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If Only Love Were Fair

The Beginning of My Life

The Beginning of My Life

We passed a couple doors until he stopped at one. He opened it and took me inside. The room was a little bigger than the one I was in before. A narrow closet was in the far side of the room. There was a little table that would probably hold a plate of food. An empty hook was attached to the wall. There was just one problem...one bed. I looked at him as he walked over to the bed and sat down.

"Listen..." He spoke softly. "I'm not a customer. Just because we're rooming together doesn't mean we're..."

"Customer? What are you talking..." I looked down at my clothes. He thinks I'm a prostitute. "Oh! I'm not a prostitute!"

He tensed up when I said that. "Dressed like that?"

I sighed. "I work at a bar. Or...I used to. My boss had me dress like this to attract customers."

"Don't you have any self esteem?"

I looked at him, confused. "I...um..." I really didn't know what to say. Poor woman in Winchester were just property to men, at least, that's what I thought.

He shook his head. "Forget it. You need to eat. I'll take you to the kitchen." He grabbed my hand and pulled me away from his room.

I soon found myself looking at a tiny version of my bar. There was a bar table with stools, and behind it had to be the kitchen. He sat me down on one of the chairs and went behind the bar.

"What do you want?"

"What?"

He tilted his head. "Are you serious?"

"Uh..." I tucked my hair behind my ear.

"What food do you want?"

"I don't have any money..."

"You're part of the crew now. You don't pay. Not unless you help out in some way."

"Well i'm pretty good at serving food or drinks..."

"Alright. When someone wants something, you give it to them after I make it. It shouldn't be too hard for you, should it?" He raised an eyebrow.

I could tell he was making fun of me. "I may be worthless, but I know more than you think."

His expression softened a bit. He seemed uncomfortable. "Why would you call yourself that?"

"What? Worthless?" I looked down. "Aren't I?"

He shook his head. "What makes you say that?"

I tilted my head. "I'm a woman."

All of the others then came in and filled the rest of the seats. The captain sat beside me and touched my waist. I squirmed.

"Could you please not touch me?" I asked softly.

"What do you mean? Are you just shy?" He winked.

"She's not a prostitute." Nathan said, getting occupied in cooking.

I put my head on the bar table, feeling irritated. Someone patted my back. I jumped. "Ow..."

"Does your back still hurt?" Nathan asked, still occupied.

"Yeah...everything does." I rubbed my leg slightly. It was a little purple.

"Maybe you should lay down and rest. Nate can bring you the food." Christopher took my hand and led me back to Nate's room.

He let me lay down on the bed and covered me with the blue blanket. I was very confused. This seemed so different.

"Why are you being nice to me?" I whispered.

"Why wouldn't I be?" He knelled down in front of me.

"I'm a woman. I'm supposed to be treated like property, aren't I?"

"Where did you get that idea?"

"Isn't that how life works for a woman?"

He felt my forehead and smiled. "Not on this ship."

I looked into his eyes. He wasn't lying. Here...I meant something, for the first time in my life. "Thank you."

"Get some sleep, OK? I know you woke up only a little bit ago but you need to rest your body. You have bruises everywhere. Walking around will make it worse. The food should be done in an hour. Nathan will wake you when it's done."

I nodded as he left. I loved it here. I was treated fairly and was even closer to my love...the ocean. The only problem was that my body was hurt. This would take a lot of healing.

...

"Wake up."

I opened my eyes to see food on the little table in front of me. It was an omelet with bacon on the side. I sat up and thanked him.

"Just eat it all. Don't waste any of it." He then left.

I picked up the plate and put it on my lap. I never had such a serving before. The food looked so delicious. I picked up the sliver of bacon and took a bite. My thoughts couldn't express how amazing this tasted. I finished the rest very quickly, smiling at how I was full. I put the empty plate on the tiny table and looked around the room. There weren't any pictures in the room. Just a few knickknacks here and there. I laid myself back down on the pillow and closed my eyes. This place was different. The difference was...i was accepted. I've never been accepted before...

A couple hours went by and I realized I had fell asleep. My body had felt a tad better, but everything was still the same color as before. I heard a knock at the door.

"Yes?" I tried not to sound too tired.

Christopher came in. "Nathan says he needs you in the kitchen. It looks like your shift starts now." He smiled gently and helped me sit up. "I brought you some water."

I took the glass. "Thank you, Christopher." I sipped a little and rubbed my shoulder, which was bruised, too. He looked at my shoulder and frowned a little. "They'll heal soon."

I nodded and smiled shyly. "I know."

...

Christopher lead me to the kitchen, since I couldn't remember how to get there. Nathan acknowledged my presence and pointed to a few dirty dishes in the sink. Christopher patted my back gently and left. I nodded to Nathan and walked over to the sink. I noticed a sponge and soaked it in water, then with soap. Scrubbing the dish, I glanced at Nathan. He was organizing food in the food storage that I just noticed. I didn't like the silence...

"Um..." I spoke softly.

"What?"

Think of something to talk about. "What is your favorite dish...?"

It took him a while to answer. "I don't really have one."

"Oh." Oh.

It was silent again for a while.

"What about you?" I heard him say.

"Oh...uh...I guess I would say pancakes. I haven't really had any in a long time."

He remained silent.

I sighed and continued scrubbing. I finished in about twenty minutes and placed each wet dish to the side. Nathan came up behind me and smirked just a tiny bit out of the corner of my eye. I didn't turn around, I just looked to the side and stared at the floor.

"You missed one."

"Hm?" I looked to where he was looking and cursed myself for not checking the counters. Quickly, I grabbed the used knife.

"Don't hold it like that!"

I jumped when he shouted, and the pointy end pricked my finger and fell to the floor. I looked at my finger and mentally smacked myself. Stupid...

Nathan shook his head and grabbed a cloth that was clean. He wrapped it around my finger. I felt a blush creep up my cheeks.

"Thank you." I whispered.

He nodded with that same blank expression.

"Are you done with me?"

"Mhm..."

I nodded and left.

"Camellia!" The captain saw me exiting the kitchen.

"Yes?"

"We are going to celebrate."

I tilted my head. "Celebrate what?"

"Your arrival, of course!" He smirked.

"Celebrate...my arrival? Why?"

"Well you're part of the crew now, and the crew is family."

I blinked when I heard family. "Family...?"

He nodded and smiled big. "We'll have a party tonight. Lot's of beer!"

I smirked a little. These men would be drunk.

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