The 8th Fold

October 5, 2012
By cstanes BRONZE, Bloomington, Illinois
cstanes BRONZE, Bloomington, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The moment is stuck in his head while he reads. He pauses and recalls the memory.

She sits down in an elegant chair, wearing nearly nothing, just the unfinished tattoo and her underwear. She picks up the violin and begins playing. He just came home and he can hear her playing from down the hall. What a beautiful sound to come home too. He unlocks the door and walks in but she doesn’t notice him come in. Her back is to him and he sees the unfinished tattoo, a heart, what belongs in that tattoo is his name. To him it was beautiful so he remained there for seconds more taking in the picture. He walks up and puts his hand on her shoulder. She turns and looks up at his face. She smiles and scrunches her nose in excitement. She looks so cute. It has been 13 weeks and now they are together again. She jumps up dropping the violin and breaking the bridge. She is in his arms again. She is surprised to see him. She notices something different about him as he holds her. His hug isn’t so soft and his kiss is rougher. His hair is a flat top cut with square corners. Boot camp changed him. She thinks if 13 weeks in California changed him, then what will happen after a year in Afghanistan? The thought scares her so she returns her thoughts to the moment. He didn’t realize how much he missed the taste of her peppermint lip stick until now.

He clings to the memory as it slowly slips away. His mind returns to the present. He is leaned up against a particle board wall in barrack 23 Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. He holds the “Dear John” Letter in his hands. It has been three months since he received and he still wishes it never existed. He continues reading.
“… I wish it didn’t have to be this way. I just can’t take is, you being gone for so long. I can’t handle the fear of watching the news or the van pulling into the drive and hearing that you aren’t coming home to me. I’m sorry but I must end our relationship. I really wish it wasn’t like this. Come home safely.

With Great Love,

He sheds another tear as he finishes the letter but quickly wipes it away so no one will see. The letter still smells of her perfume. He misses her. She was all he had to return home to and now she is gone. He has nothing left to keep him going. The fear of being sent home in a box and dress blues no longer torments him when he goes out on a patrol. He no longer fears staring Death in the eye and spitting in his face. If anything, the honor of coming home in a pine box became a goal.

The author's comments:
I first came up with this story in my Introduction to creative writing class with Mrs. Graham. The inspiration just came out of nowhere and I just wrote what came to mind. I didn't have a plot thought out yet I just formed the plot as I went. It's only one page long but it left room to make another connecting short story which I completed only a few hours ago.

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