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The things that surprise you

Posted on 17 Jun 2022 @ 12:37am by Lieutenant Commander Ciara Mcclellandi

Episode: Our Path
Location: Ruggsivlle TX
Timeline: July 2014

Ciara had come home after her first year at the Academy. Her father was proud as hell of his daughter the Naval officer, even though she explained she was a midshipman and still had not been commissioned, and may not.

But to hear Eamon Macclendi describe it his baby girl would outrank Nimitz himself and be as famous as John Paul Jones, and he refused to hear otherwise. Paternal pride was a hell of a thing.

Today she was out getting some groceries for her parents, nice thing with having money regularly, even if it was a small amount she was able to do nice things for her family. So today she was going to put some stuff in the fridge and clear up the electric bill. Dad had started his job with the State so more money was coming in but they were still diffing out and were too stubborn to ask for help.

Ciara had the same stubborn streak, it had defined her in her choices. From her playing football, when she was told she couldn’t, to applying to and attending the Naval Academy. She right now was pushing a cart through the local grocery store and getting some items.

Going down one aisle she grabbed some staples when she looked up and saw Mr. Jacobs her old guidance counselor, he of the bad advice. He recognized her first.

“Ciara Macclendi. I see you didn’t take my advice.”

“No sir I didn’t.” She was polite as she was raised. She expected some other comment but instead, the man grinned.

“Good.” Daniel Jacobs did get a chuckle at her surprised expression. “I hoped you wouldn’t. But I needed to make sure.”

You could have knocked her over with a feather, as the old saying went.

“Part of my job was to motivate students. Some you encourage by pushing them towards a goal, others you discourage making them want to show you up. You were of the discourage camp. I see it worked.” She had been wearing an Academy t-shirt,

There was a brief pause, She was a bit surprised at this but in a weird way, it made sense. There was some brief conversation then they went their separate ways.

Back home in the small house, she grew up, amazing how her cramped quarters in Bancroft Hall were roomier than where she had grown up, and only shared it with one roommate, a Muslim girl from the Borough of Manhattan, as opposed to a small room which was shared with her sister, at least until her brothers both left home, then they had their own rooms, which were still small.

Sian, her younger sister, had come home from being a kid, in some ways Ciara was happy that her little sister didn’t have to work and could actually be a kid, she was envious that her sister had more freedom than she did growing up.

She heard the chaos of the 14-year-old young woman heading into the kitchen, so she headed out to be sociable while she had her after-school snack.

.When Sian saw her she shrugged, “Hey.”

“THat’s it? I’m home from the long toil of service to our nation and I just get ‘hey.”

That made her sister laugh. “Ok hello, better ass.”

“Much.” Ciara had to smile, mom had written to say her sister was a handful, “So how was work?”

That got a sigh, “hot as hell,”

“Welcome to work..” Her sister was saving up for college, and whatever jobs she could do at 14, usually farm work Ciara grabbed a couple of sodas out of the fridge, “Here” They sat in silence for a bit then she asked her sister, “Ever had anyone surprise you?”

“Oh yeah, Danny Jackson down the way, he surprised me the other day.”

“Do I want to know?”

“He said he liked me. I take it yours was not like Danny?”

“Nope, Mr. Jacobs. Surprised the hell out of me today.”

“The guy you called an asshole for 3 years straight?”

“That’s him.” A pause, “He’s proud of me, he wanted me to do this.” A bit thoughtful, “Maybe I misjudged him.”

“I would say so, her sister responded.”


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