Soldier's Heart | Teen Ink

Soldier's Heart

August 25, 2008
By Jillian Mismas, Highland Hts., OH

“Why are you doing this, Drake?” Rosalie sobbed. She turned her back to the person beside her, unable to look at him.

She felt a tear burn on her cheek as it slowly started to drip down her face. She quickly wiped it away, before he could see it. She wanted to be strong…she needed to be strong.

Rosalie closed her eyes, trying to swallow back the tears. She felt a hand gently caressing her face, drying all of the wetness under her eyes.

“I’m doing this for us, Rosalie.” said Drake, his voice rhythmic as if he was singing a song. His warm hand brushed through Rosalie’s hair, her eyes opening. Drake pressed his body closer to Rosalie’s, as she wrapped her arms around him, not wanting to let him go. Wanting this moment to last forever. Drake pushed away to face her, holding on to her shoulders. He looked at her and saw her eyes glistening with wet tears. He cupped her face with both his hands. Rosalie closed her eyes as more tears fell. She grabbed his forearms with her hands. He lifted her head and moved forward, along with Rosalie. Their lips met, and for a long moment neither of them pulled away. Rosalie rubbed the skin on the back of his neck, trying to get him to move closer, to make him kiss her longer and harder.

“I love you, Rose.” Drake assured her, embracing Rosalie, then in one swift movement he picked her up and sat her on her bed.

“I lo-love you too, Drake.” Rosalie was out of breath, and she had felt like she was floating. Drake lay on the bed with his back to the wall, sitting with his feet crossed. Rosalie laid her head on his lap, as he began to gentle stroke his hand through her long, brown hair. He hummed her favorite song, as if trying to sooth her. It worked, but only for the time being. “But I just don’t understand! Why? Why are you doing this?” Rosalie closed her eyes again, waiting for Drake’s response.

“I don’t know if I’m going to sign up yet. I don’t know what to do, but I think I will. You must understand, I need to do this. For myself, and for you!” Even when he stopped humming, his voice was so musical and soothing.

“No you don’t, Drake. You don’t have to prove anything to me! I love you and I always will. Please, don’t leave me, please don’t! I don’t know what I will do if you don’t return!” Rosalie‘s voice cracked. She shuddered and Drake lifted her so he could lay beside her, face her. Their bodies were parallel with one another’s. Drake stroked his hand through her hair again, and Rosalie pressed her face in his muscled chest. “I’m not as strong as you.”

“Rose, please, nothing is going to happen to me if I do go. Trust me, I know what I’m doin-”

“My father said the same thing. I’m still waiting for him to return.” Rosalie thought back to her father’s death. “I can’t loose you like I lost my father, Drake! I can’t and won’t!” Rosalie yelled into his chest. Drake wrapped his arms around her, tightening his grip, which resulted in Rosalie crying harder. She felt so secure and safe in Drake’s arms, and she didn’t want to loose that.

“Nothing will happen to me. You need to trust me, Rose. Please, let me do this. Let me do this for us!” Drake said deliberately, and it sounded to Rosalie that he sung it. His voice warmed her ears, and his lips melted her body. Rosalie clung to him, wanting him to hold her tighter, kiss her more, and to wake up to his beautiful face every morning for all her life.

“Drake, if you do decide to…leave, just prove to me…prove to me you love me by coming back alive.”

Drake listened to the sweat melody of Rosalie’s breathing. He watched her sleep in his arms, feeling her body moving with each inhale and exhale of her breath. She was so beautiful when she slept, so at peace. He noticed the small, glistening tear that had just formed on her left cheek and grimaced.

Taking his left hand, Drake gradually traced up the side of her neck, to the back of her ear. His thumb was long enough to reach the fresh tear as he wiped it away. He stared at Rosalie, noticing her high cheekbones, long, thick eye lashes, and the patterns of her skin. As it got more closer to her eyes, her skin was darker. It made her look even more beautiful.

Drake took a deep, intake of breath. He didn’t think she was going to understand. Now, he didn’t know if he should go. He didn’t think he could survive two days without Rosalie being in his arms or hearing her voice. He couldn’t resist the feel of her skin against his, the smell of her hair, the taste of her lips…

Drake moved closer to Rosalie until he was kissing her. She didn’t pull away but woke up and started to kiss him back.

“I love you.” Drake said, taking a deep breath as he looked at Rosalie, their eyes locked.

“As I love you.” Rosalie lifter her hand to stroke his cheek. “Please, don’t leave me, Drake.”

He loved it when she said his name, but hated seeing the hurt in her eyes and the agony in her voice. “Rosalie…” He only said her name because he loved hearing it. “Rosalie…”

“You’re only eighteen. You have so much to live for, so many years we can have with each other! I don’t want to loose that. I don’t want to loose you!” Rosalie said in a hushed whisper.

Drake’s breathing grew more audible, he closed his eyes.

Rosalie saw a small tear trickling down his cheek. He opened his eyes, and Rosalie noticed for the first time in the morning, the wrinkles under his eyes. He had been crying the whole night. Rosalie lifted her hand and wiped the tear away, kissing his cheek. The decision was killing him, and it was her fault.

“Rosalie, I have to do this for my grandfather. He brought me up as his own son when my parents were getting divorced. He would be proud of me when he hears I’m following in his footsteps. He always wanted me to become a soldier. It’s my thanks to him for being like a father to me.” Drake broached. Rosalie wrapped her arms around his waist, embracing him, kissing his chest.

“Drake, I understand you want to thank your grandfather for all the help he has given you, but-”

“He gave me a home without shouting and abusive parents, and he gave me a new school, which I found you.” Drake gave Rosalie a small peck on the lips. She smiled.

“Yes, Drake, but he…didn’t he die in war?” Rosalie was hesitant, not wanting to hurt Drake by bringing back terrible memories.

“Yes, he did. That’s why I have to do this.”

“I still don’t understand, Drake. Do you want to die?” Rosalie closed her eyes at the thought of Drake being gone forever. It was a thought that hurt her even when he was right there with her. Drake kissed her hair, rubbing her back with his hand.

“I’ll return to you, I know I will. My grandpa will lead me through this.” Drake whispered. “I am going to sign up for war. I‘m going to do this for us.”

Rosalie smiled, knowing that Drake was right. He needed to do this for his grandfather, but that didn’t mean he had to do it alone.

“If you say your doing this for us, then wouldn‘t it make more sense if…?” Drake looked at Rosalie with curious, loving eyes. She smiled at him, not hesitating before she answered his curious eyes. If this is what Drake wanted, then she would budge…for him. She would do anything for him, as he would for her. That was what true love was about. She was a tough person, inside and out. She would survive with him. Both her and Drake would survive the war together or die in war together besides one another. Drake wasn’t the only one who had a soldier’s heart. “I’m going with you.”

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