Lost Dreams

By: Jude Ouvrard

1.


July 13th, 2007


Carter


"Deployed?" I repeated the word aloud, anxious about the prospect. "But I'm getting married tomorrow!"

Every morning, Remy arrived to drink coffee. Sometimes, it was the only time of the day where we'd see each other and other times, he wouldn't leave until after dark. My home was his home. We were living on base and as close as family gets. Special Forces were family. Everyone knew pretty much everything about me and I knew everything about them. Their kids’ names, their wives, even their dogs. Most of us were far from our real families, so it was good to be able to count on them.

"We’re leaving on the 16th." Remy paused and we lapsed into silence for a moment. That meant I couldn't give my wife the honeymoon she deserved. I was going to leave her two days later. I knew she would understand, because she knew how it worked. Her parents had served in the Army for many years and she'd spent her whole life around soldiers.

It broke my heart to leave her so soon after our wedding. "I'm sorry man. At least it's our last time. After that you'll be with her as long as she wants you."

"Yeah. I know.'' I was having a hard time deciding if I wanted to leave the Special Forces, I wanted to because I wanted a life here with Avery, but I loved being part of this team. ''But I still don't like it. I wanted more time with her, I wanted to have a family and see my child grow up.” For the first time in my life, I wasn't happy to be leaving. I wanted to stay with Avery and cherish her and the fact that she wasn't coming with us was making it even harder. For the past ten years, we’d worked together, teamed up and built a strong bond. Without her, I was a lonely man.

Avery was the sunshine in my life. Even in the height of battle, when things were really tough, she still shone like a diamond. She remained strong the whole time, stronger than some of the guys. Her determination and passion for her work made her of one of the best soldiers I've ever known.

I had three days left with her and I had to make the best of it. I wanted to spoil her, convince her she was the most important person in my world. She loved flowers and chocolates, so I decided to buy her a huge bouquet of pink roses and the biggest box of Godiva chocolates I could find. She'd mentioned wanting to paint her nails for our wedding and I figured a manicure and pedicure was the best gift I could give her. I booked an appointment for the afternoon. While she was getting her nails pretty, I'd search out a cute summer dress for her and invite her to dinner at her favourite restaurant. I wanted Avery to remember all the good things and not our little fights about the wedding arrangements.

"I have to go Carter, I have a few things to plan myself," Remy said, drawing me out of my thoughts.

"I’ll see you tomorrow."

"Of course, I wouldn't miss it." Remy was as excited as I was. We fist punched and he left.

I had to tell Avery that I was leaving sooner than planned. I hated it. I didn't want to hurt her, but she knew it wasn't in my control. She was upstairs, getting ready for the day, showering and probably imagining how wonderful our wedding was going to be. I hated to be the one who would put a damper on her happiness.

Breakfast! Yes, she would love it if I prepared breakfast, a good one with eggs, bacon and French toast. I hadn't surprised her with breakfast in such a long time and I regretted it. I started with the bacon, prepared the French toast and cooked the eggs last. My hands were trembling badly at the thought of announcing my news to her.

"Mmmm, it smells so good in here, what's the occasion?" Shit. I hadn't wanted to be so obvious. Now she knew something was up and I had to tell her now.

"I'm... I'm leaving... three days from now. Remy just told me ten minutes ago. I have to go and sign the papers."

"No... No... Not so soon!" She cried and it broke my heart.

Her knees gave way and she crumpled on the kitchen floor. I'd never seen her so affected. She was devastated and there was nothing I could do to delay my deployment. I had to leave, no matter what.

I joined her on the floor and pulled her against me. "I'm so sorry, baby. We knew this was coming, but I know we didn't expect it so soon. They need us, I have to go." I was going back to my Special Forces function and I knew this wasn’t good news for her.

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