After this incident, I always lock doors now
Photo courtesy of LJSphotography on depositphotos.com
When I turned 24, I scored a performing contract on a huge cruise line. I remember how excited I got to meet some new people. Typically awkward and a little shy, I wanted to branch out, have a little romance.
A few days after some magical training, I woke at 3 A.M. to be sniffed by drug dogs. When I entered the ship, a muscle-bound grease monkey told me, ?welcome to hell.?
He crushed my dreams for the job, and I soon learned my romantic ideals were a pipe dream, too. Instead of having healthy relationships, everyone had a lot of sex.
Accents are my weakness
I met Michael, an adorable British geek with glasses as thick as mine a few weeks into my contract. He?d been assigned as my sound guy and instructed to follow me around and do sound cues for my shows. With it being he and I for hours on end, you can imagine, we got close, fast.
That?s how people worked on our ship. Most of them moved from ship to ship or had their contracts terminated on a whim, so they adopted a ?fuck it? attitude. The crew used sex as a way to cope with 13-hour days and almost cruel conditions for anyone not performing.
Michael dropped his first hint the night he found me pounding back $2 Rum and Cokes at the tiny crew bar.
?Wanna get out of here?? he asked.
He meant to his room, but I shook my head.
?I don?t move as fast as the rest of you,? I said.
So, since we ported at the Civitavecchia Port in Rome, Italy we hitched a hitched a bus out of port. That night, a walk by the Trevi Fountain satisfied him, but the next two weeks, he kept asking.
Michael was a cute man on a typical day. After three months with no sex, though, I couldn?t resist him and his damned accent anymore.
?I changed my mind,? I told him one night in the mess hall over a bowl of pitiful lime Jell-O. ?Should we go to your cabin, then??
A bad plan
?We can?t,? he said. ?Sven?s girlfriend is visiting. He claimed the room for a few weeks. I?ve been bunking with Matt.?
?It?s cool,? I replied, ?we can go to mine. Awful Margaret is still in the Sick Bay.?
My roommate, Margaret, sucked. On day one, when I tried to shake her hand, she glanced at me with a crinkled nose like she smelled something foul.
?Just don?t talk to me, and we?ll be fine,? she said.
From then on, she continued to act in ways that earned her the title: ?Awful Margaret.?
About a week back, she fell off the top bunk in the middle of the night. I?d heard a yelp and a crash at around 5 A.M. Thankfully, she didn?t get too hurt. ?Ole Marge only earned herself a few days in the sickbay. I sent her some chocolates from the crew store as a thank you and enjoyed the alone time. With her still gone, Michael and I could do what we wanted.
I began to write down the directions through the crew halls to my room.
?You?ll have to sneak in pretty late tonight,? I said.
?I know what to do.?
If caught sneaking around after hours, we could lose our jobs, but we didn?t care. We left the cafeteria in separate directions, planning to meet at midnight.
The cave troll returns
Michael knocked on my cabin door at 11:50 P.M. I?d been watching the clock, lying naked in wait.
?Are you in there, Evie??
?Open the door; I left it unlocked,? I hissed.
Michael slipped inside, climbed the ladder, and we kissed, giggling. Disaster struck only a few moments after his clothes hit the floor.
First, we heard steps coming from the hall that continued to grow louder. I placed a hand over my mouth and cringed, imagining we?d been a little noisy, and someone noticed.
?Oops,? he whispered, but then his eyes widened.
I flattened myself to the mattress. We both noticed a sound: the unmistakable scratch of a doorknob turning. I reached out and drew the curtain.
?You said we?d be alone,? breathed Michael, his voice thin from panic.
I flailed my arms, praying to God he got my message: ?please, shut the fuck up!?
That?s when the door opened, Margaret shuffled in, and all the lights came on.
I?m embellishing my story a bit, but I compare the moment to the raptor hunting scene from Jurassic Park. The drama didn?t last long. Though the curtain concealed our sin, breathing and muttering carried well.
?You know I can hear you, right?? Margaret sighed from beyond the veil. She whispered to herself and turned off the lights before getting into her bunk.
Did I hallucinate or something?
Mortified, Michael and I lay stiff on the thin mattress in each other?s arms. With the mood killed, we ended up falling asleep bickering about whether I should boot him or not.
The next day, Margaret left the room early. Later, during rehearsal for a show, I found her backstage.
?So, about last night,? I started.
She walked off before I could finish.
Michael also pretended I didn?t exist. We still had to work together, but he refused to look me in the eye, and soon transferred to another ship. I still have no idea why. The entire situation left me gob-smacked.
Why I Always Lock Doors Now
For the rest of my contract, I didn?t sleep with anyone, and I locked my cabin door tight. Even now, in my own home or someone else?s, I seal off the room, whether I?m having sex or not. Who knows who might try to come in, and what embarrassing thing I may be doing
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