The War

October 11, 2011
Metal grinding on metal slow comes to a halt in front of New River’s station. While passengers board the 41ft 6in of metal that is coming to take him away, a precious family is being broken. “Why,” Samantha wonders out loud, “Do you have to go, Daddy?”

Lacy Eden draws back as if her own daughter had reached out and slapped her. She knows her babies don’t understand what’s happening all around them or what could potentially happen to their father as soon as his foot hits the ground in no mans land. Thomas response a bit better to the question as he assures his little angels that he’d be home before they even noticed he had left. With a kiss on the cheek to the women who Thomas loves and a swift peck to little Sam whose focus was currently on the little ketchup stain on his shirt. Its true, he sure ate like his father. Thomas reminisces with thoughts of scrubbing countless shirts of his to remove left over lunches, or dinners. But as he turns to his darling Samantha for the 13th hug today, He’s close to losing it.

Thomas always knew it was coming. Heck, He has even planned for it. Whether she’ll admit it or not, his high school sweetheart, Lacy, even knew it was approaching. But at that moment, he was sure why. Why should he, out of millions, risk his life for war? He knew the odds. Thomas also knew there was no other choice. He was going to war. Though if he could go back and somehow change, back to times of happiness, when his newly formed family blissfully ignored the war;he wonders if he would change his decision. He decided he wouldn’t. Thomas Eden was no coward. Those words would repeat in his head for the next long hard months in the land or gunshots, lost friends, and loneliness. They’d allow Thomas to live threw the long hard months of lost birthdays, static phone calls, and quilt in the pit of his stomach when he pictures home. As Lacy waits by the bay window, he built for her what seemed like ages ago, for the mailman. Never deciding if she’s more relived or petrified when she sees the bulk of the white mailman van pull around the corner. There’s more than one type of letter she could receive, that thousands of wives just like her received every day. She wasn’t foolish enough to trick herself out of that thought. Then he begins to picture his children. Growing up and not skipping a bit to think about waiting for dear ole’ dad to come home. He’ll deal with the pain day by day. Because he’s strong. All daddys are.

So in that moment Thomas P. Eden lifts his chin and spins his little girl in the hands that aren’t meant to kill but will for his country. Kisses her cheek that’s not meant for tears but will harbor so many on days to come. As he heaves his duffel bug on his shoulder and his boot hits the first step of the 41 ft. 6in that’s come to take him away He keeps moving. Not looking back to what he’s leaving behind. A shattered family.

In months to come his once weekly letters stop. Months go by before their planning the funeral for the bravest man. The feeling of lose in their stomach since he left was intensified to endless amounts as the Dad they cant even bury is vanishing without even being present. Little Sam isn’t so little anymore. Lose of someone you barely got the chance to know is still a lose he’ll have to suffer with. Samantha is a brave little girl, just like her father told her countless times as the static on the other end threatened to take him away again, back to no mans land. Lacys faces is creasing into lines no women of her age should have. Oh how pretty she use to be before this all happened. Before promises where made that weren’t meant to be kept. Before lives were lost that were meant to live to gray hair. All that’s left of a single mom and her two children are memories and hopes for the future that lay shattered all around them.

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