Pirate Ophelia: The Real Story

Jen Sullivan
14 min readAug 10, 2022

It’s been years since I wrote and published my book, Pirate Ophelia. I debated for a long time if I ever wanted to write the true story that inspired the book, and I feel it is finally time for me to do so. A warning: there will be spoilers for the book throughout this piece.

You can read the book on Medium or purchase it on Amazon.

The unedited book cover art

When I wrote Pirate Ophelia, I was going through some tough emotions. I had been working at the local Renaissance Faire and met a man — a very special man who we will call Craig. He and his boyfriend started working with us in the wine shop in 2014, and Craig quickly climbed the ladder within the company. After his first faire season, Craig was promoted to manager of the shop after the previous one was fired — a move I still question to this day.

Craig and I were very close from the beginning. He latched on to me for my knowledge and seemed to genuinely appreciate me, which was not something I was used to, especially in a work environment. He was quite feminine, which balanced with my more masculine personality. I quickly became fond of both him and his boyfriend and considered them to be my closest friends.

However, after Craig became manager, I started to feel unappreciated by him, feeling that I was never good enough because I was an introverted woman. He favored the “pretty boys,” as we called them, along with outgoing women who liked to talk and flirt rather than do the hard work. I was scheduled to work less and less, so I started to distance myself, preparing to graduate from college and move on to a career elsewhere.

I had been working on getting my Associate’s Degree in Business Management, returning to college sixteen years after graduating high school. I was almost finished, maintaining a perfect GPA throughout and hoping I could keep that until the end. In May 2015, I graduated with a perfect 4.0 and started searching for a job that would let me advance into management.

I was hired at a local convenience store with many promises, but the company was not right for me, and the job was just disgusting. The wine shop needed help, so I opted to quit the convenience store and continue working for Craig for just one more season. Honestly, I was glad to have the chance to return — I had been missing my friends…

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Jen Sullivan

I am a gamer, a geek, and a gardener, among many things. I enjoy writing as a way to share with others. You'll find no AI content here--I am a real writer.