Families of War

She sat on the floor.  Her puffy red and bruised eyes poured out tears onto the hard concrete floor.  She had been kneeling on the floor for so long, the feeling in her feet and toes had disappeared hours ago.  She sat on the floor, cold, alone, and crying.  For the first time, in longer than she could remember, she felt truly and utterly alone.

As she sat on the ground with her tears pouring out, she contemplated what to do.  Her hands lay in her lap clutching into fists over and over again, and she tried to deal with the pain washing through her and warping her mind.  He had left her.  With everything she had given, with everything she had hoped.  He had left her.  There had been no warning, and no preparing.  Just a cocky grin on his face, a lingering kiss goodbye, and salute before he walked out of her life.  He had promised to love hold and cherish forever, but had also promised to protect and serve.

And now he was gone, leaving only the cold comfort of a folded American flag, given to her after the cold brutal funeral.  All that was left was the comforting condolences of the many men and women that had arrived at the funeral home to whisper heart felt goodbyes, and sincere tears.

But now, they were all gone.  All of grieving friends and family had meandered away, leaving her home alone. Home alone in the house her and her soldier had bought together.  Where she could walk the halls to hear the ghost of his laughter, before crawling into bed and smelling him on her sheets.  She could walk into the kitchen and feel his arms come around her, and his lips linger on her neck, while she stood at the counter preparing dinner.  She was alone in the home, which had been bought for a family.

She closed her eyes for a moment, and did nothing but feel the burning pain of fatigued eyes that had cried too many tears in the past few weeks.  For a moment, she was relieved to feel the pain of her burning eyes that just wanted to close and sleep away the pain.  Because the pain in her eyes, for a brief moment, took away the pain from her bruised and broken heart.

But she had to open her eyes.  She had to open her eyes, and deal with the reality of the world around her.  She had to stand up, move around, and get the blood circulating back into her body.  She had to go to the kitchen, pull our one of the many pity dishes people had prepared for her, and force something down her throat.  She placed her hands onto her protruding stomach, and felt the baby inside of her kick.

Although something inside of her looked forward to the baby, all she could feel was another crack in her heart.  He would never see the baby.  He would never hold the little girl that would have been the light of his life.  Closing her eyes again, she let the pain wash through her, before standing on unsteady legs, and walking to the kitchen to heat up a pity meal.

She didn’t get very far though.  Her legs giving out, she fell to her knees, letting the tears fall down as she wept out the grief.

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