Barth & Belle
By Jordaine Givens
He had not personally known Belle for an extensive phase of time, although, laying eyes on her as the ship docked in Port Salum of Italia one month from that day swung his passion to favor the youthful girl. She was a pure brunette with layered hair that seemed to fall into each individual hair’s place across the side of her soft, welcoming face. She was desired by the most strapping and agile men on the ship, perfectly replicating the plot of a fairytale. Bartholomew was not brawny nor was he the most agile on the ship of men. Bartholomew has never prevailed in anything, although; the young man was the most handsome of them all. He also has never felt the enticing touch of love or the sting of realizing when to fall out of love. He has never fallen for anyone, but the sight of Belle constantly taunted his thoughts. Barth knew the consequences of falling for someone and the results of Belle falling for him. The result would not be promising.
Barth knew that he could feel the perplexing thoughts he contained and never react on them. For Barth was not a romantic man. He was born and raised without knowing the intense throbbing in the gut over a young woman. Taking a woman down to the shoreline and speaking about nonsense for hours was foreign behavior. Gazing into a woman’s eyes until the brink of laughter seemed unreachable to Barth. Subtle flirtation would never leave his actions. Belle could mean nothing to Barth or everything, and separation would be futile.
Belle sought the attention of the Captain, for she not only enjoyed alluring powerful individuals, she increasingly developed a lust of crushing their hearts. She seemed to find the feel of watching as an individual would break down and weep for hours over losing someone as divine as her stimulating.
Yesterday was yet another day of suffering. I’m beginning to feel what my father once spoke of when I was only a child. “Deckhands, according to unspoken code, do not acknowledge the sentiment they undergo during a venture out on sea”. And yet, as I ponder my thoughts, I discover what I once believed a privateer could not feel: melancholy. I haven’t spoken of it to you; partially from the sickness and partially from these thoughts. I’m beginning to believe that I am growing a dependency of some sort for spending time with you.
I felt it again. That pain. That aching. I’m hurt. I’ve realized I am no longer needed in this world. It hurts. I’m not sure if it’s you, or the struggle. I do not matter to you, do I?
Belle, my father has never taught me something unnecessary to survival out on sea, so initially the feeling of love is mystifying. The way you spoke to me reinsured me the way a mother prattles a child. When you told me you cared for me, I instantaneously felt something similar to discovering an unknown phenomenon. Belle, I kn-
Uproar shakes the Johnston Voyager as Bartholomew Jensen writes to the lovely Belle Whither. The cheers of relieved crew members destroy Barth’s concentration on the letter. He exits his desk and wanders onto the deck of the ship.
“What has happened?” Barth questions a fellow crewmate.
“We have left the dock of Port Salum and have begun to depart for home my comrade! Rejoice!” the crewmate exclaims.
Barth does not speak, but runs to the edge of the deck. He watches as he sees the port grow farther from the ship. Barth suddenly sprints to his desk and grabs the letter in progress for the beloved Belle. He places the letter in a mail canister the crew took from a local pub during dock. Running back to the deck, curious crewmates give confused glares towards Barth. Shouts shake the Voyager as Barth clears the side of the boat and enters the sea. He swims with canister and letter for a mile until he once again reaches the dock of Port Salum. Being lifted by dock workers, Barth struggles as he attempts to reach Belle. He examines his surroundings and watches as she enters a home parallel to the pub.
As he approaches the window of the home exhausted and panting, he watches Belle stripping down from her floral print dress stained from wine of a previous night. She slides her undergarments from her body onto the ground and removes the tie from her flowing, brunette hair. For a moment, Belle glances towards Barth in the window then turns to another door in the house. From the window, a man lay in the sheets of a bed and beckons for Belle. She slowly fades out of Barth’s vision, consciousness, and heart as she enters the sheets.
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Labels: Jordaine Givens