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A short story about military families and how war tears them apart.
Derek Anthony Held
Newbie author who is tired of just kicking around ideas.
Derek Anthony Held
It was an ordinary day on an ordinary military base. Martin arrived home from a day of working. He walked into his house towards the kitchen, put a black folder down on the counter and walked to his wife who was preparing dinner. He gave her a loving kiss, and asked her how she was feeling. She said she was doing great and that the baby had been kicking all day. Maria, Martin's wife, was a little over 8 months pregnant. She was due in only a few weeks. Martin sat down in the living room to read the daily newspaper while his wife finished dinner.
Maria called Martin into the dining room, saying dinner was ready. He came in and sat down. The expression on his face changed from the time he walked into the house, but Maria didn't notice. They said their prayers like they do every time before they eat dinner, and they started eating. For dinner was baked chicken. Mashed potatoes, and steamed green beans. It was a very satisfying dinner. While they ate, they spoke about current events, happenings of the day and other ordinary things. Maria noticed her husband's face now. He was wearing a very mellow face, but Maria didn't ask. She figured that if it was something important, he husband would tell her.
Then Martin spoke, in a very grave tone. He told Maria that they had to talk. She immediately started to worry. There was something wrong. She knew it. She was compelled to find out, but at the same time, she was afraid. She was 8 months pregnant, and the last thing she wanted was bad news.
“Maria, I am being shipped out to Iraq,” Martin uttered, in a low sorrowful tone.
“When do you leave?” asked Maria, tears starting to flow from here beautiful eyes.
“Tomorrow,” replied her husband.
“No... no... no no no no!” Tears started jetting from her eyes. “Not now, not now! They can't send you.”
“I wish that was the case, but I have to go.”
“Why, why now! I am about to have our son, you can't go now!” The tears were flowing faster.
“Maria,” Martin's eyes started to water, “please, don't make this any harder than it already is.”
“NO! I won't let you go, they can't take you now! Please don't go, I want you to be here, for our son. You can't go now, you just can't,” said Maria, her body starting to shake.
“This isn't how it was supposed to be! This can't be happening!”
“Why? Why now? Why did they wait so long to send you?” Maria questioned.
“I don't know, but..” Maria cut him off by jumping out of her chair and wrapping her arms around her husband. They both fell to the soft carpet floor, crying in each other's arms, the beige carpet soaking up their falling tears.
It was the last time Maria saw or talked to her husband. Two uniformed men showed up to the hospital, 2 days after her child was born. They told her that her husband was killed in action the day prior. Maria's family was torn apart by a war nobody wanted. All she could do was cry.
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© 2006 Derek Anthony Held
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