Eddie lost his love, but life is always full of other options.
Eddie has a great life with a loving wife and fabulous job. His work keeps him away from home for long stretches of time, but he counts down the moments until he gets to be back in his wife’s arms. He would do anything for her. Unfortunately, she doesn’t feel the same way, and plans on leaving Eddie for another man. Feeling crushed and betrayed, Eddie has a hard time trusting women. He knows it’s unfair; he knows not every woman is as evil as his ex-wife, but he can’t deny his feelings. As an ice miner, he’s expected to spend months at a time on his ship. Much to his chagrin, he is forced to spend it with Rie. Will being trapped on a ship with a woman help Eddie get over his fear and hatred of women and move on with his life? Are there any other options?
Eddie stood at his locker, staring at the manila folder. He opened it for half a second before slamming it shut and heading for the command offices. He threw it onto Assignment Officer Diaz’s desk, who looked up at him from his paperwork, expressionless.
Eddie placed his fists on the desk and leaned forward. “I want Shaun Harris.”
Diaz grabbed the folder and flipped it back at him. “Harris is out on another mission. This is the best I could do.”
“I can’t do it.” Eddie pushed himself away from the desk and paced the room. “I can’t go out with a woman.”
Diaz leaned back in his chair and folded his hands over his stomach. “Rie Danalgo is highly capable.”
“I’m sure she’s more than capable, but that doesn’t change that she is a she,” Eddie spoke between gritted teeth and chopped his hand through the air to emphasize his point. “Do you know what I just went through? What I will be going through? I can’t trust ‘em. I can’t handle being around them. I might lose it. I might say something rude, and then I’m stuck with her for months. I filed the paperwork asking for Shaun, just like you asked me to.”
Diaz threw his hands out to his sides. “What do you want me to do? We’re short on personnel right now. Petroid’s expansion is growing exponentially faster than the manpower I have to oversee it. I read your request and did the best I could. This is the only assignment I have open right now. If I had any say in the matter, you wouldn't go out at all. You would stay landed until you got your crap together.”
Eddie stopped pacing in front of the desk. “What about a rookie expedition? Isn’t there one of those going out?”
Diaz leaned forward and punched a few keys on his keyboard. “Sorry. Everything’s booked.” He leaned back in his chair. “It’s only three months.”
Eddie snatched the folder off the desk and headed for the door.
“Hey,” Diaz stopped him before he walked out.
Eddie glanced at him over his shoulder.
“You have your medication? The shrink’s number?”
Eddie sighed and nodded curtly.
“Use them both. Everything will be fine. I know how hard this is for you. But, you know what? You’re not the first person to go through a divorce. It will be all right.” Diaz smiled, attempting to lighten the mood.
Eddie clenched his jaw and stepped out of the office, refraining from slamming the door behind him. Diaz was trying to be nice, to help him out during a difficult time, but the only thing that was truly going to help was a different shipmate.