Lori was country and western all the way. She only listened to country music where as I listened to just about anything. Her favorite group was "Alabama". Sometimes I wonder if that didn't play a role in her and my relationship. While I listened to all music, I mostly focused on pop music and rock. She couldn't stand anything outside of country music.
So why press it with Sevina? She might not have wanted to be seen with a cowboy so I never led on that I had any cowboy in me.
She drove us to where we would end up taking an air-boat from the mainland to the Island of Capri. Her Uncle's place. Sevina shared a place with the two girls she was with at the softball game. She told me she had already cleared it with her Uncle that I would be staying there with her that weekend, but there was just one small catch. When I asked her what it was, she just smiled and replied, "You'll see when we get there."
My curiosity was working in overdrive.
It didn't take long to realize what she was referring to as when we approached the front door to the home, it opened from inside and we were greeted by her Uncle. My heart sunk. "Hello again seaman apprentice Carroll Bryant."
I stood frozen in my tracks. I turned my head towards her. This is your Uncle? She nodded and half heartily shrugged her shoulders. She walked up to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek then entered while stood there and extended my hand to once again, shake with the man. "Hello, Master Chief Anderson."
"Please, call me Robert."
Now I know why she was rooting for the other team.
"I hope this isn't going to be awkward for you." He said to me.
"I was just thinking the same thing." I responded.
"Well, don't worry, I am heading out early tomorrow morning. You two will have the place to yourselves for the rest of the weekend. Come in."
I'm not going to lie, I was a little uncomfortable at first, but Robert made me feel right at home. He even gave me a tour of the place. It was pretty sweet. he also led me to the guest room where I would be staying. My first thought, which I dared not share with anyone, was: Sevina and I would not be sleeping together?
Like I stated, I kept that to myself.
"Hey," he would later suggest, "how about we all get cleaned up and go out to dinner tonight? I know a great place to eat. My treat."
Sounded good to us.
The dinner conversation was light and relaxing. Pasta and wine, you can't get it better than that. "So," Robert began, "what do you think of Capri so far?"
"It's beautiful." I confessed.
"Do you know how to operate a boat?" He asked me.
"My father owns one." I explained. "Nothing big or fancy. I've operated it before, but only on lakes."
"Well, Sevina here grew up on them." He then turned to her. "You're planning on taking him out on the boat, right?"
She smiled. "He should be okay. He's a sailor."
He returned his sights back upon me. "So tell me, Carroll, what do your parents do back in the states?"
"My father owns a couple of auto parts stores and my mother co-owns a restaurant and bar with her best friend."
"Is this why you went into supply?"
"Actually," I went to tell the story, "I enlisted into the Army Reserves after high school. After basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, I stayed on there for a couple more months to become a mechanic. A Light Wheel Vehicle Power Generator Operator. I returned back to Ohio and was assigned to a Reserve unit in Columbus, even though we had a Reserve unit in Chillicothe, my hometown. The unit I was assigned to was supply. They only had one vehicle, a pickup truck, so it didn't take much to maintain it. I had a lot of spare time on my hands during my weekend warrior days, so they gave me a desk and had me do other things. Mostly paperwork. After a few months or so, I got reassigned to the Reserve unit in Chillicothe. I worked in the garage finally. But I did miss working in supply. After our two week active service deployment at Fort Bragg, I stopped in to talk with my mother at her restaurant where I met the local Navy recruiter. I expressed my interest in going into supply, but the Army wouldn't transfer me into that job until after my initial enlistment was over, which was six years, because my current training was to be a mechanic. The Navy recruiter told me there was a way around it, but it required me to transfer from the Army Reserves and into the active Navy."
"And here you are." He surmised.
"Yes, however, it wasn't that easy. I had to first put in the request at my command and have all the powers that be sign off on it. That took about six weeks. During that time, I almost reconsidered. You see, I was going to have to go through Navy boot camp. After having gone through that in the Army less than a year earlier, I wasn't too fond of the idea of going through it again. It almost became a deal breaker for me. My recruiter finally convinced me by saying that it wouldn't be that bad. That Navy basic was more mental than physical and due to the fact that I would be considered 'prior service', I would probably be treated a little different than new recruits. He was right. After Great Lakes, I was flown to Meridian, Mississippi to NTTC."
"Oh yes, the Naval Techinal Training Center." He was familiar with it.
"Now here I am." I finalized.
Robert disagreed. "That's not entirely accurate."
I did a double take. "Come again?"
"The reason you are here now is because after Sevina told me of her interest in you, I contacted Burke. He assured me that you were an upstanding young man. That's why you're here now."
I should have known. I took it somberly. "I understand. You're just looking out for your niece."
"It's nice to see we're on the same page." Then, he wrapped it up. "Well, I'm heading back to the house to turn in. Perhaps I'll see you again later, Carroll?" He stood up and motioned to shake my hand again. "You two enjoy yourselves this weekend."
"Thanks. I'm sure we will."
Shortly after his departure, Sevina made a great suggestion. "Let's get out of here."
We ended up walking hand in hand up and down some streets. Pretty much, all we did was talk and admire the scenery. "I'm sorry about that." She apologized. "My Uncle is a little protective."
"No worries." I assured her. I would have done the same thing. "Where's your parents anyway?"
"My father is stationed state side, in California."
"Oh yes, the life of the military. Have you ever been to the states before?" I went on to ask her.
"A few times. When I was younger. But I was born here in Italy. It will always be my home."
"Well," I told her. "A beautiful home it is too."
It was a very romantic evening if I do say so myself. This includes the fact that we still hadn't even kissed yet. But that didn't bother me. Much. She was a good girl, or so, that's how I wrote her off as and that was just fine by me. I just enjoyed being with her.
The next morning, Robert was long gone when we awoke and we wasted little time in going down to the docks and taking his boat out to sea. He was right, she could handle that boat well, like a pro. We had a lot of fun. She even allowed me to take control at one point. It was great. Soaring across the open water like that and her, wrapping her arms around me in the process. There was just this exuberant feeling traveling through me the whole time I was with her. When we returned, we went to another lovely place to get something to eat. We never had a dull moment of conversation between us. She talked about her childhood as did I. Man, it was pure delight.
It wasn't until after dinner, and once again, we found ourselves walking the very empty, and surprisingly, quiet streets at night did I discover her adventurous side. It happened as we started to pass a motel. It was going on right about midnight or so. She stopped in front of the motel gate that led to the pool. She began to look around. "What?" I asked. "What are you looking for?"
She hushed me silently. "Want to do something crazy?"
I started to grin uncontrollably. "Um, okay. I guess so. What do you have in mind?"
She began to open the latch from the gate. "Skinny dipping. Follow me."
Wait! Did she just say .....? Yeah, she did, she said skinny dipping. So I followed her into the pool area where she began taking off her dress. She placed it on one of the hotel chairs next to a table. Then she undid her bra. "Well, what are you waiting for? You going to join me?"
I began to take my clothes off too. Before I knew it, she was standing at the edge of the pool completely naked and slowly lowered herself into the water. "This is crazy." I whispered, now standing up naked myself and slipping in behind her.
Finally, we found ourselves at the edge, my back to the wall and my elbows propped up on the concrete, holding me above water level. She swam over to me and locked her arms around my neck. We stared into each others eyes. Both of us smiling. Finally, she leaned in and kissed me. When we broke off, she shared her sentiments. "Thank you, Carroll."
I was slightly confused. "Thank me for what?"
"For waiting until I was ready to kiss you. You're really a gentleman."
I took one of my arms and draped it around her, pulling her closer. "It wasn't easy." I confessed. "But well worth it." This is when I studied her more closely. There was something gnawing at me and damn it, I just had to know. "Why?" I blurted.
"Why what?" She countered. "What do you mean?"
"Why me?" I emphasized. "Of all the guys that day during the softball game, why did you approach me? Why not Torok?"
"The guy playing third base." I narrowed it down for her.
She thought back. "Oh yeah, I remember him. He's cute. Very handsome and solid muscles." She stated.
"So why not approach him? Why did you choose me?" I continued to push the issue. Inquiring minds needed to know.
She just kept smiling as we were practically nose to nose in the water. "A girl looks at a man and sometimes, what she sees is what she gets. There's no mystery about him. No charisma."
"Charisma?" I quickly countered. "You're saying that I have charisma?"
"Yes." She tallied. "You have lots of charisma. I knew when I saw you, they way you carried yourself, that there was more to you than meets the eye. A mystery that I wanted to solve. Yes, your friend, Torok, is good looking, but so are you, but you have an aura about you that glows. That glow has a romantic appeal. I didn't see him as being much of a gentleman. He didn't seem to have any depth to him."
"And you like depth in a man?"
"Most girls do." She said, then added. "Most girls also like blue eyes. Yours are the bluest I have ever seen."
I had an impulse and acted on it. I kissed her suddenly and as passionately as I could. When we came out of it, she reaffirmed. "Charisma."
The night, and the rest of my stay with her, was nothing short of pure bliss. It was the first time I ever made love in a pool.
The next evening found us at the liberty docks. It should have been a sad moment, but it wasn't. Our encounter was far from being over. Well, almost far. "I guess I better grab the next liberty boat." I presumed, holding her close to me and pecking kisses on her nose and forehead. "We're pulling out tomorrow for Greece for a few days, but we'll return next week, if you want to get together again."
"How long will you be in port for?"
"About ten days to two weeks, I think." I told her.
"Can't you get some kind of leave for that time? Then we could spend all the days and nights together without having to keep ending our time here, at the dock."
"I'll see what I can do, but I don't know if they'll let me."
She hung her head slightly. "It was just a thought."
I lifted that head up and smiled. "I'll see what I can do, okay?"
"Okay." She whispered in response. One more kiss and I grabbed my bag and headed to the liberty boat. Heading to the ship, I took a look back at her. She was waving at me. I waved back. Oh yes, I was going to see what I could do.