"It is what it is, it's kind of Ridiculous"

January 18, 2010
By , Sparks, NV
“Ryan A. Cohen you being recalled to act of duty in Iraq.” I got the package in the mail today that I’ve been dragging to get, since the day I came home; now its here and official. “All IRR Soldiers are to report to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for their basic skills refresher training...” Yeah, like I could ever forget that c***. “Fourteen days of training. Sleeping around forty-five other guys.” There was something always inside me that knew I was going to become part of the Military, but ever that ‘Wow, now I definitely know what I have to do’ feeling. After 9/11 that was the moment when I knew that I had to enlist, that was decision maker for me. Do I want to go back? Of course not! I could get out of going back to Iraq by using my PTSD as an excuse. But I would definitely feel guilty about it a hundred percent. They need me back so I have to do what I have to do. I’m going back to Iraq. I always feared I would be called back before my eight years are up and now I’m getting called back. I’ve been out for three and a half years, I honesty never thought I was going back. “Charlotte is going to be mad” I put her through this once and don’t want to put her though it again. I don’t think she can handle it; she almost didn’t the first time.
“I have to go back” Charlotte’s face instantly turned pale. “Just like that? No warning or nothing?” she asked. “I have to report to North Carolina for training” She wouldn’t look at me in the eyes. “Can’t you get out of it…in some way possible?” she asked. “No I can’t, I’m really sorry. It’s my duty to do this. I never thoug…” “You never though what? That I would be okay with this? Huh is that it?” She said while cutting me off. “No, that I would ever have to go back! But that’s what happens, it’s my job Char.” I looked up at her and she was on the ground crying. I got the ground right next to her, and put my arms around her. I could feel her heart beating, what seem like it was going a million times a minute. “No! Not again! Not again!” she shouted at me and threw me off of her. Then throws the ring at me and runs upstairs.
“Well what did you expect dude? She was always worried and when she didn’t hear from you she thought the worse.” Chris said while reading my IRR letter. “You know she gets lonely nobody here to talk to her. And she doesn’t exactly get along with the other Military wives here. Not even Jacob’s girl gets along with her. She said Charlotte was kind of depressing. And you know how Allie is, she gets along with everybody. But dude I got to agree with her, Char does get depressing to be around.” He said then put the letter on the coffee table. “Yeah I knew she wouldn’t get along with other wives but why would she? I mean we’re got even married.” I still had the ring in my hand; I put it on my finger and was spinning it around and around my finger. “Dude come on, she thinks you’re married to the Military. That’s why you haven’t set a wedding date yet.” Then he picks up the letter again and mumbles the first line, “Ryan A. Cohen you are being recalled to act of duty in Iraq” ”Wait...Where in Iraq are you being sent too?” Chris asked with a worried looked on his face “Baghdad.” Chris is re-reading the letter once again; like he’s trying to mesmerize it. “I’m not married to the Military. It just sucks that she doesn’t support me, isn’t there for me. Waiting for me to come home” I finally stop spinning the ring and set it on the coffee table. “Look maybe she’s done waiting for you. That or maybe she’s not the right girl for you.” I look over at Chris and I can tell from the look on his face that he’s dead serious; and isn’t joking around. Chris can tell from just looking at me face that he knows what I’m thinking. “What I mean is maybe you need someone in your life that is willing to wait for you, and be there for you through this; and someone who won’t more to your plate. Cause what I’m seeing is that you have a lot already on your plate. And you don’t need to be completely stressed out because of your girl.” I can tell just by listening to Chris that he sees a lot that I don’t see. Something inside me knows that he’s right.
Before I left for training, I tried to work things out with Charlotte. But lately everything Chris had told me had stuck in my head, and made me think about my relationship with Charlotte. The first time I was deployed it was really hard on her. If she didn’t hear from me and get an e-mail she was worried out of her mind. She was scared to death everytime the phone rang or the doorbell rang. Then when I did call her or talk to her, she felt bad about talking about food or such with.
She wasn’t acting like the same person anymore.
It’s been a couple of months since I’ve been in Baghdad. I’m a infantryman where me and my company will patrol and walk around the looking for IED which are our main threats. I get freaked out mostly at night, you have a lot of paranoid soldiers, and you just don’t know when you come across a dead body or an IED. You just don’t know. I was on the phone with Charlotte last night then all of a sudden the line goes end. Which means one thing, a soldier died, which also means the phone and internet will be down for seventy-two hours. So that the Military can get a hold of the soldier’s family and tell them the sad news.
“Hello?” Charlotte’s voice sounds like she’s been crying. “Hey, it’s me. I’m still alive.” Hoping she caught on to my humor. “Oh my God! Ryan! You’re okay I was really worried. I thought it was you who got killed.” She actually sounded happy for once. “Nope it wasn’t me or you wouldn’t be talking to me now.” “Why do you find this funny? I thought you were dead. It’s not a joking matter Ryan. You never think about my feelings. It’s always a big joke to you.” The sound of her voice wasn’t right.” Sorry, I wasn’t trying to upset you, honest. I do have good new though, your favorite solider got promoted to Sergeant.” She didn’t say anything at first. It was just silent on the phone. “So does this mean that you’re staying there longer than you should? Cause if you are Ryan I don’t thing I can handle it. You’re never here when I need you. I’m all myself Ryan; I don’t think you understand how I feel.” “Maybe she’s not the right girl for you.” Chris’s voice filled my head. “You know what Char? I can’t handle this relationship with you. I need someone who is willing to wait for me to come home and be there with me through this.” Charlotte doesn’t say anything for a while. “I am willing to wait for you Ryan.” she says with hurt coming from her voice. “No. Charlotte you aren’t. You think being away only affects you but it also affects me. But you just never realized it before.” I feel like a weight was been lifted from my chest. “Charlotte? You never call me that. What are exactly saying Ryan?” From the sound of her voice I could tell she started crying. “What I’m saying is that you have some issues that you need to deal with.” “What’s going to happen to us? What are you saying Ryan? ” It’s hard to tell her the truth sometimes. “It is what it is, it’s kind of ridiculous.” Then I hung up the phone.

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