Thursday, December 8, 2011

Burntcore Week 81: A Life in Pictures


Picture 1

Picture 2

Burntcore's Choice: Both

A Life In Pictures

It was days like this that she wished he was with her. They loved to watch the sunset together over the water. It had become one of their things, every day they would walk out to the beach onto the pier by their house and watch the sun go down. Even now, standing there alone, she could feel his presence. To a certain extent, she always felt him with her, but never more so than at twilight.

After he was gone, she threw herself into her photography again; something that was once just a hobby was now a purpose. She wanted to take pictures of everything in her life, so maybe he would see it. She wasn’t sure how, but was determined if the opportunity came about, she’d be ready and he’d see all that he had missed.

As the years passed, her living room bookshelf became full of photo albums, full of pictures she took and had printed of her life, of things she had seen, done, and experienced. Things that had meaning, things that she didn’t want to forget. Many of them included sunsets. She started to doubt her purpose, taking all the photographs, but she carried on. For him.

One day, she received news she never expected to hear. She didn’t think it was possible. She had always hoped but never dreamed it would happen.

He was coming home. Finally, after so long, he was coming home.

She never thought his deployment would last so long, but apparently he had an inkling. Before he left, he told her he didn’t know when he was coming home and not to wait for him. His assignment did not have a time frame. It would be done when it was done. She knew what he was trying to give her, but she knew she would always wait for him.

Never did she think it would have been this long, but it would be worth it in the end.

She stood at the airport with a large group of people, family members of the soldiers and servicepeople that were finally coming home. She didn’t know any of them, but shared a bond only those left behind could share. Some stood with small children, children who had probably never seen their other parent face to face before. She touched her stomach and wondered if she would ever experience parenthood with him, if he’d want to, if he’d want her.

Everyone eagerly watched the plane taxi down the tarmac after it landed, growing closer with every foot it travelled. Finally, it stopped and a mobile staircase was wheeled up against the side of the plane.

When the door to the plane opened, the waiting families began cheering. She couldn’t resist joining in. She wondered if he would be surprised to see her here.

Men and women in various versions of camo began exiting the plane, smiles huge on their faces as they found their families in the crowd.

When he came out, everything else faded away. The voices of the other people, the noise of the planes, the wind, none of it broke through. Only him. She walked towards him, her legs suddenly stiff as she looked upon his face for the first time in nearly five years. He looked older, more worn, the things he had seen aging him.

He clearly wasn’t expecting anyone. His eyes did not scan the crowds, his step not as eager as the others. She hoped he would notice her standing there.
As his feet touched American soil for the first time, he finally looked up ... right to where she was waiting. He stopped, startled, and his jaw dropped. The men behind him nearly tripped, unprepared for his sudden stop. They groused a bit but moved around him.

Like a switch being flipped, his face broke into a huge smile and he ran over to where she waited. The expression on her face matched his, her cheeks actually hurting from how wide she was smiling.

“Samantha ... I don’t believe it. Are you really here?” he asked breathlessly, hovering in front of her, unsure to sweep her up in a hug and kiss or something more platonic.

“I am, John. Wild horses couldn’t keep me away.” She closed the distance between them until there were only inches between their bodies.

“Sam, you have no idea how happy seeing you makes me.”

“You’ve kept me waiting a long time, mister,” she whispered.

“Well, I’m here now, and I’m never going away again.” He finally couldn’t take it anymore and wrapped his arms around her, crushing her to his chest. Her scent surrounded him and he felt like he was in heaven. He loosened his grip on her just enough to allow him to kiss her.

When the reunited couple finally came up for air, Samantha clasped John’s hands in hers and led her towards the concourse.

“Come on, John. It’s time to go home. I have lots of things to show you.”