Author's Note: Before you start reading this story, I feel obligated to say that this story is about sailors. That should be all I need to say as far as objectionable content goes, but in case it's not, the story contains strong language, sexual situations, a hooker, and drug usage, although I assure you that it is absolutely nothing that teenagers don't see every day, especially in some parts of my homeland. I am rating it M anyway, just to be sure that this story doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Thank you for your time, and if you feel inclined, please review this.

Smells and the Salt of the Earth

By K. Maag

David was slightly worried when the boat creaked to start sailing. He knew that sailing on the Atlantic Ocean during the early autumn was particularly risky, but he didn't give two shits about that. Tens of thousands of men were dead underwater, and he didn't care. He loved the water. The calming sea breeze kept him from feeling like his own life wasn't worth his time. He was a gregarious man who loved to do dangerous things. The air tasted salty, and the boat started to shy away from the shore like a wallflower shies away from the dance floor when things start to get awkward. He wasn't worried about this. He was worried about Sadie.

During the hour that passed since the boat had left the shore, the ocean floor began to vanish from sight as the water got deeper. He thought nothing of this. All he could dwell upon was Sadie, the woman whose musky perfume had kept his attention longer than the sensual waves of the ocean ever could have done.

He had met Sadie in Liverpool after docking there three days ago on a windy and wet afternoon. He worked in the steel industry, and his job was to ship it around the world from Canada via the Dawson, the great bitch of a boat, and bring it where it was supposed to go. When he docked the boat, he took the steel to the company that was to sell it to a construction company to build another great skyscraper. After this, Captain Aaron Seefeldt, the man who was in charge of actually navigating the ship as well as the regional manager, told the men that they were free to go and do as they pleased. This was rare for Seefeldt, as he was a former officer in the Canadian Navy and tended to limit fun as much as humanely possible. Crucible Steel was a great company to work for, though. David decided to visit the shitty part of town.

David knew Liverpool comprehensibly enough to know that Everton was the worst part of town, so he went there to get wasted and maybe get lucky. He first entered a public water closet in a restaurant by the port. He looked in the mirror to see how the sea had disheveled him. His auburn hair was still perfectly curly and distressed. His heart-shaped face with a pointy chin and a thin nose was pale and wind burnt, and his dark green eyes flashed with a combination of excitement and exhaustion. A black cord with a knot in the back hugged his neck, and he was still wearing an olive sweater jacket, a white v-neck made nude with water, and torn, but moderately tight jeans. His brown leather shoes were almost destroyed. He popped his collar confidently, fixed it, and walked out of the water closet.

He didn't have a rental car, and he had lost his shipmates, so he decided to call for a cab. When he flagged one down, the driver's thick Scouse accent vocalized, "Where do you need to go, chap?"

"Wherever I can have some good, unclean fun."

"Oh?"

"I'm a sailor. Bitch."

"Oh. Well, let's go down Netherfield Road."

David knew that Netherfield Road was an area of Everton notorious for prostitutes and gang warfare. Prostitution was legal in the United Kingdom, and solicitation was not, but it was still a fact of life in that shithole. The cab strolled down the road as if time was a surplus and the world would last forever. As he sat in the cab, he wondered if the Beatles ever visited this part of town to get their inspiration. Their music sure indicated such sometimes.

When the cab driver had to stop for traffic, a young girl walked up to the cab and tapped on the tinted window. The driver opened it. The girl had flowing brown hair that waved like David's beloved ocean, or melted chocolate upon a naked body. David certainly pictured the latter. Her pale, round face was perfect in complexion, and she was wearing a cream-colored acrylic scarf. She had cold blue eyes, but these eyes were warm with a sort of wanting. David could only smell her and picture her pink lips saying things that weren't dirty, but sweet. "Sir, could you please let me in this cab?"
David quickly moved aside. "Sure thing, honey." He noticed that she was wearing a lipstick red trench coat and casually sexy black slingbacks. Her fairly white legs were toned. She smiled with flawless teeth and beautifully innocent dimples in her cheeks. He could feel his eyes forming hot stars.

After a minute or so of silence and mutual awe, she spoke with her Liverpool accent. "So, what is your name?"
"David. David Keeley."

"My name is Sadie. Just Sadie." She smiled… his heart burst. It wasn't pink, or red, for love or passion. It was yellow for optimism and blue for the way she reminded him of every bouncing passion he had in his ocean. She was a tempest.

"If I don't have your last name, I won't be able to call you when I leave Liverpool."

"I knew you weren't a local, but you're leaving so soon?"
"I work in the shipping industry."
"You must be a sailor. I love the smell of sailors in the morning…"
He chuckled. "So you'd like to have me around, then."
"You know it and I know it." Her tinkling giggle was enough to put mermaids to shame and mock the beauty of a shell that echoed the crash of the waves. "By the way, my last name is Barker. Sadie Barker."

He grinned with a certainty of his life and his feelings. "You seem too nice for this neighborhood."
"But I'm not." She shrugged with a certain knowing of how life sometimes went.

The cab stopped at a notorious clubbing area. The both of them got out. The clubs were loud and vibrant too. They welcomed the pair in such a way that screamed, Come on in. We won't hurt you. Only humiliate you… You'll love it here! We promise. David offered her his hand, and she took it, and let it go after precisely five seconds. "How much do you think I'm worth, David?"
"…What are you saying?"
"David, I'm a hooker. How much are you willing to, you know, pay? I like you, so I'll let you decide." She twisted her lovely scarf in anxiety, and her brown hair seemed to bounce in delight at David's newfound predicament.

David was shocked. He knew that Netherfield Road was a haunt for prostitutes, but she seemed… better than that. She seemed too beautiful to carry on a life of being bought and sold. At the same time, he would have killed to be her pimp.

He told her as sincerely as a doctor has to tell a mother that her son has died, "You are better than that. Putting a price on you would be like trying to sell something… priceless." He suddenly felt idiotic for saying priceless… how repetitive, and what a silly ass he was! She was going to ruin him yet.

She looked into his eyes in the partly cloudy late afternoon as if he was the only one who had ever said that to her. "Do you really think so, or are you saying that so you can get me for free?"
"If I were to be humbled in your presence as such, I would want you to truly want to be with me, rather than to be seeking an inevitably low payment for your precious service." He paced back and forth on the old street. "Why do you do this to yourself, anyway?"
"The economy sucks here. If you want a job, you have to be perfect, and well… I'm not." She seemed somewhat resigned.

"You know, I'd take you with me to Canada." His heartbeat was as fast as the bullet train in Japan.

She laughed. "I'd like that, but I don't want to trouble you like that." She took his hand. "For free?"
He smiled. "Of course, my beautiful." As they walked down the sidewalk, the rain began to fall onto the city like it always did. David pulled out his navy blue umbrella and covered her head with it. She was considerably shorter than he was, especially since she was wearing flats, so he just gave her the umbrella.

She handed it back to him, saying, "I don't want it. Rain is sexy."

"I love water in general, but I love your hair and I didn't know if you'd like it wet."
"I love it when my hair is wet."

"Well, I hope you like being wet." He knew that he was probably too forward, until what came next.

She smiled and gently pulled his head to hers and kissed him as he dropped the umbrella onto the throbbing ground. Their kisses got more and more passionate as she rubbed his arms with her delicate fingers and he hugged her head to his face with one arm and ran his fingers through that long and gorgeous hair with the other hand. The kisses eventually stopped when they were both sopping wet. David said with a smirk, "Now that I've kissed you in the rain, I definitely possess your heart."
"Oh goodness, how did you know that?"
"Any philanderer does."

She laughed. "What a pair we make. You're a Don Juan and I'm a prostitute." She allowed him to put his arm around her after he retrieved the umbrella and put it in the pocket of his sweater jacket.

"Where's your flat?" he asked.

"Down about ten blocks."
"I can walk you home."
"Yes, you can." They walked, and as they did so, they began to talk about their lives and discovered that they had quite a bit in common. Everything seemed right from the fact that both thought the Beatles were overrated to their situations as mostly lost people in a world of people who pretended to know what was going on. When they got to the flat at about 6 P.M., they were speaking of nature.

"Liverpool is a beautiful city at night, but when you go outside the city into the countryside, it's even lovelier. They say Ireland is the Emerald Isle, I say that's crap."

"Well, Canada is a very large country, as you may well know. I personally live in Newfoundland. It's a beautiful province, and quite rustic and aquatic, which I love, but in the winter, we all start to regret ever setting foot in it."

They kept talking like this for three hours, and it only seemed like three minutes to them. They knew each other like a nerd knows the material for the standardized test after this period of time. Or, so David thought.

"I'm horny," said David with the inflection of a whining puppy. After all, she was a prostitute… If she applied rules to him that differed from those she applied to her clients, she didn't love him at all. If she loved him, she would know that he wanted to be with her… right?

She laughed and took off her trench coat to reveal a soulful coral dress with teal, silver, and golden polka dots, a plunging v-neck, short flowing sleeves, a distinctive sheen, and an empire waistline. It flattered her perfectly modest curves. She removed her scarf and kicked off her shoes. Her toenails were painted pitchfork red, like she was the devil and he was the tempted. She slinked over to David and pulled off his sweater jacket to reveal the wet v-neck and his nice abdomen. She purred, "What a nice six pack."

He removed his belt. "Well, sailors exercise."

She gave him the melodious laugh he was looking for. She turned her back to face him and he untied the bow in the back of her dress. She pulled off her dress slowly before him and revealed that she was not wearing a bra. He was as turned on as he was ever going to be, despite the fact that he was a leg man. He had seen her legs. He knew that THEY were glorious.

He pulled off his shirt and dropped his pants. They removed each other's underpants and he passionately attacked her on the rough sofa.

"David, can we please move to the bed?"
"Yes Sadie… Sadie… OH DAMN YOU SADIE!"

They were moving her bed like a twister for nearly an hour when they finally climaxed into a state of bliss only reached by few people. David knew he had been fucked… literally and figuratively. Then he fell asleep. Sadie smiled and kissed his neck, and then she fell asleep as well.

The morning after, she snuck out of bed and made waffles. She had woken up at noon, which was rather late, but she didn't mind. She hummed an indie song as she poured strawberries and far too much Cool Whip onto his waffles, only his waffles. She was in love with David, but she was even more adventurous than he was, and she would never tell him so unless she had nothing to lose. Which she never did, except when she was broke and destitute, which was a while before she was ever a prostitute. When the waffles were on the table, she realized that she was still completely naked, and rushed to put on a thong and a nightie at the very least. Her hair was tousled, and David woke up to see her frantically putting on clothes. He laughed and realized that his clothes were still on the ship. He had forgotten about them. He called after her, "Well, my clothes are still on the ship, so I guess I won't be wearing any."

She laughed and came over to smell him. "I told you I love the smell of sailor in the morning. It's okay." He did smell like a sailor, only better. It was a combination of spice and cum. She loved it. Then she paused in his arms and said, "I made you breakfast. Come on."

They went to the kitchen and he noticed that his breakfast was considerably less healthful than hers was. "And WHY did you not get any sugar content, missy?"

"I can't be fat. I'm a hooker, remember?"
He kissed her cheek. "Darling, you don't look like you COULD gain a pound."

She laughed. "Oh yes I can."
"One strawberry?" He held it out as if he was going to pop it into her mouth, and she opened hers for him. He put it in there and his heart melted watching her chew it over as if it were foreign to her. "I love you," he blurted without thinking.

She looked at him with a coy smile on her face. "I don't believe you."

He was somewhat stung, but he let it go. "You will." He finished his breakfast soon after and he got up. "Well, I better get some clothes eventually…" He got up and heard a knock at the door.

An hour earlier, his shipmates sans Seefeldt were in their hotel room with their luggage, some coffee, old pizza, and David's luggage. They woke up relatively annoyed with David. Thomas Telluride, a lazy lardass who was rarely seen actually doing anything for Crucible Steel, commented, "Where is David? He needs to get this SHIT off our hands!" Telluride was second in command to Seefeldt, despite the fact that he didn't do jackshit.
"I don't know where the fuck he is, man!" replied Rob Bentley, a Jersey boy who expatriated to Canada when he decided that Jersey sucked. He cocked his greasy head. "He probably got laid by a whore last night."

"Wherever he is, he needs his stuff," commented Edgar Brereton, David's best friend who often worked side by side with him. Edgar was easily the most responsible man in his division of the company, but he was often overly naïve and kind. "We should find him and give it to him."
"WHAT THE FUCK BRERETON?" gasped Bentley in an appalled voice. "Let him rot for all we care! He doesn't take this company seriously at all!" David often thought that Bentley was jealous of his position in the company, but it was more likely that he was jealous of how happy David was in his line of work. Bentley was a drunken sleaze; David was a sleaze, but he wasn't drunk. Bentley dealt with his problems by drinking and screwing girls. David liked the pleasure of the company of a woman.

Telluride burped. "Bentley, you are such a hypocrite."

"Bull."

Seefeldt knocked on the door, and Edgar let him in. Seefeldt's perfect posture alerted them that he was actually going to make them do something. "Men, did Keeley ever report back?"

"No sir," Bentley was all too glad to divulge.

"Well, then, someone's gotta find him. Brereton and Telluride can do that. Bentley, you can stay back here and enjoy the view. All of you had better remember that we leave at 9:30 in the morning tomorrow. At ease." He walked out of the room. Who knew what the fuck he was up to.

Bentley smiled contently and cracked open a PBR. "Guess who's on break?"
"You, c*nt," replied Telluride. He was halfways glaring and halfways amused.

Edgar smiled weakly and said, "Well, we better get to the red light district." They got there by double decker bus and stopped by the clubs. Edgar stood by the clubs tapping his foot impatiently, and Telluride whistled, "My Bonny Lies over the Ocean".

They saw a raver dressed in colorful clothing and jewelry leave the club that they were standing by. Edgar walked up to him and said, "Hello… we were wondering if you had seen a man in a greenish sweater jacket and kinda tight pants here… he has kinda reddish brown hair… could you help us?"
Telluride burst in, "He was probably wearing sex bracelets!"
Edgar hushed Telluride. The raver replied, "Yeah, he left this area after about two seconds or something with a notorious classy hooker… except he actually appeared to like her, so I think you guys are kind of screwed… EL OH EL!"

Telluride rolled his eyes. "Well, could you tell us where he went?"
"He went in the direction of her flat." He put his finger in and out of the hole he had gauged in his ear. "It's about ten blocks that way." He pointed in the direction that the pair had walked down that night.

Edgar nodded briskly. "Thank you sir!" He dragged Telluride down the sidewalk.

When David opened the door wearing nothing, Edgar shriveled back. "David, that's a bit much…"
"I don't care."

Telluride tossed David's stuff at him. "Here's your shit, pig."

"I'm not a pig this time… really…" He was sincere, but he knew they wouldn't have it.

Sadie strolled over to the men in her negligee. She put her arms around David and said in a sexy voice, "Are these your sailor friends, honey?"

"Yes, dear," he replied. Edgar's mouth formed a perfect capital O. Telluride was shocked as well. How did Keeley land such a babe?

Telluride invited himself in. "So, our man got himself a cute hooker?"
Sadie giggled. "If you say so."

Edgar asked her, "What is your name, milady?"

"Sadie Barker, kind sir." She smiled, "And you are?"

"I'm Edgar Brereton." Edgar was cute for the same reason turtles are cute, but he was no match for the sheer attraction she had for David.

"Oh. David told me about you last night," she said with a smile.

"Did he talk about me?" asked Telluride sincerely.

"Who are you?" She figured he couldn't be Captain Seefeldt.
"Thomas Telluride."

"Oh, he did mention you. He said you were a lazy shit." She laughed. "Just kidding."

Telluride glared at David. "Nice to know how well you keep track of my daily progress."

"What is there to keep track of?" David smirked.

Telluride was a little mad now, so he gritted his teeth and said, "I guess you never developed your skills in tact." He sat down on the scratchy couch and said, "We have to leave Liverpool at 9:30 A.M. Sharp."

"Oh shit, really?" David was depressed by this news.
"Yes, really!" said Edgar in an exasperated voice. Telluride snuck a picture of Sadie with his phone.

David looked at Sadie sadly, then he looked at the men and said, "Will you both please leave?!"

The men left. David put on clean briefs, a slim fitting grey t-shirt, and clean jeans. He started for the bedroom to grab his belt, and Sadie said, "Wait, can I keep your other shirt? I want to remember your smell by it."

David guffawed. "Sure."

She squealed and ran into the room. She grabbed the shirt and stuffed it in her drawer of keepsakes. He slowly followed her into the room, secretly in ecstasy over her excitement. He grabbed his belt and put it on. "I'm glad you liked my shirt."
"I like the smell more than the shirt." She held him up to her nose and sighed in pleasure.
"I know." He took her hand and looked into her eyes for a few seconds. "We should make the most of the time we have, my darling."
"Indeed. I can give you a grand tour of the city."
"That would be cheesy. I'm here as often as any other city," he pointed out.

"I suppose that's true. We can always just take a walk in a better part of town. I don't do that too often." She almost seemed remorseful of this fact.

"First, you need some real clothes, my dear." She shrugged and walked to her drawers. She put on a black and white miniskirt with two bows on one side and a layer of tulle peeking out underneath. David once again melted for her legs. She put on a black bra and then slid on a black pullover sweater with a hood. She walked over to her PVC knee high boots and put them on. David commented, "Why weren't you wearing those yesterday?"
"I don't like wearing hooker boots on the job," she said matter-of-factly.

She grabbed her black canvas purse and he retrieved his black leather wallet. He took her hand. They both smiled, and they walked out the front door and locked it.

They were in a cab on the way to William Brown Street. St. John's Gardens were a beautiful place to walk, so said Sadie. They got out of the cab after giving their good graces to the driver. David was thinking about how Sadie looked in her decidedly more provocative attire. He liked it, but he thought he preferred her in more elegantly sexy clothing. The benefit of looking at her legs was definitely there, though. And she did have legs for days.

They walked into the gardens and among the statues and foliage, they were talking.

"So, why did you really become a hooker?" David was genuinely interested in how a woman he personally placed far above rubies brought herself so low.
"My sense of adventure outweighed my chances of getting work that would please my family." This was true.

"Mine does too, but my parents eventually became proud of me." He had worked his way up, and he wasn't totally destitute, so his parents felt pleased that he hadn't completely bombed.

Sadie suddenly remembered that she had no idea how old her paramour was. "So how old are you , anyway? You seem so much older than me."

"I am 24 years old."
"Oh, you're that much older than me?"

"Jesus Christ, how old are you?" He seemed rather anxious.

"19."

"Holy fuck. You're barely acceptable for me to fuck to most people."

She giggled and took his hand. "I know right? At least you're not a sugar daddy type." They both laughed and walked about. They reached a statue of an angel wearing armor and sat down on its pedestal.

She took his hand and asked him, "Do you have a girl back home?"
He appeared to think about it. "No. I told you I'm a manwhore."

"Well… do you?" she asked with a sly smile.
"I have an ex-girlfriend of recent memory, but I don't have a girlfriend." He looked down and smiled.

"Does she want you back?" She looked truly interested.

"I don't think so…" His green eyes were somewhat blank.

"What did you do to her?" She cocked her head with the question in her facial expressions.

"I cheated on her." This was a painful memory for him, since he only did it because she was drunk and he was angry.

"Oh?"

"She was drunk, she always was, I was mad, and her friend was lying on my couch."

"…Oh." She was pondering how good he would be to her if she took him up, and she figured if he wasn't good for answers, he wasn't good for anything. "Let me ask you something."

"Shoot."

"If I was your girlfriend, would you do that to me?"

His lips curled into a weird position that emulated his anguish. "Never." He ran his calloused fingers through her beautiful hair. "Absolutely not."

"So it was a one time thing?"

"Of course." He kissed her on the forehead and got up. He dusted off his pants and said, "My ass is falling asleep. Let's walk some more."

"Okay." She got up and intertwined her fingers in his. They walked down the path and looked at the flowers. The smells permeated the air as well as the sea and Sadie's perfume did. If David remembered one sensory experience from this trip, it would be the smells. They walked for another hour or two and their feet began to tire.

David finally asked, "Sadie, where can we get good fish and chips here? I haven't had any yet and I'm leaving tomorrow." It was about 5:30 P.M.

She shrugged. "There are plenty of places to get that. This is England."

"Which one is the best one?" He was genuinely interested. He wasn't there quite often enough to try every single solitary restaurant.
She said, "Come on, I'll show you." She ran to the sidewalk carefully and waved for another cab.

Seefeldt was smoking a big fat cigar when his phone rang. He picked up and said, "Hello?"

"Mission accomplished," replied Edgar.

"Good. Where was he?" The cigar burned in the center as Seefeldt twiddled his thumbs.

"In the flat of a woman… he seemed to like her more than he usually does, though."
"God dammit. Can he ever leave home without finding a whore?" He twirled his swivel chair in frustration.
"I don't know." Edgar looked at Telluride and Telluride motioned that he wanted the phone. Edgar gave it to him.

"Tom, what did this whore look like? I want all the nasty little details of this whore."

"Wait while I shoo innocent Edgar." He put down the phone for a second and said, "Edgar, go away." Edgar looked hurt, and he left the hotel room for the lobby. "She had really long wavy brown hair, pink lips, blue eyes, and a roundish face."

Seefeldt pulled his burgundy flannel bathrobe open so he could masturbate. "Indeed. What else?"

"She was wearing a lacy pink negligee that skimmed her lower thigh. It was so thin that you could see her black thong…" As Telluride described David's whore, Seefeldt was incredibly happy to know that he had Telluride to do that for him. After all, what other purpose did a man like Telluride serve, besides to describe pretty women that Keeley and Bentley laid?

"Do go on," said Seefeldt as the bottle slid up and down his junk.

"Her laugh tinkled like the bells of Christmas Day…"

Telluride described the woman until Seefeldt said, "I'm done. Now go about your business, my friend."
"Goodbye." Telluride hung up, and realized that he hadn't called Bentley to tell HIM about the whore. How surprised he would be! He dialed the number and waited for Bentley to pick up.

"Telluride."

"Bentley. Keeley's whore is GORGEOUS."
"Shit really?" Bentley got a confused look on his somewhat Italian face.
"Yeah. He's smitten."

"…Well maybe we can leave him here to rot." Bentley wasn't using cunning at all here.
"No, Seefeldt likes him too much for that."

"Damn it. I wish he wouldn't."

"You're just jealous," replied Telluride curtly.

"Oh really?" Bentley was indignant.
"I do believe so. I took a picture of her in a nightgown on my phone. Wanna see it?"
"Hell yes." Bentley waited for the picture message to arrive. When it did, he was in awe. "How did Keeley land that bitch?"

"Who knows. He is kind of a womanizer."

"Well, compared to me, he's not a lady killer any more than the Pope."

Telluride chuckled. "You overestimate your capability. I could get more chicks than you and I'm a fatass."

"Well, whose fault is that? You're fat because you don't exercise."

"And you're a bastard because you were born that way. Any questions? Nope? Bye!" Telluride hung up.

Bentley got an evil grin on his face and set out to find Keeley's whore.

David and Sadie were in the restaurant waiting for their food to arrive in little baskets. They chattered mindlessly like an already married couple, and the way things went for them would have been particularly fascinating from the perspective of someone who had never heard of love at first sight. When their food came, David starting eating. He said, "This is by far the best fish and chips I have ever had!"

Sadie, however, was thinking about something a little more serious. She remembered when she got her food that in her haste and passion, she had forgotten to take her birth control with her breakfast. Of course, he didn't wear protection last night. Of course, she didn't bring her pill with her. Of course, it was within the realm of possibility that she was pregnant. She thought about the idea of telling him, and decided against it. After all, she knew he would be an excellent father who would take great care of her and her child. But what of it? She had told him that she was adventurous, and she believed herself to be far more adventurous than he was. She didn't know if she wanted a baby, but if she didn't, she didn't want him to know, and if she did, she didn't want him to find out about it lest he take custody. If she was to have a baby, it was to be hers, and no one else's. She had a month to decide if she wanted a baby. That is, if she was actually pregnant.

She was shaken out of her fantasy by David's fingers on her back. "Is everything okay? You're not listening to me."

"Yes David?" She realized that he was done eating already.

"You were right. That was the best."

"Uh huh." She began to eat voraciously so she wouldn't keep him waiting. After all, she ought to make the most of her time with him.

When they left the restaurant after he paid the bill, Sadie suggested that they just go for a walk for the hell of it. She was infatuated with him for sure, but running with her passions this time was exactly the type of running she was to be careful about. This type of running could have led her to sitting down and taking a breather for much too long. She didn't want to take a chance on that. She wanted to spend as little time with him as possible, lest she want to spend a lifetime with him.

They had been walking for quite a while when it reached 7 P.M. Sadie was tired of refusing to tell him she loved him. She wanted to do what she always did when she was frustrated. She wanted to work a corner.

She stopped and sat on a bench without alerting David to this. So he stopped and leaned on the building. "What's up, baby?"

"David, you are keeping me from my job." This simple sentence unleashed a chain of events that David would never be able to put out of sight and out of mind. Naturally, he was angry.

"So I'm keeping you from your lucrative work as a hooker for one day. Hmm… so maybe you prefer being a hooker to being with me. Fine. I'll go back to my friends while you screw some other guy who doesn't love you like I love you… after all, you're just a hooker, as you said yourself." He started to walk away as he thought about how the love of his life had turned out to be a total bitch, or how his life had turned out to be a total bitch.

"Wait! Don't go… I was just saying…" It was no use. He was walking to his boys. She sighed, got up, and realized that she had never felt so shitty in her life. She stood on the corner and waited for some consolation from a man with nothing else to look forward to.

Bentley had appeared to be that man. He strutted over to her, realizing who she was. It was raining again, and things just weren't the same. The rain smelled of piss and vinegar this time. She looked at him and knew he was a sleaze.

He said, "Hello, my dear. I would like your services about now…" He grinned and rubbed his hands together.

"You have a Jersey accent. That's not common here." She had guessed who he was.

"I'm not common here." He laughed. "Doll, I have a lot of money. I want to go back to your place. Make it happen."

"What is your name, dear sir?"

"Rob Bentley." He smiled.

"You are a scoundrel. Get out of my sight." She pulled out a cigarette and took a puff. She proceeded to blow the smoke in his face. Bentley wrinkled his sharp nose and walked away muttering Bitch

Sadie's senses had gotten to her ever since she had met David. David was a good influence and a bad one, as far as she could tell. He had taught her how to make decisions concerning matters of the heart, which was for damn sure. He had also taught her how to love. But would this benefit her? Who knew? It didn't matter. He was gone. She had broken him. She always broke people. However, now it didn't matter if he touched her, or if anyone else did. It didn't matter what she ate in haste, or what she heard coming out of his mouth, or what she saw in him. What mattered was what she smelled. It took hold of her now… and she had to get out of the shitty rain this time.

She walked back to her flat. She found it with the door picked open and David sitting on the couch. She said in a pained tone, "You are not supposed to be here."

"You hurt me. I want an apology," he said curtly.

"You won't get one, because you hurt me back!"

"Well, I wanted my things back. You took my heart, burned it, and pissed on the ash. I want my material possessions to comfort me, if nothing else." He shook his head in his devastation and anguish.

"I don't blame you. You loved me." She sat down. "You loved me when I didn't even know that was possible. I loved you too. Big surprise, but I wanted to be free. I always do. You think you're a free spirit? You haven't met me yet. You can take me, and you can fuck me, but you're sure as hell not going to tie me down!" She was shaking like a bat out of hell and waving her arms.

He sighed. "I wanted to marry you."

"Really?" She was surprised at this type of emotion. She had never had it before, and didn't expect that he could.

He started to hold her and run his fingers through her hair for the last sacred time. "Yes. I wanted to promise to be yours forever, even if you didn't love me. I wanted to see you walk down an aisle on the arm of a friend and live with me in Canada, or here. I wanted you to sail with me. I even wanted us to start a family."

He did not know how the last sentence stung her. "I had no idea you were so likely to attach, David. I'm so sorry." She got up and began to pace. "I thought we could have a nice time together… I didn't think we would fall in love."

David was resigned. He was too listless to cry. "I knew I was in love with you when I saw your face for the first time."

"We can have sex again, if you want to." She truly felt bad for him.

"No. It would hurt too much." At this statement, Sadie fell to the floor and began to cry. He lowered himself to her level for the first time and held her.

As he wiped away her tears, Sadie said, "I know I'm in love when I cry over pity sex."

He laughed for the last time. "Where is my sense of humor when I need it?"

She kissed him for the last time and said, "Maybe you should go." He immediately got up, grabbed all of his things, and started for the door. He didn't turn back one time when she shouted, "But I may die without you here!" He was proud of himself for that. He would never know what her reaction was. It may have been too hideous for him to bear. All she knew was the smell.

As he stood on the boat, he remembered all of that as well as he remembered it when it was happening. He didn't know how she fared; he only knew that he was in a hideous state of remorse. The way he felt about her was the way he would have felt if he was the happiest man on earth, and she took it away from him. He took it away from her. He wondered about her, and then Bentley came over to him.

"Man, I know what that's like."

"No you don't, Bentley, fuck off." He clenched his teeth, growled, and walked away.

Bentley said, with true pity in his voice, "Yes, I do. The same thing happened to me before you started working here."

"I might believe you if you sounded sorry," replied David sardonically.

Bentley put his arm around David and said, "Dude, you need some vodka." David thought for a moment, scratched his head, and walked with Bentley to the storage closet.

Bentley opened two bottles and took out a dimebag. They toasted to almost-lovers and got high. After two hours they were both totally wasted. They bonded like no men had bonded before, laughing and doing strange things within a short span of time.

"You're much better than Edgar at comforting me, dude."
"I know right?!"

These were the only two things said that whole day from either of them that made sense, and they fell asleep in the closet. The next day, when David had a hangover, he was cranky, but he liked Bentley.

By the time he had survived to see the day that the boat was supposed to land at St. John's, David had nearly forgotten Sadie's face. He would never forget the beautiful love he had for her, or the colors she had shown him that he had never seen in anyone before, but he couldn't remember quite what she looked like. He had also forgotten the taste of the fish and chips, and her tinkling giggle, and the way she touched him. He had tasted a great many things, and the only taste he knew now was sea salt. He had heard many laughs and many voices in his travels, and placing particular importance on one was silly. He had been touched by many women, other than the fact that she was the only one to touch his heart. The only thing he could really remember was her scent.

Her musky smell was particular to him. Many men had smelled it, but he was the only one to hold it dear. He remembered how she loved the smell of sailors, and how she kept his shirt to remember the smell. The shirt wouldn't hold his smell forever. She wouldn't hold his smell forever. He tried to keep her around to remember his passions, and that didn't work either. It was ironic to him how things changed. He was the one who wanted to keep her love forever, and she was the one who wanted to keep his smell forever. The tables had turned. He could feel it deep in the marrow of his bones.

Every fiber of his being was trying to erase her perfume. It was a painful memory, so he tried to take hold of his beautiful ocean. The ocean was a woman he could always call on when he wanted an answer. The answer she gave him was, "I am not the one for you. She has made you too stable for me."

He sighed and then he saw the shore. It welcomed him back, and when he could see the dock, he saw an apparition. This apparition looked like Sadie, only fantasized, a woman who loved him. She was calling him back to shore and waving a white acrylic scarf. She had his shirt sticking out of her canvas bag. He looked carefully, and he fell once more.