My Katrina

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Kat sat on the bench and leaned her back against the yellow wall. She was cornered in the ticket office by Paul who demanded that she release the demons that haunted her. Paul went over behind the counter and opened the mini-cooler. He pulled out two beers and offered one to her. She shook her head.

"I don't drink anymore," she said seriously.

Paul nodded understandingly and replaced both beers. He pulled out a Sprite for himself. He opened it and drank from it. Paul put his arms on the counter and leaned on them.

"Afghanistan was tough," Kat said finally. "But after Derek was killed in the Towers, it seemed like a good option for me to fight back. But now I wish I had never done it. It only caused me more pain. The horrors of war are not for the faint-heart." She gave Paul a sad smile.

"I thought it would be different," she continued. "Easier, I guess. The worst thing about it was that it was almost too simple to be able to kill another human being."

Paul placed his Sprite down on the counter and watched Kat intently. She refused to look at him. Paul moved his foot, accidentally kicking the mini-cooler. It hit the inside of the counter with a loud plonk. Kat flinched. Paul felt bad for making her talk about Afghanistan, but he knew she needed to get it out sometime. He felt guilty for leaving her in a time when she needed someone to come home to, when she needed a reason to come back in one piece. Paul went around the counter and sat next to Kat on the red wooden bench. He took her hand in his and held it. He opened his mouth to say something, but then closed it. Instead, he awkwardly stretched his arm and wrapped it around Kat's shoulders. Kat tensed up at first but she relaxed into Paul.

"Hey, can you-" Jimmy began, running into the ticket office. He stopped when he saw Paul and Kat sitting so close. "I...I'm just gonna...go."

It felt like old times to have Kat curled up against him like this. It made him happy and warm on the inside to think that she was his Katrina.

'My Katrina,' he thought.

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