Let’s get this adventure started! A friend shared a phrase once from Joyce Meyer, “Do it afraid”, so here I am, doing it afraid! Here goes:
Kate Langston sat next to John Kern, apprehension on her face. Both wore the United States Air Force uniform: black t-shirts, camouflage pants, black boots. They sat on a lumpy cushion on the donated castaway sofa, in the lounge of building 755, the Security Forces Building. Kate and her boyfriend were currently stationed at Scott Air Force Base Illinois, about twenty miles east of St. Louis, Missouri.
Kate didn’t like this situation, but felt helpless. Everything was out of her control and she didn’t like it one bit. She should be used to it by now, having lived the Air Force life for the past ten years. Her time, her wishes, and her desires were not her own.
“Just put one foot in front of the other, Kate. You’ll be fine.” John turned toward Kate, his blue eyes pleading.
“Ugh–you know how Ruth is. She’ll make my life miserable.”
“Kate, just carry on. Don’t worry about her.” John started to say more, but changed his mind.
Kate leaned her head on John’s shoulder, not caring about PDA and all that. “I don’t want you to go.” She tried to swallow the lump in her throat, not knowing where it came from or why she was acting like this.
What worried her so much this time? It wasn’t like either of them had never been on TDYs (Tour of Duty) before. Sometimes they were both gone simultaneously to different parts of the world.
Kate caught whiff of John’s woodsy aftershave trailing under her nose. “Me either,” he whispered.
An airman walked in and cleared his throat. Kate reluctantly got up and moved to a window, her back to John. Her throat swelled and her eyes misted.
The intruding airman left after buying a soda from the machine in the corner. John walked over to Kate and squeezed her shoulder before leaving the room. Kate watched his retreating back, while tears streamed down her face. She rushed to the ladies room down the hall and let it all out. When she was finished, she washed her face and fixed her hair. She had to get her hat from her desk before she could go to lunch off base.
A few minutes later she spotted Spencer Coleman in the hallway outside the bank of cubicles in the main part of the building. He was a friend to both her and John and was headed her way. “Going to lunch?” he asked.
Kate tuned out the beeping computers, clacking keyboards, ringing phones, a myriad of conversations going on at once, and the squawking scanner at the help desk. It always took a moment to get used to the noise at work and then the near silence outside.
She nodded, looking up at him as she passed. He was several inches taller than her own five-foot, ten-inch frame.
“Me, too. See you later,” he said. He was probably headed for the food court, attached to the Base Exchange (BX), like a small department store.
Kate glanced back at Spencer, watching him twirl his keys. He did that all the time. She shook her head before pulling the building door open, a wave of fresh air hitting her, confirming her decision to leave the canned air conditioning behind. She headed across the parking lot to her car. She wanted to eat lunch in peace. Not that she wanted to eat all that much.
John worked a different shift this week, so their lunch breaks didn’t coincide. Which was just as well, considering her mood. She unlocked her car door and slid into the driver seat of her Toyota. Kate put the key in the ignition but didn’t start the engine yet. Instead she rolled the windows down and removed her hat, tossing it to the passenger seat along with her small leather purse. The breeze blew her brunette hair around her face, though she kept it short for easier management.
She thought about what bothered her. For some reason John’s upcoming trip felt like a black cloud hanging over her. She didn’t know what it meant. They had been dating a while, but their relationship seemed stalled. Kate wondered if they were on the brink of breaking up. Whenever she wanted to discuss their relationship, John seemed reluctant and changed the subject.
Until next time,