Previously on Heir Force, we met Kate and John. Today, see why Kate Worries:
Leaning back on the car seat, Kate watched a pair of sparrows sparring on the curb, while she considered exactly how she felt. If she were to name the feeling, it would be fear. The realization made her shudder. But why? Fear of what? That John would meet someone else? That he would get hurt? That they would grow apart? There was always a chance of danger, everyday in the life of an airman, whether in their field of Security Forces or not. You certainly can’t control the lunatics in the world that hate Americans and all they stand for.
Kate met John and Spencer at Peterson AFB in Colorado a couple years ago where they were doing tactical training. Spencer and John had been friends for several years, stationed at two prior bases together, and with Kate, they made a trio. Kate had fallen for John, but liked Spencer too. Then the three got split up, sent to three different bases, and now were all together again at Scott. Kate and John had stayed in touch with letters, emails and calls. Occasionally she had emailed Spencer, too. Then John and Kate both arrived at Scott within a month of each other and renewed their friendship, which over the last year had blossomed into some sort of love relationship, though John hadn’t actually used the ‘love’ word. Yet. Kate still held hope.
Kate finally started the engine and turned her beater of a car down South Drive on base, her windows still down all the way. Most of the time the air conditioner didn’t work. She didn’t really have time or concern enough to mess with it since she lived only a few miles from the base. She tolerated hot air blowing through the windows on her drives back and forth to her apartment near a shopping center that included a Target and a Dierberg’s grocery store.
Kate wasn’t hungry for a full lunch, but she could at least get a taco and an ice tea, southern sweet. She could have gotten both at the Taco Bell® on base, but she needed to leave the military world, even if only for an hour. Her brain needed it, her mental psyche needed it, and her spirit needed it.
She drove through the Georgian Housing area and stopped for the light at Scott Drive. She then turned left, passing by the commissary (the grocery store) on her right and drove through the Belleville gate. She picked up speed as she turned onto Carlyle Avenue, the main drag nearby that would take her past the local YMCA, the Wal-Mart plaza with a smattering of fast food places on the right and the local college on the left. A mile or two further down she turned left into the fast food joint and parked facing the street.
Since the weather was as perfect as it could be for the area, she bought her lunch and ate it while sitting in the car. The constant traffic noise driving by was her only entertainment. She let her mind wander, staring mindlessly out the window as she ate mechanically. She felt so uneasy with John’s upcoming trip, but couldn’t pinpoint the reason.
Stay tuned next time for Ruth Strikes!