I walked back to the field where the men, "boys", where all doing push ups. Once they saw me they stopped and stood on their feet.
"Everything all right Sir?" one man yelled. He was sweating like a pig. Dripping down from his face down to his chest. He took his hand to his head and wiped it across his head.
I looked down to my boots, and then looked up, "K listen, I'm going to be heading home for about a week or two. Something came up. While I'm gone, I need you guys to work hard," I crossed my arms and started walking, "I wanna hear that you all stuck! I wanna hear that I'm training the best men here!" I walked in between them all and looked at them. I made my way back to the front center and smiled, "Do I make myself clear?" They all nodded their heads and looked up to the sky to see a jet taking off. "I'll be giving commander Jake your workouts. I want them done and I want them done right." I looked around and each of the men, "Max, you'll be leader. That means you will be the strongest and I want you to keep these boys in line."
Max stood forward and smiled at me, "I wont let you down Sir."
"Alright," I kept a stern face and turned around and started to walk away.
The only thing that was running through my head was Savanna and Alyssa. Who the hell was there? Who the hell had to see me so bad? Who did I piss off? I started going through people in my mind. Mike? No. James? Naa. Nick? I don't even talk to him. I walked in to my room and grabbed my bag. I wanted to cry. I wanted to fall down to the ground and beat my self. Why did I leave her alone? I should have stayed….I should have stayed.
I sat on the plane and held my hands together.
"First time flying?" an old man said looking down at my hands. He had no hair left. Only a mole on his head. His wrinkles and wrinkles.
I looked up at him, "No, I've flown many times before." I let my hands go and let them fall to my knees. I sat back and looked at him. He looked so helpless and kind. Like the kind of old man who tips 50 bucks to the pizza man. "I just need to get home."
"Aha," he said rubbing his chin and turning to look out the window. "Have you ever thought what other people see? What other people feel? Have you ever thought what other people think of you? Do you stop and think when you'll die? When then time for you to leave the planet will come? Do ya lad?" He didn't give me time to answer when he turned around and put his hand on my shoulder, "You married lad?"
"Yes. Just recently."
"Do you tell your wife you love her more than anything in the world? Do you tell her that shes the most important thing to you. Cause lad, one day she may not be there." He turned around and closed his eyes. He left me sitting there in wonder.
The plane landed at dawn and I made my way off. I walked down the streets with my bags on me. I pulled out my phone and called a cab. It arrived shortly after. I sat in the cab and looked out the window. The skies were grey and the air was moist. The streets were empty. People waiting inside for the rain to come then leave.
The cab ride was quite. I didn't say anything.. Nor did he. A few minutes from home, it started to rain. Small drops fell on to the ground and hit the cab. They hit the window, then would race to the edge. I smiled as I thought back to sitting in the car with my dad. Me and him would pick a rain drop and watch them race each other. He always won. Some how he knew what rain drop to pick. Every time. Not once did he lose. Not to any one.
When the cab arrived home, I handed the money to the cab diver, and got out. I stood out side my house and starred at it. It looked so different. And I've only been gone for about a week. I pick up my bags and walked to the door. I listened to my shoes hit the sidewalk with every step I took. The rain was coving the streets and making everything wet and cold. I reached for the door knob, then pulled back fast. Who was there? Is Savanna okay? Why did I have to come home right away? I closed my eyes then opened them. Once again I reached for the door knob and turned it. The tenseness in my body reacted with it. Gripping on to it right, breathing heavy.
The door opened.
I walked in. No one was there. I dropped my bags and threw my jacket on the chair. "Hello?" I yelled looking around the room. The house was cold. The windows were open and the breeze came rushing through. I walked through the kitchen and made my way to the back door. As I looked out, I saw Savanna and a man sitting in a chair. Savanna holding Alyssa in her hands. Rocking back and forth. She stilled looked so beautiful. Just the way I left her. And Alyssa looked to small, calm, weak and carless about the world she was in. I opened the screen door and it made a screech as I pulled it open.
"John!" Savanna yelled standing up with Alyssa. She walked over to me and kissed me. Then she looked back at the man sitting in the chair, "I'll leave you two alone." she smiled and walked inside. I could hear her talking to Alyssa and she carried her to the living room.
"Nice to finally meet you, John." The man said reaching his arm out. He was a middle aged man. Possibly in his early 30's. He had dark blonde hair. He was dressed up and had a clear face. Professional looking, yes. My type of person to talk to, no.
"Hi, Mr.?" I said reaching for his hand then pausing.
"Harry Gage. But please call me Harry." He smiled and grabbed my hand. I smiled, uncomfortable. I sat down next to him.
"So you're the one that called me? Told me to come home?" I had my hands together. Leaving forward. Elbows on my knees. My breathing was calming down. I felt less nervous. But I still felt like something could still go wrong.
"Yes, I'm sorry about the inconvenience Sir," he leaned back in his chair, "but," he paused and looked up at me, "we need to talk. Do you know a girl, by the name of Ashley Walkers?" He leaned forward and put a piece of paper in front of me, "She killed herself last week. And she left a note, listing reasons why she did. You were the only person on there John…this is a serious deal. What exactly did u know and do with her?"
I pulled the paper towards me. On the paper was a girl. A girl I knew. A girl I liked. A girl I loved. My heart stopped. She never did leave my head. I closed my eyes to try to stop the tears. "I….Oh my goodness…." my voice cracked and I broke down.
Me and Ashley met about 5 months ago. I was at a party with my friend and I spotted her standing by the snack stand. I made my way over there and stood by here. She smelled like cherries and raspberries. Her hair was down and curled. Her make up was evenly applied to her face. Her eyes lit up under the light at the party.
Once we started talking she came home with me. We talked and then things got wild and outta hand. That next morning I woke up by her side and I felt wonderful. I felt like someone actually needed me. Someone actually cared about me. I rolled over and wrapped my arms around her and fell back asleep.
We started going out a month later and I fell in love with her. We did everything together. Shopping. Sleeping. Eating. Everything. I loved her with everything I had. I was asked to go back to the war. To serve 4 years. But I wouldn't go. I wouldn't leave Ashley. I didn't want the same thing that happened to me and Savanna happen to me and her. She felt like she was my everything. She was more than Savanna ever meant to me. But one thing that Ashley didn't do, is make promises. She didn't promise she loved me. She didn't promise that she would be with me forever. All she promised was that she would always be her self. And not change for anyone.
One night she said that she was going out with some friends. I said my good bye and watched her walk out the door. That night I sat at home and did nothing. Watched football for awhile. When my phone rang. It was my friend Hunter, wanting to go to a bar. I grabbed my jacket and keys and walked out the door. The drive was quite. I was used to having Ashley talk to me where ever we were going. But not this time. This time I sat in the silence. Listing only to the roar of the engine and I drove down the road. The streets were quite and empty. It was late at night. Ashley was supposed to be home pretty soon. I looked at my phone and glanced at the time, "9:16," I mumbled to myself. When I pulled up to the bar I parked my car. The neon sign flashing, "Beer," and "Open," light up the side walk next to the place. I walked inside. It spelled of pizza and beer. I scratched my head and looked around for Hunter. No where. I dragged my feet on the floor and made my way to a table. I sat down and waited for the waiter.
"Hello, welcome to Buckey's Beer. Can I get you anything to drink or eat today?"
I closed my eyes and then opened them and looked at her. She was an older lady. Lower 40's. She had her hair put up in a bun and had a pen in it. Her apron was tied tight around her body which made her look skinnier than she probably was. She had a wedding ring squeezed on to her finger. Her make up was done like a clown. Lip stick smudged on to her lips. "Um, yeah," I said I looking at her, "Can I have a Coors Light?"
"Yeah that sounds fine."
She nodded her head and walked away. I looked around one more time, making sure I didn't pass up Hunter. When I saw Ashley. Sitting in the corner, on a guys lap. Making out with him gently. Her hands rapped around his body and his on her hips. Pulling her closer and closer. I sat there. In amazement. Is it every girl? Is every girl out there like this?
I stood up and left. I had no use of being there. I drove home. Holding back tears. When Savanna popped in to my head. Her lips pressed against mine and her smile when I kissed her forehead. Her gentle touch when she would hug me. Everything about her was so perfect. Her body, her love, her kisses. Maybe she was the only one for me. The only one that can make me smile. The only one that will ever make me as happy as I was. But she was gone. And she would never come back.
"John?" Harry said touching my knee. I wiped my eyes and took a deep breath. "There's one more thing that you need to know," I leaned forward and looked at him.
"Cant be as bad as this…"
"John," he sat back and reached in to his pocket, "you're the father of her child.."
All of a sudden the whole world around me stopped. Everything I had and knew, would soon leave me. Savanna…what am I going to do about Savanna.
"John…you're the only one who can take care of him."
"Him?" I responded.
"Chase. I'll bring him by tomorrow. I suggest you talk to Savanna." he stood up and walked inside.