A Soldier walked through the Airport in his uniform. People looking at him all around. A child walks by and salutes with his left hand. The Soldier smiles and continues forward to the desk. The Soldier is aware that people are taking an extra second to look at him. He wonders what they are thinking? Do they look at him in awe or do they want to throw something at him? Either way, his mind is thinking about home.
He reaches the counter and waits his turn.
“Do I need to check in?” The Soldier asks.
“No sir, you are all set!” The girl behind the counter replies.
The Soldier turns around and makes a B Line for a seat. Bag to the front and the other off his right foot. He sits up and looks around. A lady to his front smiles and mouths the words thank you. He smiles and nods his head.
A child runs across his front and laughs as he runs by. The Soldier is reminded that soon enough he will see his children. The little things that he has put away due to all his training he has endured. He nearly forgot about the subtle things like a child’s smile and playfulness. All of this had been replaced with the sounds of gunfire, helicopters, jets, etc. The sounds of being so dam busy training!
“I ought to make a fucking CD!” He thinks to himself.
The Soldier thought how he should record both the sounds of home and war and mix it all together. Label it Peace and War and slap a Yin Yang picture on the front and sell it on Amazon dot com.
The Soldiers thoughts quickly change when he spots another Soldier coming towards him. This Specialist looks a little flustered.
“Hey bro, you ok?” The Soldier asks.
“Fuck no Sergeant, I went to the wrong concourse and now I’m late!” He replies.
The Soldiers walk over to the ticket counter.
“Hi again, this Soldiers needs to get on his plane and he is a bit late”
The girl behind the counter confirms and gets on the phone quickly. The jet way had already been pulled away. However she calls the ground guide and they open up the doorway so the Soldier can get on the jet.
The Soldier turns back looking relieved
“Hey man thanks!” He says.
“Not a problem, go home!” The Soldier replies
“Gladly!” He says as he turns around and heads for the door.
It seemed like no one was there for a moment, but then the Soldier realized he was the center of attention again. Kind of an eerie feeling, but he was getting use to it by now.
The Soldier sat back down and began to listen to his MP3 player. Closing his eyes and imagining what it would be like to see his family again. What his wife would be wearing when he came off the plane? Would his children run to him? He just basked in those comfort thoughts and he slowly drifted off to sleep.
The Soldier woke up as if an internal alarm clock was going off. He turned off his MP3 player. He heard the girl behind the counter announce that the plane was getting ready to board. He got up, slung his backpack on his left shoulder and held the other bag with his right hand. He walked over to the line and this guy walked right in front of him, as if he wasn’t there. The Soldier knew this guy saw him. He was looking at him in the corner of his eyes.
“Fucking prick!” The Soldier thought to himself.
The guy went through the gate and the Soldier followed. The guy gets on the plane and sits down. He was sitting at seat 1C. The first seat to the left as they boarded the plane. The guy looked up at the Soldier as he passed. He looked down at this little man and just smiled ever so slightly. The man looked like he was going to shit himself. However the Soldier just shook his head and walked towards the end of the plane. Gotta love cheap tickets, they place you exactly where you don’t want to be.
Sit, takeoff, sleep, piss, sleep, prepare for landing, get off the plane.
The Soldier was anxious. He hadn’t seen his family in a little while. He walked off the plane and up the corridor towards the airport lobby. There his wife stood. His vision turned into a tunnel. He smiled and gestured for her to come towards him. She smiled and the two met. They embraced each other and shared a long awaited kiss. He could feel his children’s arms wrap around his legs. He knelt down and hugged and kissed each of them. Looking at each one and smiling.
The Soldier and his family picked up and walked off.
For just a few days they would enjoy each other’s company before he would have to leave again. This was not his mid tour but some days given to his unit. They were not sure if they would be able to see their family’s before going off to war. This would most likely be the last time they would be able to enjoy the essence of love and family before it all turns into the turmoil of war.
To the Soldier that came home, well he is enjoying himself. He had the chance to fall asleep next to his wife. For just a moment he was at peace.