David Soto Writes

I think I figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

Category: Tim Roger’s Secret Life (page 2 of 3)

The Attack – Post 13

The one thing you have to deal with on a deployment, no matter what branch of service you are in, is boredom. For soldiers, it’s the time in-between missions outside the wire. For HVAC technicians, it’s the time in between service calls.

When you are good at your job, do all your routine maintenance, and only have a total of 106 air conditioners on base, you don’t get many service calls. And when you do, with four very qualified technicians ready to pounce on it like over compensating bouncers in a bar fight, no air conditioner stays broken very long.

The members of the 447th Civil Engineering Squadron HVAC shop spent most of their day playing dominoes. The thing is they couldn’t do it in the shop unless they were on an official break, like lunch. For them to be able to play all day, they had to get creative.

The center of the front seat of their six pack pick up folded down when there was no need for the middle seat. After a trading frozen bottles of water (Ice was a hot commodity in the desert) for some wood and time in the Carpentry Shop, Tim and his Airmen fabricated a table top to fit perfectly over the folded down seat. A little bit of trim around the perimeter of the table top made it possible to mix the dominoes up and not lose any between and under the seats of the truck. After the completion of their table top, when it came for the crew to go “get lost,” they could park anywhere, set up their table, and bust out the “bones.”

The four of them spent many an hour out behind the fuel bladders of the Power Plant. The power plant was noisy and smelled of diesel fuel, so people tended to avoid it. Except for the Power Production Engineers, of course. There was always at least one person there to monitor everything.

On the day of the incident, there was no work to be done. But the boys needed to get out of the shop. Being seen in the shop meant you weren’t out working in the field. It didn’t matter that there wasn’t any actual work to do in the field. It just mattered that you weren’t in the shop.

The morning of the attack, Tim was about to head out to the power plant with his troops when he got a phone call from his boss, Master Sergeant Mattingly. The Master Sergeant wanted to go over the evaluations Tim wrote on Jones and Ski. The Master Sergeant was a stickler for well-written paperwork.

“Do you want us to wait for you, Sergeant?” Ricketts asked.

“Nah. You guys go ahead and play cutthroat,” Tim said. “The Master Sergeant is pretty anal when it comes to these things. This will take all morning. Just come get me for chow.”

“Roger that, Sergeant,” Ricketts said as he and the rest of the troops headed out to the power plant.

*

Dominoes just works better with four people. There are two teams of two and everyone gets seven dominoes. This leaves no dominoes left over, and with that, it’s easier to count the dominoes, a strategy used by advanced players.  Cutthroat is an everyman for himself version and not as fun. That’s why when Airmen Jones, Ricketts, and Ski got to the power plant, Ricketts went looking for a fourth.

The 12-foot tall jersey barriers that protected the fuel bladders were also what concealed the crew when they were out playing dominoes. The 8-foot long concrete monstrosities surrounded the bladders, but they did not butt up against each other. There had to be enough room for an Airman to be able to connected hoses to the bladders from the refueling trucks.

After parking in their regular spot, Senior Airman Ricketts went out to see who was manning the controls in the power plant, their possible fourth. Taking a short cut, he slid sideways between two jersey barriers. Then, even though it was forbidden, he walked over the fuel bladders, like a little kid in a rented bouncy castle. Once he got across, he squeezed in between two more of the portable concrete walls and walked over to the power plant. He knocked on the door but walked in without waiting for a response.

Inside the plant Ricketts found Martinez sitting in a chair with his head nodding, fighting to stay awake. Martinez was a grey-haired, overweight Technical Sergeant from the Arizona Air National Guard. He was way older than most Tech Sergeants, something common among the Guard guys. He was in the army when he was younger and missed being in uniform. He joined the Air Guard after a couple of co-workers convinced him.

“We don’t do shit but play cards and drink coffee,” they said. That sounded good to Martinez. He enlisted at the age of 38 he and was probably one of the oldest Senior Airmen in the country. For the next several years he drank coffee and played cards one weekend a month, two weeks a year, then 9-11 happened. He was now on his second deployment. He would have gotten out after his first, spending time away from his beloved wife and three daughters was hard on him, but two words caused him to reenlist once again, “Retirement Check.”

“Hey, Sergeant! Just checking on you AC,” Ricketts lied. “How is it working?”

Ricketts knew as soon as he saw Martinez that they were going to have to play cutthroat. The crew had nothing in common with a middle-aged Guard guy from Tucson, AZ. Inviting him in the confines of their six pack to play dominoes was like inviting a priest to a party. Yeah, he’ll go and even drink, but you’d have to be on your best behavior while he’s there.

Mattingly ended up postponing the meeting with Tim by notifying him that he had, “more pressing shit to handle.” Having sent the boys off to get lost, Tim had some free time and decided to head to the morale tent. It was early back home, but there was still a chance Maria would be up. She had been waking up at odd times since she got pregnant.

During the day the morale tent was nearly empty. He didn’t even have to wait for a computer. He logged in right away and checked if she was online. She wasn’t on Facebook as far as he could tell, so he sent her a message.

“Babe, I got some free time. Are you up? I would love to see your face.”

Tim clicked away at random shit while he waited for a response.

“I’m up. Let me pee and then I’ll Skype you.”

“Yesss,” Tim said as he gave a fist pump. He clicked over to and updated his status to “about to get online with my baby!”

*

While Tim was Skyping with Maria and Ricketts was feeding a line of bullshit to Martinez, a piece of ice at the bottom of a mortar tube reached its breaking point. It had melted from a small block to a thin sheet, and the weight of the mortar round caused it to crack allowing the mortar to drop onto the firing pin, sending it off towards the direction of the base.

Mortars fired towards the base rarely did severe damage. Iraqi civilians, who were paid by insurgents, randomly set the stovepipes in place. They were aimed with no accuracy or care and set with the makeshift time day, ice. They sometimes flew over the base and sometimes hit just short of it. When they did make it into the base, they usually hit something noncritical like and empty hanger or a dirt field. One time some shrapnel ripped through a Cadillac shitter severing a water line, rendering the bathroom unusable for a few hours. That was the worst of it, though.

So when this mortar hit dead center of the jersey barriers that surrounded the fuel bladders, it was a one in a million shot. It was also a one in a million shot that Ricketts was on his way back to tell the boys that they had to play cutthroat. And, even though it was forbidden, Ricketts was happily bouncing on the fuel bladders like a little kid in a rented bouncy castle when the mortar hit.

We are now to the stuff I started working on when I decided to create this website. This material is now a couple months old instead of six months or more. I had a hell of a time getting this one ready. Let me know what you think or if my dimensions of those jersey barriers are off.

Tim Goes To The Doctor – Post 12

The next morning Maria told Tim what happened as she dabbed the corners of her eyes with the cuffs of her oversized sweatshirt preventing Tim from actually seeing any tears.

“Take me to the hospital!” Tim insisted, even though he had no recollection of what happened. “Right now!” Tim was very protective of his petite wife. He proved that in that night in Sacramento. He wouldn’t let anyone do physical harm to her, including himself. If this meant the lock him up in s straight jacket then so be it.

“Okay,” Maria said, no longer able to prevent the tears from rolling down her face.

*

They spent the entire day at the base hospital waiting room hoping for an opportunity to see a doctor. It was quite the sight there among the rows of interconnecting black vinyl and chrome metal chairs, similar to what you would find at an airport. There were two kinds of people one would typically find in a base hospital waiting room. There are the retirees who did their 20 years. Some more that 40 years ago. And there are the homely dependent wives who won the medical coverage lottery by landing themselves a just as homely Airman. They greedily wait with their sick, snotty nosed kids for medical attention as if it was actual food or money.

Tim and Maria both were relieved when they heard the name “SSgt Rogers” announced, anxious to get the hell out of that waiting room. They were both escorted to the Psychiatrist office by a female Airman who’s hair color made them question if it was “natural in appearance” as the regulation required.

The doctor asked a series of questions as he typed on the computer. The screen of the computer was positioned as such that they couldn’t tell if the doctor was taking notes or chatting with his mistress. When the doctor finished asking what seemed like a standard set of questions, he diagnosed Tim with a mild case of somnambulism also known as sleepwalking and wrote a prescription for Desyrel. The doctor eluded to a possibility of PTSD and suggested he see a psychologist and get involved in counseling, right away.

As they both walked out of the doctor’s office, the doctor waited a few seconds and then peeked his head out the door and shouted, “Mrs. Rogers, Did you fill out this form?”

“Yes,” Maria responded. “I did.”

“Could you come here for a second and help me with your handwriting please,” the doctor asked.

“Go ahead to the pharmacy, babe. I’ll be right there,” Maria told Tim.

When she got back to the doctor’s office, she found him sitting at his desk with her husband’s file closed. She was aware of his ruse. “Mrs. Rogers, I wanted to let you know two things without your husband around.” He was no longer the droid of a person who asked the questions without any emotion earlier. He showed genuine concern as he continued, “One, please let us know if these dreams continue or get worse. We will have to have him come in for sleep observation if it does. And two, this one is important. If there is any sign of violence, ANY sign, please report it to Security Forces.” Maria and Tim had agreed ahead of time to leave out the part about the wrist lock he had put her on her. They both knew it would lead to all kinds of trouble if they did.

“Base cops, why them?” she asked.

“To eliminate the threat,” He answered.

Maria knew what that meant and knew there was no way in hell she was going to call Security Forces on her husband. The thought of him sleeping in a tiny room with cameras on him and wires attached to his body came to mind. No way, she thought.

“Yes, sir!” she responded to the Lieutenant Colonel doctor, having forgotten that she was no longer obligated to address him as sir, and went off to meet here husband.

While last week’s post was practically a complete rewrite, this week’s required that I fill in the blanks. I ended up doubling the word count again. I don’t know if this will stand on its own as a chapter or be added to the end of the previous one.

Tim In Iraq – Post 10

Tim showered every night before bed. The showers were too crowded in the morning. He had the privilege of using “Cadillac” showers, which were in a trailer, not the bare bones tent showers the men who deployed years before him had to use. These showers provided a bit more privacy and men could take care of their “built up frustrations” with a little less fear of getting caught. Tim would return to the showers again in the morning but only to brush his teeth and shave. This bought him plenty of time to get some breakfast before he walked to his shop.

Tim took pride in his uniform. Where most men were a little laid back about it because of where they were, Tim made sure to adhere to the standards. Having recently sewn on his Staff Sergeant stripe, he made sure those under him did too. He kept extra razors in his desk in case anyone forgot to shave and once sent one of his troops back to their tent because he had, in a hurry to not be late, forgotten his belt.

“C’mon Sergeant Rogers. I’ll keep my blouse on all day. No one will ever know.”

“I’ll know, Airman Jones,” Tim replied, “and more importantly, so will you. Go get it and double time your ass back here so we can get to work. Me and the boys will be playing dominoes till you get back.”

Not wanting to disappoint their Staff Sergeant, the other Airmen frantically grabbed chairs and the dominoes and prepared to play. “You heard the Staff Sergeant,” declared Airman Ricketts, who outranked Jones by age and experience but not by a number of stripes he wore on his sleeve. “We’ll be waiting on you,” he said as he flipped over the dominoes that weren’t already face down over.

Back in the States, Staff Sergeants were a dime a dozen but on a deployment, everyone usually ended up with the job of someone who held one or more ranks above them. This put Tim in charge of the heating and air shop. He had three troops under him. Senior Airman Ricketts, Tim’s second in command, Senior Airman Jones, and Airman Ski— whose name was a lot longer than “ski” but it ended with “ski” so that was good enough for everyone.

As the Shop Chief, Tim attended all the morning staff meetings. Being in charge gave Tim a great sense of pride but after he briefed his troops on the outcome of the meeting, which was usually nothing more than the duress word and sign/countersign, he usually hopped in the truck with them to go out into the field to do maintenance and repairs. Shop Chief or not, he felt most at home out in the field working on the equipment.

If he did ever have some pressing “Staff Sergeant shit” to do, he would send the troops out with the work orders and tell them, “Come get me for chow.” Regardless of his authority over them, he felt like these three Airmen were his brothers. The closest thing he had to family in the desert and he took every opportunity he could to bond with them.

Occasionally, Tim would invite his troops over to his tent to get shitfaced off his homemade grape wine. It took him a month of bringing a can or two a day of grape juice back to his tent from the chow hall to get enough to start a batch. It took another month for the brewer’s yeast to secretly do its job in Tim’s locker. To everyone’s disbelief, one 1-pint water bottle that was refilled with wine, once its original contents were drunk or even just poured out, was enough to get someone drunk. They had a hell of a little party that first night the wine was ready. Somewhere in the drunken haze of that first night, Tim mentioned that he was going to make the next batch out of apple juice. The next evening when Tim got in from work, there was a case of apple juice in his cot.

He did manage to brag to one of the Special Ops guys one night in the recreational area after having already downed one of his stout pints. As much as he hated to admit it, he admired those guys. He would have liked to think they were assholes but couldn’t ever really find a reason to think so. They were all kind of nice. And all badasses whose job required they carry a gun, not a wrench. Tim was chumming it up with a guy who introduced himself as Koa. Koa was a tall, lean island boy with dark skin and dark curly hair. As soon as Koa mentioned he would like to try Tim’s hooch, Tim hurried off to his tent to grab a bottle. When he brought back the bottle, Koa told Tim thanks and then kind of dismissed him. “Thanks for the hooch, man. Listen, I’ll talk to you later, alright?” Koa walked back to join the rest of the Special Ops guys who had formed a circle around a couple of the hottest female Airmen on the base. Koa had to put himself in the running of who was going to get fuck these girls that night. Assholes!

Being highly illegal, Tim kept his wine a secret. With the exception of the Special Ops guy, the only people that knew about it were his troops, the others who shared his tent, his boss Master Sergeant Mattingly, and the Major, Master Sergeant Mattingly’s boss.

 

I literally just wrote the last three paragraphs before posting this. I wrote this weeks ago but as my story develops, I realize that there are things that need to be said beforehand. The ideas are really flowing now. I am even having thoughts about the second book in this project. I feel I owe it all the the fact that I am reading, at least, a novel a week. Please let me know what think below.

Continue to next chapter.

The Dropped Call – Post 9

By the time Maria was three and a half months pregnant, Tim had already been in country 90 days. Life wasn’t so hard for Tim. Everyone loved the AC guys in the desert. Tim and Maria communicated regularly via Skype and Facebook. Tim would often turn the monitor and make sure no one was looking and would have his wife show him her bare belly. Every now and then, if he was lucky, Maria would flash her breast.

“Are you being safe?”

“Yes, babe. I’m being safe. It’s a little too safe actually.”

“Don’t say that,” she scolded him.

“Well, I got to say, it’a little boring. All I do is fix air conditioners, that and go to meetings. Nothing ever happens!”

He was lying, partially. He was telling the truth about being bored but, even inside the wire, there was a level of danger. Rockets and mortars were often randomly fired into the base. They were set off by a time delay. No one actually took aim. So, haphazardly, they landed where ever they landed rarely hitting anything of significance.

“Well keep it that way,” she said, “your ass ain’t getting out of helping me deliver this baby that easy.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the wor…” The call dropped.

After a few failed attempts at reconnecting, Maria decided either the base communications went down, or the generators were out. Both of which happened on somewhat of a regular occurrence. She would try again tomorrow.

The next morning Maria was stunned when the news anchor claimed that four Airmen were killed as a result of a mortar attack at Camp Sather yesterday. The very base Tim was stationed. She immediately got online to see if Tim was online or at least to see if he had been online at all since the day before. His last post on Facebook was a status update that he was, “about to get online with my baby!”  He hadn’t been online since their call dropped. Off course, she assumed the worst.

She was devastated. For the next several days, she barely ate and barely drank. She hit the refresh button on her computer over and over. All she ever saw was Tim’s last status update, “about to get online with my baby!” All of this was taking its toll on her body.

The guys in Tim’s unit back in the States were of no help either. None of them had any information. Everyone was waiting.

It was on the third day after she heard of the attack on the news that Maria noticed blood in her panties when she went to pee. Later, after a few hours of trying not to think about it, the pain hit her. Doubled over on the floor of her Beale Air Force Base, ranch style, three bedroom home she called 911.

*

When she came to, she recognized the smell, the terrible lighting, and the white walls, floors, and ceilings. She was in the hospital. “My phone,” she thought. It happened to be next to her on a little table next to a plastic pitcher of water. She immediately fumbled for it and checked Tim’s Facebook status, “about to get online with my baby!” She curled up and cried herself back to sleep.

She was woken up a couple of hours later with repeated notifications on her phone. They were Facebook messages.

“Babe!”

“Babe, I’m ok!”

“Babe, are you there?”

She reached over to turn the phone to silent but took a quick peek and saw her husband’s messages. Confused about how to feel, she flopped back in her bed relieved that her husband was not one of the four dead but then saddened by what she had to tell him. She messaged him back, “Timothy!”

“Babe, I’m ok. Can you Skype? I only have a few minutes.”

“Oh, Timothy…”

“Get on Skype, Babe. I’ll explain everything.”

“I can’t, Timothy. I’m not at home.”

“Where are you?”

“I’m in the hospital.”

“What?! What happened?”

“The baby, Timothy! Our baby…”

The more I read, the better writer I become. As I work on becoming a better writer, I can see where I can improve on what I have already written. I am a direct and to the point kind of a person. People like that in my non-fiction writing but I can see where it may make for a, kind of, blah novel.

As always, feel free to leave some feedback in the comments section below. Especially if it has something to do with losing a baby. I’ve have very little experience with this, so I could use some help here.

Continue to next chapter.

The First Nightmare – Post 8

Before the sleep walking started, there were just nightmares. The first one happened the night Tim got back from Iraq. Maria had everything planned for his return. When his plane landed, she messaged a girlfriend to “go ahead.”

When Tim walked out of from behind the terminal security, he calmly walked over to his petite wife, dropped his bags, and picked her up and hugged her all without saying a word. Through his embrace, he tried to communicate to her how much he missed her, how sorry he was for everything that happened, how much he loved her, and how truly glad he was to be home.

The drive back to base from the airport was quiet. There is an awkwardness of being reunited with your wife after coming back from war. It goes away with time. Maria did relay the story of how she drove Tim’s pickup one night to a vacant house on base. She removed the screen door and installed it the same night on their house. It wasn’t exactly theft because she was merely transferring it from one government building to another. Tim laughed at the story but felt odd that there were things that had happened in his wife’s life over the past few months that he didn’t know about.

When they arrived home the house illuminated with the glow of vanilla scented candles, Tim’s favorite. Though the bubbles had fizzled out, the water drawn in the tub was still warm. They awkwardly got undressed like they were new lovers about to make love for the first time and got in the tub where Maria bathed her husband. It wasn’t until he saw it there piled on the floor that Tim noticed Maria’s outfit. It was the exact dress Tim had seen in a Victoria’s Secret catalog the guys were gawking over in the shop one day. He had torn the page out and sent it to Maria with a note saying, “I would love to see you in this.” She had taken the picture to Vitoria’s Secret where a clerk helped her order the form fitting, pink with black lace trim dress along with the very high heel shoes the model was wearing. Tim was upset he hadn’t noticed it on her but was thrilled that she had gone through all that trouble.

After the bath, they made their way to the bedroom and got into bed where Tim immediately fell asleep. For months all he could think about was making love to his wife, but it would have to wait one more day.

When Maria noticed her husband was asleep, she wasn’t disappointed. She knew what he had gone through. She got up and blew out all the candles in the house and then crawled back into bed next to her husband and fell asleep, relieved that he was home.

A couple of hours later she woke up to Tim frantically huffing and puffing. “Timothy, what’s wrong?” Tim continued to huff and puff. “Timothy,” her volume increased. “Timothy!” She started to shake him. She could tell he was having a nightmare but couldn’t wake him. Tim then took one giant inhalation and fell silent. He didn’t wake until the morning.

The next morning Tim made love to his wife after four long months. Afterward, while enjoying their first cup of coffee together since the day he left, Maria brought up the nightmare. Tim had no recollection of it. Maria blew it off as a one-time thing and hoped it would never happen again but it did.

What do you think? Any input would help. Please post it below. Thanks!

Continue to next chapter.

Maria Comes Home From Work – Post 7

Maria came home to her clean shaven husband waiting for her watching tv everyday. Once she changed out of her clothes, she started dinner. It wasn’t that Tim couldn’t cook. He was quite capable. He just loved that Maria cooked for him every night. Anything Maria made was delicious even if it were just grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. He especially loved it when she made her mother’s enchiladas mineras, though he did her mother’s were better.

*

“It smells like “Mi Ranchito” in here.” These were the first words out of Tim’s mouth when he walked into Maria’s parents’ house. Mi Ranchito was a small family owned Mexican restaurant off the beaten path in Lincoln. Once Maria took him there, he made sure they stopped every time they passed through on their way to go to the movies or something in Roseville.

They took leave together one time and drove down to Gardena to meet her parents. Tim routed the trip down the Pacific Coast Hwy, which included a romantic stop in Pismo Beach.

*

After dinner, they usually went for a walk around the neighborhood. When they returned, they collapsed in front of the tv until Maria started to dose off. Tim would see her fight off sleep out of the corner of his eye and then would turn the tv off and say, “let’s go to bed, babe.”

Although it was never said out loud, they had an agreement that they would sleep nude every night. If one of them forgot, they would be harshly reminded. It was usually Tim since he was the first one in bed. “Uhh, what the fuck is this?” Maria would say as soon as she had noticed Tim still had his boxer briefs on. “Get them off!”

They made love every night. If they didn’t make love before falling asleep Tim would wake her up in the middle of the night with kisses and a gentle touch. She never turned him away. Their passion is one of the things that kept them together. Maria loved to make love to him, especially when he was on top of her. She loved feeling his long muscular body pressed against hers. She’d hold his head with both her hands. Her thumbs placed perfectly behind his ears as she looked into his eyes as she climaxed. This was her favorite way to make love to her husband. She got tremendous pleasure from these sensual moments. She also welcomed every opportunity to get pregnant again.

There are some important details in this post. Should I be telling you this? Anyway, enjoy. Post any comments, feedback, or questions below.

Tim’s Morning Continues – Post 6

Tim woke up when the sunbeam that came through the space between the end of the mini blinds and the frame of the window had made its way to his face. That was his alarm clock. It never occurred to him why he slept in so late every day. But he had been doing it for so long that he just shrugged it off as part of his routine. He made his coffee, fired up his computer, and began his daily ritual of scrolling through his Facebook feed and looking for some way to start a business from home.

Tim’s time online would have been better well spent doing something else. The opinions of people on the war enraged him. Those who were against the war pissed him off because they were not supporting the troops but what really got him was all the pro-war post.

He hated all the stupid post that said stuff like, “Thank you for your service,” “God bless our troops,” and “Freedom isn’t free” post. The pictures of an American eagle and the twin towers saying “never forget” and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Fucking idiots, he thought, Iraq has nothing to do with 9-11.

He also hated the fact that all these pro-war people had never been or in the least worn a uniform. How could you be for something you have never experienced, he thought. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion about the war, but unless they have been, it doesn’t mean shit.

*

Tim was a gung-ho troop before his tour in Iraq. He always wanted to go to war. It’s why he joined. Then he did and learned that war wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

When he saw the video of Saddam being hung, he thought to himself, what did we just do?

When arguing with people about the war it would go something like this:

Tim would ask, “What would you think of an army that, for no reason, invaded a sovereign nation, occupied that country, overturned it’s government, and then killed the president they unseated?”

“I’d think that army needs it’s ass kicked.”

“I was talking about us. That’s what we did,” Tim would say.

“Nu-uh!”

“Think about it.”

“What about all those people who were cheering in the streets when we liberated them. And, technically we didn’t kill Saddam. They did that themselves.”

“Don’t you think if someone took our president out of office, there wouldn’t be some people happy about it, cheering in the streets? There would be, and you know what, those people would be assholes. Un-patriotic assholes. Could you imagine being on their side? Well, guess who’s side we are in Iraq?”

*

After a few hours online, Tim headed to the gym where he put in a couple of hours every day. He was in tremendous physical shape. His workout regime was a mix of weights and calisthenics. He also trained every day. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday he worked on his most recent martial art quest, Krav Maga. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he rolled on the mat honing his Jujitsu skills.

He always made it back home before Maria and was sure to shower and shave so he would be fresh for her when she arrived. When he got out of the shower, he threw his dirty gym clothes in the clothes hamper in their bedroom where they collected until Maria did laundry, on Sunday.

 

I doubled the size of this post just last night. By talking to other authors and readers I get ideas about stuff I need to add. Everything you read about the war and stuff, I added last night… Wow, I just remembered something I thought of last night right before I fell asleep. I have got to get that down. Post feedback in the comments section below.

Tim Leaves For Iraq – Post 5

Official government travel meant Tim could take a taxi, limo, or whatever else to the airport on the government’s dime but, of course, Maria wanted to drive him.

“Just drop me off here,” Tim said.

“No. I want to park and go in with you,” Maria argued.

“It’s useless. You can’t get passed security anyway. Besides, we might as well get it over with.”

“Okay,” she responded with tears in her eyes.

“No lloras, mi amor.” Tim’s Spanish was limited to very few words, but they were effective ones.

“Be safe, Timothy.”

“I will,” he assured her with an eye roll.

“I’m serious. God damn it!”

“Babe, I’m not a soldier. I’m a heating and air guy. I’ll never leave the wire.”

“Still,” she said. “You better be safe.”

“I will, Babe. I promise.” He gave her a kiss and then kissed her belly. He then opened the door, grabbed his pack, and left. Maria was two months pregnant.

*

They found out she was pregnant just a month before she was due to separate from the Air Force. This was a problem. The uneasiness of not having a job with full benefits weighed heavily on the expectant mother. That and the fact that Tim had recently found out that it was his turn to deploy.

“What am I going to do, Timothy?”

Tim, without hesitation, responded, “We’ll go to Reno!”

They didn’t tell anyone. They went up to Reno on a Saturday as Tim and Maria and came back on Sunday as Mr. and Mrs. Rogers. On Monday, they let the Air Force know, changing their statuses to “married” and naming each other as their spouse. A necessary step to ensure Maria would have medical coverage when she got out in a couple of weeks.

Of course, the families were disappointed when they were notified via speaker phone that Sunday on the drive back from Reno. They made the newlyweds promise a ceremony and party when Tim got back. It never happened.

 

I am still publishing “chapters” that I wrote months ago. I thought I was writing a short story then, so I left out a lot of details. I went back and added some to this excerpt right before I hit publish. Longer chapters with more details are coming soon. ~Dave

Tim’s Morning Routine – Post 4

Tim usually slept in till noon. He could do this because he didn’t have a job. He did manage to get a job after he got out of the Air Force as an operator in a hospital boiler plant nearby but was soon fired for his erratic behavior and eventually getting into a fight with a coworker. After this, both Maria and Tim agreed that he would be better off staying at home for a while. They could afford to make this decision. Tim was medically retired from the Air Force due to complications after a deployment. He collected a nice pension every month.

Short one this week. Tim’s morning continues but for some reason, I felt like stopping here and telling about the day he leaves for Iraq. That’s coming next week. I still think like I’m writing a script, so these “chapters” come out as scenes. Keep in mind I have no idea how to write a script or a novel. I’m just winging it. You should also know that the chapters are getting longer. When I started writing this I wanted it to be short story. I wanted to just get this story out there but it has evolved into a novel. So, now I’m adding a lot more detail. Telling the background of the characters.

Her Morning Continues – Post 3

The gurgling sound the coffee maker makes when it’s ready snapped her out of her daydream, and she poured herself a cup. She drank her black coffee and watched the local news waiting for something very specific. When the final spin cycle of the washer finished, she threw Tim’s clothes into the dryer and got into the shower.

It didn’t take her long to get ready for work. She was a natural beauty and used very little, if any, makeup. While she had a short, curvy figure that resembled her mother’s, her face had the high cheekbones, a long nose, and thin eyes of her father. Her skin was the color of coffee with too much cream in it. She was a definite blend of both her parents and a perfect reflection of their Mexican heritage. She put her hair in a bun like she did every day back when she was in the Air Force and then donned her scrubs and immaculate white sneakers. Within no time, she was ready for work.

Before she left for the doctor’s office, where she worked, she got Tim’s clothes out of the dryer. Any items that seemed permanently stained, she put into a plastic grocery bag. The rest she folded them neatly and put them away. On her way out she grabbed the grocery bag with the still soiled clothes and took them with her.

 

Did I miss a comma? Confused about something? Let me know. I’d appreciate your feedback below.

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