Sitting on the bed crying again. The walls too close and my heart too broken. I’m wearing his shirt and inhale his scent, pine and cinnamon. His last letter clutched in my left hand, the paper crinkled and fragile from the number of times it had been read.
I close my eyes and take another deep breath of his smell and imagine his arms are around me. His warm comforting breath strokes on my neck and his hard chest against my back. His large hands enveloping mine with his and the deep smooth voice, which sends shivers down my spine, murmurs in my ear. A sigh escapes my lips. If only he were here.
For the millionth time I smooth the creases and decipher the familiar penmanship; the way the ‘y’s looped and the ‘n’s slanted. Although I already know the words by heart I still need to see them. Its sweet torture to read and the closest I can be to him right now. I read the last three sentences.
Lila I love you. Hold on to that while I’m away. I promise I’ll come back to you.
“You’d better…” I murmur for the hundredth time into thin air, like he could hear my whispered words from thousands of miles away.
I slide my wedding band from my finger and fiddle with it as I whisper the words engraved there.
Forever us. Forever together.
“You’ve never broken a promise before please don’t start now.”
An image of him lying face down in some wasteland with a halo of blood assaulted my mind. His black hair shaved short, wet and mudded. His arms spread above his head; machine gun held in a limp hand.
Another sob wracks my body. No, I must not think like that. He’s going to come back to me, he said he would.
Slowly the tears stop and I drag myself to the bathroom. My brown eyes are puffy and red from crying so I splash some cold water onto my face to try and clear it. I run a hand through my black hair as I compose myself.
I refold the letter back up and open the box on my bedside table. I carefully place it inside with the dozens of other wrinkled love letters. My fingers linger, trailing the creases of the fragile paper which contain his precious words.
I jump at the sound of the door bell ringing. My heart beats a hundred miles a minute from the unwanted jolt from my own small world of misery.
Reluctantly I cross the living room of the flat. Hesitantly my hand rests on the green painted wood for a moment. I take a deep collective breath. Here we go.
I twist the knob and pull the door open. Army fatigues fill my vision.
“Will!” I choke out as I throw my arms around him.
The warm muscled arms I had dreamt of so tortuously moments before are wrapped tightly around me. Pulling me into his body and holding me there. I bury my face into his chest and breathe in his scent as a drowning man breaths air. We just stand there in silence in each other’s embrace.
“I promised I would come back.” He murmurs lovingly into my ear.
I’m so happy I can’t speak but nod into his chest with a smile on my face.