Disclaimer: Completely fictional.
She always told herself to not cry when this happened. She would ask herself to be strong and not waste away the time on tears, the precious time she could spend talking instead of waiting to wipe the tears or catch her breath between sobs. She tried, but failed almost always.
“I remember,” she said to him. Trying to not cry. But letting a few tears roll down her cheeks.
He couldn’t cry even if he wanted to. He had been taught to be strong and never become vulnerable due to emotions. He had always been a funny person anyway, so he made sure he added a hint of humor and made her laugh.
“I can’t believe your sister did not understand that! I mean, I was right there, in the shower, haha!” he said.
“Hey! Don’t do that. Be grateful she did not know. Her innocence, and then she would have told my parents, it would have been a total nightmare!” she added.
“Ya, well, if they come to know now, they might even be happy. We might have already given them a grandchild, which seems a little difficult now, don’t you think?” he mocked.
“I promise, the next time, if you promise, to return,” her voice suddenly saddening.
He did not like it when her sweet voice became like that of a tortured soul. He changed the topic.
“You know what I told Dost when he asked me if I can take a beating? I said yes, my wife had slapped me the first time we had met!” he said and began laughing, while she on the other end began to blush.
“You kissed me!”
“It was a bad dare! But the best one of my life!”
They were both quiet for a moment.
“Times have changed. I remember how we had begun to get to know each other, the sneaking around and meeting, the movies, meeting our parents, our wedding day, remember?” she asked him.
“I do, just different parts of it. I recall everyday our first date, how you had worn a simple red shirt and black pants, how your hair kept falling over your eyes. I wanted to brush them aside but was worried you would slap me again!” he said and they both laughed. “I think of all the stolen kisses, the looking at you instead of the movie, how your sisters had robbed me on our wedding day, for which you made up during the n-”
“Oh god! Stop! You will never stop with your perversions, will you?”
“It’s love, darling! Not perversion! Come on!” he teased and laughed.
“I miss your coffee,” he said suddenly. “Your food too. Our cooking sessions.”
“The burnt chicken fiasco! Hahaha,” she reminded him.
They grew silent longer this time. And the dreaded sentence…
“I have to get back now, darling.”
She sighed, holding back her tears in vain. “I’ll allow it,” she said and her voice broke.
“I love you more than my life, okay?” he said.
Then just come back, she thought.
“I love you too,” she said instead.
He disconnected the call and went back into the tent. It was freezing at the border but he was used to it. He picked up the rifle and bid goodbye to his friends. He was to march and stand guard today among the many other soldiers protecting the nation.
Back at home, she wiped her tears and smiled at her mother-in-law. She walked back to her room to cry some more. She did not feel good that day.
The phone rang again the same day. A connection made to a call she never wanted to receive, and yet, she did.
P. S. I know I have been on a break from being consistent and I apologize! Big day coming up this week so very stressed, but I’ll make up for it! The post is for all those who sacrifice their normal family life to let us civilians have ours and for those who too sacrifice a lot more in the same process. Happy saluting! 🙂