As I sit on the bed reading a book and sneaking glances at your photograph a wave of tiredness over comes me, so I snuggle up to your pillow with your sent still lingering on it and try to sleep, I miss you so much it hurts and I pray everyday that you will come home safely. Slowly I begin to drift off to sleep with images of you in my mind. You standing at the end of the aisle smiling the most dazzling smile I've ever seen on your serious face, I see you standing tall and proud in your uniform with no trace of fear dampening your brave determined face. Then I see you holding our unborn child in your hands, an unexplainable and incomparable joy filling your eyes, every breath the little baby breaths, your love grows stronger and I know in that very moment you would die for that child.
I wake to find you by my side reading a magazine, “hey honey,” you say as if it’s no big deal that you are back home. I look at you in wonder and crawl over to hug you and kiss you, I snuggle up against you and cry, I cry because you’re here and you are save, I cry because I won’t need to do this all alone any more. “What’s wrong? Why are you crying?” you ask me. “How long have you been home? When did you get in? Why didn't I get a notification? I could have picked you up!”
“Oh don’t worry about it Hun, I'm fine.” You answer; you really think it’s no big deal. You’re acting like it’s just a typical for you to just suddenly arrive home from deployment. Then I look closer, this isn’t you. Who is this man? What is he doing here? Why is he acting like he is you?
“WHO ARE YOU?”
“Baby, it’s me, are you feeling alright?”
“WHO ARE YOU? YOU ARE NOT MY HUSBAND! WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM?”
“Honey we have gone over this a thousand times, Eli is gone, you married me. Remember 2 years ago next Wednesday?” just then a small girl with pig tails and a face with ice blue eyes and a protruding, pink, bottom lip runs into the room crying and screaming, I try to pinpoint the resemblance in her face but I just can’t think who she looks like; she runs straight to me and exclaims “mommy I pinched my pinker in the door!” just then the man pulls her off of me, “Navy sweetie, are you okay?” she nods and pouts a bit more “Avy momma's not feeling well right now can you go play for a while longer then I will come back and check on you?” she nods hugs the strange man tighter then and runs off on her pudgy little legs tripping slightly then catching herself.
The man turns back to me with a smile lingering on his face.
“Do you remember now honey?” I try quickly to gain a calm composure,
“Yes, yes, sorry. Would you like something to eat?”
“I was just about to start supper, you want some help?”
“Uh, yes.” I enter the kitchen and start to take out the ingredients, I try to think of something I could chop… veggies. I grab a bag full of celery from the drawer in the fridge and place it on the cutting board, then I grab a knife from the drawer sharpen it and begin chopping. I slam the knife over and over on the cutting board, applying much more force than necessary for chopping ordinary vegetables, but I am angry and I need a release. I glance over my shoulder occasionally to see if the girl has come back and to locate the man who claims to be my husband, he standing over the sink washing the mushrooms. His back turned away from me. Perfect. I walk slowly over to the sink and come up behind him, if anyone had been watching they would have guessed I was just going to hug the man but they would have had to over look the knife clutched rigidly in my grasp. I take one more small step and plunge the knife into his back in a spot where it should reach his heart, I burry the blade up to the hilt as I lean over his shoulder and whisper in his ear, “where is my husband?”
“I…. I don’t know.” He says wheezing, the blood gathered in his mouth gurgling. I twist the knife, “tell me now, or the pain will be unimaginable. Where. Is. My. Husband.” He coughs and sprays blood across his shirt and my hand now clasped against his neck. “I… t-told you….. I…. I don’t know” he’s struggling for air now, and I can tell by the tension in his body it hurts to breath. I wrench the knife out of his back un clogging the artery holding in the blood and let in spill onto the tile floor, he’s losing a lot of blood and won’t live much longer, but I’m not done. He hasn’t told me yet. I reach and grab the white dish towel and plug the gash I created. I tie it and flip him around to face me. I push him against the counter and bring the knife to his throat. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH HIM?!” I’m screaming now. “I don’t… I don’t know where your… your bloody husband is.” He mutters breathless. I cut a large gash across his face and scream, “TELL ME!” then I punch him. I punch him over and over until he is lifeless on the ground, bled out to nothingness. I hear little footsteps on the stairs then coming down the hall way, then she bursts into the room and I realize. She looks like you. Just like you. Just like, you… I take a long look at her and then turn the knife on myself.
I wake gasping for breath in a panic, where is she where’s the little girl! Where are you? I have to find you! I spring off the couch in a hurry only to collapse on wobbling legs. So I crawl. I crawl to the kitchen to see if she is still there and find nothing. Really, nothing. No knife, no blood. No corpse. Nothing. I collapse in a heap on the ground and sob. It was just a dream. Just a dream nothing more.