Composing myself, I march back into the office and continue working on the colonel's presentation. She needs to give a lecture on the housing situation of the troops and my job is to make sure that it looks crisp, neat and professional. Focused and determined, I work on the slide show for two hours before I'm satisfied. Colonel Jackline comes in and takes a look over my finished product. "Not bad Amn Hoskins, not bad at all. Ok, I have two more projects for you to be done before 1400. Thank you!"
I wait until she leaves before letting my head fall against the desk. It looks like I'll be skipping lunch again. Sighing, I open up another document to start on the assignment she gave me. Colonel Jackline is not a bad person, she just doesn't think about the people under her. It's a normal occurance for me to work late, come in early and skip some breaks to get the mission accomplished. Keeping my head buried in my arms I startle when someone clears their throat.
"She hit you with a double whammy again didn't she?" I don't need to look up to know it's him. His voice is a soothing wind that wraps around me as I nod still hidden in my personal sancuary. He leans against my chair and sighs, "You got to tell her to give you a break sometime. You're going to get a fever again if you work too hard." It was a common thing for me to get fevers because I skip meals and don't sleep. I turn my head to look at him and he smiles gently at me. I love his smile, it is young, sweet yet full of responsibilty. My officer is only two years older than myself, but already he has had the weight of the world on his shoulders. We talked about it before, he only keeps half of his pay check while the other half goes to his little sister at home. Their parents died three years ago and he joined the military to help his little sister go to college.
"It doesn't bother me. I'm flattered that she thinks I do a good job for her." I say as I lean my head back to look at him.Tilting my head back, I stare at him slightly upside down as he leans over my chair to look down at me. He smiles my favorite impish grin and shakes the chair back and forth, "Don't work too hard! Go eat lunch! Do it now!" I giggle and push him, "Ok, ok, I'll go get some lunch." He stops shaking my chair, leans down to my ear and whispers, "There, now was that so hard?" I freeze as the soft breeze from his voice tickles my ear. He tilts the chair forward so I fall out of it, "Now go eat."
"Ok I'll go, but I'm not going to be there long. I have too much to do." I say as I retreat out the doors. The sun has climbed up into the blinding blue sky as I make my way to the dinning facility. The waves of heat dance off the pavement and I stare sadly at a bird that met it's match in the heat. When I push open the door for the chow hall, the smells of lunch fill my senses and make my mouth water. I realized that I hadn't eaten since last night when the blessed food is piled on my tray. I walk over the security forces table and join in on the banter.
"Hey it's Hoskins!" A boy's voice echoes out as I'm greeted by the half of my team that didn't go on the mission. I sit comfortably and laugh as an arm is slipped around my shoulders, "What's kicken Hoskins?" Ortiz's New York accent lifts out of the noise. I shrug him off as he tries to grab my dessert. "Aw, now don't be like that. Come on! I'm hungry! I haven't eaten since like.....five minutes ago."
"Well you're just going to have to suffer now aren't you?" I laugh while he sulks, "Man, Hoskins won't even give me something to eat. What has this world come to?!" I finish up chow and walk quickly back to the office to work on those presentations. The office noise has thinned now and I enjoy the small lull of quiet while I flip my computer back on. When I click open the assigment, my mouth hangs open slightly, "What the heck?!"
I stare at the completed copy of one of my slide shows! Reading it through, I glance over to see LT leaning against the wall sipping his coffee. I look at him and shake my head in wonder as he toasts the cup to me, "A favor for a favor. The other one is up to you." I stand and walk over to him smiling, "Thank you so much. It looks wonderful." He shrugs and returns to his desk. The rest of the day goes by like normal, and without even realizing, it was dark outside and the end of the day was closing in.
"Night everyone. Amn Hoskins, nice job on those slides." Colonel Jackline says as she leaves. Soon it is just me left in the office as I type a new entry onto a web site. I glance up to the clock to see it reads 1900, way past my work time. I glance over the presentation LT finished for me and smile happily before exiting out the doors. When I turn the corner I hear his voice, "What are you doing tonight?"