Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Homecoming

Homecoming

 I am a battle-weary soldier, heading home.
Sergeant First Class Jerry Allen Bulford, "Bull" to my friends. Four years in "The Sandbox" is enough for anybody. I saw a lot in my time there and lost some good friends. Like on my last day "in country" before shipping home, I pulled convoy escort duty and we hit an IED. Three guys died, and four of my men were wounded.
 I visited my wounded guys in the infirmary before I left, they were in a lot of pain. So zoned out on morphine I don't even think they knew I was there.
But I knew, that's what matters. I left behind that dry, dusty air. The foreign sights, the sounds and smells. It will be good to be home where things are green again, to smell the rain and her.
 My Alisa, she always smells like flowers after a rain. Sweet, cool and clean. We got married three days before I shipped out. That was the hardest part, leaving her.
 I sail over oceans dark and deep, jealously guarding their secrets. To the south lay the islands of Hawaii. We have a trip planned there when I return. At last, the coast of California comes in sight. Over my own country at last! Got diverted north at Kansas city, the remnants of a hurricane they say. Finally, I hit my little hometown.
 There's Spicer's Grocery where I bagged groceries as a kid. My first job. Old man Spicer's sweeping the sidewalk. Just like he has every morning, for 30 years. The Royal movie theater where I got my first kiss from Alisa. Ryan's Barber Shop where I got my first haircut. I take a spin around the town square, remembering. But I can not linger here...
I head east out of town, to our one lane gravel road. I slow here, savoring the peace after so much war. The green of the grass, the joyous cacophony of birdsong. Then I can wait no longer... I rush up the road to the little white house at the end of the street.

 I beat at the door. The screen door slapping makes a terrible racket. Like a vision, she appears before me, opening the door!

 Rushing in, I bring tears to her eyes. I brush the hair from her shoulders and wrap myself around her, crushing her sundress tight against her. I breathe her in. Sweet, cool and clean. Oh, how I've missed her!
But she can not see me.
For I am the wind.
And she doesn't know that yet... 

24 comments:

  1. I felt it...with the first visit to the men. But I experienced it in the last sentence. Absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking and real.
    Well done, my friend. Magical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jo. I'm glad it worked for you!

      Delete
  2. Such a heartbreaking tale! As a military brat, I could relate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you TMW. I hope you couldn't relate too well...and that all your family are safe.

      Delete
  3. Yes.. This story.. It.moved.me. Just beautiful Joe.. Bravo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I can't ask for more than that...to move someone with my writing is the ultimate goal! Thank you so much!!!

      Delete
  4. The hair on my head feels like it's standing on end! I did not expect that! I keep going back to read it again...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, thank you Jennifer! That's one of the nicest comments I've ever got!

      Delete
  5. Oh sure make me cry. :'( Well written but heartbreaking.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is so sad. I wish he had come back to her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Stacie...in a way he did, but can he stay?

      Delete
  7. So very sad. You had me really going till the end. I thought he was really coming home to her. What a heart wrenching twist. ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kathy...I'm glad it worked as intended.

      Delete
  8. What a beautiful story, I hope there comes a sequel, you write this with great love and passion for the story.
    My English is not so good, I use google translate.
    I've included my friend in my circles.
    I started reading, and I went to your lips, regretted that it stopped, please make a sequel to.

    Greetings

    Meintje

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Meintje for your beautiful Kind words, and for taking the time to read my story. I'm very glad you liked it!

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Thank you Stacie, and thanks for reading again...here we go! Lol

      Delete
  10. Oh bless. This is so heart wrenching You write it so delicately x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Susan! I'm glad you liked it! Please stop back by sometime.

      Delete
  11. I was so happy he was reuniting with his love until I read the last line. Heart wrenching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reading Jasbir! I'm glad it touched you.

      Delete
  12. Wow,heart-breaking story.Holds your attention till the end.He came back home.A ghost,a wind.Like you said,can he stay? Always good to make peace with people,especially those you love.Because you never know when it would end!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading Felix! I appreciate comments as they let me know if it works or not. I continued this story in "Left Behind" if you are interested.

      Delete