Beginning a Life Long Journey

February 14, 2011

Everything is motionless and quiet. Today is the day we have been dreading ever since we got the orders. We as a whole are in the air force but Thomas is the soldier who is about to go on his first deployment. Its five o’clock in the morning and we are wide awake. The time has come to get up out of bed and begin checking your bags at least a hundred more times. We don’t make a sound because neither of us knows what to say. I just want to scream out and tell you not to go but I don’t because this is our life. Looking at me with those dark brown eyes he smiles and holds me close. A priceless moment that we know we may never get back.

Thomas’s bags are now packed and sitting in the bed of the truck. It seems like this morning is happening way to fast. The drive to the field was full of complete silence; no radio, no conversation just the sound of us breathing and the tires as we drive on the long deserted road. I look over at him and I can see the fear lingering in his eyes. So I finally gave into my emotions, I told him I don’t want him to leave and how I hate knowing that there is a chance he may never come back. In that moment emotions began to run freely, tears falling down and our voices began to crack. It felt as if there was no way to truly express the way we felt so it is all kept inside.

As we drive on further the field soon becomes in sight. It looks like a scene from a movie, the sun still hidden behind the thick grey clouds and in the mist of the dark, figures are seen moving about. Little children laugh and older ones crying, for days like this they just don’t understand. Mothers are trying to comfort the children while confiding in a close friend. Fathers gathering their belongings and trying not to cry as their children cling to his bags begging him not to go. Comrades helping one another load the bags into the white buses that will take them away and one day return them back from where they once came. Pulling into the field it felt so unreal to me for I did not know what to say. Everyone here is becoming one, one feeling, one loss, one heart ache, one body. My mind becomes blank and confused; I can’t help but ask myself if this is just a dream when I hear someone calling my name, it’s Thomas. We have arrived and it’s time to get out. I begin helping him unload his bags and he walks over to his team. I am left standing by the truck slowly taking all this in. I start to feel the burn and the tears rushing to my eyes there is no holding back I begin to cry. I cry for Thomas, me, and every other family who is living in this so called “dream”. This “dream” that we live is full of uncertainties, we never know what tomorrow holds, who is on the other end of the phone line, or what that letter or knock on the door means. Every second of the day you go wondering what is going to happen next. No one outside this “family” seems to understand when I come to them crying all they do is nod their heads as if they truly know what I am going through.

The time has come to say “good bye” because the buses are now all loaded. I watch as Thomas begins to slowly walk over towards me. After a few seconds of contemplating I run into his arms, his embrace is so tight it feels like we may never let go feeling safe and secure. Wanting this moment to last forever I bury my head into his chest, listening to nothing but the sound of his heart beating. I glance up only to see his dark brown eyes starting to fill with tears and then slowly rolling down his face. His commander is now yelling out and telling everyone it is time to go. We share one last hug, kiss, and trade “I love you”. Then I watch as you walk to the buses with your comrades, men leaving their wives, girlfriends, and children. We watch as everyone loads the buses as the sun starts to slowly break through the clouds. The buses begin to disappear from sight we decide to leave as well. We all get into our vehicles, one by one, each with one less person. Everyone heading home or off to work none the less everyone is about to begin their life long journey.

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