CHAPTER 1

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I sit rigidly in the uncomfortable chair, trying my best to pay keen attention to my superiors. But I fail at all that since I'm currently avoiding eye contact at all costs. 

The Star Spangled Banner hanging over their heads suddenly catches my attention, and when I get bored of looking at the flag, I entertain myself with a guessing game in my head.

It's kind of funny, well to me at least.

The General who's chairing this committee probably has a trophy wife, and judging by his accent, he seems to be from Texas, or somewhere nearby. I'm gonna say that he has two daughters, eldest is in college -  probably LSU - studying medicine or some crap like that. 

The other daughter does pole dancing at a bar in a nearby town, hoping to get laid without having to jump into a relationship.

What am I even thinking about?

When I get bored of my stupid game, I begin playing with the hem of my skirt, wishing that I had a Swiss Army knife instead. I would carefully, and quietly carve my initials in this special piece of mahogany desk. 

S.W. 2297.

That's the identification I got stuck with since I settled at the base in the early years, it's something that has become apart of me since then.

"Sergeant Wells," I quickly glance at Colonel Frogface as he utters my name.

"Yes sir." I acknowledge him nonchalantly, while silently praying to God that I'll somehow end up with that damn knife.

"After extensively reviewing your case we've decided that it would be best to give you some time off." 

How lovely, just what I needed.

"For how long?"

"A year."

 I glance at the five bastards menacingly. The special Council stares back at me, waiting for a reaction, but somehow I can tell what they're thinking. 

A seasoned soldier would just accept the leave like a good little bitch and head home to his or her family. I might be seasoned but I'm still a hothead.

"A year? What am I supposed to do during that twelve months? Write a novel? Go on vacation? Go on a spiritual journey to the Himalayas?" 

A scoff leaves my lips as I sink even lower in my seat, the standard rigid posture vanishes along  with my manners. "We're also recommending you go to therapy three days a week." 

I shake my head in disagreement. "Do I get to choose my own therapist?" 

"I'm afraid not." 

I slightly tug at the end of my skirt, trying my utmost best to suppress the Hulk within.

"You're a fine warrior, you're young, and you are good at what you do. Everyone in this room went through an ordeal similar to yours, we just want you to take some time off so you can handle all of this. Get drunk, fall in love, you could even use your own suggestion and write a novel. Please don't fight this Sergeant, you need it."

With those parting words, I left the Department of Defense's headquarters with my head hung low, and with the few spare hours that I have, I decided to drive around Washington. Just the thought of returning to the base like this, really makes my heart burn. 

Going home should be something to look forward to, but I can't help but feel as if this will be the worse vacation leave of my life. With every second that passed after I collected my belongings from the base, I couldn't help the disappointment that seemed to run through my veins, I wonder if I'll ever stop feeling so down and out. 

This isn't how I imagined my return home, and as I watched with carousel at the baggage area with a permanent scowl etched on my face, I couldn't help but sigh longingly. My impatience reared its ugly head as I begin to rock my body from side to side, it wasn't until I caught a glimpse of my seat-neighbor that moments from the wretched flight came to mind.  

I was seated beside an old man,  who claimed his eldest brother fought in the Vietnam War, and I've honestly never met an old person who could talk for such a long period. I regret wearing this stupid uniform, I don't even know what came over me when I decided to suit up this morning. 

Each time I put on it on, I just feel so proud that I'm apart of something, but I regret it instantly when people begin to stare. I may be reaching here, but if I was a man dressed in the lovely camouflage, I bet I  wouldn't even receive so much attention.

Not to this extent. 

I hope most of these onlookers aren't anti-gun, I shake my head slightly at the thought, that's one debate I cannot handle at this point. But enough of that, I need to find a special person. 

And luckily, I spot him before he could even glance in my direction. My face breaks out into a wide smile as I walk over to him and tap his shoulder.

"Surprise!" Raji returns my smile and embraces me in one of his famous bear hugs.

"Oh Samantha, I've missed you." I roll my eyes dramatically as his voice cracks, but my smile remains as he takes my bags.

"I missed you too Raji. Who else would be willing to drive me around Manhattan at two in the morning?" He chuckles lightly at my question, but doesn't give a response. 

Raji has been my driver for as long as I can remember, and I consider him to be even more than just a driver. He was there for all my dance recitals, when I fell off a swing and broke my arm, all my soccer games and most importantly, he was my rock when I thought I was going crazy after the death of my mother. 

Heck, Raji's like a limited edition of the world's greatest best friend. 

I remove my hat as I settle in the luxury car, and as we pull away from the airport, my eyes close as I try to relax. It's not easy trying to convince yourself that your vehicle won't be shot at while driving. 

"Should I head straight home?" 

Home. 

At this moment I wouldn't classify that penthouse overlooking the Upper East Side as my home. My home, is back at the barracks, where Michael, Draker and I used to stay up all night, and talk shit like there's no tomorrow. 

Home is a place where I get to enjoy the cries of privates, while they try to complete their drills.  

Damn, I miss home already.

"Uh, could you take me to Wells Consolidated please?" 

He raises an eyebrow at me, but refrains from saying anything, I can just imagine the look on my father's face when I show up out of the blue.

*****


Okay, so this is my first attempt at actually putting a book online. I just had this crazy idea and decided to run with it. Please read and tell me what you think of the first chapter, I welcome criticism but please be professional about it. Chapter 2 will be posted promptly. That cover is temporary, hopefully if this book get tons of reads I'll get someone to make a more appropriate one. That's all for now. Happy reading!

A/N: It's now 2018, a long while since I first posted this chapter, and so I've decided to review as well as edit everything. Honestly, now that I'm a bit older, I personally think my writing back then kinda sucked. So please, bear with me.

A/N: It's actually 2019, I don't even recall doing much editing last year, so I'll try to look over this story as the days go by. My writing really did suck. 

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