Chapter 47 At the Crossroads

I stayed out of sight for the rest of the day crawling through access tubes to get from one lever to another, the Chief knew something was up, but I was performing my duties making checks crawling around in parts of the ship I'd never been to. When I ran out of work or legitimate reasons to be in a certain area I "hid" in our little "workshop" repairing anything I could find that had been sitting around. Finally Chief Branak "cornered" me and demanded to know what I was up to." Bucking for my job, if so dream on young man!" "No Chief, it's not that," I told her what I had done, my talk with Ijale and his advice. Jerann just stood there and looked at me, "So you fell under the spell of an Irnanian," shaking her head she continued, "Ijale's right, better to tell her than hide it, she'll find out eventually." Then the Chief got real serious and got right in my face, "I think the world of Cha'Nara, I will not see her hurt, I like you too Ben, and I know you want to do the right thing, your course is clear. Tomorrow morning, you will be telling me how you apologized to her and how you two are back on the right course, because any other story will be totally unacceptable and put me in a terrible frame of mind, and you don't want to be around me when I'm in a bad mood, you might want to ask around what we Fallarin are like when we're not happy, it's not pretty. Are we in full agreement young man?" I gulped and nodded, "Yes ma'am I will have good news to report tomorrow." She patted my back, "I know you will Ben, now go and do the honorable thing."

I took the longest walk in my life as I left Engineering and headed for the sick bay, Cha'Nara was softly singing to herself one of the songs on her computer Emily downloaded for her. I took a deep sigh and went in. I walked up to her and kissed her "Cha'Nara let's go in your room, there's something I have to tell you." I made her sit down and without any lead up, told her everything, at the end of it all she was no longer smiling, but she wasn't yelling or throwing things at me, however the look she gave me made me want to cry, it was a look I've never seen a human express, but it told me everything. "Thank you Ben, for telling me, now I think you had better go," "But don't…" "Please, just …Go, without any further argument I left, I was devastated, but I think that's what Cha'Nara wanted. I stayed away from the mess area and moped around engineering; the Chief caught me and simply asked, "Well?" I told her what had happened. "Well at least you did the right thing by telling her, the rest is up to her but you've really hurt her Ben, it could be a long time before she trusts you again…If ever."

Eventually we docked at the Cassylia, I made it a point to avoid the Irnanian However I sought out Nerri Garsal and told him my tale of woe he smiled and said, Let me talk to her, Vagan to Vagan I'm her age, we Vagan young people have a sort of loose understanding about things, please, let me do this for you." Nerri took me to a small out of the way place frequented by Vagans posted to duty on the Cassylia. "The Jump gate" was a quiet little place I liked, you could have a conversation here, Nerri introduced me to other Vagan's a couple of them our age I ended up feeling better after talking with other Vagan's and gaining a little more insight to their culture. By the time I left, I felt much better; I made my way back to the ship and lay on my bunk thinking. I had started to drift off to sleep when a small knock brought me out of a doze. I opened it to see Cha'Nara standing there, without a word, she pushed past me and entered my room, closing the door, I turned to face her. "I talked with your Irnanian woman," said Cha'Nara in almost a whisper, "she told me things…Ben. Cha'Nara then slowly began to undress, she then stood before me naked, tears came to her eyes "Love me Ben." She came to me and put her arms around me, I let her undress me and we lay down on my bed, and I loved her like I'd never done before. We embraced, we loved we cried passion overflowed, an understanding was achieved, we found each other again. I found a deeper understanding of why I left my world behind for love.

The next morning, I was smiling, having shed a ton of worry off my mind. Jerann came up behind me and said, "I'm feeling pretty good today Ben, somebody did the right thing, I like that!" She snickered and started softly humming to herself. I was learning, a tough lesson to be sure, but I was a quick study.