I'm standing on the airport runway, waiting. Waiting for him to come home.
Please let him come home.
Looking around me I can see other women; wives, girlfriends, daughters. They're all waiting for their loved ones. They'll come back from war bruised and scarred but at least they'll be safe now. Men stand around too, waiting for sons and daughters. Maybe wives.
But everyone's waiting.
I haven't seen him in so long. He shouldn't have been on this tour, he was meant to stay behind, he was meant to stay with me. Leaving the week after our wedding is nothing that a young woman would want for her husband, but he feels he needs to help, he needs to be out there making a difference and all I can do is support him.
The wind is cold and I draw my scarf tighter around my neck. Alabama's never been so cold. I look at my watch. They're late, I hope nothing has happened.
My heart sinks. He has to come back. He has to. We have our whole lives together in front of us.
Memories of our past flood through me, boat trips across the lake, standing in the rain to feel alive and pay phone calls.
I can hear the plane coming. Its engines roar and send shivers up my spine. I can feel him, he's close.
The dot slowly becomes bigger as it draws closer still. I feel like jumping in the air but past experiences have taught me not to jump to conclusions.
I wring my hands together. Butterflies grow in my stomach. He's coming!
I whistle a tune to calm myself.
The plane lands and its engines turn off. The doors open and soldiers begin to pour out. They look worn. War is draining.
I stand on my toes, craning my neck to see him. I start to panic. Where is he?
I turn around and feel a grin erupt from my face.
"Alexander!" I run over and fling my arms around him. He kisses my neck and puts me down. His uniform is still crisp but I see it has taken many hits. So has my husband.
"Do you remember that day when you fell out of my window?" His thick southern accent still makes me melt.
I nod at his abrupt topic, completely lost for words. Finally they come. "I sure do, you came jumping out right after me." He grins and straightens his cuff.
"Well, you fell on the concrete and nearly broke your ass and you were bleeding all over the place and I rushed you to the hospital. Do you remember that?" He laughs and I dizzily laugh with him.
"Yes, I do." I say whilst taking hold of his hands.
"Well, I've had time to think and there was something I never told you about that night."
"What didn't you tell me?" I ask excitedly.
"Whilst you were sitting in the backseat, smoking a cigarette you though would be your last…" I laughed nervously. "I was falling deep, deeply in love with you and I never told you 'til just now."
"Why are you telling me now?" He pulls me close to him and runs his hand though my auburn hair.
"Because it's happening again right now. Seeing you after all I've been through with my mother's beautiful ring on your finger, knowing you're my Wife. I'm falling for you all over again."
"Well, your home now." I whisper in to his chest.
"Home is wherever I'm with you. You know that. " The seriousness of his voice melts away as I reach up and kiss him.
He kisses me back and I know this is right. He is my home. Whenever I'm alone with him. "I love you Alexander." I whisper against his dry lips.
"And I love you Jade." He whispers back, lifting me up again and kissing me.