Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mizterzboo's Week 10 Entry: Yellow Letter


Picture 1Picture 2

Miztrezboo'a Choice: Picture 1

Week Ten Pairing/Character - Jasper

Notes - AH, Angst

Rating - T

Yellow Letter

~*~ Unsealed, on a porch a letter sat ~*~

The sky was blushing with the birth of a new day. The air still crisp and chilling me to the bones - well would have been if I didn't already feel numb. I breathed it all in. The lilac and mauves of the mountains in the distance. The startling golds the fields were burning as the sun rose and gave light over familiar ground that I wasn't sure when I'd see again.

It was time to go. It was probably way past time to go and into should have already gone. Yet here I stood, on our porch, in front of our house, looking over our land. Not moving.

It was definitely time to go.

If I didn't leave now, I never would.

The envelope in my hand felt like it weighed a ton. The words I couldn't put voice to encased in worn, soft paper had been in my pocket for weeks now.

I thought if I had at least wrote them down, it would put my thoughts together enough that I could say them out loud.

It hadn't though, it just gave me all new reason not to open my mouth. Avoidance was my middle name.

I'd avoided telling him I was leaving.
I'd avoided telling him I was accepted.
I'd avoided telling him I even went down to the little recruitment office to sign up.

I'd had to avoid all those things, because of the first and only conversation we'd had about my now permanent decision.

... three months earlier...



"No, Jasper. Just... do you? How could you even think about this?"

He was pacing the floor and I'd never, ever seen him look so furious. Not even when his minister had refused to marry us, even though it was legal within our state and our church had performed several ceremonies three towns over.

This was different - as he told me when I mentioned that fact.

"How many times have we watched the news and talked about how pointless war is?"

"I know but-"

He spun around and I could finally see his face. Tears pooled on his long dark lashes, dark jade irises ringed in red. Pain and sadness etched heavily over his forehead and above all - fear eclipsed every other emotion playing over his normally care free features.

"Even after we buried Peter? You know how much that broke your mother, how... how..."

He knelt in front of me, where I still sat on the kitchen chairs we'd picked up at a yard sale and refurnished ourselves. His hands took mine in his, leaning on my knees as he blinked, trying to keep the tears at bay.

"Is that it? Is it about your brother? Is this some need to fill his boots? To satisfy some stupid family tradition?"

"No... it's not like that." I sighed, rubbing my thumbs over the the softness of his skin. Music teacher's hands that were smooth in some places, rough and calloused in others. Hands that I would miss on my body when I left.

"Please, Jasper. Please... tell them you were wrong. Isn't there some cooling off period? We can go back tomorrow and tell them your not going."

He was so upset. He was shaking in front of me and I knew that broaching the subject any further tonight wasn't going to be useful.

"I didn't sign up, Edward. I just brought home the paperwork to look over. It was just an idea."

"Really?" he asked, eyes widening and I could now see the indentation in his lip from where he'd worried at it before.



I'd lied to him that night.

It was the first of many as I waited for my turn to head off for boot camp. I lied about cutting my hair. I lied about my longer running routine and hours spent at the little gym his cousin ran in town. I lied to his face so often about so many things that if it hadn't of been for the bag stashed in the trunk of my car - physical proof of where I was going - I would have begun to believe in it all myself.

Yet here it was, leaning up against the porch swing that his grandfather had built over fifty years ago. A reminder of how the past. A reminder he would need in the coming hours.

If his grandfather could make it through two wars.

So could I.

I would come back to him. To our life here. To our family and friends.

I would come back.

Edward would be angry with me, I was counting on it. Because if he was angry, at least it would stop him from worrying. If he allowed his rage to consume him - even for a few months until I was deployed - then he wouldn't think about where I could be headed. What could happen.

He'd be fine. He wouldn't think so - but he'd have our parents, he'd have my sister and he'd even have our dog to be with him when he needed someone to lean on.

I was the one that would start off with nobody. I was the one that would have to start from scratch - figure out who and when to tell about my personal life, the way I lived it.

About my husband.

I was the one that would have to eat, sleep and breathe army routine and regulations.

I was the one that would go off to war. To countries so far away you couldn't even begin to imagine the distance. The searing heat of a desert, the grit and grime and sand that you'd never really get clean of, no matter how often you bathed. I knew what I was in for, I remembered every one of Peter's letters off by heart. I recalled every phone call, web chat and that one summer that he'd come home - only to be called back.

Peter had been strangely excited about going back and at the time I hadn't understood it at all.

"Some things you just have to do, little brother. You just have to."

It didn't make sense to me then.... but it did now.

What I had done - what I was about to do - wasn't about Peter.

It wasn't about years of tradition of Whitlock males joining the armed forces.

It wasn't even about pleasing my old man. Though I'm sure he would be.

This was for me.

This was something I had to do.

It was my something.

I took one more look around the yard, committing every detail to memory so that the when I closed my eyes in the dry, inescapable heat thousands of miles away I'd be able to recall it all.

Recall the sweet air that played over my face as I raised it to the warmth of the early morning sun. Hear the sound of Mr. Banner already awake and calling his cows in for milking. I needed to remember these things.

I'd need home when I didn't have a home anymore.

I pulled the envelope out from my pocket, running my finger one last time over his name. He'd understand - eventually. I'd said everything and more in here. I loved him so much and I knew leaving like this was wrong but crushing him again, breaking him would break me and I had to go.

I had to leave.

The yellow envelope looked so small and insignificant as I lay it on the floor in front of the door. I weighed it down with my car keys, knowing that the large silver J that he'd bought for me the year before would be enough to hold it in place. He might step over it when he rushed down the stairs and outside in a few hours, but when he finally walked back in he'd see it.

He'd see it, and read it and hopefully understand why I was doing what I was doing, and why it was I had to leave this way.

Like some coward.

But I'd chose being a coward over his face full of hurt and betrayal as the last memory of his face that I would take with me. It was selfish, but I wanted it to be different. I wanted the image of his eyes fluttering, deep in R.E.M sleep, his rosy lips pursed in slumber. I wanted it to be his nostrils flaring, head thrown back as he came loudly while I was deep inside him, my name a breath of sound between us. I wanted the cheeky smirk and almost grass green irises when he was teasing me about his very attractive female student's crush on me.

I wanted that look... that look that was mine alone when he didn't say a word at all.


This was the only way I'd have all of that, and it was time to go.

I picked up my heavy duffle bag that I could now swing over my shoulder with ease from the brutal routine Emmett had me working through - though not half or probably a quarter as hard as what I was going in to - and headed down the stairs.

I didn't look back as I quietly shut the front gate and headed down the road into town.

I couldn't have had one last glimpse of our home even if I'd wanted to.

My tears would have blocked it all.

~*~And they called and I said that I'll go ~*~

My eyes had finally dried by the time I arrived at the bus station.

There were only a few other guys there, two I knew from High School, one two years younger than me and the other had been in my grade. Paul, Seth? I couldn't remember. I'd only been there for a year and a half. It was a small town, but - even back then I'd only had eyes for Edward. I never would have thought moving to a place with even less of a population than the one I'd come from would have given me any chance of finding a partner. Especially seeing as I knew I wasn't your average hot blooded american male. I liked guys and had known so for a long time.

But there he was the moment I'd walked into the cafeteria for lunch. I'd scanned the room, looking for somewhere discreet to sit, away from as many prying eyes as possible. Of course that didn't really help when your older brother was damn near the most sociable person in any state - maybe even the country. Peter - in the few hours of our first day - had already become one of the crowd. He'd called out loudly for his 'baby brother' to come join him and his new friends. The "it" crowd - for if Peter was involved, they were always "it".

I'd reluctantly joined them, knowing if I didn't Peter would just harass me until I did, or he'd bring the crowd to me. It was as I was finishing off the last of my pudding when Peter's new best friend pointed out the only other Junior sitting at the table.

His eyes caught me in a trance, they were such a strong shade of green. You always hear and see people saying they have green eyes, but Edwards... they shone. They were so clear and free of the usual browns and blues that can muddy that color of grown and renewal. It was what I saw in those spring hued iris's that held and caught my attention. When I'd finally caught his name - he'd introduced himself three times but I'd been all 'blink and stare and drool' so I'd missed it - I knew.

Just knew that he would be it for me. There would never be anyone else.

I would come back to him.

I just had to.

The day was starting to warm and the silver on the side of the bus blinked and winked like a mirror in the sun as it pulled up in front of us. The officer in charge of getting us from point a to point b was what I expected. Tough, stern and no nonsense and only paused for a moment when he noticed my first initial.

He looked me up and down, then closer at my eyes.

Peter and I had always looked alike.

My eyes were blue, his had been grey.

With a nod he motioned for me to get on the bus and then I was seated on a far too comfortable seat and we were gone.

The town, all these landmarks that for the past seven years I'd called home were now slipping past at a rapidly increasing rate. The diner where Edward and I would have dinner on Wednesday nights, both of us working too late and too lazy to cook for ourselves. The craft store his mother ran. The police station we'd only seen the inside of once when my brother and his cousin left us with their beer and Chief Swan had pulled us in for underage drinking.

The Water Tower where we'd shared our first kiss.

Mrs Copes Barn where we'd shared a lot more than naked than that.

The bus started to slow as we came to the train crossing. The tracks hadn't been used in years but still, it was common for everyone - outsiders included - to slow and check left and right.

Just in case.

As we drove closer, I could make out a shape standing at the side of the road. It looked to be some guy hitchhiking with a sign.

He was laughing if he thought he'd get anywhere by just standing there. Round these parts, if you weren't already walking in the direction you wanted to travel, you wouldn't be getting a ride there. It was only as we got closer that I recognized who was under the cardboard.

Knew the unruly mass of dark hair burning bronze and gold in the sunlight. Knew the long limbs and lanky body under scrawny arms that I could bench press under the table.

Knew the face whose smile didn't quite meet his eyes, his cheeks red and wet as he called my name over and over. Then as I tried to open the window, but they were jammed closed. I pressed my face to the glass, lying my palm against it in defeat. He was right in front of me and by luck the bus slowed a little more so I could see what the sign said.

"Be Home Soon."

~*~ I know that he's just following his path, just as long as its not a box or a bag ~*~

*Musical Influence - "Yellow Ledbetter" Pearl Jam*