After having been jilted by her fiancé, Claudia wasn't in the mood to go to any dance but once there met a guy too good to be true. Things progressed nicely until he was called up to serve in the Iraqi war and Claudia's world fell apart again when he was reported MIA. *** Well written and emotional - have the tissues handy! Lovely.
During one of their early talks, Adam mentioned he was in the Army Reserve. Although she hated being separated from him, once every month he had to go away for a weekend. However, when the United States became involved in Afghanistan and Iraq, things changed. A few of their acquaintances in the Reserve had been deployed there, but it didn't become personal until Adam told her about his orders to go to Iraq.
"But, what about your classes?"
"I've already spoken to the chancellor. They'll be divided up amongst the other professors until I return."
Tears filled her eyes and started to slip slowly down her cheeks.
"I don't want you to go."
"I don't want to go either, baby, especially now. But I have to."
She sobbed uncontrollably, unable to stop herself.
He drew her close, enfolded her in his arms. "Shh, don't cry. I'll be back before you know it."
They sat like that for a very long time. The thought he'd be flying out of her life in a few days hung over her like an axe waiting to fall. She feared he wouldn't come home. In the end, it would be just like Andrew. She would lose Adam, too. Nothing had changed after all.
* * * *
Claudia's world fell apart when Adam left. Her heart splintered into a million tiny pieces—never to be repaired again. In her mind, she thought never to see him again. First Andrew and now, Adam. Was she only to fall in love with men who left her in the end?
Clearly sensing the black funk she'd fallen into, her mother sat down beside her one evening shortly after Adam shipped out.
"He's coming back, Claudia."
She shook her head.
"Nonsense! Of course he is."
"Nothing is certain, Mom. You know that better than most."
"But you can't put the cart before the horse. You, of all people, should think positively."
"Because you and Adam were meant to be. You said so yourself," she replied.
"That was before he shipped out."
"Destiny can't be altered."
Why couldn't she believe that? Unable to stop them, tears poured from her eyes. "I'm so scared, Mom." Feeling like a child again, she buried her head in her mother's ample bosom.
Her mother stroked her head the same way she had when she'd been small and afraid. Finally she whispered, "I hate to see you so sad. Everything always works out for the best. You've got to believe that, sweetheart."
Claudia didn't answer. Instead, she sobbed her heart out.