Our lives are in peril once again with the Tong moving closer to board us, and yet all I can think of is guilt and regret over Brad. He should have been just an easy casual thing, we finish our job, I blow a kiss goodbye and move on. But this job is taking a lot longer and I’m starting to feel hemmed in here.
When I first discovered him in my bunk, at first I was elated and we shared another fun night together. But the next morning, I lay there listening to him softly snore, and I started getting angrier and angrier. How dare he presume I wanted him on this three week trip! I haven’t spent three weeks with a fling since I left Greenleaf. The physical part is fun, but to be honest here, I just get bored with the person inside of them.
Look, I know I’m naïve about a lot of things. I don’t have a lot of street smarts. I’m all booksmarts. But none of the pretty boys I’ve had a nice easy time with haven’t had much in their brains to talk about, and that’s just fine for a night or two. But three weeks!!!
So, I was getting angrier and angrier. I had led him on, promising him more of me when we get to Londinium to keep a string inside the team that my over protective brothers wouldn’t give me. Brad could be relied upon to tell me what he was up to if it meant getting lucky and I was happy to have some fun with him to, ya know, to make it easier to find him and his buddies when they’d try to sneak out again. If they were going out to party, I’d be the first one Brad would confess to about it in order to have some fun with me.
Having fun has become a job to do and I ain’t no Companion. It’s makin’ me feel kinda whorish here and I’m not likin’ it one bit. And Brad ASSUMING that I’d be happy to spend THREE WEEKS with him without him asking my permission, well boys are just not allowed to assume things about me and not ask permission.
It’s a respect thing. I had to prove myself to my brothers by teaching them to respect my little fist. I had to out-think competitors at University in order to get respect despite my country-girl voice. I want respect dammit, and assuming that I’d just lay down and be a happy little floozie for three weeks. Well. Angry.
I always thought it silly, good girls being good girls and not having any fun. Boys had fun, why not girls? It’s been a great ride, pun intended. But this….it’s not so fun anymore. Three weeks with someone as brainless as Brad, very nice guy, really, but intellectually he’s just a jock. Again, really sweet guy, but certainly not my type to spend three weeks with an’ nothing in common ‘cept sharin’ sheets.
And speaking of respect, Capt’n is a girl, good girl or not depending on whose scale of opinion yer lookin’ at, she’s a successful business woman and can do anything a man can do. Me hiding a stowaway would be breaking all kinds of rules and I can’t do disrespect like that to Miss Prudy. Knucklehead thinks stealing a ride is the same as stealing a seat on a bus trip. He don’t get that the oxygen isn’t plentiful and too many people put a strain on the scrubbers. I’m sure I’ll be havin’ to go through them, maybe even replace them when this is all over.
And the food. You can’t just pull the bus over when the food is gone and get a refill on that Icy Cup. Miss Purdy and Preacher plan carefully on the food supply and promise paying folks fresh food. An extra mouth to feed is an issue. All kinds of things are different here in the black. This just ain’t the joy ride Brad thinks this should be.
But then Brad has to go and save my life by getting himself shot. It’s different when Wilson or Rocket gets themselves shot for us,. I’d throw down my life to save anyone in this crew, and any one of us would too. But Brad isn’t part of this family and I didn’t invite him to be one.
If I were a cruel person, I’d just shrug my shoulders and tell myself that Brad had it coming and he needs to learn about consequences. Miss Prudy tried to teach that to Brad by putting in a time out, but I’ve no doubt he’s learned nothing by it. He’s used to getting his way no matter how many rules he has to break.
Keeping the team safe and out of trouble means it’s our job to take on that trouble for them, so being here is certainly not the safest place for him. He never should have assumed I’d be okay with three weeks. I’m not on a vacation here. I got work to do. And see what the consequences are? He’sbleeding at Doc’s and likely will be unable to play. I bet I get blamed for that, everyone will assume I enticed Brad to hitch this ride which couldn’t be further from the truth, but how to I put all the blame on him when he has t’go and get himself shot. Ugh. I hate feeling guilt.
Now I’m talking myself in circles, and though recording this while I race at getting Nightingale running again which isn’t likely to happen before we are boarded, still it isn’t slowing me down and recording in my journal makes me feel better and I’m just feeling too much guilt for my likin and need to shake it off.
Maybe Preachers right in some o’that stuff he sermons about. Maybe I should just take up with men I at least have something in common with, someone that is talkable. Brad wouldn’t know a heat dispersing bundle of coil wires from a bundle of wires that take on an ignition load. Of course most folks don’t, but he has absolutely no want to learn anything about it, or me for that matter.
I’m so confused. I used to really like the joy ride. Now there’s a kind of heaviness. Maybe it’s cuz I’m getting older. At Temple on Hera, a priest told me that “every day is another chance to change your life.” Maybe if I get to wake up to a new day tomorrow after all this, I’ll consider taking that advice.