Story of My Life Ch. 2byHarley_Quinn_1999©
Well when she woke up we went out and had coffee. She was having morning sickness and needless to say, I wasn't really feeling like eating. We discussed our options and she said that she wanted to have the baby, which was fine with me. I mean after all, I grew up going to catholic school as well as military school, so abortion really wasn't an option for me either. So at that point I had a decision to make: Was I going to do the right thing and handle my responsibilities like an adult, or was I going to run away from them like I always had?
Well she brought the kids over to my place and as soon as I met them I fell in love. I didn't want them to feel the same pain that they had felt all their life. I didn't want to be just another guy that drifted in and out of their life, when her little boy called me "daddy" with his first word a few months later, I knew that no matter what happened I would always be his father. I would do everything in my power to make sure that he would never be hurt, never have to cry. I wanted to be their father. I wanted to be the person that they would look up to. I wanted to try and make-up for all the things that my father had done to me. I had to make things right.
Well that settled it for me. I had to do what was right. Now this left me with some new options. HOW was I going to do this? How was I going to take care of my new family? I could barely support myself let alone two kids and one on the way as well as Rachel. So I made what was one of the hardest choices of my life. I had grown up in a military family. I had went to military school and so I would have thought that I would have had my fill of that sort of thing. But at that moment I knew that this would let me be able to provide for my family monetarily and as a protector. So when I looked at it that way.... well hey, Uncle Sam wanted me.
So here I am on my way to thirteen weeks of hell on earth. Now the only thing that kept me going was the thought of those kids and Rachel and the fact that I had to take care of them.
We finally got there at 2 am and I was just looking forward to getting some sleep without the constant smell of B.O. coming from the guy that sat down next to me on the ride down. I crawled into bed just to be woken up only a few hours later to a revelry that sounded like a elephant being strangled to death. I wonder how much trouble I would get into for beating a bugler with his own trumpet and shoving it where the sun don't shine?
So I'm running around like a chicken with my head chopped off trying to get dressed and in presentation out in front of the barracks. This is my first day here and I don't want to give my commanding officer a reason to hate me already.
First things first PT... ohhhhh goodie! If my superiors didn't hate me before, they did now. Some skinny little punk that they could tell right away wasn't going to be able to be broken, and any Drill Sergeant you'll ask that is what they consider to be the first lesson that they have to get across. They break you down to nothing just so they can build you up to what you need to be in the heat of the moment. But since I already know this, I'm determined to let them know that I understand what is expected of me and that I already have reached that point.
So the next stop is the mess hall. And if those still moving lumps of "food" on everybody else's trays are any indication then this has got to be the best case of truth in advertising ever. Now this is one time in my life that I can look back at my childhood and be grateful for. I learned at a very young age the saying: "Eat it now, you can taste it later".
Now this was the point that I realized that this wasn't the little summer camp that I had been in like military school. I mean the group of fresh meat that I had come in with looked completely out of place. For one thing everybody else that was with me had their jaws on the floor as they looked across the room at the tired faces. Kids who were only 18 or 19 years old suddenly looked like they had aged thirty years in the matter of a few weeks.
Now out of the whole group that I was with, I was the only one with ANY military experience. So I was just kinda thrust into the position of being a leader, taking care of a whole group of kids now. And you got to remember that I'm doing good just to take care of myself at this point, let alone a whole bunch of people that I've just met. But you have to play the hand you're dealt, and this is mine.
So the next stop on this little tour of hell is the dispensary. "Ladies and gentlemen, to your left... you'll see green and plenty of it. Because that's all we wear here. Now no matter how long I've known about what the military was about I have never understood the concept behind camoflauge. I mean if you see 20 or 30 guys bald guys walking down the road carrying enough firepower to arm a small third world army; do they really blend in any better just because they're all dressed in green?
Green, green, green... EVERYTHING is green. Your pants, your jacket, your socks, your underwear, your shirt (and yes I said "shirt", I'm sorry but a blouse is what a woman wears, not some trained killing machine carrying a semi-automatic weapon, but in the words of Dennis Miller: "That's just my opinion. I could be wrong.). And it all comes exactly the same way: one size fits nobody. And god forbid you don't wear shoes that aren't size 36! I swear, if you were to follow those guys when they go to buy those boots, you'd see them at Bozo's house every time he had a yard sale.
Now we get to be stripped of the last vestage of humanity we have. It's time to get out the turtle wax boys and girls. You know I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this was decided by a group of grand-high-poobahs in the first meeting of "the hair club for men". I can see it now. We're just sitting back and watching Hitler decimate millions of jews and it's like" Ok, no big deal. But wait a minute... does that mean that he'll have the only army in the world with those spiffy hair-do's? Well now we HAVE to go kick his ass!"
So I lost my locks, my hair that I had been growing since I was 12 years old. My hair, that I looked at as an outward extention of my honor, just to be able to take care of my kids, because to do what was right by them was a greater honor than any other.
Now back to the mess hall... "Master may I please have more gruel, sir?" It moved. I swear to God I saw that lump move. Oh sweet Jesus it's looking at me. It's looking at me! You know you'd think with all these guns around here somebody would kill the food before they give it to you, but then again everything you do here is for a reason. I guess this is just a starter class for close quarters hand-to-hand combat.
Well now we come to the point where everybody calls up their mommy's and daddy's and tells them how they're here safe and sound. Well needless to say, I didn't really give a rat's ass if my parents even knew if I existed or not any more. So I called Rachel. I told her that I was doing fine, and asked how the kids were, and how she was feeling. And that was when I noticed a little nervous laugh that she had.
"Rachel? What's wrong? Is everything all right? Are you ok? Is the baby ok?" I started panicking. I could almost feel myself about to hyperventilate. I could do all the push-ups in the world and not pass out, but let me think that something was wrong with someone that I truly cared about, and that I couldn't be there as well... now I'd just fall apart.
"Well do you remember when I told you that I was going to the doctor's today? No, no, there aren't any complications... well, not exactly. The doctor ran another test on me, and it came back negative." Her voice was suddenly a LOT more nervous. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't think for one minute that she had lied to me. Hell I had even seen the test she had taken with my own eyes. But she was scared that now I would leave her.
I didn't know what I was feeling. Mad, that I had went through all this for nothing. Scared, that now that she didn't have anything that tied her to me, that she would have no reason to be with me. Hurt, that I wasn't going to be a father now. But in just that instant, she could feel everything within me. And she spoke just those simple words that I didn't know I had needed to hear all my life. "It's ok. Everything will be all right. We'll be waiting right here when you get back. The kids love you, and I love you." Well that was it. I was bawling like a 4-year-old that had just skinned his knee. Here I am the roughest, toughest, SOB that had ever stepped foot onto this base, and I'm crying my eyes out. Tears streaming down my face.
My commanding officer walked over to tell me that time was up but before he could get a single word out, he looked down at me, and this look just washed over his face. Confusion, saddness, frustration that he could do nothing to help, and a subtle little nod, that let me know that there was a respect there that no ammount of push-ups could have ever gotten. He looked at me and let me know that this was something that would never be spoken of ever again, but that it was also something that he would remember till his dying day. I nodded and let him know that I would be getting off the phone now. I told Rachel that I loved her and I said good bye to the kids. I said that I loved them all and would call again real soon.
Well, here I am now. 12 weeks, 6 days, 10 hours, and 38 minutes. But that's ok because now I have something to focus on. I can spend this time thinking and learning. Training and disciplining my mind and body. I want to be the best soilder that I can be. Why? To protect my country? Yes. To provide for my family? Yes. To give my children a father that they can be proud of? Yes.
But.... there is one more thing. I want to learn how to be a good soilder, so that I can spend this time concentrating on every excruciating, sadistic, creul, evil, vindictive, painful way that there is to torture a man. And just so you know... at a little home pregnancy test factory in Cleveland, Ohio there is a inspector number 41 that I'm going to be paying a little visit to.
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