The Accident Ch. 06bycurious2c©
Well, to bring you up to where I am in my story, my wife was involved in a car accident and I found out that she had been cheating on me. We tried to work things out, but just when I thought we were going to be all right, I found out that we weren't.
We were making love one night and it had been a beautiful and loving thing, until at one point I began to move faster and faster as I lay on top of Sue. Finally, after her almost yelling at me I came to...and discovered that I had been fucking her so hard I had hurt her...enough to cause her to bleed. I realized that I had some real anger deep inside and came to the conclusion that it wouldn't be healthy for either of us to stay married.
I had dated a young lady while separated from Sue, and we had become an item. I had broken off with her once I had decided to try to fix things with my wife. I had hurt Nancy quite a bit without meaning to. Now, while there was a bit of 'lost' between us, we were readying to date again. My divorce final, I needed and wanted to move on.
While I had hated giving up on Sue and I, our joint conclusion was that we were both better off divorced. We still saw each other as friends, so we talked quite often, but there was no love making between us anymore. Deep inside I still wanted her, but I knew that couldn't be due to my anger that I seemed to not be able to get rid of.
While getting divorced I had thrown myself into my job and work. My boss had gotten worried that I was going to burn out so he had finally insisted that I take a much-needed vacation. The days set, I decided to go somewhere far away and just try to find myself. On a date with Nancy, whom I had begun to see again, I thought that maybe I could offer to take her along with me and we could go to some far off place and see what happened between us.
I asked her, and the result was not what I had expected. She refused.
"You need to decide what you want in life, and where you want to be John. I'd love to go with you, but if I were to be with you, you would not be able to figure out what it is you want, or where you want and need to be."
"We wouldn't have to do anything...you know...sexual, Nancy. I'd just really like to have you with me."
"John, you know as well as I do that if I came with you we would be having sex constantly. While that would be fun, I don't want you to get confused with what it is you want in life. I don't want to be hurt again, and I know you don't want to hurt me either. It would be best if you took your three week vacation and went somewhere by yourself."
"You think I'm not over Sue then is that it?"
"That is obvious to everyone but you I guess, John. You need to either get over her or get back with her. I can't play second fiddle when I love someone, and I can't imagine you know what you want deep down inside."
It was a hard and long conversation that finally convinced me to go far away by myself for those three weeks. I didn't know what I was looking for, and I didn't know what answers I'd find either, but I knew that I had to do something.
When I told Sue I was heading off on a well-earned vacation she seemed to be quiet and a bit pensive. I missed something at one point in our talk and found myself wondering what it was that was bothering her.
"You seem...upset that I'm taking a vacation Sue. What's wrong?"
"Oh...nothing. I guess I am just...well...worried about you John. I still...love you, whether you believe me or not, and I'm just worried about you."
"Well, this vacation is to help me figure out what I want and what I need Sue. I still have feelings for you too. I also have feelings for Nancy and..."
"Oh, you're still seeing her?"
"Well...yeah, being as we are both divorced now and all, I figured that I could date others. Is there a problem?"
"No...not at all."
Sue had spoken too fast. I realized my dating Nancy bothered her more than she let on. Deep inside I felt ashamed to have even mentioned it to Sue. Was I still trying to hurt her?
"I'm sorry Sue. I don't mean to hurt you but it seems that is all I do lately. I guess...well...the way things turned out wasn't exactly what I imagined when we got married. I need to figure lots of things out for myself first."
"Well, I'm the one that messed up things between us John. I can't blame you for doing what you're doing with other women and all..."
"Not women Sue, just Nancy."
"Don't you see? That's what is bothering me. It's just Nancy. There are no other women in your life other than her and I. I used to be the only woman in your life, and since I screwed that up..."
I was stunned. Considering how things had happened between us and who had started the cheating, I was just stunned that Sue would be jealous of Nancy. I could see that the thought of Nancy and I together irritated her far more than she let on.
"No...I'm not...okay...maybe a little. Can't you see why though John? I had you. You were my husband and I love you with all my heart...and now...after I messed things up so much, which didn't show my love at all either...I..."
"Then you know some of how I feel Sue. Knowing that you were led on and drugged doesn't even help me. You did what you did and even though I forgive you on the surface, we both found out that deep inside I have...issues. I'm going on vacation to try to get my head on straight. Not sure what I'll find either, but I have to do it."
Nothing settled in my life and having not had sex in what seemed like months, I was frustrated. I left town and flew to Seattle, then up to Ketchikan, Alaska. I had made arrangements to stay at a lodge way out away from everyone and everything. I planned on doing some fishing, maybe some diving, and just hang out and relax in general.
All I really thought about on my flight up to Alaska was my life and how alone I was now. I knew I was one of those guys that needed a companion, and the closeness of a woman. I thought of Sue and I, and still found myself asking why? Had there been something I could have done to prevent what had happened?
Landing in Ketchikan, I found quite different. The 737-400 slid in onto the runway at a pretty steep angle and once down on the runway the pressure on the seatbelt let me know that they are worn for a reason. I found the airport there to be quite modern. Looking across the 'narrows' I could see the community of Ketchikan spreading along the shores of that impossible to pronounce "Revillagigedo Island".
Taking the airport ferry across to town I was met by a cab. I told the driver to take me to a mall or large store, he just nodded as he punched the meter up.
"I can take you to Wally's world or to the mall in town. What do you need?"
"Wally's world? What's that?"
"Oh...Wall Mart. We just got one here. I don't really care for it myself, but it seems to be busy there most of the time."
"Uh...how about the mall then?"
"Cool. It's about two miles there. Shouldn't take long. If you have particular things you need, just holler and I'll point you in the right direction."
"Well, I'm needing some rain gear I'm told, and some odds and ends."
"Oh...well you'd be better off at Wally's world or maybe...Tongass. They have clothes and stuff. Tongass is downtown and bound to be busy with all the tourists in and all. Up to you."
"Tongass it is. Where's Taquan Airlines? I was told it's over here not at the airport."
"Taquan air? I'll point it out for you. Matter of fact, going to Tongass will be the best choice since it's only a short walk from there to Taquan."
He drove me into town and I was impressed with all the business I saw along the way. He pointed out several sites as we drove and then he showed me a building that stood up above the water a ways, but right on the water.
"That's Taquan air. Their floatplanes are right behind the building and down on the floats there. You'll see some of their planes...Beavers and Otters, just as we drive by. What time's your flight?"
"Uh...four o'clock I think."
"You'll have lots of time. You'll find it is a bit more expensive to buy things here than anywhere else in the real world, but Tongass is trying hard to be of good service for all of us. It's harder now that the pulp mill is gone and all, losing those jobs, but we are hanging on. Tourist season...that's where most the jobs are now. Part time, summer only mostly. Makes it hard to live at times. Here you are...Tongass Sporting Goods."
Paying the talkative cab driver and giving him a nice tip too, I walked into the store. It was like a general merchandise store on two levels. Small, but full of all kinds of things. I wandered around, trying to stay away from the crowds of tourists.
Finding what I needed I paid for my things and with the help of the clerk who pointed the general direction I needed to go, I started out for Taquan Air. The walk there took me right along the edge of the docks. Some of the buildings were high on stilts, even with the road out front, but way off the water below. Pilings covered with barnacles and moss rose up to meet wood decking and asphalt. At one point I realized that the main street...Tongass Avenue...was built on pilings and over the water too.
I walked past a small harbor full of boats of all descriptions, tugs, fishing vessels, pleasure craft and even a yacht or two. I came up to a sign proudly proclaiming this to be "City Float". Arriving at Taquan Air I found out that I could go out a bit earlier if I so wanted, as I was the only person flying out to Prince of Wales...well, out to the resort that was on Prince of Wales Island.
Loading up my gear on a cart, I made a call out to the lodge where I was staying and let them know I was on the way. They were pleasant and friendly, letting me know that the water was flat calm and glass smooth. That helped to settle my fears a bit as I was not quite sure about flying on a plane that was set on floats. It just seemed wrong for some reason to land a plane on water intentionally.
I met the pilot who was quite professional yet friendly.
"We'll load you up in the turbo-beaver and be on the way shortly. You'll be my only passenger, so if I talk to much just let me know."
"Oh, this aircraft is called a 'Beaver' and it's been modified to a turbine engine. Originally made in World War Two, still flying today. It's a good plane, no doubt about it. A little noisy, but safe."
Airborne, I soon learned what the pilot meant by a little noisy. Even with the headphones on I could hear the wind and noise from the engine as it roared along. I saw a little bag of rocks at his feet in front of his seat.
Seeing me looking he smiled and then yelled out...
"Flight navigation aids. When the water is real smooth, like it will be out at the lodge you're heading to, we have to drop one from the plane in order to cause ripples. It's the only way we can judge the distance to the water as we land. Gives a better reference point."
I must have looked scared or just confused as his smile got wider.
"Not to worry. I've flown a lot of hours in this plane. I've not wrecked one yet. You'll see what I mean when we get over the lodge. That water is glass smooth today. Hard to judge distance to water surface from up here when it's too smooth. You'll see."
Rocks as navigation landing aids...in today's world. I was amused and curious at the same time. We had come so far yet still needed basic things to survive. It amazed me. Suddenly, I realized that I hadn't thought of Nancy at all for the last few hours. All caught up in the sights and sounds of where I was, I had forgotten why I was here to begin with. I found myself wanting to point things out to Sue...something I guess was a holdover from having been married so long.
Landing at the lodge, the pilot did indeed circle around to drop a rock out of the door of the plane. He hadn't been kidding either. The water was so smooth it was hard for me to tell how much above it we were, even after he had dropped the 'navigation landing aid'. The landing went quite well and as we taxied in I fell in love with the place.
At the dock the pilot jumped out and caught the rope hanging from the wing and guided the plane in close. As the float on that side bumped against the dock I actually turned to find Sue and tell her about my feelings at that moment. Her not being there gave me a hollow feeling.
Climbing out of the plane I was greeted by a young lady and two young men. Introducing themselves as they gathered up my gear and headed up the ramp to the lodge.
"Hi. I'm Joan, and this is Greg and Sam. We'll get your gear to your room, just follow me."
"Okay. Uh...are there many others here?"
"You're it today. We have some more people scheduled in next Monday, but you will have the advantage of this first week alone. I'll be your guide, and Sam or Greg will be taking care of the gen-sets, and stuff. Your first time up here in Alaska?"
"Yeah. Well, actually, I was here once a long time ago. Up around Anchorage then. Only for a few days, and I was working most of the time. I did get to see Denali...Mt, McKinley. Amazing mountain."
"Well, we don't have Denali down here, but we have some pretty beautiful places at any rate. Get a lot of rain here. Lots of rain."
"I've heard. Around 140 inches or so?"
"Yeah, well we've had more some years and less others, but we average probably 150 inches at least. You get used to it that's for sure. Either you get used to the rain or it chases you out."
I was walking along talking to this teenaged lady as I took in the beauty of the place I was to call home for the next three weeks. The water, the trees, even the air seemed different here. Off in the distance I saw an eagle flying to the water, obviously fishing for food.
"Here's your room. Bathroom is right there, and the heat comes from the fireplace on that wall there. We have dinner around six-thirty in the evening, and breakfast at about seven. If you want you can come up to the main lodge and check in right now. We have some informational brochures that will line you out on how everything works here."
The 'lodge' was a huge building, made from logs, with a large front porch. As I walked inside I saw the massive fireplace on one wall, with easy chairs out and around from it. A coffee table was in the middle of the chairs, with the brochures and other items of local interest spread out.
As I was reading through the different things a voice came from behind me. I thought at first it was Joan. When I turned my eyes found a very beautiful lady about my age. What caught me off guard was that she looked enough like Sue to have been a twin. I had a difficult time for a moment.
"I'm sorry, I didn't hear what you said."
"Oh. Welcome to the lodge. Your flight...it was okay?"
"Yeah, the flight was great. Quite a great start to my vacation."
"I'm Cheryl, the owner. I've been hoping that you'd make it out today. Sometimes the weather...well...it can be difficult to get in and out around here at times."
"You and your husband own this then?"
"Just me. Well, me and my two sons and daughter. You've met them already I think. My husband...he's been gone for quite some time. He had a run in with a bad reef while out fishing a number of years ago. Went down with the boat. He made sure that the crew was out safe first though. We already had the land here, and after some time I decided to go ahead and build the lodge. You will be among my first guests here. I hope you like it."
"Well, if today is any indication of things to come, I'll love it I'm sure. It is so beautiful here. So, Joan is your daughter? And Sam and Greg your sons?"
"Yes. They've been a lot of help to me. I know that they are quite young yet, but around here, well...kids grow up fast nowadays. I'll be cooking dinner tonight, and I think that Joan will be cooking tomorrow's breakfast. At least, that is the plan now."
"May I say you don't look old enough to have three teen-aged kids. You're quite beautiful too."
Blushing, she smiled.
"Thank you. They are good kids that's for sure. Don't know what I would have done without them. As for the beautiful thing...thank you for that too. I hardly hear that anymore. Anyway...dinner will be early tonight, around six or so. It will be just you and us. I mean...you and me and the three kids. Later, when things are picking up, the kids will eat elsewhere."
"I wouldn't mind having them eat with us. I mean, I can't speak for the other guests, but I kind of like hearing them. They grew up here, so I suppose Greg or Sam will be able to point me in a good direction to fish or dive or something right?"
"Oh yeah. Sam is a diver, and Greg loves to fish, but...well, Joan is probably the best fisher here. She's real good at it. I'd want her to show me where to fish myself."
"Well...I guess I'd better get ready to bribe the experts then."
"You'll do just fine I'm sure."
I went to my room thinking about Cheryl and her kids. What a way to have to get started in business. I wondered about her husband too. He must have been quite a man to have a smart and beautiful woman like Cheryl as his wife. At that moment I realized that I was looking at Cheryl as something more than just a lodge owner. I made up my mind to not fall in love or lust while here. I hoped that I would be able to work things out in my head.
I sat in my room and thought over the past months of my life. I had so many changes in it so far, yet I still felt just like I had before all the darkness had come. I wondered how Sue was doing...almost wishing she were here with me.
After a while Joan came and knocked on my door.
"Hey, supper's ready, if you're interested. Mom made up a nice roast and there's some potatoes and stuff too."
"I'll be right there. I need to wash my face and hands...freshen up a bit."
"I'd say you don't need much freshening up. Anyway, we'll wait for you."
"In that case, I'll hurry. Don't want to keep your two brothers waiting too long."
"Yeah? Well it wouldn't hurt them to miss a meal or two. They're getting a bit fat."
As I walked into the main lodge I saw the table set up with plates and food. It all looked delicious and I couldn't wait to eat. I hadn't realized how hungry I was until that moment. As we ate I found out more about this little family. I also found my interest in Cheryl growing.
The laughter and banter that went on at the table relaxed me. I hadn't been so comfortable with almost total strangers ever before in my life. Cheryl and her kids seemed to bring out things in me I never knew existed. I found myself wondering about Cheryl more and more. Just what I had promised myself I wouldn't do.
I went to bed that night thinking about a lot of things, and my thoughts centered mostly on Sue. I was feeling lost and a bit alone, even with the good company Cheryl and her kids had been. I wasn't sure, but I thought that Cheryl had seen something in my eyes that gave away my thoughts.
The next morning began my adventuring. Joan made a great breakfast, and then we went out in a skiff fishing. She was quiet out on the water, and mostly just guided me on how much line to let out, and the little things I didn't know about fishing in salt water.
I managed to catch a nice halibut, after several rock cod and what Joan called a 'brown bomber'. The brown bomber was an ugly little fish, with spines sticking out of its back. Throwing it back, we kept the rock cod and the halibut.
Back at the lodge, Cheryl assisted me in cleaning my catch as Joan put the skiff and gear away. The halibut was frozen in a chest freezer and I insisted that the rock cod be used for supper. Joan and Cheryl both told me that my catch didn't need to be used for supper, but I wanted to have a taste of my first fish caught in Alaska.
That night, after supper, Cheryl and I had a long talk. I talked more than I should have and my whole story spilled out. I wasn't sure why I was so trusting of Cheryl or why I decided to tell such a personal history to an almost total stranger, but she had a way of asking one question that would lead to another, until my whole recent life was bared to her.