……………. We all made our way back to the parking lot. Mac hugged me.
“So you and Nick are going to stay here tonight” Jess said squeezing my hand.
“Yeah, we’ll come home tomorrow and I’ll bring back Ben’s truck” I sighed “If Katie wants to stay with us she can Adam won’t mind”. We looked at her.
“I want to go home and see Dylan” she said on the verge of crying again.
“Okay” I nodded as Mac put his arm round her shoulder “I’ll see you guys some point tomorrow” I stood with Nick as they drove away, “This will be you and Ollie in 2 two years” I said as we got in Ben’s truck.
“Coles turn next year” Nick said running his hands over his face and sighing, I drove to Adam’s house and let us in.
‘Why do we do this” Nick sighed sitting on the couch and looking at me.
“Because it’s what we do” I grabbed to sodas from the fridge and dropped down on the couch “We’re a whole different breed” I laughed. I put my feet on his lap. “It’s so weird to have Skye becoming a Marine” Nick closed his eyes.
‘I have no idea how the hell we’re going to work I’ve got this image that when I make the Marines she’ll be deployed and as she gets back I’ll be leaving” he looked at me “I love her to pieces but I don’t know if I can do it”
“Nick if you’re doubting it now and it’s only boot camp…” he cut me off/
“I know, you think it could be nerves, I mean hoping she’s going to be okay” I shrugged.
“Maybe, I think you need to work out what you really want” I said “Talk to Adam when he gets home” I suggested “or wait and talk to Dad”.
“Yeah I’m going to have to” he nodded I got up and grabbed my phone from my bag and walked outside.
Mom* hi honey, everything go okay.
Me * yeah hard but okay, me and Nick are staying here with Adam tonight and heading back in the morning.
Mom * good I was kind of hoping you’d see him while you were there
Me *Nick’s not doing so well, I’m trying to get him to talk to Adam when he gets home.
Mom * why just missing Skye.
Me * I don’t know, he’s worrying that they’ll be deployed at different times.
Mom * he doesn’t graduate high school for 2 more years.
Me * that’s what I said.
Mom * okay you need to let him think.
Me * I know, is Dad there.
Mom * he’s just come in from a run he’s in the shower.
Me * Okay. I’m going to go because Adam’s just got home.
Mom * call when you leave tomorrow Love you guys.
Me * Love you too.
I hung up and went back in to the house Adam and Nick we’re in the kitchen talking
“Are you ready to spend the last two years of high school without looking at another girl, without going out on a date, while your girlfriend is here then deployed somewhere” Adam shrugged grabbing a beer from the fridge, he looked up and smiled as I leaned on the door frame. “Did you call your Mom and Dad”.
“I just got off the phone with Mom” I nodded “You okay” I put my hand on Nicks shoulder he shrugged.
“I’m going to go to bed” HE sighed he hugged Adam and dropped a kiss on my head “Night”.
“Night Nick” Adam said watching as he walked out of the room.
“You think that was the best thing to say to him” I asked looking over to Adam.
“Well it’s something he needs to work out” Adam said leaning on the counter.
“You going to say the same thing to me about Ben” he took a drink from the beer bottle and looked at me.
“No you’re 18 already you can make that choice for yourself” he said shaking his head. “Could you have imagined spending your junior and senior years not dating and not seeing your boyfriend for months on end” I looked down “Remember I was on the other side of this I was at boot camp with a sophomore girlfriend and she couldn’t handle it, that’s why we split”.
“Yeah but you found each other again” I smiled
“I know” Adam grinned “High school is hard enough without having to worry what’s happening with your girlfriend 1000’s of miles away”.
“So you think it’sdifferent for me and Ben with me going to college and him being a Marine” I sighed.
“Oh don’t start thinking like that” he said standing up and putting his hands on his hips “You and Ben have a totally different relationship to Skye and Nick” Adam smiled “I got to talk to him for a short while tonight that guy is so into you it’s scary, but scary in a good way” I laughed “Tess I can honestly say I don’t think Nick and Skye could get through it, I love Nick to death but he needs to be a kid still for the next 2 years before he screws on his Marine head, and Skye I’m not sure if she has what it takes to get through boot camp” I looked at him slightly taken aback.
“She’s like you tougher than she looks” I said.
“Yeah but from what I’ve heard from you and your Mom and Ben it seems like she’s only enlisted to piss off her Mom” he shrugged. “I hope I’m proved wrong but I’ve had a lot of recruits go through my hands and I’m normally right when my gut tells me if it’s good or bad”.
“Wow I guess none of us thought of it like that” I ran my fingers through my hair “God it sucks sometimes” he nodded.
“If it helps though I think Ben will do an amazing job here, just like I did” he laughed.
“Nothing like blowing your own horn is there” I laughed. “I’m going to go to bed as well” I hugged him “thanks for putting us up tonight”.
“Anytime you know that, Night Tess”.
“Night I walked up the stairs Nick was already sound asleep” I got into bed and I can’t remember my head hitting the pillow……………………
……………….. We left Parris Island just after 8am and headed for home.
“So did you manage to give it any thought” I asked.
“Yeah a lot of what Adam said made sense, and I guess if we’re meant to be together then we’ll work it out” Nick shrugged.
‘So that doesn’t make sense are you breaking up with her or what” I said smiling.
“I’m going to stay with her while she’s at t he island and then talk about it” he said turning the music up, his way of telling me to drop the subject, We pulled up to the gates of Lejeune Nick was singing as loud as he could the window knocked making him jumphe opened the window Eric was looking at him.
“Sorry son we don’t allow people who sing that bad onto the base” He smiled. “Ben like his send off”.
“He loved it, thank you for doing it” I nodded.
“You’re welcome Sweetie, Now I think your Mom is waiting for you” he gave the signal to open the gate and we drove home Mom was talking to Aunt Dannie in the front yard as we pulled in. Nick got out and hugged both of them before going in the house I knew he was itching t talk it over with Ollie I got out and went over to them.
“Er shouldn’t you have taken Ben’s truck back” Mom smiled.
“I was going to go put on my running things and then take it back” I grinned “Need to keep busy now” I walked inside Dad was coming down the stairs in his gym stuff.
“Are you coming or going” I asked.
“Going for a run then to the gym, and Hi by the way” he smirked hugging me.
“Want some company”.
“Sure, Adam said you creamed him running when you were there” Dad laughed.
“Oh yeah I did” I said over my shoulder “We need to drop Ben’s truck off with his Mom and Dad first then we can go from there”.
‘I’ll be outside” I knocked on Ollie’s door and pushed it open He and nick were sitting talking.
“You guys want to grab pizza and a movie tonight my treat”.
“You said the right words” Ollie laughed.
“What pizza and movie”
“No my treat” he grinned.
“See you later” I closed the door and went and got changed pulling on my favorite I HAVE STANDARDS ONLY A MARINE WILL DO shirt and ran down stairs Dad was talking on the front lawn as I came out.
“Ready” he smiled I nodded He kissed Mom like he was leaving for a week before he got in the truck next to me we drove to Ben’s house I went and gave his Mom the keys before Dad and I started to run. “So you’re coping okay with your first separation from Ben” he said as we started on one of the trails.
“Dad I only left him there yesterday” I smiled “it was hard but suck it up put an a brave face and keep busy that’s what Nana always says”
“I like that one” he laughed, “I still need to hear all about Prom and everything else that you’ve been doing the past 7 months the letters are good but it’s good to hear you say it, I got to hear a lot from Ollie last night”.
“Did he tell you more about when he was dating Megan” I asked.
‘Oh yeah and he got a Gibbs slap for not trusting his sister” I laughed “But then again I guess he’s a teenage boy who was getting the big come on for a girl so his brain must have been somewhere below his belt”
“Oh he got a lot more than just the big come on” I giggled.
‘Are you ratting out your little brother for sleeping with a girl” Dad smirked.
“I don’t know what you mean” I joked. “I guess things just change and we seem to be growing apart to a certain degree”.
“You will but then you’ll be back as thick as ever look at me and Dannie and your Mom and Toby” he said as we started to slow downhe pulled his I.D. from his pocket and swiped the door open for the gym he held the door for me to walk in. “We wouldn’t be without each other” I nodded he went to grab two towels I went over to the sit up bench and started to work out Dad was talking to a guy on the far side of the gym.
“So you do live here” a voice from behind me asked I sat up and looked round.
“Evan” I said in shock.
“Yep, thanks by the way for telling that drill instructor what happened on the beach I got some shit after that” he smiled “But that was last year”.
“Good” I got up and went to the bikes Evan followed me. “What are you doing here” I asked as he got on the bike next to me.
“Getting ready for deployment next week, we’re off to South America” I groaned“So what happened to your “boyfriend”” he even did the whole quotation marks in the air thing.
“He’s on the Island” I said hoping to put him off.
“Oh so you’re still together” Evan asked I nodded, “And here was me thinking we could start over and I was going to take you to the movies or something”.
“Well you were way off in your thinking weren’t you” I snapped “Why the hell would I want to go to the movies with you”.
“Because you’re lonely, and I know that kiss we had meant more than what you said” I raised my eye brows “And we’d look good together”.
“O.M.G. I didn’t realize that the Marines we’re letting in delusional nut jobs these days” I sighed, Even put his hand over mine I snatched it away. “I really wouldn’tdo that if I was you”.
“Come on one date that’s all I’m asking Date a real Marine not a trainee” he ran his fingers up my arm.
“Everything okay Baby” Dad said walking over………………………