I paced around my office nervously, my eyes locked to the phone that was stationed on my desk. Sam was due to call 2 hours ago when she got back from P4x-298, but the only call I had received were from my secretary reminding me that I had a doctors appointment tomorrow morning. I picked up the picture off my desk and wiped a thumb across the glass to remove the dust that had gathered there, over Sam's face. Something was wrong with her and I could feel it. I was not just going to sit around here and wait. I was heading back to Colorado.
I pulled my jacket on and grabbed my keys out of my draw. I headed down the hallway towards the secretary's desk, clutching the photo of my wife in my left hand while I walked the dog in the other.
"Helen, cancel my appointments for the next week, will you?" I managed to say as I passed her.
"I…is everything okay, General?"
"I don't know! I'll call you when I get there!"
"Get where, sir?"
I knew that she understood what I mean. Helen is a smart woman, so I knew I could trust her to let me do what I need to do and not stand in the way.
Even though my back was turned to her, I know she was smiling sympathetically at me, but I didn't want her sympathy. I didn't want anyone's sympathy. I had to find out what was wrong with my wife. If I lost her, it would be like losing Charlie all over again, and I couldn't handle that. Samantha O'Neill is my life, my everything. This may sound clichéd, but she is what keeps me the little bit of sane I have left. I need to know everything is okay. People would say that I'm acting paranoid but Sam is never late. With anything! Especially not, phone calls. Damn! I should have even let her be working! She's pregnant for cryin' out loud! If any thing happens to her or our baby, I will never forgive myself.
I walked—okay ran—out of the building, too impatient to take the elevator. I darted down the stairs, three steps at a time. I reached my old truck a few minutes later, unlocking it as quickly as possible. When I got into the cab, my pager chirped and my heart quickened. My first thought was of Sam!
However, it was only Landry…LANDRY!
I grabbed my phone, my knuckles still white around the photo frame, as I called the General. It rang once before the man answered.
"General O'Neill! We need to talk!"
"Sir, where is Colonel O'Neill?" I tried to keep my voice level as I fought back tears. I needed to know what was wrong!
"That's why I'm calling. However, I wouldn't like to discuss it over the phone. How fast can you get here? The colonel…she needs you!"
I tried to swallow the lump in my throat, but my mouth was too dry. I dropped the phone out of my hand, landing it on the vinyl seat beside me, before I inserted the key into the ignition and turned it over. It spluttered at first, and then revved to life in a way that made me happy to have not sold it. A decent car like this was way better than those new cars that probably wouldn't last as long as this car had.
3 hours later, I was sitting in a jet that was flying thirty thousand feet in the air. It wasn't particularly hard to get a last minute flight to Colorado when you're a Major General for the air force and you label it urgent. (Of course, a little bit of yelling always helped)
I scanned the plane, trying to take my mind off wandering what Landry wanted to talk about. Two young air force personnel sat a few rows in front of me, talking quietly, but not quietly enough.
"…I heard that the General was flying out to Colorado 'cuz he was lonely and needed a shag from his wife!" The young man snorted with what I could only assume was laughter, but I didn't think it was funny at all. In fact, I thought it was damn right stupid and if they survived this flight, I would owe myself a beer. I still had 5 painstaking hours until I saw my wife again. The next five hours would probably be the death of me and hopefully not Sam.