Thomas, my love.
I’m writing this in our bed. You’re lying next to me, sleeping.
There’s so much I wish I could say to you, but I know time is short. You ship out tomorrow. Again. I can’t say it doesn’t bother me. It does. Of course it does. It hurts every time. I act brave for you, but I hate it. I hate watching you lace up your boots. I hate watching you pack your bag. I hate watching you straighten your tie in the mirror. I hate how goddamned sexy you look in your uniform. Most of all, I hate kissing you goodbye, hate watching you turn around, your broad back straight as you disappear down the jetway. I hate that your eyes are dry when mine are wet.
I hate all that. I know I signed up for it when I married a Marine. I knew from the very beginning that you’d go into combat. I knew it, and married you anyway. How could I not? I loved you so much from the very beginning, from the first time I saw you, all those years ago.
You remember? I was visiting my brother at Twentynine Palms, and I saw you running with your unit. You looked right at me, and I knew in that very instant that we were going to be together forever. You dropped out of rank, ran over to me. You kissed me. Right there, your drill instructor yelling at you, in front of half the damn base. You didn’t even ask my name. You just kissed me, and rejoined your unit. You got in a lot of trouble for that stunt. But you found me. You knew my brother, who was walking with me at the time. You asked him who I was a few days later. He said he’d let you have a shot if I was willing, but if you broke my heart, he’d break your face. You showed up at my hotel room dressed in civvies. You took me to Olive Garden and we got drunk on red wine. We made love that night in my hotel room. You remember that night? I do. I remember every single moment.
Just like I remember every other moment of our lives together. Eight years. Did you know that? You ship out tomorrow, and tomorrow is the eight-year anniversary—to the day—of the first time we met, when you kissed me.
God, Tom. You know why I remember every single moment? Because for most of our ten years together, you’ve been deployed. Three tours in Iraq, about to ship out for your third in Afghanistan. I miss you, Tom. Every day, I miss you. Even when you’re home, I miss you, because I know you’re always about to leave again.
But this time? This ship-out? It’s the hardest. So hard. I can’t take it. Can’t stand it. I can’t, Tom. I can’t watch you leave again, knowing you could die. You might not come back. You didn’t tell much of what happened with your friend from your unit, Hunter, when he went MIA, but I know it was painful for everyone. He came back, thank god, but you were a mess. You called me from the base. You were going crazy with worry. You thought he was dead. Your friend Derek was injured too. I remember all that. And I just…I don’t think I could handle it if that happened to you.
Especially not now.
I’ve gone in circles over this a million times in my head. I’ve nearly told you so many times. But I just can’t. It’ll make it harder for you to leave, and I know it’s hard enough as it is. It’ll make it harder for me if I told you in person. You’re going to be mad at me for not telling you. I know, and I’m sorry. But this is just the only way that makes sense to me.
I’m pregnant, Tom.
I’m going to have your baby.
I wasn’t sure, at first. I thought maybe it was just stress of knowing your leave was ending making me miss my period. But then I took a test. Three of them, actually.
I’m pregnant. God, I’m pregnant. I’m going to have a baby.
Please come home to me, Tom. Come home alive. No matter what, you have to come back. I need you. Our baby will need you.
I love you so, so much, Tom. More than I’ll ever be able to say. You’ll be fine. You’ll come back to me. To US.
Always, always yours,
P.S.: I hope it’s a boy. I want him to look just like you.