Read Settling Old Scores: BWWM Second Chance Romance Online
Authors: Mike Sposs
Settling Old Scores
by Mike Sposs
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Mate Kevin Kenneth Kelly woke up for the fourth or fifth time that
night. The alarm clock radio went off, it was 3 AM, and he was still
exhausted. The old rust bucket he had signed on to as second mate the
day before, rolled and groaned fearfully. Kevin had sailed on plenty
of old ships before. As a lowly cadet in the early 70s, he had made
several voyages to Vietnam in old Liberty Ships laden with explosives
& munitions. They creaked and groaned, and sometimes scared the
hell out of him, but nothing like this.
trip was to be this ship's penultimate voyage; it was an old
1945-built Victory Ship. Whoever determined that this boat was on its
last legs knew exactly what they were doing. This one had been ridden
hard and put away wet several thousand times. To add further drama,
Kevin reminded himself that the great circle route he had laid out
the day before included a stint across the north edge of the Bermuda
Triangle, not that he believed any of that stuff.
S.S. Diane, aka five or six other previous names, had set sail out of
Savannah the night before. The weather was miserable. From listening
and feel, Kevin knew it hadn't improved. A Second Mate is the
navigation officer on merchant ships. During his watch Kevin, would
chart the ship's course, and try to fix its position using the
hopelessly outdated electronics on the ship. Kevin was able to sign
on to this old tub precisely because no one else wanted to. It was
loaded for a shit voyage with Algiers as the first stop. From there,
the ports of call went downhill.
was December 20, 1977. Kevin was twenty-six years old and going to
spend Christmas at sea. By choice, not for the first time. His alarm
clock radio with the flip digits clicked the minutes off as he got
dressed. A very static Bob Seger came on playing
gave Kevin a morose pause.
wish I had a silver bullet. Then again what would I do with it? Shoot
myself? How the hell did I get here; where the hell am I going?"
he wondered to himself.
had been ashore the last four months. A girl he had first met when he
was eleven in 1962, Pat Washington, had come into his life for a
second time in those four months. He had just tried to give her an
engagement ring two days earlier while sitting on the beach in front
of Shipyard Plantation on Hilton Head Island. She had turned him down
without good explanation.
second girl he knew from that era, Sylvia Greenberg, had also been a
recent issue. Kevin had spent the last four months revisiting his
past. He found out he wasn't nearly as street smart as he prided
himself to be. He had missed the obvious so many times of late that
he didn't trust too much about himself anymore.
there was one more thing. Let's just say someone Kevin knew died
during a jail break attempt a mere three weeks ago. Given all the
havoc Kevin had been near and caused. Given how clueless he was. He
felt it was a good time to run away to sea, again.
had become Sylvia's Greenberg's paperboy in 1966. Kevin was learning
the paper route from his slightly older friend that recruited him to
take over this route. The friend's name was Willie Smith. Willie and
Kevin were both little ninth graders. Willie was black, and Kevin was
white. They were a ragtag couple of boys, pretty much totally
unsupervised in their adventures on the Avenue. They were old enough
to start noticing girls, and still young enough to be totally color
blind. The Avenue was the main commercial artery of the Midwest inner
city the boys lived in before the neighborhoods started getting
carved up and divided by freeways.
first time Kevin met Sylvia, Kevin and Willie were out collecting
money for the paper route. It was about seven o'clock at night and
they were cold and tired. The only way to stay warm in the bitter
night air was to dart into the various stores on the street as they
made their collection rounds. They hung out in the grocery store
below Sylvia's apartment to warm up for a few minutes. As they stood
there, Willie said to Kevin: "This next customer is a blond
white lady that's mighty fine. I'll do the talking; you just stand
back and check her out." So up the inside stairs of the building
they went to the apartment above the grocery store.
wasn't kidding! When Sylvia opened the door to their hurried knock,
Kevin sucked in his breath. She was in a filmy nightgown! She
probably didn't know that the light coming from behind her showed
through the gown. Kevin could see her gorgeous body through it. She
might have been all of nineteen years old. Willie kept her engaged
and talking for as long as he could. He was enjoying the show she put
on as much as Kevin did. He had a little smirk on his face because he
knew exactly what he was doing. As they wrapped up, Kevin started to
edge back a bit.
know what happened next? Kevin backed off the landing and right down
the stairs. He went ass over teakettle most of the way down the steep
straight shot stairs. The only thing that saved him from injury was
all the heavy winter clothes he was wearing. Sylvia was down the
stairs in a flash helping Kevin up, and making sure he was okay.
Willie looked down at Kevin from the top of the stairs with the
biggest shit eating grin on his face. Kevin was more embarrassed than
hurt, and he had to do all he could not to break out laughing at
assured Sylvia he was okay, and got an eyeful of her cleavage as she
bent over him. Then he and Willie trudged off into the night. When
they got outside, they laughed themselves silly. They were classic
hormonally imbalanced ninth grade boys.
Kevin took the route over from Willie, his relationship with Sylvia
became more mature. She was just so naturally friendly that she would
chat with him whenever and wherever she saw him. She became almost a
surrogate big sister to him in that she constantly got after him
about the importance of school, and surrounding himself with people
that were a good influence. She would always punctuate the little
lectures with the line, "You don't want to end up like me."
Kevin couldn't help but like her, and worry about her, too. Here he
was a ninth grader, and he thought he was more streetwise than she
thought she had no idea how much she stood out like a sore thumb
walking down the Avenue with little Marcy, her three year old
daughter in tow. Blonder than blond in a mostly black neighborhood.
Her blond ponytail and shapely butt were gorgeous swinging from side
to side as she walked. She got noticed plenty and got plenty of
was taking ninth grade algebra, and discovered that he was pretty
good at it. Sylvia was studying for her GED. Kevin helped her once or
twice with some algebra problems. He especially loved the Taboo
perfume she wore. He could smell it when he got close to her while
doing a math problem. To this day the scent of Taboo on any woman
from nineteen to fortynine got him excited.
spent enough time up there with Sylvia that Marcy knew him on sight
too. Marcy was as naturally friendly as her mom. She would run to the
door when Kevin showed up, and greet him warmly with a big smile and
a wave. Kevin felt so welcome around her; it was incredible. If there
was an Olympic event for being a hostess, Marcy would've been a
gold-medal winner. Serious competition for Marcy would have had to
turn in "the performance of a lifetime," to beat her.
Kevin had a cigar box with old pictures in it. It contained among
other things, an old somewhat curled black and white Polaroid with
Sylvia, Marcy, and Kevin standing on the sidewalk in front of the old
Grocery store that Sylvia and Marcy lived above. Marcy had her big
smile going on, and was holding hands with her mom. She had her
little hip cocked and her other small hand resting on her hip in a
free-spirited way that only very little girls can manage. Kevin
hadn't given the picture a thought in years, until the last four
months. Then, he had studied it closely more than once.