry for the confusion.

      Octavius.

      bigct

      March 25, 2010 at 09:32

      • I like all kinds of music and i like country to. You got to up here a lot people play country to. But my favorite is Techno. But the Techno without and words they sing, just the music. My mom and dad got some really cool music to the old rock and roll kind. I even like classical music to. Hugs JJ

        jj

        March 27, 2010 at 10:03

  6. Happy birthday, JJ. Hope you have a wonderful day.

    NMDave

    March 27, 2010 at 14:36

  7. JJ,

    Do what your heart says is the right thing. From personal experience, I’ve lived a lie for 30+ years, and hated every minute of it. I’ve never flat out told people I was gay, instead, if they asked, I told them the truth, but am still the same person they knew before. If they had a problem with it, then they weren’t someone I wanted to be around anyway. You will know when the time is right for you. In the meantime, enjoy the flower of your youth!

    And CT, what more can I say. The story gets better all the time! The way you bring new characters into the story. You give them the same love and attention as you do with the main characters. Keep up the excellent work.

    With much admiration, Rick.

    Rick

    March 29, 2010 at 04:54

  8. Ahh how wonderful! great as always (even the second time !!

    Beach

    May 7, 2012 at 13:33


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