I swear my heart stopped. No. No. No. They cannot be here. No. No. No. “Hello…” I said in an uncertain tone trying to keep myself from falling over.
“Mrs. Banks?” He asked. I shook my head.
“Mom, can you come here?” I called to her in a shaky voice. I heard her get up and her footsteps as she walked to the front door.
“Baby what….” Her voice trailed off after she saw the two fully uniformed Marines standing in our door way. I put my hand in my pockets trying to stop the shaking that was happening. I looked over
“Ma’am, may we come in?” The second Marine asked.
“Yes, please do come in.” She said moving out of the way for them to come in. I moved over for them too. I closed the door half way looking at the black car sitting on the street as if taunting me.
I closed the door and walked into the living room where it was now silent.
“How can we help you?” Dad asked holding Mom’s hand in his.
“We have some news really, Sir. It’s about your son Hunter.” Mom’s breath hitched in her throat at just the mention on Hunter’s name.
“What about him?” I asked holding my belly scared of the answer. I could feel my hands shaking as I moved them to lay them on the top of my bump. The first Marine looked at me.
“There has been a…..a problem at his base.” He said. Dad looked at him his face turning to stone.
“What kind of problem?” He asked his thumb rubbing over Mom’s knuckles. The second Marine looked at all of us.
“We aren’t really sure what happened, but we know that something is very wrong. We have no connection with the platoon, and we cannot see anything from the satellites. We don’t know how many are
dead, or how many are alive, if any are.” I put my face in my hands and started to cry.
“My son could be dead?” Mom whispered as TJ got up to pull me to him.
“Yes Ma’am, he could be. But he could be a fighter and he could be fighting his way out of there. We just don’t know. Every one of those Marines could be alive. Every connection was terminated.” TJ
held me as the tears rolled down his face.
“What are you going to do? To see if he is alive?” The words sounded horrible in Dad’s mouth. I never want to hear my Dad ask what they were going to do to see if my brother was alive ever again. I
looked at the marines waiting for the answer.
“We are sending in more marines to see what is wrong. The air force is lunching some planes. We are doing everything we can to bring those men home.” The First Marine nodded.
“We are sorry we don’t have any more to tell you. We wish we did.” The second marine said standing up with the first. Dad stood up with them.
“Thank you.” He said saluting them. Dad walked the marines out as I sobbed onto TJ’s shoulder. I can’t lose Hunter. I can’t lose him.
“Baby.” Mom said standing up as the tears fell down her cheeks. I stood up and hugged her tightly.
“I can’t lose both of them Ma. I can’t lose Hunter.” I sobbed violently. I felt Mom start to rub my back to help me stop, but it wasn’t working.
“I know baby, I’m so sorry.” She whispered. I moved causing my locket to make a thumping sound as it hit my chest. My locket Tanner gave me. Tanner, the father of my baby. My brother’s best friend,
almost brother. My boyfriend. My brother’s platoon mate. My eyes widened. Mom looked at me. “Sweetheart?” She asked putting her hand on my cheek.
“Ryan?” Dad said coming back in the room. “Ryan look at me.” I wanted to look at him but I was frozen in place. The only thing moving was the river of tears flowing down my cheeks. He put a
hand on my shoulder turning me to look at him. My eyes were seeing nothing but his face, my love. The house could burst into flames right now and I wouldn’t even have noticed. Tanner could be gone.
He was gone.
“Ry-Ry, look at me come on. Ry I need you to look at me.” TJ said putting his hand under my chin pulling my face up to look at his concerned eyes. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like someone was
in my lungs putting both their hands on them and squeezing them till they burst. My knees started to shake, as well as my whole body. The tremors rocking through my body making me snap out of my
trance. I looked around at the worried faces of my family before I started to sob violently. Dad pulled me to him holding me tightly.
“Ry-Ry, Shh it’s okay.” He whispered sitting down putting me on his lap rocking me gently like he used to when I was little. I put my hands on bump holding it tightly trying to protect it from
everything, life, this cruel world, judgment. Everything was poison to my little baby. I looked around the room before my eyes fell on my Dad.
“I can’t raise a baby by myself, alone at 18. I can’t Daddy. I can’t do that. I can’t have this baby without him. I need him. I love him Daddy. I love him so much.” I sobbed. He looked down
“I need Tanner, I want Tanner.” I cried out. He looked at me.
“I’m sorry Baby.” He whispered. “I can’t do that. I understand that you want him-” I cut him off.
“You don’t understand why! You never can understand why!” I screamed at him. He looked at me as I got off his lap quickly. I started to feel lightheaded. I grew weak suddenly causing me to put a
hand to my head to stop the spinning. I must have got up to fast.
“Ry, Ryan what’s wrong?” I could barley heard anything over the now loud throbbing in my ears. I couldn’t breathe. My chest wasn’t moving. I saw the black spots forming in my vision as the
sounds around disappeared as my eyes rolled to the back of my head as consciousness slipped through my fingers…………..
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