CAMO - Connecting All Military Others
I got to his house yesterday and he was home alone. His mom and sister were at work. He had both the washer and dryer going and what seemed to be everything he owned in piles all over the family room. A mountain of unfolded ACUs mixed with civilian laundry. A pile of letters he got through BCT and AIT (at least half of them being from me). A stack of movie and video game covers, and plenty of other random junk I can't remember.
I never really seen him frustrated. He pulled the hat he was wearing over his eyes and sat back in his chair like a little kid. It was adorable.
We spent the next hour packing and cleaning while watching Lion King.
When all that was done, he grabbed my hand and pulled me in to his bedroom. He put on Fast and Furious, then tackled me on to his bed. We stayed there until his mom came home and we went to meet his sister at Olive Garden.
We had an awesome time. He went to go ask the hostess where the 'latrine' was and she was completely bewildered. Seriously? Who doesn't know what a latrine is? When he came back to the table, he was telling us about it, and the look that the lady had. Our waitress overheard and told us about how it's her life's mission to mess with that lady. So we spent the rest of dinner cooking up ideas on how to help out our waitress. In return, she gave us extra chocolates with our bill.
When we got home, after he got his kicks out with some "Just Dance" I gathered guts to ask my parents for permission to stay the night. Surprisingly, they said yes... probably because I said I'd sleep on the couch.
Don't tell. ;) lol
After a little time watching Family Guy, him, his mom and I sat at the kitchen table figuring out the next day. When we got around to him actually getting to Hawaii, we found out it'd be around 4:30 there. His mom said "Ok, so then what time will it be here?" Both Patrick and I at the same time said "10:30". Then we looked at each other. The time difference didn't really hit us until just then. 6 hours. He put on a worried smile and said "It's going to take some getting used to. We'll never be able to talk" I held back tears and said "There's nothing to worry about. We've got this"
We fell asleep in his bed just holding each other with Family Guy still playing in the background. He's prone to talking in his sleep. Without moving, or opening his eyes, he just said "you look beautiful". Oh God, I love this dork.
This morning, we woke up late. Whoops. He hurried to get in to his uniform. He didn't need to travel in his ACUs, but he gets a lot of perks at the airport when he does. Might as well take advantage.
We had breakfast, he got all his bags in to the car, and he came back in to the house. After running around we were all taking a quick moment to breathe. That's when he said "I really wish it wasn't illegal for me not to go". His mom laughed and said "Let's not add going AWOL to our family's list of indiscretions"
Soon, he, his mom and I were off to the airport. The whole ride there his mom was telling us stories from when his dad passed away. I don't even remember what got her started, but there is no getting that woman to stop talking.
When we got there, he got all of his bags out and we began goodbyes. To everybody's surprise, I managed dry eyes through the whole thing. I hate crying when he leaves, it makes him feel so guilty. I wanted for the last time he sees me in person until God knows when, for there to be just a smile on my face.
He hugged his mom, kissed me, picked up his bags and left.
I managed to keep the dry eyes until I was in my own car. So I took advantage of my mom's break at work to bring her Starbucks and just cry in her classroom. When her students started walking in (or as I call them, my short people... I visit a lot) I knew it was my cue to hit the road.
So here I am. On the couch in my PJs and Army sweatshirt, computer on my lap, listening to some Michael Bublé and cell close by so I won't miss a message. Only accompanied by the stuffed lamb Patrick gave me this morning, and my 3 year old brother who is currently making me a Duplo cake.
...and even though I would have loved to hold the world still for just five more minutes, life goes on.
The goodbyes are, and always will be the hardest part of the whole thing. Being spoiled by having them so close for even just a short time, then having to watch them walk away.
I have no regrets. This is the life I chose, and even though some parts bring me to my knees in pain, I have no regrets.
Thank you to the very few who read this all the way through. It means a lot to me. <3 Writing is my way of coping.