Please Come To Boston
Leo's phone dinged indicating that he had received a message on his Messenger app. He checked the screen and saw that it was from his former shipmate Willow Russell which definitely came as a surprise.
Leo! Please come to Boston in the Springtime! I'm attending a quality conference in Bean Town just down the road from Fenway. Maybe we could go to the BoSox game Tuesday, the 12th at 7:00. If you can make it, I'll spring for the tickets! Let Me Know! Willow
Wow! What a blast from the past! Leo was touched that Willow had thought of him especially considering it had been fifteen years since they served together. Leo amassed dozens of former shipmates on his Facebook friends list in recent years but it wasn't very often that he got personal messages from them. It would be great to see Willow again.
Willie! Long time! Sounds great! Keep me posted. Looking forward to seeing you again! - Leo The Lion Hearted.
Leo had shared an office with Willow at the Norfolk Maintenance Facility. She was the Command Career Counselor and he was the Public Affairs Coordinator. She was senior by six months and she got the gig as Division Leading Petty Officer the last year of their tour together. They established a unique camaraderie and friendship that was safely protected by the fact that they were both married.
Leo knew from Willow's Facebook posts that she was divorced now, retired from the Navy too, although she made Chief and served three years longer than Leo did. She lived in Pensacola Florida and worked some sort of civilian military job as a member of a web based training team.
Leo returned to his hometown of Hillsboro with his wife Maggie following his Navy retirement. He landed a job managing the local cable access station but his marriage didn't last, ironic after having survived a twenty year Navy career.
Leo had been in an emotional rut lately and the thought of teaming up with one of his favorite former shipmates energized his morale. He missed his Navy days and the people he served with and it would be fun to share old sea stories and Navy reminisces with Willow who was one of the most professional, dedicated and loyal Sailors he had known.
Leo was happily married throughout his twenty-year Navy career and he never crossed the boundaries of propriety with any of his female Shipmates although he and Willow definitely liked to tease (flirt?) one another sharing an office for three years.
Leo never saw the end of his marriage coming. He assumed his high school sweetheart would be happy to return to their hometown in retirement after twenty years of sea duty separations, multiple moves, and other hardships which gave credence to the saying that the toughest job in the Navy was being a Navy wife.
Less than a year after their return, however, Maggie wanted a trial separation which left Leo dumbstruck. Apparently, Maggie met someone at work (she re-joined the family specialty furniture business) and she didn't want to violate her marriage vows so she moved out of the house. Daughter Julie was away at college and son Garrison had moved to Colorado a few years earlier so there was nothing keeping Maggie from leaving – not even Leo.
He felt betrayed, of course, and Leo avoided Maggie, as hard as that was in a small town like Hillsboro. There had been a lot of loss and change in his life – retiring from the Navy, separating from his wife, the kids leaving home, and adjusting to civilian life and work. Perhaps escaping to Boston to see Willow would be good for him.
Leo hadn't been with another woman since Maggie left and deep in the recesses of his male fantasy mind he thought about getting laid by Willow although he knew that was hardly a romantic way to think about her but his heart was broken and his pride compromised and maybe what he really needed at this point in his life was some good old fashioned sex. Out of revenge against Maggie? Out of longing for Willow? Out of pity for himself? He wasn't sure if he was being a shallow bastard, a horny prick, or a pathetic loser.