Under The Stars by Sinful Grace
Upon walking out the front door, the screech a welcome song as it closes behind me, brings me a sweet
joy. Darkness creeps around me, holding me as a lover would. Gently, a breeze touches my skin where
my robe does not cover. The caress calming my nerves and after the phone call I just received, I couldn’t
imagine how that could even be possible. The long, languid steps I take down the porch stairs feel like a
weight on my shoulders. The day has ended but it feels like it is starting all over again. How can I sleep now?
The words playing in my head as tears prick my eyes and my stomach falls. The peaceful luminescence of the night sky falling dimly on my sore heart. I love him. Oh, God, how I love him. “Please, bring him back to me,” I whisper out into the darkness; knowing I will not receive a response. Rubbing my arms over my robe, does nothing to heat my chilling skin from the February wind but my body attempts to involuntarily. I can only pray and hope as I stand in my own frozen moments.
“Leon, please be ok.”
I close my eyes and tilt my head to the stars. Tear fall freely now that I am alone with my panicking heart. Sargent Richards words on the voicemail playing over and over in my mind like a broken record. Parts skip and repeat which only drills the growing hole in my chest more ragged.
“Mrs. Ehl. This is Sargent Richards. I am stationed with your husband and I am sorry to inform you that
your husband, Officer Ehl and three of the men in his convoy are MIA after an altercation with a foreign
threat. There convoy was last heard from at 1600 before the signal went silent. I am sorry Ma’am, but
that is all the information I am provided right now. I will reach out as soon as we hear more news. Please
let us know if you have any questions or if the service can be of any assistance during this difficult time.”
All the possibilities play around in my head. So many of them, like the stars above, that it becomes dizzying. My love, the one I have given my whole self to, was far away with a big question mark as to his whereabouts. I have never felt so scared and alone throughout our five years of marriage as I do right now. This third deployment was meant to be his last before retirement and now it could be his last, last forever.
I sob, uncontrollably. My face falling into my hands while my body shakes. Unbidden noises seep out without consequence, that is until I hear a tapping at the upstairs window. My ears prick at the noise. Sniffling, I try my best to wipe my tears before looking up. Our five-year-old looked down upon me and waved. A half-hearted smile reached my lips as I waved back, watching him disappear from the window.
I only pray he did not see me clearly.
Seconds pass in torment as I waiting for his soft creaks to break the silence of the night air. As he opens the door, I wave for him to come to me. Arms spread wide soon filled with a warm bundle and my heart bitterly swells. Please come back to us, I pray inside myself.
“Mommy?” The soft words clouded by grogginess. He wipes at his eyes and yawns. The smell of his toothpaste a soothing greeting from the hollowness filling my chest.
“Mommy, why are you outside? It’s dark.”
The question in his voice has my heart melting slightly. The pain and anxiety ease up just enough for me
to catch a breath. “Mommy is outside looking at the stars baby.”
His brows furrow and he tilt his little head. “Why are eyes wet?”
I fight back the onslaught of tears that threaten to spill at his words. I can’t burden him with the knowledge I have and I won’t. Another slight breeze brushes my hair back and chills my soaked cheeks. I shiver.
“It’s getting chilly handsome. Let’s get you inside,” I say, hoping he doesn’t ask again. My heart falls when he wraps his legs tightly around me, suddenly propping himself up and shakes his head.
“No. Not yet Mommy!” His hands gripping my upper arms as tightly as he can. His big brown eyes meeting mine with intensity.
“Why not baby?”
“I want to look at the stars too!” He wiggles. His head turning to face the heavens. My heart flutters with mixed emotions while he breaks out in a smile. “See,” he said.
I am still looking at him when I respond with, “I see a very bright star.”
He gives a small giggle and points. “That one?”
I kiss the top of his head and snuggle him into me. He turns to look at me, grabbing my cheeks and nudging my head to turn to where he was looking.
“See? That is a bright one.”
Looking up at the vast array of stars I try to see where he is pointing. There were so many bright stars and with my vision still splotchy from my tears, I couldn’t make out just which one he was referring to, but I didn’t tell him that. Instead, I reply, “That is a bright one handsome.”
He wraps his arms around my neck and scans the sparkling space above us. My chest feels heavy but I can breathe now that I am holding onto one of the things most precious to me.
He blows out a breath and yawns. In his sleepy boy voice he asks, “Do you think Daddy can see the stars too?”
Inside I weep. My body wants to break down but I stand tall and hug him tighter.
“Yes baby. I know he is looking at the same stars you are thinking about being home with you.”
“I love Daddy,” he says as his little body curls into mine. Our bodies keeping each other warm.
“I love Daddy too baby. I love you both with all my heart.”
Under The Stars by Sinful Grace
Dear Readers and Fans,
I wanted to write a short story for you to get a taste of something that more than one person has went through in one point within a military career. Whether it is a fleeting thought or has actually happened to you, it is a part of romance that people often leave out of their stories. Romance does not always have to be about the nitty gritty or just the first feelings of a kindled romance. It can be the moments in between that really test your emotions for each other. Romance is apart of Love but Love is the essence of every soul. Let me know your thoughts on this piece and how it made you feel. You can reach me on Writers Espresso, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I love hearing from everyone so do not be shy!