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A Soldier's Wife
Dedicated to Kepi
Submitted by VESelders
Her sad eyes seemed to be her only noticeable characteristic. He had not called, but of course, he couldn't. Time dragged on painfully slow, each "tick" of the clock echoing until the second hand grudgingly moved forward again.
He had left her crying. She knew he cared, but silently he had walked away, stopping at the bottom step, almost turning, but then jingling his car keys in his hand, his feet moved rapidly, determinedly away. His face forward he picked up the pace, he opened the car door, gave her his profile, almost looking, but knowing better, he got in, started the engine and pulled away. She watched as the taillight glared red at the stop sign, the car turned and just like that he was gone.
Now, alone with only his memory, she laid awake, no longer crying, there were no more tears. Tomorrow she would have to begin a new life, a life without him there to talk to, without him there to laugh with, without him there, at all. She always knew that the military would come first, but not in her wildest dreams did she even consider that a war would break out and they would be separated for a year. She tried to accept it, but it wasn't easy. How could she do this alone?
She had written him everyday, pouring every thought and every detail of each day, doing her best to include him in all that was going on. There was seldom a reply, and when there was, it was short and she could tell he was stressed and probably surrounded by explosions and the madness of war as he wrote.
She volunteered at the base hospital; it helped pass time. She felt she was doing something to help the effort, and, almost selfishly, she thought that by seeing the patients, some so battered and helpless, she could see her own blessings.
But then her world fell apart, her heart crushing against her ribs when she saw the man bringing the telegram to her door. She could feel it deep inside her, a tear flowed from the corner of her eye, down her cheek, and paused at her chin, until the next one nudged it away and it fell to the ground. Her hand came to her mouth, her eyes filled with tears, her stomach cramped as her free hand held the door jam.
The man looked at her somewhat quizzically. He handed her the note, she couldn't understand the cold almost amused look on his face. She realized that he was simply doing his job, nothing personal. He didn't even know her, let alone know her husband. She took the note and watched as the little man walked away, scratching his head. Without looking she opened it, and then slowly lowered her head to read the words she dreaded. And there, so unexpected, were the words ...
"Honey, my tour is up, meet me in Hawaii."