I wrote this story for blackrandl1958’s Nautical Day event on the other site, and am pleased to offer it to my readers here.
I have to thank Randi for encouraging me to participate in this event. While not a Legends Day, it is still a special day, and to have my story up beside so many great writers is truly an honor. Thanks to Randi, of course, for her impeccable editing.
Reading has always been a quiet hobby. My nature wasn’t all that outgoing, so reading was what I did. Reading brought me to something that seemed to bring me back, often, to a story about an officer on the U.S.S. Constitution who had the same last name as mine, Edgerton, who was lost at sea. I often wondered if the man was an ancestor.
The Constitution was berthed at Boston, and when I learned I was going with my family to Boston to drop my sister, Suzy, off at Boston University, I was very excited.
I had never been out of our small town in New Hampshire, and since I wasn’t a total nerd, I was hoping that I’d get a chance to go to Fenway Park for a Red Sox game!
As we drove through the Back Bay to get to Suzy’s dorm, I caught a glimpse of the Fenway Park lights and the big Citgo sign, and started pestering my parents to take me to the game.
“We have a lot to do, Jimmy,” my father said, “and not much time for a game. Tickets are expensive and hard to get. I’ll see what we can do, but no promises.” I was bummed out and sulked until we reached the dorm and I had to help unload all of Suzy’s stuff.
The next day, my hopes of going to a game were once again dashed, but I brightened up when my parents told me that we were going to see the Constitution!
I was afraid that the reality wouldn’t live up to my imaginings, but as we approached the ship my concerns vanished. She was magnificent! It was hard to take it all in, from the cannons sticking out of the gun ports, to the tall masts, to the American flag snapping in the breeze.
I was lost in thought, day-dreaming about what it would have been like to actually sail her into battle, the sights her crew would have seen. My father had to give me a gentle shove as our turn came to walk up the gang plank onto the ship.
I only half-heard the tour guide in his period uniform droning on through his rote speech as my head swiveled, trying to take in everything at once.
“Watch out!” was the last thing I heard before my head banged into a low entryway and the darkness took me.
When I came to, I thought that I must still be dizzy from the blow to my head, because it felt like the ship was moving but that was impossible, she was in dry dock; she only left under tow for her annual turnaround cruise so that she would weather evenly, and there was no way that we could be on one of those.
Looking up, I saw the billowing sails, then saw and heard the hustle and bustle of an actual man-o-war at sea.
Just as I was noticing that I no longer had on my usual jeans and t-shirt, but was wearing a very rough version of what the tour guide had been wearing, I was nearly knocked over by a burly seaman.
“Step lively there, lad,” the man said, “there’s a war to be won!”
I shook myself out of my daydreams enough to look around and saw that we were indeed under sail, with no land in sight.
If I had any thoughts that simply being under sail would be relaxing, I was quickly disabused of that notion. All around me was the hustle and bustle of constant activity, dozens of men rushing about doing all sorts of tasks that none of my reading had prepared me for, when suddenly a shadow came over me.
Looking up, I saw a man who was obviously an officer looking at me with a severely stern look on his face.
“What’s the matter, midshipman, have you no work to do? I’m sure that we can find something that even a puny lad such as yourself can handle!”
“I ... I’m sorry, Sir, I seem to have bumped my head and I’m a little confused.”
“Then go below and see the Surgeon; after he has you sorted out, go find Mister Himes, the Bosun, I’m sure that he can find something useful for you to do.”
“Y ... Yes, Sir,” I said as I tried a weak salute, but he was already off to torment someone else.
I knew enough from my readings that the Surgeon would be somewhere below deck. I could only hope that I could find him without too much difficulty.
None of my reading could have prepared me for the smells I encountered.
On deck, the sea breeze masked most of the odors, but the cramped spaces below decks seemed to only amplify them. Bathing on a ship of the line was an almost unheard-of concept, and don’t even think about deodorant.
It wasn’t hard to find the Surgeon; I just had to follow the moans, groans and screams of the sick and wounded sailors. Nothing in my reading could prepare me for what I saw in the surgery. There was blood everywhere, some severed limbs were still lying in a pile in the corner, and if I thought the rest of the ship smelled bad, the smell here nearly caused me to throw up.
A man, I presume that he was the surgeon, looked up at me from his task of re-bandaging a sailor’s amputated leg.
“Well, boy,” he said gruffly, “Don’t just stand there, what do you want?”
“I was feeling a little dizzy, and I was sent to see you.”
“As you can see, I’m a bit busy right now! How are you feeling now?”
“O ... Okay, I ... I guess,” I managed to say.
“Then get out of here so I can get back to work!” he said as he turned back to dressing the wound.
As I made my way aft, I saw a sailor coming my way.
“Excuse me,” I said, “Do you know where I could find the Bosun?”
He gave me an odd look, then said, “‘E’s prob’ly where he usually is: aft, ‘neath the quarterdeck,” and went on his way.
I found the Bosun with no further difficulty, and not knowing if I should salute, I just cleared my throat.
He looked up from his work frowning.
“What is it, boy?” he said, “Can’t you see I’m busy?”
“The Lieutenant said that I should see if you had any work for me to do.”
“Damn officers, do they think I’ve got nothing better to do than play wet- nurse to some useless midshipman?”
Before I could stammer out a response, he waved dismissively.
“Just make sure that the ropes are coiled and all gear is stowed properly. We could be going into battle at any time and we can’t have the men tripping over things.”
“Aye-aye, Sir.” I said as I turned to look for anything out of order.
“Don’t call me, ‘Sir,’” he said, “I’m not an officer; I work for my living!”
I got away from him as fast as I could and just tried to keep busy, or at least look as if I was doing something useful. I spied some other midshipman, followed their lead and gradually got into the routine of the ship.
It was definitely NOT fun! If it wasn’t for exhaustion I don’t know how I could have managed to get any sleep in the cramped and smelly quarters, and the food was worse. It took me a couple of days of hunger pangs before I could stomach what I could only loosely describe as “food.” Even the water was barely drinkable; I could see why rum was so popular, even beyond the obvious.
One bright spot was when I made my way topside for some fresh air, I heard the Captain talking to Lt. Edgerton. I had found my man! Only time would tell if there would be any meaning to my discovery.
A couple of weeks after finding myself aboard the ship at sea, the lookout sighted a frigate, which was quickly identified as the HMS Guerriere. I was nearly knocked off my feet as the Constitution shuddered from the impact of a volley from the Guerriere, but there was little damage. Captain Hull ordered the gunners to return fire, and after a few exchanges of cannon fire between the ships, he managed to maneuver us into an advantageous position within 25 yards of Guerriere. He then ordered a full double-loaded broadside of grape and round shot which took out Guerriere‘s mizzenmast. With her mizzenmast dragging in the water she collided with us, entangling her bowsprit in Constitution‘s mizzen rigging. Only Guerriere‘s bow guns were capable of effective fire, and Captain Hull’s cabin caught fire, but it was quickly extinguished. With the ships locked together, Captain Hull called for a boarding party, but the heavy seas prevented us from boarding her.
We rotated together counter-clockwise, while Captain Hull continued firing broadsides. Many of the Guerriere‘s cannonballs bounced harmlessly off Constitution‘s hull, leading one of the American sailors to proclaim “Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!”
I was astonished; I was present when Old Ironsides got her nickname! I had little time to savor the moment. As the two ships pulled apart, the force of the bowsprit’s extraction sent shock waves through Guerriere‘s rigging. Her foremast collapsed, and that brought the mainmast down shortly afterward. Guerriere was now a dismasted, unmanageable hulk with close to a third of her crew wounded or killed, while Constitution remained largely intact. The British surrendered.
We continued our patrols until Captain Hull decided to go to Haiti to reprovision the ship.
As we docked at Port-au-Prince, the Captain warned us that though things were relatively quiet, it was still a dangerous place, that we shouldn’t travel alone and that we must be back on board by sundown the following day.
Several of the sailors had been tormenting me about my state of virginity, and were determined to cure me of this “defect.” They dragged me off the ship and headed off in search of a house of ill-repute, as they called it.
Before we had gone far beyond the docks, we encountered some form of native celebration, with dozens dressed in colorful and strange costumes. I barely noticed my separation from my crew mates as I was swept along right out of town into the surrounding forest.
Drums and horns kept up a cacophony until we reached a large clearing with a huge bonfire in the center, and a single hut on the far side of the clearing.
At an unseen signal, all the noise stopped, and the natives knelt with bowed heads facing the hut. Two of them tugged on my arms until I was also kneeling, but instead of bowing my head, my attention was drawn to the hut as the most beautiful woman I had ever seen strode elegantly out of the hut.
She was tall, taller than me, I guessed close to six-feet-tall. Her skin wasn’t white, but much lighter than all the other natives. Her hair was a mass of black curls, and she wore a simple sarong style skirt worn low on one hip, revealing a belly button piercing. She also wore a top that seemed to be made out of some kind of silken scarf, wrapped around her neck and back, concealing and supporting her breasts.
She walked slowly around the bonfire, barely glancing at the assembled crowd. She stopped momentarily in front of me, and for some reason I was disappointed as she moved on. When she got to the end of the line she turned and walked back until she was once again standing in front of me.
She drew a circle on the ground, then retrieved some bones, they looked like chicken bones, from a pouch that she wore on her waist. She rubbed the bones between the palms of her hands while muttering something unintelligible to me, then cast the bones into the circle and thrust her hands up and gazed up at the sky.
She looked down at the bones and smiled at me with a look of satisfaction.
She stroked one cheek, and then the other before grasping me by the chin and making me rise up.
“I am called Jacienthe,” she said, as she seemed to breathe in something, as if she was inhaling my scent. “How shall I call you?”
“J ... Jimmy, James,” I stammered.
Jacienthe gave me an odd smile.
“Well, Jimmy, James...” she began.
“No, no,” I said, “Just ‘James.’”
She gave me that same smile, as if to say, “I know that, you silly boy!”
“Well, James, I sense that you have never known the pleasures of a woman.
Am I not correct?”
How could she know that? Could one of my shipmates have told her? No, they were nowhere to be seen.
I could only nod my head in embarrassment, keeping my eyes lowered.
“Now, James, there is no need to be ashamed. There is a first time for all of us. As it happens, I have need of a man with your ... qualities, for a special charm I need to cast. Will you please help me, James?”
I was both excited and afraid. I knew that I could have an experience that few could ever hope to have, but just what did she have planned for me? I could sense no threat from Jacienthe. To the contrary, I felt great warmth and affection, but what if I was already under her spell?
Deciding that if I was, there probably was really no refusing her, anyway, so I decided to give her what she wanted.
“Yes, Jacienthe, I will help you.”
With the slightest nod from Jacienthe, the drums started up again as she took my hand in her incredibly soft and warm hand and led me around the fire into the hut. As soon as we entered, the drumming stopped, and even without looking I knew that the natives were gone.
“Welcome to my abitasyon, James.”
“Your abi ... abitas... , “ I stammered.
“Abitasyon. My home, but it is so much more. My zanset-yo, my ancestors, have made this their home since long before the white men came in their large ships.”
Jacienthe led me into the center of the hut where there were two mats on either side of a red candle in a gold candle stick. There was a small dish holding a flame behind the mat where Jacienthe assumed a seat with her legs crossed, Indian- style. She motioned for me to assume a similar position on the other mat. It was a little uncomfortable, at first, but with a little shifting around I got reasonably comfortable.
She picked up a brass bowl and a wooden mallet, and started rubbing the mallet around the edge of the bowl until an eerie sound began to fill the hut. She set the mallet aside, but the sound continued for a few moments before gradually fading away.
“Now, James, I want you to close your eyes, and open your mind. Just let the spirits flow through you. Don’t try to listen for the words, just feel the moment.”
It all felt strange to me. I had, of course, heard of meditation, but I had always thought of it as some sort of New Age mumbo-jumbo. Jacienthe was so sincere that I felt myself wanting to be with her, understand her, help her, and I discovered that I was losing myself in the silence, inhaling Jacienthe’s sweet scent.
It was with quite a start that Jacienthe grasped my hands, and I opened my eyes. It was almost as if I had been asleep, though I knew that I hadn’t been sleeping.
She poured some scented oil over both of our hands, and rubbed our hands together, then drew my hands over to the candle and guided me in stroking the candle up and down.
If I were to be crude, I would say that we were masturbating the candle, but it was actually a most tender and sensuous experience.
All too soon she pulled her hands back from mine, pulled a flaming stick from the flaming bowl and lit the candle. She positioned her arms with her palms facing upwards. She raised her hands and began softly chanting some sort of a prayer, in a language that I couldn’t understand. As her chant grew louder, the flame seemed to get brighter, until she shouted, “Ago,” and the flame shot up, then settled back down.
Jacienthe stood up and helped me up awkwardly to my feet.
“Come, James, it is time.”
“Time?” I asked, “Time for what?”
“Wait and see, James. Wait and see.”
She again stroked my cheeks, this time holding my face in her hands, as she pressed her full lips against mine. I had, of course, kissed a girl before, but it was nothing like this. Her lips were hot and lush, and tasted like I thought a fine wine should taste.
I tried to kiss her back, but she remained in complete control, thrusting her tongue into my mouth as I completely surrendered to her. I didn’t know where this was going, but if this night was to be the death of me, then I would die with a smile on my lips!
I don’t know when her hands left my face, but she was soon removing my shirt. I was briefly embarrassed by my sparse chest hair, but Jacienthe didn’t seem to mind as she lovingly stroked all over it. She gently tweaked my nipples, startling me, before soothing them with gentle kisses and softly sucking on them.
Jacienthe continued kissing down towards my navel, then lowered my pants as my erect cock sprung free. I had masturbated to Internet porn, but I couldn’t remember it ever being this hard; it even looked bigger.
She lowered herself to her knees and kissed the tip of my cock, all the while gazing up at me with her almond-shaped eyes, looking both feral and loving at the same time. How I didn’t cum right then I’ll never know.
Jacienthe licked up one side of my cock, and then the other, then took the head into her mouth. As she started to lower her mouth towards the base of my cock, it took every ounce of my self-control not to shoot off too soon, but Jacienthe seemed unconcerned. When she took my entire length into her hot, wet mouth I knew that I wouldn’t last long, and as she began moving up and down I could feel the end coming soon.
“Jacienthe,” I said, “I think I’m gonna...”
She just gazed up at me, smiled around my cock and nodded, and I came in her mouth harder than I had ever cum before. As I sank to my knees I expected her to turn and spit out my cum, but she instead swallowed, then moved in to kiss me again. I hesitated for just a moment, knowing where her mouth had just been, then realized that if it didn’t bother her, it shouldn’t bother me.
I really couldn’t taste anything odd. Maybe it was the heat of the moment; maybe it was just the taste of those luscious lips.
When she rose up I started to stand also, but she motioned for me to remain seated.
By some unspoken command a single drum started beating out a sensuous rhythm, and Jacienthe began to sway in time, swinging her hips enticingly, waving her hands similar to a hula dancer.
Before I knew it, she was reaching behind her neck to untie the scarf that was covering her breasts, releasing them from their confinement as she cast the scarf aside.
They were breath-taking. They weren’t the biggest breasts I’d ever seen, though the only ones I had ever seen were in online porn, but they were perfect.
They were firm and perky, with dark erect nipples that were pierced with small silver bars in them. When she raised up her arms to sway with the beat of the drums, I noticed for the first time that her underarms weren’t shaved. For some reason this didn’t bother me. I think it was partly realizing the era we were in, but partly because it added to her earthy sensuality.
She lowered her hands to her breasts, giving the bars a slight twist. That seemed to send an electric shock through her body, then she slowly stroked down her body until she reached her sarong skirt.
Jacienthe gave me a sly glance as she turned her back to me, giving her hips just a little extra shake as she untied the knot and let her sarong fall to the ground revealing her glorious ass.
I never considered myself an “ass man,” but Jacienthe could easily convert me. She had a large ass, not Beyoncé or Kardashian big, but maybe a bit bigger than what I thought I would like, but it was gorgeous. It was firm, not fat, and perfectly shaped.
Before I got completely lost in worshipping her ass she started to turn around. After her underarms I was expecting to see a forest between her legs, but she had a fairly sparse patch of pubic hair.
She swayed over to me, first nearly rubbing her ass in my face, then turning to let me get my first, live, up-close and personal look at a real pussy.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. Different stories gave different descriptions, but all that I can say is that Jacienthe’s pussy smelled just as beautiful as the rest of her looked.
Jacienthe sat down on the floor of the hut, removed my boots and helped me remove my pants, then leaned against me.
“Jacienthe, I want to thank you, that was the most wonderful... ‘
“Hush,” she said, pressing her fingers to my mouth. “The night is yet young, and we have much to do.”
I wasn’t entirely sure what she meant, and I may have been young and inexperienced, but I was no fool, and reached over to caress one of her breasts.
“Gently, James, gently,” she said as she removed my hand. “They are meant for your pleasure and for mine, but should be treated with great care.”
She then took one of my hands in hers, and placed it back on her breast, then used her hand to guide me in the proper way to pleasure a woman’s breast. I hesitated as my fingers neared her pierced nipple.
“It’s all right, James,” she said, “You may play with them, but gently.”
I continued lightly toying with the bar in her left nipple, eliciting soft moans, and when I lowered my lips to her right breast her moans increased, and she pulled my head tighter to her breast.
I wanted to reciprocate for her earlier actions, so I gently detached myself to work my way down to her pussy. I had never gotten this far before with any of my dates, and I only hoped that my hours of reading and watching porn would pay off.
Unfortunately, that would not be the case, as Jacienthe gently laughed at my slobbering efforts at pussy-eating.
“No, sweet James, there’s no need to rush. Start with light kisses high up my inner thighs. Go slowly, tease me.”
I tried to follow her instructions, and judging by her reactions I was doing well,
“Now, gently lick up my slit until the petals start to open on their own, then use your fingers to open me.”
This was all getting me going, I could feel my cock getting hard again, and Jacienthe was also panting heavily.
“Now, James, flatten your tongue and start at the bottom and lick up slowly.
Use just a little pressure.”
As I continued to follow her instructions, she reached down and began playing with herself.
“Can you see what I am doing, James?”
I could only nod, as I continued licking her pussy.
“Do you know what this is?” she asked.
I paused for just a moment to gasp out, “It’s your clitoris.”
“I do not know that word; we call it le bouton d’amour. Normally, you would continue your ministrations and use your fingers also to prepare your woman, especially if she is inexperienced, but I am ready,” she said, panting heavily with every other word.
I was panting heavily, as well, and my cock was painfully hard, but Jacienthe was not about to release me from my torment.
She stood up, and as I reached desperately for her she just smiled.
“Patience, sweet James, all will become clear very soon.”
Jacienthe opened a small cage and pulled out a rooster, which struggled helplessly in her grasp. Picking up a silver dagger she held it over the brass bowl and deftly slit its throat, letting its blood drip into the bowl.
Putting the rooster’s still twitching body and the dagger aside, she wiped her hands on her inner thighs, then brought the bowl of blood over to where I sat, still in a state of shock.
“Be calm, James, it is all part of the charm, it is necessary.”
I nodded my head nervously, wondering just where this was going.
Jacienthe dipped her right index finger into the blood, and raising it up she began her chant again, then drew some strange characters, first on the right side of my chest, and then my left. I could feel its heat penetrating to my heart.
She dipped her finger one more time, then drew a line from the center of my chest to the base of my cock. Defying all reason my cock seemed to grow even harder and began to throb in time to some silent rhythm.
“Are you ready to become a man, James?”
I didn’t think that I could be more ready, but all that I could do was grunt,
Jacienthe repositioned herself, pulling her legs farther back and spread them out more than I thought humanly possible. The smell of her arousal wafted up from her open pussy and filled the hut as she had me kneel over her. She gently pulled me by my cock, positioning the head at her opening.
Jacienthe was panting heavily in her arousal, but she pulled herself together to continue my instruction.
“James,” she breathed, “as you can probably tell, I am quite ready, but you will not always find it so. You must gently press the tip of your cock into my entrance.”
I was probably more heated up than Jacienthe, and it took every ounce of my self-control to not simply thrust deep inside her, but somehow, I managed.
“Now,” Jacienthe said, “slowly push in a little more, then pull back, but not out. Each time, push in a little more, until you are fully inside your woman.”
I faithfully followed her instructions, and was soon fully seated in her, as we both panted heavily.
“Now, James, you should start moving steadily into and out of your woman.
If you have done as I have taught you, she will soon ... be rising ... up to meet ... you.”
Indeed, as I pumped in and out of Jacienthe with a steady motion, her hips were arching up to meet my thrusts.
All too soon I could sense that I was reaching my peak.
“Now, James, push harder, push faster!”
I was only too happy to comply, and as I shot my cum into her, I heard her have her orgasm as well.
I flopped onto my back beside Jacienthe thinking that nothing that I had read or seen could have prepared me for the reality of my experience.
I was startled out of my reverie by Jacienthe’s stirring. She sat up, then rose up on her knees. She cupped her hand beneath her pussy, collecting my cum and her juices. Before I could think of what she could be doing she knee-walked over to the candle. Rubbing her hands together she ran her hands up the candle while reciting more strange chants.
Retrieving still more juices from her pussy, she continued her chants while rising up and standing over the candle.
I was shocked as she dripped them onto the flame, causing an even more spectacular uprising of flame and sparks than earlier.
Raising her arms once again, she said, “Ayibobo,” then lowered her arms and bowed her head.
Jacienthe strode over to me, her hips swaying seductively, took my hand and lifted me to my feet.
“Thank you, James, the charm is complete. Now, we shall have some fun.”
At first, I was too dumb-founded to realize what she meant, but I understood immediately as she led me to the mats and had my lie on my back. She quickly stroked me back to hardness and mounted me, sinking down in one smooth motion.
I reached up to play with her breasts, a little rougher than before, but she seemed to want, or even need it that way.
I was in a daze. I have no idea how many times we had sex, or was it made love, that night, but when I awoke at dawn she was gone, including her candles and all her other accoutrements.
I never knew what her charm was meant to accomplish, I prayed that it was for good and I hoped that it was successful, for Jacienthe’s sake.
I pulled myself together and made my way out of the hut to the now deserted clearing. My body was weary with a very pleasant ache as I made my way back to the Constitution, still unsure about just what happened last night in Jacienthe’s hut.
There was quite a stir as I climbed the gangplank.
“Where were you, boy?”
“We looked all over for you.”
“We thought you were lost, that you were some cannibal’s dinner.”
“I ... I’m all right,” I said, not sure if I believed it myself, “I need to report to Lt. Wallace.”
After getting a proper dressing down by the lieutenant, he grudgingly accepted my story and assigned me a week’s worth of punishment duty.
The next day we set sail, and I stared wistfully at the receding island, with fond memories of my night with Jacienthe. I knew that I would never forget her, and only hoped that I would someday find a woman her equal.
I was snapped out of my reverie by a slap to the back of my head by Lt.
Wallace, who put me to work on my punishment duty, beginning with the cleaning of all the ship’s “relief” buckets. How I kept any of my food down that day I’ll never know.
As we made sail for Boston we ran into a squall. It wasn’t particularly dangerous, but certainly made for a rough voyage.
During the height of the storm I noticed Lt. Edgerton struggling against the wind. One moment he was standing there on the deck, the next he had lost his footing and was about to go over the rail. There was no time to call for help; I rushed over to him and grabbed hold of his belt with all my strength.
It didn’t seem like it would be enough, that we were both going to plunge into the ocean, when I drew on some reserve of adrenaline. I braced my feet where the rail met the deck and pulled back with a strength that I didn’t know that I possessed.
We hung in limbo for just a moment before we both went tumbling back away from the rail. Lt. Edgerton landed roughly on top of me, and I banged my head on the deck, once more passing into unconsciousness.
As I began regaining consciousness I thought that I was hallucinating, as I thought I heard my mother’s voice. Then I realized that the ship wasn’t moving, and I felt the warm sun on my face.
I managed to open my eyes, blinking at the bright sunshine, looking up into my parents’ concerned faces, as well as what appeared to be an EMT.
“I think he’s all right Mrs. Edgerton, just a nasty bump on the head,” the EMT said. “You may want to have him checked out at the ER just to be sure, but I’m sure that he’s okay.”
As I struggled to sit up my parents started peppering me with questions.
“Jimmy, are you all right?” “Do you want to go to the hospital?” “Are you okay?”
They were making me dizzier than the bump on my head.
“No, Mom,” I said, “I’m fine. You won’t believe what hap...” I had to stop myself before they sent me to the Psych Ward.
“What was that, Son?” my Dad asked.
“Oh, never mind, it was nothing,” I said, “I just had the craziest dream while I was out. I’m fine now.”
They looked a little concerned, but after exchanging glances with each other, they apparently decided that it was a discussion for another day.
One unexpected bonus was that the officer in charge of the Constitution somehow came up with three tickets for that night’s Red Sox game against the Yankees!
I was so excited just to be going to the game that I didn’t even ask where the seats were, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out that they were Monster seats. We would be watching the game from atop the Green Monster, the famous left field wall in Fenway Park!
Sometimes when your dreams come true, the reality pales against the fantasy. That certainly wasn’t true in this case. The sights, the sounds, the smells, everything, were more than I could have hoped for. I gorged on ball park food, sang along lustily with “Sweet Caroline,” and, oh yeah, there was a baseball game.
It was a real pitchers’ duel, tied up one to one in the bottom of the ninth.
Mookie Betts was at the plate, nobody on base, two outs. It looked like we might be going into extra innings.
The count was 3 and 2. The Yankee pitcher threw his best pitch and Mookie took a big swing. The crack of the bat told me that he made good contact, then I saw the ball streaking right at me. It flew over the wall for a walk-off home run and dropped right into my hands.
Everyone was pounding me on the back as I held up the ball for all to see. I don’t even remember the trip back to the hotel. Somehow, I got ready for bed without letting go of the baseball.
My dreams of the game competed with my dreams of my time on Old Ironsides, and I still don’t know which felt more real.
When I got back home, after putting the baseball in a place of honor in my room, I went back to my research on the Constitution.
It was the strangest thing. There was no longer any reference to a Lt.
Edgerton being lost at sea.
I would like to say that I took what I had learned from Jacienthe and became some sort of a teen-age love god, but despite her lessons I was still a teenager with raging hormones, with all that that implies. That being said, I was probably a more sensitive sex partner than most of my contemporaries and was never lacking for willing bed partners.
I would probably have graduated still playing the field, except for a remarkable event early in my senior year at BU.
The “T” trolley approached my stop and I picked up my book bag and waited at the door for it to stop. When the door opened, I stepped out, took a quick look down Commonwealth Ave. and made a quick dash for the sidewalk.
I wasn’t looking where I was going and crashed into somebody hard and soft at the same time. I stood up and offered her my hand. As she rose up I was gazing into a face that I never thought I would see again: Jacienthe!
“I’m so sorry,” she said, “I wasn’t looking where I was going. I’m Ja...”
“Jacienthe!” I blurted out.
“Jacienthe?” she said. “What an odd name. No, my name is Jasmine, Jasmine Marley.”
Jacienthe, Jasmine, whatever, this was either the craziest coincidence in the world or the spookiest, but I was NOT going to let her go until was I able to investigate further.
“Jasmine, I know this is going to seem incredibly forward, but I feel this strange connection with you. My name is James Edgerton, and I wonder if you would let me buy you lunch later?” I reached into my backpack and pulled out a piece of paper. “Here is my contact info,” I said as I scribbled it down, “Please let me know when you’re free.”
“James, there’s no need to be so nervous. I would very much enjoy having lunch with you. I just transferred here, and have not made many friends yet, and I sense that you will be a very good friend. May I call you Jimmy?”
“If you like, but my special friends call me James.”
“James it is then, because I do want to be your special friend.”
With that, she stuffed the paper into her shirt pocket and ran off to her class.
I just stood there for the longest time, throngs of people streaming around me like water around a rock.
Over the past few years I had finally managed to convince myself that Jacienthe was a figment of my hallucination, but Jasmine had just turned that idea onto its head.
I was pleasantly surprised when my phone vibrated with a text as I left my Creative Writing class at 11:00.
‘Lunch @ 12? J’
As I walked to D’Angelo’s, I was nervous for many reasons: Was I making too much of this? Jacienthe, real or not, was a pivotal experience in my life. Could Jasmine, no matter how wonderful, ever live up to my expectations? What if she wasn’t really interested in me? My head was spinning until I decided that worrying about it wasn’t doing me any good, it would be what it would be.
As fate would have it, we approached the restaurant at nearly the same time from opposite directions. She greeted me with big smile, her full lips pulling back from her perfect teeth. I held the door for her and we entered and went up to the counter. They had a special going on, so I ordered us two lobster rolls and drinks.
“I’m sorry,” I said, “I forgot to ask you what you wanted. Do you like lobster?”
“Actually,” she said, “I’ve never had it.”
“Well, then, you’re in for a treat, hopefully. If you like it, we’ll go out for a lobster dinner sometime.”
We picked up our sandwiches, and as I took my first bite I saw Jasmine hesitate just a moment before taking a modest bite.
“Mmm, good!” she said, her smile reaching her bright eyes.
“So, James, what do you do for fun and excitement?”
“You mean, besides running into beautiful women on the street?”
I ducked as she threw a potato chip at me.
“Come on, James, I’m serious.”
Getting serious with Jasmine was climbing high on my list of priorities, but I decided that I had better not rush things.
“Well, being a poor college student doesn’t leave much time or money for fun, but whenever I have the time I like to go down to Community Boating for a sail.”
I saw a tremor of something like fear run through her.
“What’s the matter, don’t you like sailing?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never tried it.”
“Oh, but you should! There’s something so relaxing about being out on the water. Even in the middle of the city you feel so alone, but not lonely. Why have you never tried it?”
“I don’t know. It’s strange, since my family comes from an island country, but I’m afraid of the water.”
I felt a twinge of something. Hope? Fear? I had to know!
“Where are you from?” I asked.
“Well, I was born and grew up in Brockton, but my parents came from Haiti.”
I stopped in mid-chew, my mouth open, and Jasmine looked worried.
“What’s the matter James? Why does my family being from Haiti affect you so?”
“I ... It’s nothing, Jasmine. I just had a strange feeling of Déjà vu. I’ll tell you about it someday.”
I wasn’t really sure that I would; it was just too weird, but I would cross that bridge when I came to it. She took my statement at face value, and we went back to talking about all the inconsequential things college students talk about on early dates: Sports, music, movies and very general family topics.
After a few regular dates I tried to talk Jasmine into going sailing with me; she resisted, insisting that she was simply too afraid. Part of me wanted to accept her fear, but I love to sail, I expect that it will be an important part of my life for years to come, and I wanted to be able to share it with the woman that I was falling in love with.