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The day Willow Renee was born, Cadet Anderson found his weakness. No amount of loyalty for the place he called home could ever replace the way he felt when she looked at him and smiled. He knew that he could never let her grow up the way he had. She would never want anything without having it.
The Andersons bought a nice home close to the base so when his next four years were up he could retire the Force and live where Willow had grown up. The house was a two story brick house that have an in ground pool in the back yard, not to mention its large yard for Willow. Everything was going just as Cadet Anderson had wished. Evadene had not worked a day since she got pregnant, there was no need.
Cadet Anderson had just arrived home when Evadene ambushed him at the door.
“We’re going to have to cut back on these little shopping sprees you find necessary. Willow has more than enough, Of EVERYTHING.”
“Well I’m sorry that I don’t want our daughter to ever go without,” John was getting mad.
“That’s not what I’m saying John and you know it. We are just barely breaking even. Unless I get a job we need to catch up.”
“We’ll be fine. I’ll figure something out. She will always have more than enough,
even if that means falling behind at times.” John was getting frustrated at the thought of Willow never getting what she wanted.
Evadene did not mention another word about the subject. She knew how John had felt and she knew she could never change that. She didn’t exactly want to push it either, she had never been without and she could never imagine having her only daughter go through what he had.
Cadet Anderson went to his job on base that morning like he had done every time before. He kissed his wife and daughter good bye.
When he arrived home he walked into the door to find Evadene crying in the living room. She was packing things into boxes and throwing things about the room. Cadet Anderson was in shock.
“What are you doing?!”
“What does it look like John?”
“Are you leaving me? You’re not taking Willow with you. I will not let you!”
“Why would I leave you? Maybe you should look around John”
“What are you talking about you devil woman?” Cadet said as his veins pulsed with fury.
“We’re being evicted John. I got the notice today.”
There it was on the ground. A letter that had a giant black stamp that said FORECLOSURE on the paper, littered on their living room floor. When he saw it, it was like taking a bullet. Everything he had ever worked for was about to be lost. And he knew it was all because of him.
“Evadene I am so sorry. This is my entire fault. I should have listened to you
when you said to stop spending.” Cadet Anderson hung his head down in shame.
“Don’t blame yourself John. I’ve been spending too much as well.” She could not let him take all the blame.
“Easier said than done, at least you saw this coming!” He now was getting mad again.
“I did not see this coming. I never in my life would have dreamt that we would
lose our house. The place where I built a home for our family John, for what? We are losing everything.”
“Thank you for pointing that our Evadene. I don’t think I would have been able to
put that together!!!”
“Seriously?” She was in a fit of rage.
“You’re really going to act like a child during a time like this?”
“Well can you at least help me pack? Even a child could do that. Willow’s packing right now actually.”
“Don’t you make her pack.”
“Quit trying to shield her from everything. You have to have bad to realize how
good you have it. This is the reason we’re losing our house.”
As they began to pack all of their belongings, Cadet Anderson had an epiphany. He realized that he could fix this all. Everything he had destroyed he could fix in a matter of signing a piece of paper.
“Put everything back please.” John instantly felt a shadow of shame cross his face.
“Why?” Evadene was getting angry.
“I’m going to fix this.”
“How?” said sarcastically by Evadene.
Cadet Anderson explained to Evadene that he could get more money for going to Iraq and then left for his Sergeant’s office. Sergeant Burgundy was an intimidating man of 6’5” and 210 of pure muscle. There wasn’t a thing in this world he could not get if he asked. (Well in a way if he told.) He only had to look in a person’s direction and they would start cleaning something.
He was sitting there with his pen in his hand, sweat seemed to be pouring from his forehead and pits. The time had come for him to decide on whether or not to go to Iraq and fight for his country. The offer had not only offered a sense of loyalty but a shorter tour and a pay increase. A large pay increase, and that’s what brought him here.
Sergeant Burgundy seemed to be reading his mind, he instantly mentioned the increase. “The pride of fighting for your country is important, but I also realize the pay raise of $2500 a month for your wife and daughter is what drove you here.”
Before he had finished his sentence, Cadet Anderson immediately felt the guilt for all of the mistakes that put them in their position. He thought of his wife and the dirty things he said to her during the fight. He wanted to call and apologize. Now he would have to make the choice of either leaving Willow fatherless as he was, or have his daughter go without things she would want.
Cadet Anderson took the pen to the paper and made the only decision that had seemed logical. He had to do this for his wife and daughter. Cadet Anderson stood up and shook Burgundy’s hand.
“I hope you are making the right decision. I also hope there is no doubt about your decision.” Sgt. Burgundy said these empty words. He had not really cared why John would join. He just wanted him to.
“I understand Sir. I have thought it over and it is the only choice.”