This week's prompt: "A noble but naive man finds out his girlfriend had been cheating and so must find his own way of coping."
It had been two weeks since the last letter; two weeks since I heard anything from her. Mom, dad, my siblings, my friends, I got stuff from all of them. Care packages, pictures from back home, even just their words. It was enough to know that they care, no matter how far away. Hell, mom even sent me a new razor, though I’m not sure how she even found out my old one was on the fritz. But Sarah? The woman I want to marry, who made me reconsider my opinion on children or hell, the whole course of my life? Nothing. I knew she wasn’t hurt or sick, my family reassured me there was nothing wrong. What was I supposed to think? “She’s probably just forgotten, she does have a lot going on you know.” That’s what I got from mom when I called. She was doing her best. Had Sarah really forgotten? What does that say about...everything?
We’d met at a party, of all things. I remember her doing the talking first, making some joke about the bathroom line. It wasn’t very good, but I hadn’t really spoken to anyone else all night so I didn’t mind the conversation. Most of my friends didn’t really know me anymore; I was away for work for huge chunks of the year. They invited me out when I’d come back home, but probably to make themselves feel better more than anything. Still, I usually accepted the invitations. I could only spend so much time with my family, no matter how much I love them. Parties weren’t really my thing, not even during school. But the more I worked, the more the occasional drink in a situation built for loose morals appealed to me. So Sarah made the first move, if somewhat shyly. It worked. I thought it was cute. We talked the rest of the night and exchanged numbers.
Things were doing well. I’d never had an easy time with girls back home. I never really took the time to build anything meaningful with any of them, so I wasn’t good for much more than a few hookups. Sarah made me want to try. It wasn’t just looks. I hadn’t felt a connection with anyone the way I had with her. She made it seem worthwhile; for once I didn’t feel like I was wasting my time. I probably waited too long to tell her what I do for a living. I didn’t tell her that night. I didn’t tell her during our first date, or the ones after that. It took a couple months before I told her. I waited almost the week I had to leave. It wasn’t the best thing to do, but I didn’t know how to tell her. She got pretty mad. I remember something getting thrown against a wall, probably a lamp. It was a bit cliché, but I guess it was life imitating art. She couldn’t believe I didn’t tell her. We were official at that point; we’d met each other’s parents and broached the idea of marriage and kids, just to make sure our values added up. I’d made her question everything.
It took her a couple days to cool off after that. She didn’t answer her phone in that whole time, and I couldn’t find her. I was supposed to leave soon, so you can understand if I was a bit stressed out. Out of nowhere, about 11PM that second day, she finally called me. We met in a coffee shop. She told me she’d thought about it, and she was still willing to give us a shot. She would wait for me, and we’d pick up right where we left off on my return. Everything seemed settled by the time I left. I’ve been here for two weeks, and I’ve gotten no word from her. The last thing I heard was that everything would be fine, and that she loved me. Nothing since then. My coworkers haven’t been much help. They were all too keen to tell me what this could mean, when all I wanted was their ear.
“She’s done with you, man.”
“I’ve seen it happen all the time. She’s fucking someone back home. Probably the second you left.”
“Might want to ask your friends if anything’s going on.”
“My best friend man, when it happened to me it was with my best friend.”
I got my answer yesterday. I couldn’t ask her; she hadn’t answered any other letter I sent. My parents wouldn’t tell me or didn’t know. But you can always count on your best friend to dig up the truth for you. I don’t know who he asked or how he found out. Maybe he staked out her place. Maybe he beat it out of the guy. He’s that kind of friend. I was calling him daily already, and he told me the day he found out. I don’t know who the guy was, we’re not sure if it was an ex or just an old friend. What she did admit to him when he found out; he’d hit her up the day I left. It only took three days for her to say yes.
“And how does that make you feel?”
That’s all the fucking therapist could say.
“You’ve been staring out that window this whole goddamned time!”
He was right.
“Now you are going to pay attention or are going to have a problem?”
“No problem sir!”
“Good, now get me - “
The warning came just a bit too late. Something tore through the back of the Humvee, punching clean through. It probably took someone with it, but I was too focused on the vehicle being thrown around like a toy. It landed on the driver side, and somehow I kept my senses and pushed my door open. Bullets were already hitting the vehicle’s armour by the time my boots hit dirt. I checked my weapon.
I couldn’t think about Sarah anymore.