I watch him as he just keeps going through a few poems, wondering how come we had managed to even get so fucking close to each other. It felt weird to even feel a love so close, it felt like something which would never happen while looking out of the windows while doing homework, feeling like the spiral of being lonely at school lasted forever. I thought that the only love I would feel would be for Matt and I seemed okay with accepting that and I would go to bed thinking that I've accepted and sealed my fate. I just kept staring at him, wondering what was with me and conversations. How come was it so that I would talk much more to my mom?
I just shook the thought away, as Jamie closed the book and then inspected the plain cigarette holder. Well, it wasn't anything fancy and I knew that our salaries had a big difference and I knew that I just couldn't really win him over with anything bought by money because anything I could get would be something that he could easily get as well. I didn't even know what to say besides just keep staring at my dear lover who I seemed to be infatuated with.
“Thank you.” He said again. I never saw him with a cigarette holder and I wondered if he would change it. I could completely see him doing that, just because I had given him it. Then he sat up as well, looking around the room. “I didn't really get you anything on shore, because we didn't have any stops while you were out. So it was... kind of feeling completely trapped without you.”
“It was as if I had never met you and I had just broken up with Miles. It wasn't too good. The only good part was that Carlos managed to do a good drag show once, but even then it was without you... Even if you haven't been on stage with him in a while, I kind of hoped that you would somehow happen to show up and everyone would just start clapping because you're always the most interesting and attractive.” I flushed at his words, just standing there naked with my bag besides me, not even sure where to put my hands with all the compliments. I just smiled just as shyly. I missed his talking, how he would just open up whether it were about the good times or the bad times, I'd even enjoy talks of Alison in the dark of how they had started dating or how they would manage to get lost on brief road trips when Alison was pregnant, giving Jamie too much of a scare. I even enjoyed weird stories of how Karen had found herself and Jamie was killing off the crush.
Jamie had even once thought of pushing her off the ship, for the sole factor that she had refused him, realizing not only that she was a woman all along, but that she wasn't really that keen on men either. I remember that I had burst out laughing so hard, thinking that I'd manage to wake the entire ship as I pictured Jamie, as he said, he had even crept on her and she looked at him at the right moment for him to stop. That had been ages ago and as I stopped laughing I had felt a bit jealous, wondering if anything had been left for Karen, since they were such good friends now. But then how many relationships with men had turned or rather remained as friends other than something more?
I wondered how much had he loved her that he decided that it would be better to love her dead rather than see her be with someone else.
“Yeah, sorry I kind of realized that drag wasn't my thing at all. Like it was fun and all... But yeah. I'd rather be behind the scenes sewing dresses for everyone, frankly.” I confessed, probably admitting that I'd be Carlos' bitch now, as he'd whine to make the dresses better, puffier, some more ridiculous and some just more feminine. He seemed to stage everything, make a whole hype around the show, to make sure that as many sailors as possible would attend and that all would leave very happy, pleased and I wondered if erections were something he considered among the sailors who would hook up or just jerk off to the image of him in a dress.
“Well... why don't you do that then?” He asked me. I scratch the back of my head, thinking.
“I'm sure he'll force me at some point. But I could offer myself to his slavery again.” I confess, realizing that I really wouldn't mind killing some time off from the day, since I wouldn't be able to hang out with Jamie anyway and it would be good to hang out with the other guys. I actually felt myself curious to hear what else were they going to tell me. I tried not to think about Julian and who would his replacement be, but I knew that Carlos would still make it work and maybe Thom and Jonny would be fit. Well, Carlos wouldn't care and force them in anyway. Miles was always up for it, because it was a great laugh for him. I wondered how he felt with Jamie watching, if the world would shrink to a former lover. I wondered what was even going on with Miles' thoughts while I was gone and if he would think of Jamie at all.
I knew Jamie would think of him, as he had mentioned.
“Were you alright though?” I ask him and think of his offer to go onshore. Jamie smirks and shakes his head.
“I'll need to buy a lot of alcohol now.” I look at him. “Because I cleaned myself completely.”
He gives out a short laugh.
“I really missed you and it was just... sad. And it's not like I was on shore and could find the company of someone else. It was literally just me and Brian, so that wasn't too fun. It was two men sitting and waiting for lover letters. I don't really talk to many, as you know. Frankly, it's just you and Brian on the ship.” He rubs his eyes. “Well and the sailors who I'll yell to mop the deck. That's all the interactions. And a bitchier Miles this time.”
I wait and don't respond to his pause, waiting to hear what had been going through Miles' mind.
“He just... was very angry at how many sailors are getting sent away, but I still sent away the list you gave me, all spread out.” He talks for once in a work manner, as if he's my superior again. “I just told him to fuck off and mind his own business.”
Jamie looks away.
“Overall he came up a few times, just to nag and it was odd, I'd ask him to talk to me outside, so that nothing could happen and he would just nag about this and that. I'd have to tell him to fuck off every time and tell him to wake up earlier than the rest and do the decks. The deck was sparkling on those days.” He smirks.
I could easily imagine Miles really angrily mopping the deck, that's why it would be so shiny or maybe he himself was killing time with his own thinking, wondering what the fuck would happen to everything. I would possibly do the same thing and the more I thought of war, the harder everything seemed to be. It would just make me panic, specifically through shore leave, that anything could happen at all and the world was slowly sinking with fear.
“You want to dress up then, we can always talk on the way to wherever you want to go.” Jamie suggested, standing up and making steps towards me to kiss me hastily. The truth was the fact was that I had no idea where I wanted to go, maybe grab something to eat and walk around very discreetly. I enjoyed shore leave, because we could always meet up and then spend the day together, planning out where to go which wasn't an area where we would be seen and that would be it. He started picking up his clothes and I followed him.
“Yeah.” I say a bit too late, as both of us are dressing in our usual sailor attires. I still have Miles dancing in my mind and I'm sure he would dance in his head as well. He was like a little devil, always making fun of both of us regardless of how much time we had spent fucking him. I watch Jamie do his tie. Soon enough we are ready and we just fix our hats.
“I just need to drop my bag and take a change of clothes, really.” I confess as Jamie himself looks around, probably wondering what could he even change into with this hot weather. The weather barely ever has any mercy on clothes and specifically uniforms. As he ponders what to wear from his closet, I wonder where could we even meet now.
“We'll meet at the street we met last time we were here, yeah?” Jamie confirms with me. I try to stretch my mind. “It's near the tobacco store. The small one.”
“Oh, right. Yeah, I remember it now.” Because we had both run out of cigarettes last time and I had to win some over poker and I would carry him some boxes, only to gamble again a few weeks later. We didn't even check the prices, we were so traumatized by the lack of tobacco we were risking that we bought it right away. It was rather small as well, but had plenty of the ones we needed.
We briefly departed, as Jamie was left in front of the closet, choosing how to attract me with his choice of clothes and I had to drop off my things back into my coffin locker. I made my way down, feeling everything familiar and if I wasn't going to meet up with Jamie so soon, I would take my time, look at everything, but it already felt like I had never left, specifically when I had entered the room filled with our bunks and no one was in. Everyone would be so eager to just go outside, specifically after a month in this case. There was no lie, every shore leave was always exciting because it was very often somewhere new and there would be something going on, if you wanted to find that of course.
I still couldn't understand the void that had been left from Matt when so many men had waltzed in and out, that so many men I had changed and who had changed me as well. I couldn't understand why was I so empty and I knew that most likely I'd be holding it until evening, when the lights would be off and when wine starts working like medicine, calming down and letting the worries dissolve, allowing me to seep through Jamie's skin and remain there. Let me be his blood. Or maybe I would just raise the subject to my lover right away, as we walk the streets of the busy city. I just took out everything that I didn't need and took a change of clothes with me. We would usually sneak into cafes just to change what we were wearing or if it was winter, we would just take off the hats. But such wasn't the case.
Maybe we should be more careful, but somehow luck seemed to be on our side, besides Carlos who would eye me if Jamie would walk up to our turret and ask how were we doing, very Captain-like, but that wasn't enough to wipe the ideas out of the loader's head and I couldn't blame him, I just wished that he wouldn't talk.
I was surprised about Miles not talking about two former lovers of his either. I wondered what kind of gay code had we entered, since he knew that I was sending off other men. Maybe he found it hypocritical to send us off when he was accusing us off doing that to rest, but seeing Miles as noble was not surely something I wanted to move my tongue about.
Sometimes love just fades and I wished that it were the case for both me and Jamie about Miles, but he would always thread through and visit my mind in circles. It was odd how many men I was juggling, even if plenty were long out of the picture and never to be seen in such a love light again.
It didn't take me too long to get to the tobacco store, yet I had taken my time, realizing that Jamie would probably prefer if we had exited the ship at different times and I tried to think of another route and had to ask for directions, recalling the street name and asking a few times for windy ways to get there. But Jamie was late, I figured he really took time to choose the shirt he was wearing, which was plain, but something he would wear.
“Did you take your time choosing clothes or?” I ask politely and holding a smile, holding from kissing him as well as a greeting. Even if we had never kissed in public, it was something that I would always get the urge to do.
“I figured that it would be better if you went first, so I really took my time.”
“That's funny... 'cause I thought the same thing.” I smiled at my lover. “I actually took my time.”
Jamie laughed lightly, as we slowly made our way into the tobacco store and took our time there, much learned from the previous experience and paid for our cigarette needs. Once we walked out, I got offered cigarettes from the cigarette holder and I just smiled back at him, quickly squeezing his shoulder, a bit too cautiously, maybe the men who seldom hold the other in public are always the queer ones? That was something I asked Jamie aloud, causing him to think and even take a while between drags.
“That would make sense though.” He thought aloud. “The men who are sure in their sexuality wouldn't mind something, but still it's all about acting heterosexual enough as well.”
“Which we clearly don't fit the part of.” He breathed the smoke out, as we waited to cross the street. “Or the rest of the goddamn navy for that matter.”
I'm actually back to writing To Miles, I took a break again because I was so tired and I found it hard to write. Now I'm back to writing feelings, thoughts and what's going on in my mind rather than story telling. I wish I could find a medium, but that never happens with me so alas. But I'll try to update more often since I've got plenty of To Miles and Offside to update and I've been writing other things as well, of course.
It's a nice thing to go back and relive and a bit weird because I'm so far ahead and in part 2 when I post these chapters.
I really like to squeeze out my relationships into writing and possibly once Jamie turned over I really based the strong love off what I have with Callie and even try to heighten it as much as I can, make it sort of ridiculously strong, because I usually feel complete with two people, but it's really a love which consumes them both and is still at very early stages so of course it's very heightened and there's also the whole thing that it's hard for them to be together and their time is very limited to the night and some outings.
I frankly thought of the epilogue well possibly years ago now. And I kind of show hints here and there of what's to happen.
I really just storytold and went ahead with it like crazy since it was Nanowrimo.
I hope you enjoyed it and if you did, please tell me so. It would really motivate me