Monday, November 19, 2012

Homecoming part two

I was almost asleep when my phone started singing and woke me completely up. Normally I would have been annoyed but it was a blocked caller so my spirits instantly lifted and I answered the call with a breathless, “Hello?”

“Hey baby,” said a familiar voice, “I’m coming home,”

I had spent weeks coming up with the perfect homecoming outfit. After the long months of separation, everything for homecoming had to be just right. With every day that passed small things would fall into place. 

There was a red heart drawn around his return date on the calendar in the kitchen. Each night before I went to bed I would cross off that day and count how many days there were left until my husband was back in my arms. As the number dropped from the double to single digits, I would catch myself smiling for no reason. My coworkers said I was happier than they had seen me in months.

When the day finally came, I dressed in my new dark jeans and the light colored tank top that I had bought specifically for this occasion. I could hardly sit still as I fastened my black boots. I paced the house, tidied up the kitchen and rearranged the couch throw pillows four times before it was finally time to leave for the airport to pick up Ricky.

I wasn’t the first wife at the airport. There were several other families already there, forming a large group near the area that we were told that are Marines would be coming into. I headed towards them and was welcomed into their group with hugs and excited talk as clocks, watches and cell phones were checked almost constantly.  

“They’re here!” a little girl to my left cried a little while later causing us all to jump up excitedly. Sure enough, there was a large mass of camo coming down the hallway towards us. 

Even though every Marine in the group was dressed exactly the same it took me no time at all to find Ricky in the crowed. It took everything I had not to run to him right then. I watched him scan the group of waiting family members until he found me, a smile breaking out on his face, his eyes sparkling. 

Once they were through the last doorway and into the baggage claim area everyone started running. Wives, girlfriends, children, parents went running towards their loved one as the men and women in camo rushed forward, closing the distance and taking us up in their arms. As soon as I found Ricky, I jumped. He caught me, holding me tight against his chest as he spun me around, covering the top of my head and forehead with kisses. When he finally set me on my own feet I was giggling but there were also tears running steadily down my cheeks. 

“I missed you so much, Alessi,” he told me softly, cupping my face and kissing me for the first time in what felt like a lifetime. It was a soft kiss, full of love and longing and it held the promise of so many more.

“Let’s go home my love,” I whispered when we finally separated, intertwining my fingers with his. He smiled and nodded, kissing my nose to make me giggle as he gave my hands a gentle squeeze.

For the first time in almost eight months, I fell asleep happily and in the arms of my husband.

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