Disclaimers: None of this is mine

"We found this in his personal effects ma'am. I'm sorry for your loss."

With trembling hands Emmalin Holden reached out and took the envelope the Sergeant was holding out to her. She could see her name written across the front of it in his familiar scrawl.

Taking a deep breath, she pulled a few sheets of loose leaf paper out of the envelope, not even noticing the soldier turn around and leave. She stared down at the words on the page.

If you're reading this Em, then it means I won't be coming back home again. As I sit here writing this, hoping you'll never have to see it, I try to imagine what you must be going through right now, so I can find the words that will somehow make this all better for you.

Even as I know that nothing I could possibly say will ever be able to.

I wish I could have spared you this but some things are just beyond our control. Know that I love you, and I have from the very first moment.

I want you to be happy Emmalin. Get married. Have a family. Live your life.

The rest of the words became a blur as the tears that had been welling up finally fell. Her whole body shook with the force of her sobs.

A pair of strong arms reached out to encircle her. She fought it for a moment before surrendering and accepting the comfort they offered. She buried her head in his chest as the tears continued to fall.

"I'm so sorry. I know how much he meant to you."

His words brought fresh tears to her eyes. This couldn't be happening. He just couldn't be gone.

"What am I going to do?" She cried, clinging tighter to her fiance. "Jeremy, what am I going to do without my dad?"