This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to persons living, dead or otherwise is purely coincidental. The ideas and thoughts that follow are pure fantasies. In real life, at the very least they would be unpleasant and probably illegal. Fantasies are like that; daydreams where we can contemplate and imagine the sensations without suffering or inflicting the pain, despair or humiliation.
"Fuck you arsehole, what you think I've B.O. or something?" I yelled at the back of the retreating boy. His action soured what should have been an enjoyable college party.
When Julie, Meg, Sasha and I arrived, there weren't any tables free but Meg spotted four boys, two of whom she knew and dragged us over to their table. Three of them introduced themselves and my friends quickly insinuated themselves between them but the fourth remained silent. I drew the short straw and went to sit next to him but he took one look at me, stood and walked out of the room. Hence my remark.
"From what I hear, Deb," Greg informed us, "He's Ian Campbell an engineering student, and he hardly says a word in class but produces brilliant work. He sat at this table alone when we came and we sort of commandeered it so he wasn't part of our group. Never seen him at a party before. Don't blame yourself, you've no body odour, in fact you smell rather nice." But for all they tried to include me in the dancing and drinking, I felt I was the odd one out and left early.
During the following three weeks I saw the boy twice in the cafeteria and both times I taunted him, suggesting that he preferred boys or children but each time he ignored my remarks and the second time, he made me feel guilty because he stood, emptied his unfinished meal in the trash and left, looking very sad and almost in tears.
In early June on a bright summers morning, I met him again under very different circumstances. They'd built the college on the site of a disused power station and an old brewery that once stood on the banks of the river and on this particularly Saturday, I'd had to drop a project off at the admin office and, it being a nice morning, decided to detour along the riverside footpath. At the town yacht club I saw Ian pushing a dinghy down the shingle towards the water. He left it and went to his car and I watched him pull out a couple of bags. He hadn't seen me so I decided to have a game with him and sat on one of the seats going across the little boat and dangled my legs over the side. His face fell when he saw me and said, "P-l-ea-se l-ea-ve."
"No, I'll leave when I'm ready and when you apologise and explain why you're behaving like an arsehole to me." He stood and looked around, dumped his bags in the boat, hooked the engine on the back and stuttered something unintelligible. I made myself more comfortable but wasn't sure I did the right thing. Although he didn't say anything, I could see the anger in his eyes but decided to sit tight and tease him some more. Again he looked round and not seeing anyone close, he bent down and pushed on the back of the boat and started it sliding over the shingle and then on the mud. I managed to get my feet inside the boat before my shoes became too muddy, but I swore at him and called him all the names I could think of. However, the mud surrounding the boat had me trapped as he pushed it down the gentle slope to the water. Moments later, the boat floated and he waded to the wooden causeway that protruded into the river and climbed on to it. I thought I could get out but he held the boat by a rope at the front, waded into the water again and washed his legs and shoes; the dinghy floated some distance away from the causeway and my escape route.
A couple of other sailing types came by and I yelled at them to pull the boat in but they seemed to think it was all a fun student's joke and carried on to their own boat. Finally he pulled the boat alongside and said, "L-l-l--ast c-c-c cha- nce."
Two could play at that game. I sat with my arms folded and glared at him and said, "Fuck you, you'll have to carry me if you want me off," but I think he half expected my reaction and gave the boat a push as he jumped nimbly in. The breeze blew us further away as he stood and pulled the cord to start the little engine thing hooked over the back and soon we sped away from the shore. "Take me back, you bastard," I yelled but most of my yells were lost in the engine noise and the sound of the water slapping the boat. A big power boat went by and when we hit the wash, spray flew over me and I cursed even more but to no avail. "I ought to phone someone," I thought but in the choppy water, my hands clung to the seat and I could only sit and watch his face and the wake we left as he manoeuvred the small boat between moored yachts. Ten minutes later, he swung the boat around, slowed the engine and we came alongside quite a smart looking yacht, not one of the bigger ones but it had a cabin, a tall mast and railings and things. Again I debated whether or not to sit still but water kept splashing over me so I climbed over the railings into the cockpit.
"Hi Meg, I've been kidnapped," I yelled into the phone while Ian went below and stowed his stuff, "That Ian bastard has me on this yacht miles away from anywhere." I told her what happened and she thought it a hilarious joke.
"Has he hoisted the Jolly Roger yet? He'll probably sail to some foreign land and sell you as a harem slave. Or hold you to ransom. Has he hurt you or touched you?"
"No ... but he's bringing me a lifejacket thingy, so he's taking me somewhere."
"Doesn't sound as if he is going to dump you overboard if he's giving you a life jacket. Enjoy your day. Hey, I'll phone in an hour and see if you're okay and not swinging from the yardarm. What's the name of the boat in case I have to call the coastguard?"
"It said 'Sparky' on the back." I took a little reassurance from the fact that he let me use my phone without any restriction but remained apprehensive. At least on the boat I could stand without it wobbling and threatening to tip me over and I could look back the nearly a mile to the town and where we came from.
Ian helped me untangle the life jacket and put it on and told me in his hesitant way, to sit in the cockpit while he did some things on deck. I ordered him to take be back but he simply shook his head and said, "Not ... yet," and started to take the covers off the sails. Perhaps he did intend to sail to a foreign land but I rather doubted that in such a small boat. I gave up yelling at him and sat enjoying the sunshine even if the wind kept temperature down. Finally he rolled the covers into neat parcels, stuffed them below and started the engine. Minutes later we sped downriver with him standing alongside me and steering the boat into a clear space where we turned and he slowed the engine right down. "S-s-s-ste-eer," he indicated a direction with his arm, placed my hands on the steering stick and went to the mast and winched up the main sail. It flapped and made a lot of noise and the wooden beam above my head swung back and forth so I had to keep my head down. At one point he indicated I pull the stick towards me and almost automatically I did so partly because I was afraid something nasty would happen if I didn't. The noise increased when he came into the cockpit and pulled some ropes and the front sail opened and flapped.
Again he indicated for me to pull the stick and to my shock, the boat started heeling over at an alarming angle and we began rushing through the water but I noticed another sailing boat close by leaning over too and they seemed okay. Of course, I'd seen boats sailing like it before but I'd never been on one. I relaxed a little when he cut the engine and left me steering the thing with occasional nudges from him. In the exhilaration of the speed and gentle bucking of the boat, I began to forget that I'd been kidnapped and concentrated on steering. Ian went below after a while and made coffee and took a couple of homemade cakes from his lunchbox and offered me one with the mug of coffee. "S-s-s-u-g-ar?" His awkward, hesitant speech puzzled me and I slowly began to realise that stammering might be the cause of his introverted behaviour.
"Where are you now?" Meg dutifully phoned rather more than an hour after my call to her,
"Dunno, open sea ahead, maybe Morocco in the distance. We're heeled over and going like the clappers so we should get there by nightfall if I'm not made to walk the plank first."
"At least you sound a bit more cheerful. Do I expect a ransom demand tonight?"
"More likely a demand for a sweater. It's quite chilly here even if the sun is shining."
To my surprise, almost as soon as I put the phone away, Ian brought a bulky sweater from the cabin and helped me on with it and then replaced the life jacket.
Near midday, we turned into another river and had to go a short distance one way and then turn and the boat leaned over the other way, 'tacking' he called in but by one o'clock we'd arrived at a quiet spot and he dropped the sails and anchored. I suddenly became afraid, knowing I was alone with him, out of sight of others and no idea where I was. He could do almost anything to me but then I looked in the cabin and saw him getting out cooking utensils and presently the smell of bacon frying wafted through the hatch. He apologised for the small amount of food but said he expected to be sailing alone. "You shouldn't have kidnapped me then," I laughed, amazed how my attitude had changed in a few hours.
.... There is more of this story ...