Authors: David Manoa
Tags: #romance, #love, #suspense, #soldier, #david manoa
Copyright 2015 David Manoa
The author asserts the moral right to be
the author of this work.
All rights reserved.
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“Baby, I’m coming home…” Clutching the faded
photo of my beautiful Claudia, I was done fighting the forgotten
war. I sat back strapping myself in with the metal clasps. The
photo close to chest. I closed my eyes to think of her. The sound
of the four turboprop engines whirring and
through my body put me at
ease. I looked out window to see the Red deserts of Afghanistan for
the last time. Waving goodbye to the blood-drenched dunes and
I’m coming home to get married.
I hope you say yes.
I love you.
I couldn’t help crack a smile with my head
raised to the
. The tension trickling down to the
lower half of my body. I ached inside thinking of her, being away
for so long. Everything so pent up. Nine months without her touch
and her caressing kisses. I couldn’t wait.
I imagined coming out, of the C-130 Hercules
walking down the tail ramp out into the
to see Claudia waiting for me. The
Desert petrol vehicles driving out behind me their torrent of dust
forming from the fine layer they were coated in. The families all
waiting and the soldiers disperse to meet their loved ones. I
pictured Claudia wearing her favorite white tunic with her the nice
V in the middle. The floral embossed, lace sleeves with the tunic
coming down to the middle of her smooth, supple thighs.
Her sun kissed dusty blonde hair, would be
shimmering in the light the wind blowing away some of the tendrils
of her hair. But her perfume penetrating through would alert me to
her presence. She would tiptoe like a ballerina with her cute flat
soled shoes, looking for me. Jumping a few times to see over the
crowd. I would spot glimpses of her, but I would wait till everyone
parted like the red sea. I straightened my uniform, adjusting the
sand color beret on my head, I would walk through the middle.
Everyone becoming a blur the sound nulled out like the engines on
And there she is running to me as I walked up
to her. She still looks as youthful and stunning the first day I
met her. I would drop my bag and sweep her from under her feet and
kiss her like there’s no tomorrow. That first kiss would be a
combination of breathing her in as our tongues met. Her scent, my
god her scent. The fierce need from mine to press against hers, her
hands cupped on the sides of my face. She whispers “I missed you…”
then she leans in to kiss again.
I pick up my bags and carry her to the car,
Claudia is smiling when she sees that look in my eye. A hungry bear
that can’t wait to dip her in honey so I can devour her. I kiss her
again, then again…
Tasting the sweet. She moans… I groan….
I lick my lips, I kiss again… again…
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up corporal!
I flinch, lunging forward feeling this hand
slap both my cheeks. I sniffle, choke and swallow. Blinking to get
the sleep out of my eyes. I wipe the drawl off the side of my mouth
and chin. I turn to see Private Leroy an African American with a
very vibrant personality and the tightest fade.
“God damn will! What the hell is wrong wit ya
“What the fuck?”
“You damn near having a wet dream. Any longer
you would have been jerking your dick off in front of us.”
I smoothed my calloused hands over my face.
Peering down to the cold steel floor, I refocused my vision on my
dust The disorientation soon seeped away when I
looked up at my unit laughing at me.
There were four of us, to my right on the
opposite me was Natalya Volodin the first woman SAS soldier to be
enlisted. She sat with her masculine pose legs wide open her body
hunched forward right hand holding her chin. She had this off look
. Deep dead brown eyes and light freckles on her
face she had the highest confirmed kill count out of all us.
A child soldier who fought as 11-year-old
child in the Chechnya war before she escaped with her mother to New
Zealand when she was 15. Her mom a mail order Russian bride. I
watched as she sat up Spearing one side of her glossy black hair
behind her ear. Her crazy haircut all shaved on one side made her
look like a freak.
She licked her cracked lips, her tongue
larger than her damn lips moistened them. She
indulgently “I’d be happy to do
it….” I gave her middle finger while the other guys kept cracking
up. Then there was the sound of boots clanging to the metal floor
as the laughs soon dried up.
My Unit Commander George Patrick or GP as we
would call him towered over me holding on the rails above. Built
like a tank, six foot four. A weather-beaten man in his late
forties, chasing glory in time past gone. He then smoothed his
grizzly salt and pepper beard. The scars on his face a reminder of
a man born into battle. Each one significant, one down his left eye
and one across his nose from the battle in Helmand. The right eye
patch hiding the lost eye from ambush at Kabul. He called them
tattoos. I called them very lucky to be alive.
“Are you okay son?” he said in weathered
“Yeah, can’t wait to get home.”
“Will. I want to ask you if you would
reconsider the offer?”
I paused, clutching the photo his eyes
shifted to my hand when he said again. “I know the reasons why
you’re leaving but it doesn’t work that way.”
I raised an eyebrow “I’m done GP, I want to
“Then what? What are you going to do for a
job? How are you going to support your wife?”
“I’ll find something…”
“Something, packing groceries at a
supermarket? Door security at bar? Will,.”
silently. Only internalizing where everyone else is going.
He said “With the government disestablishing
our counter-narcotics unit I’m asking you to join the PMC (Private
Military Company) for Cerberus Petroleum its
skills. You think your gonna cash out your superannuation to have
enough to finance your wedding and buy a house? ”
“Damn Private security for Cerberus?
Protecting Civilian contractors in Afghanistan again, Fuck
“Look the deployments are shorter and more
pay! The equipment top of the line none of fucked Auger rifles we
were using. An expenses budget even to upgrade our gear.”
“I don’t care, GP I spent over a decade
obsessed with this life. I’m done.”
I stood up and took out the photo of her.
“I put this woman through a lot of shit you
know. Five years fucking years she cried when I left and cried when
I came back from each deployment. God damn it, GP. I put in my
I reached into my pocket and showed her the
ring I bought in Dubai. GP stood emotional less. He rubbed his
Natalya blurted “GP you’re wasting your time.
I told you he’s a faggot!”
“Will. I understand. Let me stress again more
money less time out in the field. I need you son.”
“GP its time,
what I want. We
witnessed so many soldiers blown to fucking pieces from IED’s
crazed insurgents who were locals that were trained that turned on
us. GP I’m proud to have served and fought beside you that I will
always remember. But it had to end for me sometime.”
I watched as GP looked me in the eye, the
image of Claudia in my mind. I was steadfast in the conviction I
wasn’t going to be swayed.
He said, “I remember that look son. I had
that a long time ago…”
I raised my eyebrow with watery eyes “So you
GP gave a slight nod.
Three hours later or 1700hrs we landed at
Whenuapai airbase. To finally hit the ground and be home, I was
eager to get off this tin can and into my arms of my woman.
Everyone began to unhook while we watched the ramp lower. The wind
blew in the air that wasn’t dusty or hot. I was home. Green
landscape and no sound of that god damned diesel generators.
We started to come down into the airfield. It
rain lashed. I peered into my phone to see a
message from Claudia “I’m on my way will see you soon CC” CC stood
for Claudia Coe her secret code for me. The transport Vehicles
began to disembark from the Plane. The other soldiers from my unit
were all reuniting with families. I watched as his
lifted her up in the air her kid crying
missing him. She was sobbing into his shoulder while he patted her
made me think about the suicide
bomber who nearly took him out in Kabul.
A man wearing a suicide vest with ball
bearings detonated it at the security gate. Its was like a thick
plume of red mist when he went.
. I pulled him to safety some of the
others weren’t so lucky. I had the gruesome task of trying to
locate his fingers to identify the insurgent for the
HIID BIO METRICS system. I found his hand in the
mouth of one of the wild dogs on the fence line. The look on Leroy
face when I had to ID him pressing the mangled flesh onto the
shifted to me and nodded clutching his family
closer with both arms.
I picked up my phone to ring Claudia. It kept
ringing and ringing no answer. I went to the carpark to see if her
car there was nothing. I dropped my gear when GP shouted out before
got into black Ford F-150 pickup truck SUV with Natalya. There was
a taller man about six foot six Civilian, who helped load their
gear in the back.
A scar down his right eye like GP wearing a
“Will do you want a ride?” GP said as wound
down the tinted window. Right down.
“I’m fine Claudia is running late.”
“Okay… Son take care. If you change your mind
let me know.”
“It had to end for me sometime GP. Claudia
means everything to me…”
They drove off and I sat on my gear, waiting
for another hour before I called the taxi to drop me home.
1800hrs I arrived home to see Claudia’s car
in the garage. It was dark, the street lights illuminated the rear
of the car. The door was retracted, maybe there was car trouble. I
dropped my gear in the garage when I peered into the main house
which was 200 meters away. I could smell the scent of baking.
Cookies. Claudia must have been baking my favorite chocolate chip
I went to put my duffle bag on my workbench
when I there was a crunching sound of glass on the bottom of my
boot. I glanced to the driver side of the car to see it smashed the
keys in the ignition.
I peered again at the house to see the door
wide open. I opened my gun rack and took out my 9mm and a
flashlight. I cautiously snuck up against the door.
tensed the scent of fresh bread permeated
my nostrils. All the lights inside were off. I clicked the safety
Baby please be safe.