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A Soldier’s Promise

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Roy and Emily held hands as they walked down the beaten dirt path of their city’s park; far after accepted hours. The sun set and now the moon took its place high in the sky, lighting the two down their road. The girl, Emily, had light brown hair and stood about 5’4; the boy next to her was at least a foot taller. He had darker hair and had a certain air around him that screamed of a pained silence.

As they continued walking with only the moon‘s light to guide them, the cold wind whipped across them, moving Emily’s hair all around her face and making her shiver. Roy wrapped his arm around d her; though she continued to tremor. Her hands flew to her face as muffled cries could be heard, breaking the silence of the night.

“What’s wrong, Em?” Roy quickly directed her to a nearby bench he saw a few feet away and the couple sat down. Roy watched on sadly as his girlfriend sat there and cried; only comforted by Roy’s closeness.

“I can’t take it; I can’t deal with you leaving tomorrow. I just can’t do it.” Emily’s words came strangled through deep breaths. Roy’s eyes fell at her words, and he couldn’t even respond to the hate behind them; he only lowered his gaze and pulled her into a hug, not needing words.

Roy knew exactly what Emily was worried about. Tomorrow he would be shipped off to Hawaii, with over fifty other marines. He was going to go their Base in Oahu as an officer.

He just got back from his training a few months ago, but Emily wanted more time together. This was definitely not how she wanted her final year of college to go, but she didn’t know what she could do to stop it; she hated the thought of living without him. They had been together since high school began, and being together just felt so natural to Emily that she couldn’t bare the thought of change. Roy didn’t want to tell her how excited he was to be going, but he knew that telling her would hurt her feelings terribly. So he withheld his intense joy from spilling over, for her own sake.

“I feel like I can barely remember your face anymore.” Roy knew she was over exaggerating but her comment still hurt all the same.

“You’ve seen me for the past four months straight; wasn’t that good enough?” The cold night sky rang with his empty words as Emily didn’t answer; only to look away with more tears staining her eyes.

After a few minutes of sniffling, Emily wiped her eyes once more and smiled up at Roy who had kept his arm around her, watching her intently. He smiled back; Roy loved it when she was happy. His brown eyes looked back at her green ones, and they both smiled widely; still feeling the cold midnight air hitting their faces. Emily shuddered again, taking in deep breaths to still her quivering body, her cheeks a bright cold pink.

“I just don’t want you to not come back one day, leaving me al-“

“Nothing’s going to happen to me, okay? I won’t leave you.” He brushed strands away from Emily’s face using his left hand, holding her close with his right.

“I promise.” Roy saw her face in the moonlight and his heart pounded in his ears; screaming at him, forcing him to hear his heart full of agony at the thought of leaving her again.

“What do I have to do to get you to stay?” Emily suddenly perked up, desperate to win him over and keep him with her.

Roy sighed and frowned as he shook his head slowly and turned his face to the night sky.

“Look Em, I love you, you know that, but there’s nothing I can do; and nothing I would do to stop me from going.” His deep voice sounded in her ears as Emily closed her eyes and pulled up her knees immediately; trying so hard to not hear his words.

Roy’s mind whirled as he thought of a way to make her happy again; he knew the perfect solution, but he was just too nervous.

He saw Emily there in the moonlight and his heart stilled for half a second when he realized he wanted to be with her forever. If he was going to win her over, he had to do it now. The atmosphere changed.

“Hey, do you remember our first date?” Roy’s body shifted around, now sitting halfway off the park bench so he could be in front of Emily, demanding her eyes. She was slightly shocked at this strange change of pace, but kept a level head and tried to quiet herself.

“Of course I do silly.” She still sniffled slightly, wiping her red nose on her sleeve.

“Remember all those great memories we had with this park?” Emily heard his words and turned her head to look around into the dark night; she saw the same old trees and the river and a bridge, but she couldn’t recall anything special happening here at any time.

“Roy I think you’re starting to go crazy; nothing ever happen-” With her last word, Emily turned her head back to Roy. Finding him on the ground; down on one knee.

“Something could though.” Roy whispered the words as he knew he was putting all that he was on the line right now, right here, for this one girl. He held in his hand a tiny black box. Emily only stared.

She was the most wonderful thing to ever happen to him, and ever since before high school they had been together; all the while Roy knew he wanted to marry her, all along.

Emily’s eyes were glued to Roy’s face, tears of joy as pure as falling snow springing to her eyes. They both held their breath for a long moment before Roy continued.

“I promise I will always come back for you Emily. I will love you until the day I die, and so much longer after. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?” Roy’s heart nearly stopped for a moment as Emily’s smile dropped for a moment.

“Why did it have to take you so long?” Roy’s heart nearly burst through his chest as Emily accepted his ring, sliding it onto her finger. Roy held her hand and stood up fast, an emotion stronger than happiness overtook his face, and he grabbed Emily and kissed her, both grinning like crazy; neither had ever been so happy before in their entire lives.

“I love you.” Emily’s eyes shone brighter than the moon behind them, and Roy broke their embrace and looked into her still-wet eyes.

“Come on, let’s go home.” The words he spoke were so simple.

Emily knew that this ring was more than just a promise of marriage; it was Roy’s promise to her that he would come back for her. No matter what.

And while Emily walked away with her now-fiancé, she wore that ring on her finger, and she felt better about Roy coming back for her.

The ring on her finger was all the promise she needed to know Roy would come back for her, every time.





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