06 Kaneohe Bay Hawaii - Wednesday

Captured: Dreaming of home

© Copyright 2008 – 2009

Written by Banzai Ben



Chapter 6 – Sniper School Wednesday 05 September 2007


Khudabah, Pakistan – Day seven


Shit, that hurts. Wha– ?


It's a fucking towelhead beating the crap out of me again. What a hell of a way to wake up. I guess I’ve become the defacto punching bag for them since the girl is dead and gone.


Come on, motherfucker. Get just a little bit closer to me. Closer ... Closer.  Yeah. I kicked the bastard in the balls. Shit . . . my head . . . Jens . . . I want to be with Jens. Fucking bastards, leave me alone so I can think about home.


Kaneohe Bay Hawaii – Wednesday Day Four


It was wonderful waking up in the bed with Jens, feeling her pressed against me and knowing that finally, after all these lonely years, I had found someone to share my life with; I truly understand now the meaning of soul mate.


Jens was still sleeping soundly; I could tell by the little snore she made. But not me. It seems like I am always up early. I’ve been that way my whole life. I gently and quietly snuck out of bed, and Jens protested with a few sighs.


I started the coffee and threw some water on the stove for oatmeal, then headed to my bathroom for my morning routine. I dressed and then made breakfast, and put it all on a tray along with a single red rose from the flowers I gave Jens the other day and took it into her – wait, I guess I mean, our – bedroom.


She woke as I walked in, and blinked her eyes. “Breakfast in bed. You made me breakfast in bed!” I was just about to reply when the doorbell rang.


I gave Jens the tray and grabbed the shotgun by the door. “Who the hell is that this early in the morning?”


I checked the door and saw that it was the general and his wife. “Good morning, Son. We just wanted to stop by and say hello before we started the day. Is Jens up and around?” Mrs. Donaldson asked.


“Good morning, Sir and Ma'am. We stayed up late talking last night, and Jens just woke up but is still in bed. Come on in. I’m sure she would like to see both of you.” I ushered them in to the bedroom. I went to the kitchen, poured two more cups of coffee, and brought them in to the bedroom, handing one to the general and one to his wife.


Jens was beaming, “We slept together last night, and then he brought me breakfast in bed. I love him so much.”


I turned red.


“You sly devil dog you. Are you spoiling my daughter? And are you sure something else didn't happen last night?” Mrs. Donaldson asked with a wink.


“Oh. No, ma'am. I gave you my solemn promise as a Marine, we won’t do that until our wedding night.” I hurriedly replied.


“Oh, shit,” Mrs. Donaldson said. “Well, Glen, it looks like I owe you even more. After seeing how much these two are in love and then the way they were dancing last night – especially the Lambada – I figured it was a done deal.”


The general laughed. “Son, you are making me a rich man in more ways than one.” He winked.


“Sir, might see you in the other room for a minute?”


We went into the kitchen. “What do you need, Son?”


I had a big surprise in mind, and I needed his help. I told him what I wanted to do, and he slapped me on the back, shook my hand, and told me he would set things up for me; that he could make it a “training mission.”


He made a couple of phone calls and said, “Let's go back into the bedroom.”


The first order of duty was PT, but then I had to get Jens out of the way for the day. I hadn't figured it out yet how I was going to do this without a fight from Jens, but the general took care of it for me.


We walked back into the bedroom, Jens and Mrs. Donaldson were gabbing away like the best of friends, the General said, “Ten hut, Sergeant Donaldson!”


Jens jumped out of bed so fast that she almost spilled the tray from her breakfast.


“Sergeant Donaldson, something has come up today. After PT, you and Sergeant Major Blaine will be assigned to different duties. You’re assigned to DI Anderson's platoon for the day.  They’re doing a twenty-five-mile run with full gear. I don’t want any complaints or arguments from you, unless you’d rather spend the day helping the administrative assistants.”


Ouch. For Jens, that’s cruel and unusual punishment.


The general continued. “Sergeant Major Blaine is going on a special assignment for me. Do you understand Sergeant Donaldson?”


“Yes Sir, I do, but–” she started.


“Marine, no buts about this. Don’t you say another word unless you would rather work with the administrative assistants. You’ll report to DI Anderson's platoon at O-seven hundred with all your gear packed,” he ordered.


Jens’s brows knit as she looked at me, but she knew better than to say another word. I saw Mrs. Donaldson look equally pissed at her husband, but he just smiled and winked at her, and she didn't say anything.


He wasn’t finished. “Sergeant Major Blaine, you will report to the heliport at O-seven hundred. Okay, you two, get your asses in gear and get moving. One more thing, both of you are coming to dinner tonight at our house. Be there at nineteen hundred hours.”


He turned to his wife. “Come on, Evelyn. We need to leave so these two can get ready.” He turned and walked out of the room and, Mrs. Donaldson jumped off the bed and followed him.


After they left, Jens ran over to me and gave me a big hug and kiss. “Shit.” She pouted. “I was looking forward to spending another day with you. I wonder what got into daddy that he would do this.”


I held her in the embrace. “My love, I think he wants to make sure that we’ll follow commands no matter what they are. I don't like this any better than you do, but we have to obey his orders. I need to get moving and so do you.”


Ten minutes later, we were running over to the gym for morning PT. Jens was looking exceptionally beautiful, and I made sure I told her that. She was wearing my second favorite USMC t-shirt:  “When it absolutely, positively, has to be destroyed overnight, call a Marine” Jens was not happy, but at least she wasn't all bitchy about it.


 “Come on, dear,” I said, “This will be good for us, that which doesn't kill us strengthens us.”


“I know, my love, that the general must have a reason for this, but sometimes I just don't understand him,” Jens answered.


“'Ours is not to question why, ours is just to do or die,'” I replied with another platitude, “I wasn't going to tell you this, but it might cheer you up to know that I have a surprise for you tonight.” Well, that was certainly the wrong thing to say. For the rest of the morning during PT Jens kept trying to get me to tell her what the surprise was.


Wednesday is legs day. We started our workout on the machines. I found years ago that if they’re done correctly machines are the best way to build legs. While there are a bunch of good functional exercises for legs, there are few that safely build muscle.


First we worked the quadriceps on the leg extension machine. We worked one leg at a time so we were sure both legs would be equally strong. We limited range of motion to about ninety degrees bent and about twenty-five degrees extended, knowing that to go further than would gain little in the way of strength and would be really hard on the knees. We did jumping jack in between for the aerobics.


Next, we worked the hack squat machine, using the same technique. We added in a toe raise and then a heel raise each time we went up to work out the whole lower leg at the same time and speed things up. Jens was impressed when I was doing the squats with 400 lbs and told me so. Squat thrusts were our aerobic exercise to finish out the quads. We moved on to work the back of the legs, the hamstrings.


We did lying leg curls for our only hamstring exercise, one leg at a time and with a full range of motion, ten sets instead of the usual five. We pulled the weight up slowly and held it at the top for one second. Jens looked really hot lying on the machine with her butt sticking up, and it didn't help that she was wearing short shorts.


I caught another Marine watching her and gave him my "do that again and I’ll kill you” look. He went over and talked to his buddies about it, turned a little white, and left the gym.


We did cross-knee raises in between sets.


For the last machine, we did the seated calf raise. For this, we did full range of motion, making sure to get a good stretch at the bottom and to hold the weight at the top for one second. We also did ten sets on this, with running in place between the sets.


It was time for the functional part of our leg workout to catch the small muscle groups that the machines miss.


To work the quads and for balance, we did slow, controlled, full-range single leg squats. By the time we got done with the first set, our quads were burning. I was very impressed that Jens could even do them; most women can't. We did straddle jumps in between, and that really kept our quads pumped up.


Next were walking lunges without weight, and running in place in between.


The final functional exercise was explosive squat jumps. This is the only exercise that we did as fast as we could. First we lowered to a deep squat, heels to butt, and then we exploded upward, jumping as high as we could. By now, our legs were crying for mercy, so we rested in between.


We finished PT by running back to the house. Of course Jens made it a competition with the winner getting a kiss. Again I let her catch me so we both won.


“Shit, I’m going to miss you,” Jens told me, “You didn't even tell me what you’re doing today.”


“The General said if I told you I’d have to kill you,” I laughed. “Believe me, the old man has me very busy today, and you won't even see me until dinner.” That was the wrong thing to say, it got Jens all pissed off again.


“I’m going to talk with mom, she’ll make him pay for this,” she said with fire in her eyes.


I held her close and tried to comfort her, and it helped a little bit. Too soon, it was time for us to go our separate ways.


“You’d better take care of yourself,” Jens ordered, “Because I won't be around to do that.”


I looked her in those beautiful violet eyes and said, paraphrasing a Shakespeare quote for the occasion,


“'Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.

Good day, good day! Parting is such sweet sorrow,

That I shall say good day till it be tonight.'” 


She laughed, and we shared a smoldering goodbye kiss.


When I made it to the heliport General and Mrs. Donaldson and the Harrier were waiting for me. I walked up, stood at attention, and saluted. The General returned my salute, and then he and Mrs. Donaldson gave me a big hug. “Son, you’ve made us both proud. God speed on your mission,” the General said. I walked over and climbed in the back seat of the Harrier and I was off.


To say that I was busy that day was an understatement. The mission took more time than I figured, and I knew I was going to be late, so I had the Harrier pilot radio MCBH to tell the general that the mission was accomplished and to please hold dinner for thirty minutes. Damn, I was nervous. I could only hope that everything worked out that night the way I planned.


An MP Humvee was waiting for me and broke all base speed limits driving me back to the house. Jens was already at her parents’ house she left me a note that her day had been, “The worst god damned day of her life and that my surprise had better be good because she was as mad as hell.” I threw on my dress blues and headed over to the general’s house in the MP Humvee.


I jumped out of the Humvee, ran up to the house and rang the doorbell. Mrs. Donaldson answered the door and I handed her a big bouquet of pink roses. She was shocked. “When did you have time to get these? They’re beautiful.” She smiled.


“I had the MP's get them for me. I owe them big time,” I answered.


She was going to say something else but by then Jens had ran to the door and plastered herself against me, hugging me so tightly that I couldn't breathe and covering me with kisses. She looked like an angel wearing a nice white summer dress.


“Where have you been, my love? You’re so late and I’ve missed you so much. I was worried about you until Daddy said that you were fine,” she continued with the hugs and kisses as we entered the house. It was a little hard to walk.


General Donaldson greeted me. “Damn, Son, am I glad you finally made it here. Jens was a holy terror until you showed up.”


“Sorry, Daddy, but I really missed Ben and I had a terrible day,” Jens answered.


“DI Anderson's training shouldn't have been that bad,” I said.


The general laughed. “I guess you didn't hear; Jens was being a bitchy pain in the ass so DI Anderson kicked her out of the platoon and made her go work with the administrative assistants.”


“It was the worst god damned day of my life,” Jens said. “Those women are terrible, they had me filing and typing all day, treating me like I was a piece of shit. Not only that, I got two paper cuts and they hurt like hell!” She showed me the paper cuts and I, of course, kissed them to make them all better.


“Young lady, watch your language,” Mrs. Donaldson piped in.


“I'm sorry, Mom. Things are better now that Ben's here. Did you bring my surprise?”


Just like Jens to never forget anything. “Of course I did, my only love, but you can't have it until after dinner,” was my reply.


With that, we sat down to eat. Mrs. Donaldson had made a great meal: homemade fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans and a great side salad. It was a good thing that she had made two chickens, because we ate every piece. We had a couple of bottles of expensive French white burgundy to go with the meal. Dinner was outstanding and the conversation flowed freely. Jens kept trying, without success, to get me or the general to tell her what I did that day. She finally gave up.


As we finished, Mrs. Donaldson requested, “Ben, will you please go and get the dessert out of the fridge and bring it to us.”


“I'll help him, too,” Jens volunteered, not wanting to be away from me.


“No, Honey. Could you please go into the bedroom and get our camera? I’d like some pictures of you two before we leave tomorrow,” Mrs. Donaldson said.


I went through the kitchen and out to the porch. Thank God; there was my evening dress uniform. I think I set a new record changing into it. I looked at my reflection in the window and told myself, “Be brave, Marine. Trust your heart.”


Everyone was sitting at the table as I walked in. Jens blinked a couple times, looking at me like I was crazy. I walked over to her and knelt down on one knee, reached in my pocket and took out the little black box.


Opening it as I gazed into her eyes, I said, “Jennifer E. Donaldson, you are the one true love of my life, the only woman that I have ever loved, the only woman that I will ever love. Would you please be my wife?” I placed the ring on her left ring finger. Her father was taking pictures like crazy.


Tears streamed down Jens’s smiling face. “My love, I’ve been waiting for this day all of my life. I’m yours and yours alone, now and forever. Semper Fidelis, my Ben!”


“Semper Fidelis, my Jens,” I replied.


She pulled me up into our first embrace as an engaged couple, and we just held each other for a few minutes. General and Mrs. Donaldson came over and congratulated us. Jens was as radiant as I’ve ever seen her.


Finally, she took a look at the ring and showed it to her parents. “Ben, my dearest, this is such a beautiful ring. You couldn’t have found it on base.”


“My fiancée, this was my mother's engagement ring. It is the only thing I have left from her, and I want you to have it,” I replied.


Tears sprang up in her lovely eyes, and I wrapped my arms around her. She looked up at me. “How did you get it? Did you bring it with you when you came here?”


That’s when I told her about my “secret mission,” how I’d had the ring in a safety deposit box in Leadville, and how the general had authorized the Harrier training mission to fly me there to pick it up, how I had asked her mother what size she wore, and then the Harrier had flown us to Denver so that I could get it resized, and finally, the high-speed trip back to Hawaii. She listened to this and the tears kept flowing along with the hugs and kisses.


Mrs. Donaldson brought in a homemade cheese cake, so we finally sat down. I asked the General, “Sir, I had the Harrier fly over my cabin, and I noticed there was a construction company there, and it was being rebuilt.”


Jens replied, “Dammit, it wasn't Daddy who sent them there, it was me. I told you that I was responsible for it getting destroyed and I’m going to have it rebuilt. And it was supposed to be a surprise.”


“Thank you, my dearest. Well, it certainly was a surprise when I saw it. It looks almost the same as the old cabin,” I said, gazing into her eyes.


She continued, “I had a bunch of pictures of the cabin, and I told the architect that I wanted it to be look mostly the same but with some important updates. I’m going to keep those a surprise, though.”


“My love, it was insured and the insurance will pay for the reconstruction. You don't have to spend your money,” I answered.


The general cleared his throat. “You’re both wrong. Evelyn and I are giving you the reconstruction of the cabin as one of your wedding gifts. You two can save your money; you’ll need it when you get married.”


We both thanked and hugged the General and Mrs. Donaldson.


We finished the dessert and spent some more time talking over after-dinner drinks. Mrs. Donaldson announced, “After you two win the sniper trophy, we want you to take a week off and come out to our real house in Maryland, not this base house. Glen will take the week off, and we’ll have a great time.”


Jens was so excited. “Goody! I can't wait for you to see the last house I grew up in.”


After a little bit more conversation about the coming visit, I stood, took the hand of my bride-to-be, and helped her up. “Well, I’d better get your little girl to bed. Good night, Sir. Good night, Ma'am. The meal was excellent. We’ll see you off in the morning.”


They walked us to the door, and Jens and I strolled slowly home arm in arm in the moonlight. When we got home, Jens thought it would be okay if we became an engaged couple with benefits.


I held firm. “My beautiful fiancée, you know that I would love to do that. But I want our first time to be special, and that will be on our wedding night.”


I silenced her protests with a kiss, and we snuggled close to each other and fell asleep.