As she heard the alarm sound, Kim Brown rolled over, shut it off, and mentally sighed. Laying back in her bed for a moment, she wondered about her dreams from the previous night. She didn't often remember her dreams, but when she did, they tended to be particularly vivid, like when she had dreamed about that mission in the sub. Last night, though, she had been dreaming about Bob, which was a regular occurrence when he was away working. She had been dreaming, vividly, about significant moments in their life together – Bob fixing her car's radiator, their first date, their wedding…Kim was slightly troubled by the intensity of the dreams, but shrugged it off. As much as she wanted to, she knew that she couldn't lie daydreaming in bed any longer. At that exact moment, as if to prove her right, Serena came bounding into the bedroom and clambered onto the opposite side of the bed from Kim, where Bob would normally be.
"Mummy, where's Daddy?" asked Serena.
"He's at work, sweetheart, like I told you yesterday."
"But when will he be home?"
"Daddy will be home soon."
"But WHEN?" Serena was growing increasingly whiny. Kim sighed as she pulled her daughter closer. It was at times like these, that she wished Bob was at home more. She knew that he loved his job, and she supported him unconditionally, but it would be nice to know occasionally just when she could expect her husband home. Pushing that thought aside, Kim smiled at her daughter. "Tell you what sweetheart. Why don't we go get your brother up and make some breakfast?"
"OK Mummy." Serena bounded off the bed and raced off to Teddy's cot, with Kim following close behind.
Following their usual breakfast, Kim dressed Teddy, helped Serena with this week's favourite clothes, and pulled on jeans and a bright red t-shirt herself. When Serena asked if she could play outside, Kim, glancing outside and seeing clear blue sky, agreed. Settling into a lawn chair with Teddy in her arms, Kim watched contentedly as Serena practiced skipping, and kicked a ball around. 'Life doesn't get much better than this,' she thought.
The low rumble of a car turning into the street caused Kim to glance up. Seeing that it was that black car, Kim thought, 'I wonder where they are going to today.' As the car approached her house, she could see that it was slowing down, as though the driver was searching for the correct house. Keeping one eye on Serena, and the other on the slow moving car, Kim felt her heart stop as the car slowly turned into her driveway. Kim spoke quickly to her daughter, "Come here sweetheart." Hearing the tone of her mother's voice, Serena came instantly. As she watched Colonel Ryan and the other men climb out of the car, it seemed to Kim as though the rest of the world around her had stopped moving. At that moment, all she could concentrate on was the feeling of her daughter's hand in hers, and the slow procession of the three men up her front path. Seeing Kim, Colonel Ryan stopped.
"Mrs Brown," he stated. "Can we go inside please?"
Standing and walking to let the men into her home, Kim could feel her heart breaking into a million pieces. The Colonel hadn't said anything apart from requesting to go inside, but Kim knew what he was about to say. He had been unable to meet her eyes, which could mean only one thing. Bob Brown, the man she loved with every fibre of her being, the man who cherished her and their children, and would go to the ends of the earth for them, wasn't coming home. Kim was no longer Kim Brown, wife to Bob Brown. She was now Kim Brown, widow.