Ch. 20 Fighter

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Three days passed since I'd heard from Jake.

On the fourth day, my grandparents, Lou, George, and I watched as a pastor put my parents in the ground. The service was a tearjerker. I couldn't stop crying. That was not how it was supposed to end. It wasn't how they were supposed to die.

I skipped my day off and worked like hell up until the funeral. I had to, knowing my patients needed me. Work was a good distraction. It kept me busy and kept my mind occupied.

On the fifth day, I took the day off work.

I needed Jake. I needed to be in his arms and feel his heart beat. I needed to know everything was going to be okay.

I threw on a black longsleeve top, jeans, and black Converse high tops. I tied my hair in a ponytail and did my makeup. Then, I got in my car and made my way to the military base.

I drove to the main building and parked.

Men were running around the base, working out. Interesting.

I went in the building and found the front desk.

A woman smiled at me. "Hi. How may I help you?"

"Can you direct me towards Sgt. Major Hamilton's desk or something? I don't really know if he works at a desk or anything. I'm just assuming," I spoke.

"Can I ask who you are?"she asked.

"I'm Bridget Malone, his girlfriend."

"Oh. You're Bridget? Wow. Sgt. Major has good taste," she smiled.

I smiled at her.

"He's actually doing a boot camp today, so he's out back. Lt. Booth can take you," she smiled.

A man in navy pants and a white button down shirt came forward. He had a buzz cut and looked very serious. "Ma'am, please follow me."

I followed him outside and down a sidewalk.

A group of men were working a course--climbing up and down walls, climbing rope, going under barbed wire. It was just like the movies.

Jake stood with a woman. He was laughing at something she said.

Lt. Booth walked over and stood in front of Jake. He saluted him. "Sgt. Major, you have a visitor."

"At ease," Jake ordered.

Lt. Booth relaxed.

"Where's the visitor?" Jake asked him.

Lt. Booth motioned my way.

Jake turned and his mouth dropped. He turned to the woman and told her something.

She punched him.

He jogged over. He was wearing an olive gray colored t-shirt and camouflage pants with big tan boots. Two silver dog tags hung from his neck, rising and falling as he jogged.

He smiled at me, "Hey. What are you doing here?"

"You've not been around and you've been ignoring my calls."

"You called?" he asked in surprise, looking at his phone. "It doesn't say you've called."

"Well, I have been, so has your mom. We even called the base, but they said you weren't available. I finally decided to come down here," I sighed.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"Do I look okay?" I sighed.

He looked me over. "No, but the jeans are nice. I'm so used to seeing you in scrubs."

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