Poetry

A Marine story

I'm feeling so down as I drive my car down my road through the light snow
storm.  It's three days before what should have been our first Christmas together
and you say you're not coming home.  I try to hide my frustrations behind a
facade as cold as the weather, it's the only way I can keep from going crazy
without you.  I hear the outside phone ring as I pull into the garage, but
instead of rushing to answer it, I try to rub away the beginnings of a headache. 
I'd already talked to you this week, so I know it isn't anyone I care to talk
to.  The cell phone rings in the car as I'm sitting there, thinking of you. 
It's Ash and she wants me to come exchange gifts at her house.  I reluctantly
tell her I'll be ready soon and finally walk in the house.  I couldn't be in a
less charitable mood than the one I'm in.
I hurry to change my clothes as  I yell to Mom to tell her I'm going back
out.  At the last second, I decide to throw on a Santa hat for a touch of the
spirit I just don't feel without you here.  I hear Mom talking to someone as I go
back to my room to get the gifts, and suddenly you are there. 
I can't believe it's actually you.  Your eyes shining at me as I just stand
and stare stupidly at you in your dress blues.  I recover from the surprise and
race into your arms, not caring that my mother is watching, and it feels like
I'm finally home.  I feel a warmth in your embrace that melts the coldest
parts of me and suddenly I'm drunkenly happy.  I can't resist kissing you, and
your mouth tastes so much sweeter from absence than I ever remember.
I drag you along to hurry to give Ash her presents, almost wrecking the  car
because I can't take my eyes off of you, and then we're back to my house,
alone.  We watched a movie, but I can't even remember which one because I was so
wrapped up in enjoying your presence, or did we really even watch it?  You have
to leave that night, but I know I'll see you again soon, the next day really.
Christmas Eve, you  want me to come to a party with your family.  Everyone's
left and it's just us as I wait for you to finish getting ready so we can lea
ve.  You want to give me my present early, so you do.  I was so happy when I
saw the ring.  I knew I'd be yours forever, that we'd love eachother forever.
I couldn't see you Christmas Day.  I cried when I saw the storm that had
blown up over night.  It was one less day I'd get to be with you and you'd be gone
again too soon.  I consoled myself with promises of seeing you the next day,
bad weather or not.  I just wanted to be in your arms again so badly.
I watched you sleep in the New Year's darkness, tired from our partying. 
Thoughts of what I was going to do when you left again after the sun came up
caused silent tears to course down my cheeks.  I wiped my eyes when I saw you stir
and laid my head on your chest to listen to your heart beat.  You woke and
wrapped your arms and the blanket tighter around us, murmuring that you   loved
me.  I almost cried again then, but I wanted you to think I was happy, and I
am as long as I'm in your arms, even with the sad thoughts running through my
head.
The alarm you'd set rang far too soon.  I laughed when you wouldn't let me
out of bed to get my clothes.  I felt like we were in the scene from Romeo and
Juliet where Romeo doesn't want to leave her in the morning.  I roll on top of
you and you let me pin you down as I kiss you good morning.  I grab my jeans
off the floor and listen to you beg me not to put them on and just come back to
bed, but I have to leave and you still have to get ready to go before your
mom comes to take you to the airport.
You follow me out to my car, always the gentleman, but I'm thinking rather
immodest thoughts as I watch new hard muscles play under your skin as you move
to open my door.  I laugh as I pull my usual trick, hitting the locks so that
you can't, and you pin me against the car for a last kiss as I open my own
door, always independent.
I sit and put the key in the ignition, but I look into your eyes and I can't
turn it.  I don't want to leave.  I don't want to go back to freezing my
feelings again.  Love adds a new color to your gaze and it holds my hand from
starting the car.  You kiss me goodbye again and again, until your sister calls you
back in the house.  You tell me you love me again, but her voice had broken
the spell and I felt the sanity keeping ice forming over my heart again.  I
flash a fake smile and turn the key.  I turn for one last kiss and then drive
away.  I don't think I would have been strong much longer.
The weather had warmed considerably, it was raining instead of snowing, as I
drove back along the highway.  I didn't want to think about how you were
leaving me again, and then felt bad for thinking that you had a choice.  I looked
at the clock and realized that I'd been crying.  You'd be gone before I made it
home.  I picked up the cell phone and called you one last time.  To hear your
voice one last time.  To hear you say you loved me one last time. 
I realized as I hung up and looked at my ring that I had not chosen one of
the hardest men to love, but that one of the strongest men alive had chosen me. 
My Marine would stand by me always. After all, "Semper Fi" is his motto that
he lives by in all things.

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