The Chapter Closes
Posted on Sat Oct 28th, 2017 @ 8:17pm by Commander Christopher Samuels MDiv, PhD
Edited on on Sat Oct 28th, 2017 @ 8:20pm
S01E01 - At the Brink of Night
Location: Christopher Samuels' Quarters
“You look tired.”
Christopher removed his glasses and the world went fuzzy and gray, he rubbed his eyes. Even after all this time one would have thought he would have been used to the abrupt change, however he wasn’t used to it. Nor did he hope to ever get used to it. It was the reminder he needed to remind him what happened during the war. Just like the scars, those were the reminders that needed to stay.
He stared at the small screen that was inset to the workstation that sat atop his desk. His quarters were small, much smaller than he was accustomed too but he didn’t mind that. He didn’t spend that many hours of the day in his quarters, in fact he was just happy to have a place to lay his head each night. However, the bump in position had allowed him to have larger quarters than most. Rank and position certainly had its privileges.
His quarters were dark except the soft glow from the desk monitor. On the screen was the image of Dylan Howell, his husband of twenty years. “I am tired,” Christopher replied, his tone soft but a hint of annoyance was under that. There was a part of him that wanted to yell, kick, and scream at the other man but he knew that wouldn’t solve anything.
“Did you give thought to what I have said?” Dylan asked. His own features looked drawn and tired as though he had been losing sleep. Truth was, he was losing sleep, a lot of it. He was at a cross roads in his life, he and Chris had been together for half their lives at this point. He was having a hard time picturing what his life would be like going forward from here. Would he find another person to be with? Would it be the same? No. No, of course it wouldn’t be the same. He was still very much in love with Chris; he just couldn’t be with the man anymore.
Christopher nodded, he didn’t want to be having this conversation now, what he really wanted was to crawl into bed, pull the covers over his head and never leave his quarters. He just wanted to shut out the universe; he wanted to just not think about any of this. He wanted to go back to before this all started and try to fix it, but he had come to realize that things had been broken for a long time. If they weren’t, Dylan would have never asked for a divorce. No, their marriage had been failing for a long time. He thought back to when he had cheated on Dylan, he had defended himself by saying that he was lonely and that there was a war. But was that really an excuse? Truth was, it was more; he had fallen in love… though to this day he would never admit that.
He had only admitted it to god.
“I have,” Christopher said simply. He didn’t say anything more for a few moments as he collected his thoughts. He inhaled and exhaled shakily. “As you know, I’ve been resistant to this, I don’t want this, and I don’t want to deal with the heartache that will be associated with this…” His tone was soft, but flat as if keeping emotion out of his voice would help him deal with this better. That wasn’t the case. He also wanted to say how much he had prayed on this, but he kept that to himself as well. Dylan had always been supportive of him as a theologian, but also voiced his opinion on how he felt about prayer. “I think you and I both know that things have been heading in this direction for a long time now, if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” He reached up and cleared his eyes from the slightly moistness of his eyes. His tear ducts no longer functioned properly, but every once in a while he was able to get in a few tears. Tonight, he was so overwhelmed with emotion that he expected the tears to fall. “I… I will sign the papers. I’ll give you the divorce.”
Dylan opened his mouth to say something but then immediately closed it. He stared at Chris; he could see the sadness, the remorse, the frustration, and anger. He was feeling those same emotions. Deep down he wanted more of a fight from Chris, he wanted the man to keep resisting this and yet… didn’t he want this? He was the one who gave Chris the ultimatum. He was the one who handed Chris the divorce decree to sign. Yet, here he was, shocked that Chris said he would sign the papers. “Oh… okay,” he replied simply. He wasn’t sure what to say past that, all of a sudden he was having regrets but he wanted this, he didn’t want it to drag on. He just stared at Chris; he couldn’t believe this was ending. “Are you sure?” he asked, there was clear hesitation in his voice.
Christopher nodded. “I’m sure. It’s not fair to you anymore, you deserve to be happy, to live your life how you choose. You shouldn’t have to worry about me…” He paused and tried to smile, but the smile wouldn’t come. He knew if he forced it, it would look forced and he didn’t feel Dylan deserved something force. “You have plans that don’t mesh with mine, you and I have been apart far more than we have been together. I am not saying it won’t be tough, in fact I feel like my heart is breaking in two, but this is for the best. I don’t want to hold you back, I don’t want you to worry, and I want you to beable to pursue what you’d like to without me hindering you.”
Dylan swallowed hard; the tears were threatening to fall. Yet, there was this surge of anger that started to swallow him whole. “Damn you, Christopher Samuels. Why do you always have to be the one to come out looking like the better person?” He reached up and knuckled away the tears that began to form he inhaled and exhaled shakily. “Sorry, I didn’t meant that… sort of…” He leaned forward and folded his arms on his own desk. “You had seemed so resistant to this before, I guess I didn’t expect you to cave in.”
“I was resistant to it, in fact there is a large part of me that still is…” Christopher said. He had been surprised by the outburst and flinched at the words. Toward the end of their marriage there had been so many arguments that he had been surprised that they two hadn’t come too physical blows. Then there was the make up sex, which even lost its passion. In fact, the intimacy had been lack luster on both of their parts. “I know where I want to be and you know where you want to be, we can’t conduct a marriage through subspace, at least not anymore. As I said earlier, we both knew things were starting to fail, you just had the courage to finally call it out. You deserve far better than what I can give…”
Dylan could tell it was tough for Chris to lay all that out, to admit what he did. However, there was plenty of blame to go around, a marriage falling apart always took two people, it was never one sided. “Okay, okay,” Dylan said, nodding. “I’ll get things started then, Starfleet’s JAG has a family courts division…”
“No, don’t…” Christopher shook his head and raised a hand to get Dylan to stop talking. “I won’t contest anything, you can have the house and the property. I just ask that you pack up my things and put them in storage in San Francisco.” He finally managed a half-smile. He loved that house, the land, it was to be his future, and Dylan was to be his future. Futures change, people change, he thought to himself. “Give me a couple of days and I will write up something for the courts.”
“No… I can’t take the house and the property, Chris. That isn’t fair, we should sell...” Dylan shook his head, refusing to accept this now.
“I want you to have it, Dylan. Please, no arguing about this, just please take it. I’m here and you are there. My current assignment could keep me here for a long time, and if I end up getting my own command…well, I don’t know if I will have use for the house.” I’ll be homeless, he thought. Christopher had no idea where his career or where any of this would take him, but he wasn’t going to let that on.
All Dylan could do was nod his head. This had left a terrible pit in his stomach and he felt like he was going to throw up. He reined it in; he just had to make it through the conversation. “All right then,” he said simply. “I’ll… I’ll wait for all the paperwork.”
This time when Christopher smiled, it was a genuine but sad smile. He reached out and touched the screen, Dylan did the same and for a brief moment it felt like they were connecting again. However, it was short-lived when he realized that light-years upon light-years were between them. “So, um… this is it I suppose.” He let his hand linger just a few more moments before he dropped it back to the desk.
“I suppose so,” came Dylan’s simple supply. The tears were now flowing freely this was truly the end. “I do love you, Chris. I always will no matter where life takes us.”
“I feel the same, Dylan, you were my first love and that love will never diminish,” Christopher said. He was starting to get choked up and the words came out jilted and hoarse. “Goodbye, Dylan.” He hated that he had to be the first to say goodbye, but someone had to be the first, right?
“Goodbye, Christopher,” Dylan said, his tone low and sad.
Christopher watched as the screen went blank and he sat there staring at it. He finally slipped his glasses back on and the world came into focus and full of color once again. So, that was it. A brief conversation and it was all over. There was no fighting, no resistance, everything was just… accepted. He didn’t want this and he knew Dylan didn’t want this and yet they needed to do this.
He looked down at his left hand and slipped off the platinum wedding band. He all of a sudden felt naked without it; he had never taken it off except to have it cleaned. He set it gingerly on the desk and just stared at it. He knew it was just a ring, but it was what it symbolized. He exhaled shakily and lifted himself up off the chair. His body felt heavy, and his knees felt weak. He moved the few steps into the sectioned off bedroom and crawled into the unmade bed. He pulled the blanket over his head wanting to shut out the universe.
The tears finally fell.