|Bandages and Battlefields [Lifeline]
||[Oct. 17th, 2005|02:45 pm]
Evil Yaoi Girls Club
Until today, I hadn't opened this book in almost seven or eight years -- the memories and thoughts kept here were a bittersweet reminder of one of the happier times of my life. When it finally sunk in that I wouldn't be making any more visits to The Inne, I closed the cover and tucked it away. I'd still take it out every once in a while, in the hope that if I wished hard enough, that I could go back -- but I never did; and so I finally put away in the bottom of my old footlocker, almost forgotten until now.
I'm still not sure as to why the Inne decided to bring me back after all this time. Childman said something about a creature who was trying to gain access to it through the portals that brought us there. After ten years' time, I wouldn't have believed that the portal still worked, but apparently we were all still linked to one, even if it was dormant.
The Inne . . . why now? Why after all this time? Because of the attacks? That must be why. What other reason could there be? White Oaks seemed to have finished with the six of us a long time ago, so I really can't believe any other reason than that.
Ten years . . . ten years to get over the pain of losing five people who had been very important to me. The only way I could deal with it was to not think about it -- to bury it and pretend that it was all some kind of delusional dream state. I know that wasn't fair to them, but its all I could do. As time passed, I gave up hope of ever seeing them again and forced myself to move on with my own life.
Bree was the first person that I felt anything for after that. She was like a whirlwind, blowing into my life and turning it upside down. "Hurricane Brittney". That's what I used to call her sometimes, which would make her giggle and joke about sweeping me away if I wasn't careful. But the truth is, she did sweep me away.
Despite her sometimes shallowness, Bree was really a very good person deep down -- someone with a good heart who sometimes just didn't know when too much was too much. But that was Brittany, that was her way -- to always do things to the max, even if they went over to the top sometimes.
I'm not even sure how we ended up getting engaged. We had been together for some time -- several years -- when it just kind of happened. After that much time with someone, it's kind of expected I guess. We never really seriously talked about getting married, although people would always joke about me making an "honest woman" out of her some day. I'd see Bree's green eyes light up at things like that, even though she never really said anything about it.
We were sitting at breakfast one day when it just kind of came out, when she said something about us maybe getting married. We'd gone to a wedding just the day before, one of her old college sorority sisters, and Bree had been talking about it almost non-stop. I didn't really think anything of it at the time and told her that I thought I'd like that. Next thing I knew she was on her feet, wrapping her arms around me and telling me how happy she was and that she couldn't wait to call her father and tell him.
It's not that I didn't love Bree, I did -- I still do. But . . . but as the plans for our wedding progressed, I just found myself growing more apprehensive. I tried to convice myself that it was just a case of pre-wedding jitters; but even then, I knew it was something much more than that. Despite how much I loved Bree, there was still something missing between us -- and as our wedding date got closer, I knew that I wouldn't be able to through with it.
Breaking my engagement to Bree was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. I've had to be the bearer of bad news to soldiers and their families; but looking at her face when I told her that I couldn't marry her, made me want to crawl away afterwards, dig a hole and climb in. As long as I live, I'll never forget the confused and devastated look on her face.
Afterwards, I started rationalizing, telling myself that Bree would never have been happy as an Army doctor's wife. That she would miss the kind of jet-setting life that she was used to. But I knew that they were lies -- the real reason was that I couldn't make that kind of a comittment to her.
After that, I threw myself into work, needing to do something to keep me from dwelling on our broken engagment. When the request came down for Afghanistan, I didn't even hesitate. Even though I hadn't seen any actual combat field work since leaving the Joes for med school, I was the first to volunteer. My rotation was like a blur. Between work and wallowing in my own emotional pity and guilt, I didn't even notice how the time passed until it was time to ship back to the States. I wasn't even back for three months before volunteering for Iraq, and I just got home from a second tour there.
It was one of those dry, windy desert nights when I was returning to my tent when I felt an odd shift that seemed familiar and found myself standing in the middle of a rainstorm, and back at a place that even after ten years' time, I could identify in a heartbeat. I had gone back to the White Oaks Inne.
Childman, Lance, Alinor . . . I'm not sure I can describe what it felt like to see the three of them again. Lance didn't seem overly happy to see me for some reason, although Childman and Alinor did. Alinor later told me that Lance had lost someone -- not in those exact words, but I could guess what he meant, which might account for his return to the Inne. From the look of things, he's turned to Childman for support not surprisingly; although Childman was always like that, our shoulder to cry on when we needed it. I wasn't surprised to hear that he had become a teacher, God knows he had the patience to deal with some of us without going completely over the age.
I'm not quite sure how I feel about being back just yet. There's a part of me that's happy, but there's also a part of me that's cautious and wary. There was such a bond between us all, that I'm apprehenisve about getting involved with them again in case my visits stop abruptly and I find myself hurting all over again -- something I know I don't want to go through a second time.