"Just remember to write, and call me whenever you
can?" You whispered up at your husband of three months.
"I couldn't dream of forgetting" He smiled down,
stroking your cheek with a finger, then leaning down to capture your lips in
what he liked to joke was 'an epic face battle'.
You let your hero dominate said battle, giving in to his
ministrations, helped along by the fingers that traced up and down your sides.
Within a few minutes, both your bodies yearned for more...
after all, this was your last night together.
Soon all talk ceased but the noise of heavy breathing and
mewls of pleasure could be heard, along with the creak of the wooden bed frame.
Your husband made love to you with such burning passion and
desire that night you were transported to a world of pure bliss, a perfect
place of dreams and happy endings. But alas, your happy endings were to stay
out of your grasp for a little longer.
He was a soldier, and he was leaving in the early morning,
posted off to Iraq.
Exhausted, both of you drifted off to sleep, bodies still
pressed close together under the messed up blankets.
A delicate ray of sun filtered through the frosted glass of
the window, warming your face and bare shoulders. Without opening your eyes,
you rolled over, hands searching for your husband.
You ran your fingers over the creased sheets a few times
before slowly opening an eye.
His side of the bed was empty.
You sat bolt upright, grabbing the phone on your bedside
table and looking at the clock, a cry of anguish escaping your lips as the
cheery, illuminated face told you that it was 5:45.
Your husband's flight had left ten minutes ago.
You dropped the phone into your lap, tears beading in the
corners of your eyes.
Out of the corner of your misty vision you saw a neatly
folded sheet of paper on your husband's bedside table.
'Neatly folded... Not really his style' you thought. The man
couldn't even make a bed properly, let alone take much care folding anything.
You rubbed your eyes, clearing your vision before reaching
for the paper.
Jones, my dearest" you read
look so calm and beautiful when you sleep... I couldn't bear to wake you for
something so selfish as to see you wave from the window. Having you here beside
me while I write this will have to be enough.
See? I told
you I would write. Often, I promise! Your hero will never let you down!
be home soon.
All my love,
forever and always, your hero, Alfred F. Jones"
"I wish you had woken me..." you whispered into
the empty air.
Two hundred and twenty one days until he was home.
Each day you counted down the time remaining until your
Each morning you eagerly checked the post, a letter from Alfred
there every time. You wondered if he wrote a few at once, and told the post man
to only deliver one each day. You had heard stories of people doing that.
Even though his letters were getting harder and harder to
read with the censor marks getting more and more frequent , but you could hold
it up to the light and read little snippets of information like the fact he was
in 'Camp blue diamond' and was soon heading off to Camp Pendleton.
You found the name rather funny and cheesy, but you knew
Alfred would love it, the stuff from an action film. It made you think of
Artemis Fowl, with butler and his blue diamond tattoo, however you knew that it
was named after a real blue diamond. It was a name that almost made fun of the Islamic
culture, where the blue diamond was regarded as the most precious gem.
You brushed that thought away. He was writing, that was what
Each night you watched the news, your worst fear being a
story of another American soldier killed in the war against terror.
Two months passed, and those that knew you were getting a
little worried. Without even noticing, you had been losing weight, dark circles
from rows of sleepless nights forming under your eyes.
You were prone to coughing fits now, sometimes concentrating
so hard on the world in your head you forgot about breathing.
When you did manage to sleep, your dreams were filled with a
hailstorm of bullets and the screams of the wounded.
Alfred had been gone for one hundred and twenty days; he
would be home in one hundred and one.
Now you spent the weekends curled on the couch watching all
the movies Alfred had loved. You were currently watching 'Air America: Operation
Jaguar' curled up in his favourite blanket, dark blue with a large picture of
Captain America's shield.
The phone rang and you picked it up, slowly pausing the
movie as dark thoughts flashed across your mind. The caller ID read 'US
Government' you were confused. Was it Alfred calling at long last? In his last
letter it had said he wouldn't be able to call for a while…
"Hello? _____ Jones speaking. Can I help you?"
The deep voice on the other end of the line introduced
himself as Lt. Col. Mike Melillo and said he was from Camp Pendleton.
You wondered why you were getting this call. Who was this
man? What did he want?
"Ma'am, I regret to inform you… well there isn't really any
easy way to say this… but Alfred F. Jones has been severely wounded."
In his deep, gravelly voice he explained how Alfred had been
walking to the showers from his barracks room on May 2nd, when a
rocket smashed into a wall near his head.
The world seemed to slow and you only picked up on phrases
like 'fractured bones', 'intense blood loss', 'unstable condition' and 'the
surgeon says there is little he could do'
The rattle of bullets began it the background, and he
offered his condolences before he left.
You took the phone from your ear and screamed with pain and grief
as what had just happened hit you with the force of a rogue wrecking ball.