Author: flamonarowers PM
Communication continues between the boys though Ralph is out at sea. Sequel to "The Meeting"Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Drama - Jack M. & Ralph - Words: 2,594 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 3 - Published: 06-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8248520
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I really hope this gets to you. I honestly had no idea where to send these though I foolishly promised to contact you. It took some detective work and some trickery on my part but I finally found the proper information.
Anyway, how are you? I can't believe I'm actually writing to you when you're out at sea. Is it strange? The ocean always makes me think of then so I usually try to avoid it, but now I can't help but find myself looking over pictures constantly. I would go there myself but my school is far inland and I rarely have a chance to leave.
I know when we last parted ways you had shown an interest in how I had been doing so I'll tell you a little bit. Unfortunately, there is not much to tell. I go to university now and I am working on music and theatre, which shouldn't surprise you. It's a lot of fun and I'm constantly in the spot light- as it should be. Though it can be taxing my work is always rewarding.
But enough about me, there was something else I wanted to tell you. Thank you for meeting with me. I understand that I was probably the last person you ever wanted in your life, but you were the better man. You always have been.
I hope you write back soon and that things are going well.
P.S. I'm glad you don't want to run anymore.
The red head ran as fast as he could after the post man. This was completely out of his way, he was probably already late for his first class, but he didn't care. He needed to send that letter today.
"Excuse me!" he said as he came closer. The man politely stopped and turned to face him. At least he seemed cheery enough. Jack slowed down a little holding out the letter showing as little exhaustion as possible. "Could you please take this as well?"
His eyes wandered to the man as he finally took the letter from him. "Of course son, I'll make sure it's sent."
Jack nodded in response as he watched the man leave. He couldn't thank him enough, but a nod was really all he was used to showing. As long as that letter made it on that ship, he couldn't care less if that post man was offended or skipping down the street.
The ocean spray brushed against his face as he looked out towards the sea. He didn't have to be on duty yet, his shift didn't start for another hour, but he couldn't sleep. All Ralph could do was think about his last day.
He still remembered exactly what Jack looked like- staring at him desperately, clinging to his hands, and trying so hard to maintain some sort of composure. It had been the first time in years he hadn't imagined him in that awful face paint. He was still shocked by how both of them had acted. Now that he looked back, it was clear Jack had always felt like this, but it was still startling. What were they now? What were his feelings? He had said all those things but he honestly didn't know if he could put his fear aside. When Jack had been like that he had felt the need to comfort him but now that he was alone he was left with doubt.
"Oh excuse me," said an officer as they bumped into him.
"It's fine, you're excused," he said his mind still in another place.
"Ralph?" the officer said and took a hold of his shoulder. "Oh! It is you! I have something for you."
Ralph looked toward the other officer. Something for him? "What is it?" he said.
The man pulled out a small envelope and held it out to the blonde. "I was on my way to deliver the mail. It might as well go straight to you."
He looked at the small piece of paper and finally took it from the other man. His words and salutes were lost as Ralph had already started tearing the envelope. When the words came into view he examined the letter. At first it didn't sink in but as he continued to read it again and again he started to feel that rush again. Jack had kept his promise. He was waiting.
But could he?
You can feel comforted, I did get this. It took me a while to respond but I received it once we got to port. If you ever need to contact me sooner you can always send a telegram, just so you know. The communications department is really good about relaying messages- but that's only for emergencies. For normal conversation, letters will be fine.
I'm okay. We aren't doing anything too extensive, I'm just serving time. It gets rather boring sometimes so writing this was a really nice break from my thoughts.
It is a little strange sometimes looking out at the ocean, but it doesn't remind me too much of back then now. I have so many other memories from my time in the service and there are bigger triggers than that. Would you want to go to the ocean? It really is beautiful at sunset as you probably remember.
Theatre and music? So that's why you were so interested in what I was reading. Have you performed Hamlet? What kind of work do you do? I've never seen a proper stage production before but I've heard they can be stunning. Have you done anything professional before? Is acting fun? I would think it would be lots of fun to be someone who wasn't you for a while.
You're welcome. I…to be honest I don't know why I did. Even though you kept pressing I was not planning on caving but then I just…did I guess.
Hope school is going well
Practice has been going well.
My costar is a little bit of a ditz but she occasionally has some good moments.
She actually looks a lot like—
"What?" He frowned and looked up from his script. He hadn't had a moment to sit down and write this letter with the show getting more intensive. After a push from Ralph he had even tried out for a professional show alongside this one which meant even less time for normal sleep patterns, proper nutrition, and worst of all, writing to his naval officer.
"You have been scribbling in your script for 10 minutes! We have been waiting for your line!"
The red head blinked then looked at the other thespians on stage. It had seemed he had missed quite a bit. He though they were still on his costar's monologue. "I know you've been busy but goodness are you going to even try to pay attention? Just because you got the chorus part in a professional play doesn't mean—"
"I'm sorry," Jack said but mostly to get him to be quiet. "I won't do it again. I was distracted." The director scoffed and started barking more orders. He was positive if it hadn't been for his normally impeccable work ethic that he would have been kicked out of the show. From now on he had to be more careful. He would need to find a sneakier way of writing while on stage.
The three friends' laughter boomed as they continued their drinking. They had finally gotten a break and had decided to spend it with some good old fashion liquor and poker. Though they had been in here causing a ruckus for quite some time there had also been someone else there. A boy, maybe 20, who was in the corner writing. They had tried to speak to him, ask him to join, and had even thrown a bottle at the boy's head which had barely missed. No matter their antics the boy continued to write. As the laughter died down they all stared at him.
"What are you writing blondie?" said one as they peaked over from their game. What had been so important to ignore them for the past 30 minutes.
"Is it your diary?" another one chuckled but there was still no response.
They all turned their chairs towards him. When they looked closer they had realized his pen had stopped. "What's wrong?" the man said.
"I don't know what to say," Ralph finally said as he continued looking at the paper. Water glistened on his cheeks but he didn't move. "I don't know how I feel."
I know that we were talking about silly things but there's been something on my mind this whole time. When we saw each other it was…nice. I don't know why, but I felt comforted by you. I think it was being with someone who knew about what had happened. I had never had that before, even in my own family. Then when you seemed so worried about me leaving it just made me feel even better.
I said some things that at the time seemed right but now that I think about it could have been much more serious than I thought. When I said I had found a reason to stay it wasn't as simple as that. You still scare me Jack. You can't talk about Piggy or Simon probably because of the nightmares but you were my nightmare. You burnt down a whole island trying to kill me! Yet here you are saying you want to be with me? That you'll wait for me?
I said those things because I feel like I'd like to know you. I don't want to run away anymore and I'd like to sit down, have conversations, get to know your interests, take walks, or whatever you would want to do. I put my fear aside for that moment and said those things that could have sounded so much more than I really could mean. I honestly don't know my feelings towards you right now, though writing these letters has helped immensely. It's been nice talking about silly things like stupid actors, sharks, and favorite kinds of food. Simple things that most people already know about each other before they throw themselves into some sort of relationship.
As I go over this in my head I realize that this all seems scattered but what I guess I'm trying to say is why? Why did you have to see me? Why do you love me? I don't understand that when you tried so hard to kill me. I never had a problem with you Jack, I had always wanted to be your friend, but then you became a nightmare. And now I'm scared you're going to do this to me again. You're going to drive me crazy again.
Please don't do this to me,
Jack stared at the piece of paper, his hands clenched and body shaking. He could feel tears in his eyes but he tried his hardest to keep them in. He couldn't ruin his make up so close to the show.
"Jack! You're on in five!"
"Alright!" he said as he looked at the door towards his voice. There he was in full costume waiting to go out and impress the big wigs. Since hearing about his role in the professional production, they wanted to see him in action at school. Talent scouts were waiting in the audience for him to blow them away but he couldn't give a rat's ass right now. He wanted to see Ralph, he had to see him, especially if he had been holding all of that inside. Jack Merridew was never one to proclaim his feelings, but he felt that in this situation it was completely understandable.
"I'm coming," he whispered as he put down the letter. Sadly his wishes couldn't come true. He had to keep going, but there was something he could do. He just had to take care of these rich old men first.
Ralph watched as the port came into view. He could feel a knot in his throat as everyone was ready to disembark. Jack had never responded to his letter. He knew it took a long time for letters to get to him but it had been even longer than that. Was he right? Was he just looking for a play thing to make himself feel better? His heart sank and he held onto his bag tighter. He wasn't heart broken, but it still really hurt. Jack had been important to him especially after all those letters. Even if they were mostly silly little nothings he had wanted to be friends with him. Someone who he could talk to and be himself with- no one else was like that.
Everyone started to get off the ship. Sailors rushing home to their children and wives- it was a really beautiful sight to see. He couldn't help but smile at the sweet reunions even though he knew he wouldn't have one. Ralph hadn't bothered to tell his family that he had returned home since he was living on the college campus. He would just contact them when he had time.
The blonde nearly jumped out of his skin. He wasn't supposed to be meeting anyone here. His eyes scanned the crowd till he finally saw a head of flaming red hair. Before he could properly react he felt Jack's arms around his shoulders in a quick embrace. Ralph felt his body go stiff. Why was he here?
"I'm sorry," he said finally and looked into Ralph's eyes. "I'm sorry I ever scared you or did those things to you. I didn't know how to deal with myself but now that I'm older I know that's no excuse. I want to work to make it up to you. I want to earn your trust and get to know you. I'll do whatever it takes for you not to be scared of me and even if you never love me—" he stopped for a moment, "That's okay because I still want to try," he said softly.
Ralph stared at him as he spoke. This was hard for him to say. "…Why didn't you just write that?" he said. That would have been easier for Jack. You didn't have to lose your composure in front of someone if it was on paper.
"Because you deserved to hear it. I wanted to try and be the bigger man," Jack said with a small smile.
They both stood there for a moment staring at each other not knowing what to do. Before Jack could say anything more he felt Ralph's arms around his shoulders. This hug was nothing like his, for Ralph's hold was gentle and understanding, not greedy or needy. Jack relaxed as he hugged him back. "Thank you for coming to see me," Ralph said in his ear as they continued to hug. This time maybe they could start something wonderful.