What's left of us

243 days. That's the last time she'd seen him. She was excited he was coming back, but also really worried. He stopped sending letters after the first four months. Her mind would often harbor negative thoughts, like if he found another girl where he was stationed, and fell in love, hence the reason for no more letters. It was wrong to think like this at such an early stage of her marriage, but these thoughts never went away. Her mind went back to the last words he said before he left: “Teamo, always and forever” She smiled. They'd officially been together for two and a half years and got married eight months later. She'd always been closed off, wary of anyone that got too close. Having grown up without a mother definitely took a toll on her. She left Sally when she was just a child, with hopes of pursuing her hollywood dreams. She couldn't believe how a mother would choose her career over her child. Her dad however, was a story for another day. He was present, but not in the way a father should. After her mom left, he struggled raising her as a single parent, so he gave her up to her aunt. Her aunt however, raised her with so much love that she'd often wish she was her biological daughter. Few years later, she heard that her dad got remarried. It hurt knowing that he abandoned her for a life that didn't include her. However, she was grateful to have only her aunt around, till James came. James was something unexpected. He came at the worst and yet, the best time. He showed her true love, despite constant rejection towards him. He changed her. Gradually, he filled that void created by her parents. She was loved by both his friends and family, and it was a heartwarming feeling. Slowly, she realized she liked him a lot. He truly took his time to know and understand her; something that never happens. He was popular and the captain of the football team and yet, he fell for the damaged nerd with mummy and daddy issues. He was always there. Even after graduation, they decided to move in together. She didn't even realize she was in love with him, till he proposed to her. She remembered it like it was yesterday. “Roses are red, violets are blue. Oh wait, are they purple?”, James groaned. “What's wrong?”, Sally asked. “I had a speech. I couldn't even say it right. One thing, and i couldn't get it right” “The James i know is outspoken with his words, and doesn't need memorization, or have you lost your touch?”, she wiggled her eyebrows and he tapped her nose playfully. He sighed, and she noticed his sad mood. “What's wrong?” “You know i love you right?”, he asked, his blue eyes gazing into her hazel ones. She nodded. He went on one knee, and her heart began racing. “Isabella, since i saw you angrily emptying your bag in the hallway, i knew you were the one for me. The fact that you were so angry and yet still managed to look so cute in your beetles tshirt left me in awe. I'm in love with your smile, i'm in love with the way you keep your face when you're annoyed with me. I'm in love with your different moods. I love the fact that you tolerate me every single day. Most importantly, i'm in love with you. I planned on making a better speech, but i got nervous and forgot the lines, but what i'm saying is coming from my heart. I'm not perfect, but would you make this imperfect man the luckiest man in the world by marrying him?” He wanted to marry her. She nodded in tears. “You'd marry me?”, she nodded again. He was so shocked that he fainted. She smiled at the memories and rubbed her tummy gently. She was pregnant. She found out during her routine checkup. She was happy she was having a baby with James, but scared of the responsibilities that came with being a mother. She knew for sure that she would give her child the life she never had. Sally went to the kitchen to make his favourite, Spaghetti Bolognese. He always liked his with extra cheese, so she bought it specially for him. She couldn't wait to tell him the news. She heard a car pull over and rushed to see who it was. It was a man she'd never seen before, but she knew he was from the army, due to his badge she saw in the car from afar. Her heart skipped a bit, as she didn't see her husband. “What if he didn't make it? Maybe that's why the man's here, to deliver bad news”, so many thoughts ran through her head. She couldn't bear being a single parent. She'd been through too much. Before she knew it, the backseat door opened, and there he was, her prince charming, with a wide smile plastered on his face, like the first time they'd met. She knew everything would be alright. Her prince charming was alright.

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Michael Kelso

Author of Crime/Mystery novels, and short hor...

Schellsburg, United States