Love is Never Forgotten | Teen Ink

Love is Never Forgotten

December 20, 2019
By UncleCarlton BRONZE, Wilmington, Delaware
UncleCarlton BRONZE, Wilmington, Delaware
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

One thing the military does well is keep you busy. That's all I’ve been the past few years is busy. I may be stationed in Berlin, Germany, a base, might I add, that has absolutely nothing going on. Only thing that does happen is planes flying things in, being refueled, and sent back home, but they always find a way to keep you busy.

I was lucky enough to get some time off. They asked me where I wanted to go and there was only one place I had in mind...Ireland. Now you may think, Ireland? What are you gonna do there? Wouldn't you want to go back home? Yes of course I want to go back home, but I want to go back home and stay there, not just take a vacation. So Ireland it was. Mostly to visit a person that I hadn't seen in a long time. This person was an extremely close friend of mind. That doesn't even begin to describe the relationship I have with her. She had her heart set on going out of the country for college and I backed her 100%. When I told her I wanted to join the military, she wasn't exactly thrilled, but when I explained that school isn't for me and I wanted to see the world while also being in the service, she understood. 

I left for bootcamp in the late months of summer. I knew that the day had come and this would be the last time I’d see her for some time. I wasn't ready for it. Neither was she. She drove me to the airport, helped me check in, and get ready to leave. Then she stood at the bottom of the stairs. We both looked each other in the eyes and knew what was going to happen. I was going to go up those stairs and that's the last time we see each other for a few years. To say that we cried doesn't fully grasp the idea of what happened, but there was definitely lots of crying. We pulled ourselves together, hugged, said our goodbyes. I started the slow climb to the top of the stairs. When I finally got there, I took one look back. Saw that big dumb smile of hers, shed my last tear. Then turned and headed for my plane.

That was the last time I saw her. Almost 3 years ago. Now I'm on a plane to meet her, in an airport, in Ireland. A place I know nothing about except that it’s green, very green. I'm still dressed in my fatigues as the army requires while I travel. Some people notice and thank me for my service. Those who are American, that is. The rest, probably native Irish people, just give me a nod. They know who I am and what I do. That nod is them saying thank you, even though I don't wear their flag, they know I'm keeping them safe. Then we land.

As I get off the plane, I couldn't be any more nervous. What if she didn't recognize me. What if she wasn't here. What if what if what if. That's all I could tell myself on the way to get my bag. When I had my bag I started to walk towards the stairs. I stopped at the top and asked myself one last time, what if. Then I began the descent down the stairs, looking around, nervous, but also scared. Then I saw it. That big dumb smile I’d left all those years ago, and it was staring right back at me.


This will certify that the above work is completely original.

Carlton O’Connor



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