The sun was setting, casting a brillant display of colors across the sky. The errupting blanket of orange and red that painted the heavens reflected against the lake. I stood on the shore line waiting.He said he would be here. He promised he would be coming back for me. He promised, James never broke a promise. I absently rub the metal dog tags that hold my boyfriend's information. How many times I've laid in bed, memorizing the words on the tiny metal pieces:
PROSE, JAMES L.
O POS USAF
James left for war over a year ago. It has been so hard waiting for him. The painful loneliness, the feeling of an empty bed, only being able to hear his voice over a bad phone connection. But I always held onto the hope that the time would eventually end and he would be back in my hurting arms. Last night I got a call, he told me to wait for him at the place we said good-bye. My eyes close as I remember that day,
"Hey, stop thinking about it." His voice carrases me like a silk ribbon. I stand with my arms wrapped around him. James always looked so handsome in his uniform, but today I hated the clothes he wore. I hated that he was part of the service that required him to leave me for so long. My James is a member of security forces, so I knew that not only would he be in the war, he would be an active part of it. A gentle hand bushed back my brown hair and twirled it playfully as he looked in my eyes,
"It won't be so long. I'll be back before you know it." I looked down, "What if something happens? What if you don't come back?" These questions had been plauging meever since he got the order to go. He stands tall and strong ashe places a hand under my chin so I look up into his brown eyes, "If I know you are here waiting for me, I will always come back. I promise." He slid one hand down my neck, my shoulders, all the way down so he could reach my hand. Then he wrapped his pinky with mine, "See? I promise."
I laughed, we hadn't done that since we were kids.I knew he would be back for me, I had no doubt about that, but still, the tears started to pour down my cheeks. James brushed his fingers down my face, "Baby girl, could you do me a favor? Just one little thing before I go?" I nodded, there wasn't anything I wouldn't do for him. He stared into my blue eyes that were wet with tears as he whispered, "Will you smile for me? I want to keep this picture in my mind for when times get hard." I sniffed, but gave him my best smile. He placed his forehead lightly on mine and sighed, "That's perfect."
"Hey Prose! We got to go!" His best friends came to pick him up from the lake. He waved at them and turned his attention back to me. Pulling me close, he held onto me tightly as I memorized his scent, the strength of his arms and the way he could make me feel like nothing else in this world mattered. He held me and started singing softly, "You are so beautiful, to me. Can't you see? You're everything I've hoped for, you're everything I need. You are so beautiful to me."
I couldn't stop the tears anymore. I didn't want him to go, I needed him here. He turned my face up to kiss me, starting the fire that exploded through every fiber of my being. When his friend's started honking their vehicle he kissed my forehead once more and slipped something in my hand before turning away and jumping into the back of the truck. I waved lightly as he drove off waving back. When he was finally out of sight, I knelt to the ground and looked at the metal dog tags he left with me and cried like I had never cried before.
Smiling softly, I stared at the darkening sky. When would he be here? I dipped my toe in the water and laughed as a tiny frog jumped away startled. The wind blew a soft, summer breeze that lifted my hair slightly and brought the smell of honey suckles and pine. The water looked like liquid fire as the wind made the tip of the waves dance. I closed my eyes and listened to the soft chirping of crickets and the "coo" of the morning dove in the tree above me.
"Where are you James?" I asked the wind as it brushed my face lightly. I raised my arms and laughed as the breeze wrapped around my bare legs and made my summer dress flitter lightly. Times like this were my favorite, when it seemed like magic was in the air. I breathed in the scents and imagined that James was beside me, enjoying the summer night. I could hear his voice, smell his cologne and feel his arms around my waist. I smiled softly as I heard him sing, "You are so beautiful to me."
"I miss you James." I whispered, still caught up in my imagination.He laughed lightly and whispered in my ear, "I missed you too baby girl." My eyes opened, why did this feel so real? It wasn't until I lowered my arms and felt the folds of his uniform that I gasped and turned, "James!" He smiled and kissed me gently, "Hey you, miss me?" I lunged into his waiting arms as he picked me up and spun me around. "James! I can't believe it's really you!" He tripped over a log and fell onto the sand with me ontop of him laughing lightly, "Oh sweet heart, I missed you so much." I couldn't contain myself as I started kissing every part of him.
"You're back, you really are back. You came back to me." I whispered resting my head on his strong chest. He curled his arms around me, "I promised didn't I? I will always come back to you." We stayed like that for a few moments, not speaking, just enjoying the feel of my body as it fit so easily with his. In that moment, everything felt right, I wasn't afraid of anything when James was with me. He sat up and held me on his lap as he whispered, "Let's go on the lake. I have a surprise for you."
He picked me up bridal style and set me gently in the boat as he paddled us out to the middle of the lake. It was a bit difficult as I had wrapped my whole body around him, terrified that if I let go he would disappear. James was perfect, just like I remembered him. Handsome, sweet and unbelievably kind. He completed me in a way that no one else could. When we had reached the middle of the lake, James put the oars down and held me tightly, "This moment, this is why I kept fighting. No matter how hard times got, no matter how many times I thought that my life was over, I kept fighting. Baby, you are what I was fighting for."
He reached into the pocket of his uniform and pulled out a small box, "Amber sweetie, I had to get home to you. Because if I didn't, I wouldn' t be able to give you this." I gasped as he opened it to reveal a small diamond ring, "Amber, will you make me the happiest man in the world?" There wasn't even a second of hesitation, James was mine and now he would hold me forever. I nodded, "Of course! Yes!" He smiled his dazzling smile and slipped the promise around my ring finger.
James whispered as he held up his pinky, "Promise you won't break my heart?" I looked up at him and wrapped mine with his, "I promise." He smiled and placed his lips onto mine. We stayed there, under the evening sky, wrapped in our exqusite completeness.