A screenshot of the grounding pole that Roger Bacon uses to pole dance.

Twenty-Two Short Films About Wellington Wells: For Fear Your Grace Should Fall

As soon as Sally was clear of the fence, James started in on Roger.

“Dr. F said not to tell anyone she was alive. She said she didn’t want anyone to ask her for anything.”

“But she likes Sally,” Roger scoffed. “Everyone does.”

“Yes, I noticed you putting on your little show for her.”

“You can not be serious. We just had this argument thirty minutes ago!”

“Maybe we wouldn’t have to keep having this argument if you didn’t flirt with every girl who crosses your path!”

I was only dancing!

Pole dancing! For Sally Boyle!”

“If I wanted to seduce Sally Boyle, don’t you think I would have done it by now? It’s been fifteen years, James! I’m yours! You have me, all right?”

“Do I?” James asked, turning away from Roger to stare into the fireplace. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to be with someone that you know you’re not good enough for? Fact is, you could run off with Sally Boyle and your life would be all the better for it. And I wouldn’t even be able to blame you because what have I got to offer someone like you? A room in a converted pantry and a job getting yelled at?” James’ shoulders slumped in defeat. “You could have so much more and one day you’re going to realize it.”

Roger stared, agape. “I don’t even know where to start with that,” he said, offended that James would even suggest such a thing.

“You could start by not fucking flirting with other people,” James snapped over his shoulder, crossing his arms and sulking.

“Oh, go bugger yourself!” Roger said, throwing his arms up in a huff. He stormed off down the hall to the bedroom.

When he got there, he found himself wanting for their room to have a door so he could slam it.

Dearest Moo,

You said I don’t know what it’s like to wonder if I’m good enough. You speak as if you won me over against my better judgment and now I’ve only settled for you until I find someone better. The truth is, I have to wonder all the time if I am really worthy of your love.

Do you remember when we first met, and you asked me why I hadn’t enlisted? I brushed it off, made a joke about how if the Jerries didn’t kill me, my mum would. She says we have our own ways of fighting. I had to ask myself though whether I measured up in trade next to someone so courageous as you, who was willing to give up his life for his country and indeed for mine. I have my doubts still.

You were so committed to the military too and yet, when I couldn’t stay any longer, you left it all behind to be with me. And I wondered then, was I being selfish in letting you walk away from that? I told myself that it was your choice alone to make, but I wanted you to come with me. Would it have been braver, better of me to tell you to stay instead?

I got my answer when you told me to go through the portal, that I had to or I would regret it. You didn’t even have to think about it, even if it meant you would lose me. Even in the face of your selflessness, I couldn’t bear to do the same. I asked you to let me have it both ways and not to make me choose. And you did. God knows what I did to merit him giving me a man willing to follow me across the entire galaxy. Am I truly deserving of that level of loyalty?

It’s not my estimation to make, is it? You were the one who had to decide if I was worth all the trouble, all the lost possibilities, all the sacrifices. I have to trust your judgement in that.

I hope one day you will trust mine too, but I’ll spend the next fifteen years proving it resolute to you.

Past, present, and future,

your devoted


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