16 Kaneohe Bay Hawaii - Saturday

Captured: Dreaming of home

© Copyright 2008 – 2009

Written by Banzai Ben

ben@banzaiben.com

 

Chapter 16 – Sniper School Saturday 15 September 2007

 

Khudabah, Pakistan – Evening of day seventeen

 

Mustif was moving slowly and looked pretty stiff when he walked in today. I guess the leader gave the son of a bitch a good beating. Now he knows what it feels like. I decided to take the offensive for the first time today; it’s time Mustif got some of the same shit that he was giving me. Zarika has given me the perfect tool to fuck with his mind.

 

I started singing some bogus Indian-sounding mumbo-jumbo as he came closer to me. He stood in front of me and looked at me like I was crazy, and I kept singing for another five minutes. He didn’t know what to do.

 

I finished, looked at him, and said, “Good morning, Mustif. I hope you brought your gun with you today. I’ve just finished singing my death song, and I’m ready to die. If you don’t want to do it, give me a knife, and I will.” Then I shouted, “TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE!”

 

He stood there for about ten minutes as if his tongue was frozen to his teeth, so I started singing the same bogus crap again as loud as I could. He tried to shush me, but I just kept singing.

 

Not knowing what else to do, he injected me with a dose of the drug.

 

He flinched when I said that, and the needle went through my vein and into the muscle beneath. It hurt like hell, but I didn’t say anything. I knew it meant that the dose wasn’t going to work on me – at least not very fast – so I looked upward and said, “Oh, Unayquah1 either grant me death or keep this evil mans’ drugs from affecting me,” and started singing again.

 

Mustif waited for the drug to work. When it didn’t, he was visibly shaken, and he left. I kept singing crap for another ten minutes. I guess all the Westerns that I watched when I was a kid did end up helping me.

 

The extra guards kept peeking in the room, and every time they did, I would start singing again. They looked freaked out and closed the door. The guard that they left in the room looked like he was going to shit in his “man dress.”

 

 After about two hours, the door opened, and in walked the leader and Mustif, who now had two black eyes, and behind both of them was Zarika. I put on a real show this time with my bogus Indian singing and made them stand in front of me for ten minutes before saying anything.

 

Then I looked up to the ceiling again and said in a loud voice, “Unayquah, I have honored you and sung my death song. Please let death come quickly for me and in an honorable fashion.” I looked at the leader and said, “Let me die an honorable death. Give me a knife. I will fight all of you, my knife against your guns. I’m ready to die. TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE!” I started chanting again.

 

They tried to talk to me, but I wouldn’t stop singing. Finally, Mustif stepped up and punched me in the mouth. This pissed the leader off. He started beating the crap out of Mustif, and I kept singing.

 

I looked at Zarika and slipped in some Russian words while I was singing, hoping she would understand. She did, and came over to me and started cleaning up my mouth where it was bleeding. I stopped singing.

 

The leader stopped beating Mustif, and they both looked at Zarika taking care of me. The leader said something to Zarika and she backed away from me and winked. I started singing again, as loud as I could. The leader said something else to Zarika, she came back and started taking care of me again, and I stopped singing.

 

They brought in a third chair and the leader and Mustif sat across from me, Zarika sat at my feet and put her head against my legs. The leader asked me, “Why do you stop singing when Zarika takes care of you?”

 

I lied through my teeth. “Her spirit is pure and reminds me of the spirit of my little sister who died. It would be dishonorable to my sister’s spirit to sing my death song while Zarika is caring for me.”

 

The leader didn’t understand completely. He asked Mustif questions until I could see that he understood.

 

He continued. “Do you not want to try to escape to get back to America?”

 

“The Great Spirit has told me that I’ll never escape and to prepare myself to live with my ancestors. I've done that, and I am ready to die. Please kill me today.” Again, Mustif had to translate part of what I said.

 

 “We know you are a great warrior. We had hoped to be your friend,” the leader replied.

 

“If this is the way you treat friends, then I would rather die than be your friend. I don’t even know your name. Kill me now. My ancestors are waiting,” I said, with Mustif filling in some of the blanks for the leader.

 

“Ah, I see. My name is Hussein. What can we do to become friends with you?” the leader asked with Mustif helping.

 

“Hussein, your men have treated me worse than a pig, with Mustif being the worst offender. Give Mustif to your men like you have done with the little boy, and we can discuss this more,” I answered.

 

It was really satisfying to see the worried look on Mustif’s face as he tried to translate this to Hussein.

Hussein figured out that Mustif mistranslated and started beating him again. Finally, Mustif translated it right, Hussein stopped beating him, and said, “I do not speak or understand English well and if I kill Mustif, we cannot talk. Is there something else that I can do to become your friend?”

 

“I might be able to be your friend; you are a man with honor. But I will die before I become Mustifs’ friend; he has no honor. I can see for right now we need Mustif, but I do not like him. He’s a pig,” I used the worst insult to a Muslim I could think of. “Tell him to stop beating and drugging me, treat me like a friend, and let Zarika visit me whenever she wants; her spirit calms me. Consider what I have said and we can talk tomorrow,” I said.

 

They both looked puzzled and tried to ask me some more questions. I looked up at the ceiling and started acting like I was praying to the Great Spirit, chanting a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. They realized that I wasn’t going to talk to them anymore and left, leaving Zarika with me.

 

When the room was empty other than the guards, Zarika asked me if I was serious. I told her it was all an act, and she laughed softly.

 

She told me that they didn’t know what to do, but they couldn’t let me die because Hussein still wanted to trade me for his brother. She asked me if I was hungry. I was, so she left to get me some food. When she left I again pretended to sing my “death song” until she came back, just because it freaked the guards out.

 

Zarika and I ate some good stew together. she said that she could get good food for both of us whenever we wanted. The way she said it told me that she was holding something back. When I insisted that she tell me the rest, she admitted that all the food she had been feeding me at night was hers and that she was going hungry. That really pissed me off.

 

She misinterpreted my body language. Her eyes filled with tears and she started apologizing, but she calmed down when I explained that I was angry that I was the cause of her going hungry, and I thanked her.

 

Reassured, she mentioned that while she was getting the food she overheard Hussein and Mustif talking and trying to figure out what to do. They had decided they would bring in an Imam to talk to me and try to convert me to Muslim.

 

I told her that would happen when pigs fly, but she didn’t understand the joke and asked me with wide eyes if we had flying pigs in America. I did my best to explain what the saying meant, but I don’t think I did very well.

 

She cleaned me up, took care of the old and new bruises on my face, and changed the bandages on my feet and ankles. They were looking much better. Then she got the guards to untie my left hand, and we played chess and talked the rest of the afternoon as the guards watched.

 

I asked her if it would be a problem if they knew we both spoke Russian. She said they already knew, and it wasn’t a problem. They thought they could use her to get information out of me, but she had been telling them the same bullshit that I had been telling them. When it got closer to evening, she left and came back with some more food, including some bread, and we ate together.

 

Now Hussein and Mustif have come in again. Damn. Mustif is even more beat up than when he left, I guess Hussein was still really pissed. Serves Mustif right. Hussein asks me how my day was, and I tell him it was better. He explains that they can’t trust me not to try to escape, so they still need to tie me up at night, but they‘re going to move me to a room that has a bed and no rats, and I’ll be tied to the bed.

 

 Zarika will spend the night with Hussein, and, he makes sure to tell me, if I try to escape, he will give her to his men. I nod to tell him I understand,. and tell him that I could never be friends with someone who beats a woman. He nods, and I know he understands.

 

They move me to the new room, tie me to the bed, and leave an armed guard in the room. Zarika kisses me on the cheek and smiles at me, and the three of them leave me and the guard alone for the night.

 

As soon as they’re gone, I softly sing my “death song” again just to freak out the guard.

 

I almost put myself into a trance with the chanting as I lose myself in memories.

 

 

Kaneohe Bay Hawaii – Saturday Day Fourteen

 

 

Jens and I woke up that morning at the same time. I still couldn’t believe how wonderful it felt waking up next to her and looking into those violet eyes and seeing her love and adoration.

 

Jens gave me a kiss and said, “I feel that today is going to be a life-changing day for us. After we walk out of the training area today, our lives will never be the same.”

 

I returned her kiss. “I feel the same way. Are you nervous or worried about this?”

 

“I’m a little nervous, a little worried, and a whole lot sad. From what daddy told us, it will be hard for us to ever find time to be alone again. But this is something that's more important than you or me, and we need to do it.” She sighed.

 

“Are you forgetting that once it’s rebuilt, we’ll have the cabin? It’s hard to find, and we can always shoot any trespassers. You did know you’re moving in with me, didn’t you?”

 

That was the right thing to say. Jens rolled over on top of me. The cot collapsed, but it didn’t bother us. She smothered me with kisses and crushed me with hugs.

 

“I really wanted to move in with you, but I was afraid to ask you. Thank you, my love. You won’t be sorry; I’m going to take such good care of you. You’re going to be so spoiled.”

 

She kept this up for about ten minutes – when she gets excited she can sure talk.

 

Jens’s phone started vibrating and I said, “Cheating on me with B.O.B.?”

 

“Huh?” Jens said as tried to get the phone out of her pocket.

 

“You know,” I replied, “B.O.B. – your Battery Operated Boyfriend.”

 

She started laughing and blushing and answered the phone. It was both General and Mrs. Donaldson this time; they shared the phone between them. The General wanted to make sure we were getting ready. Jens told him not to worry we would be on time. He also asked if we had read the instructions, and Jens said that we hadn’t yet but that we would. Then her mom had the phone and Jens asked her if she knew B.O.B.; apparently, she did, because they were both laughing about something.

 

I had worked my way out from under Jens, had found the instructions and started reading them. They didn’t make total sense to me, but they were orders and we obey orders.

 

When Jens hung up, she came over to me and gave me a big hug. “That’s from Daddy and Mom. They said they’ll see us in a few hours.” Then she gave me a bigger hug and kiss and said, “That’s from me. I don’t need B.O.B. I have all the boyfriend I need right here.”

 

I showed her the orders. She said, “Shit, we need to get moving. I’d better take my bath first so I can get my hair dried.”

 

We broke open the supplies they gave us. They had provided everything – razors for my face and Jens’s legs, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant; shit, they even had battery-operated hair clippers so I could cut my hair. It needed it; after all those days, I looked pretty wooly.

 

Jens took her bath first. I couldn’t resist sneaking some peeks at her fine body; man, is she hot. While she was doing that, I cut my hair and shaved my face. I didn’t have much to shave because the Indian in me keeps me from growing much facial hair. Then I took a bath. I caught Jens peeking and couldn’t resist teasing her about it, but she gave as good as she got.

 

By the time I came out of the water and was drying off, Jens already had her new MCCUUs on, and  they were just the right amount of tight in all the right places.

 

I whistled. “Damn, woman. You look really hot in those; they fit you just right.”

 

“My love,” Jens answered, “These have been tailored to fit me. I’m glad I don’t have to wear these for real; they’re so tight that I couldn’t fight.”

 

After I dried off, I put mine on, and they fit me the same way Jens’s fit her. Jens had a mirror and was working on her hair. I walked past her acting like I was a supermodel on a cat walk. She started laughing so hard she fell off her cot.

 

“Wow, do you ever look sexy in those. I’m going to need a gun just to keep all the women away from you.”

 

I answered, “Hey I wonder if Elizabeth Morgan will be there; I hear she’s pretty hot,” and laughed.

 

“Yeah, probably from pissing in her pants,” Jens laughed with me.

 

I put Jens’s face paint on her – a green base with black tiger strips. She looked in the mirror and matched mine to hers

 

“Now we even look like twins,” she laughed.

 

“You must mean Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito”, I answered, referring to the movie they did together.

 

“So, now you’re calling me short and fat,” Jens acted upset.

 

“You’re going to look so cute when you’re all fat with our babies,” I answered, earning another kiss.

 

A patrol came and told us it was time to go. We gave them our old gear. They would take it out the other entrance and back to the base. Jens told them to be very careful with her laptop or they would be reassigned to Thule Greenland, and let them know she wasn’t kidding.

 

We put on our new Alice packs; they were already pre-packed with the approved gear we were supposed to carry. We put on the old-style ghillie suits, and I took the time to do some work on them so they would blend into the forest. Then we each slung an M4 Whisper over one shoulder and a Barrett 98 Bravo over the other shoulder, picked up the M107 Barretts and started slowly walking to the entrance; we weren’t supposed to work up a sweat.

 

Before we got close to the entrance, we could hear the crowd and the full Marine Corps band playing Sousa tunes. I looked at Jens. “I really don’t want to do this.”

 

“Neither do I,” she answered, “But this will really help make the Corps stronger and will make the world safer for everyone, especially our future children.”

 

We got as close as we dared to the entrance and then went into stealth mode, sneaking unseen to just 50m from the entrance. At 0900, the RSO announced that the training mission was over, and fake troops started leaving the training area. The crowd was clapping for them as they left. At 0915, all the troops were gone. You could hear people getting antsy wondering where we were.

 

At 0930 and the show was on – we both slowly stood up, seemingly from nowhere. I threw my M107 onto my left shoulder, muzzle facing forwards but pointing towards the ground. Jens shouldered hers the same way on her right shoulder, and we met in the middle of the trail and held hands, to walk towards the entrance. The crowd went wild, cheering and clapping so loudly that we couldn’t even hear the band.

 

We walked hand in hand to the entrance. General Donaldson, DI Anderson, and his platoon, all stood there, all spit-shine and sharp creases. The general held up his hand, the band stopped playing and the crowd got quiet.

 

DI Anderson said, “Marines, ten hut,” and we all snapped to attention.

 

“Unit Bravo Juliet, pre-sent arms.”

 

We un-shouldered the M107s and held them out in front of us.

 

“Platoon, re-trieve arms.”

 

Two Marines came up and we passed the M107s.

 

“Unit Bravo Juliet, pre-sent arms,” DI Anderson said again.

 

We un-slung the 98 Bravo Barretts and went through the same procedure with two different Marines.

 

“Unit Bravo Juliet, pre-sent arms,” DI Anderson said for the last time.

 

We took off the M4 Whispers and passed them to the Marines, just the same as before.

 

“Unit Bravo Juliet, pre-sent gear,” DI Anderson said.

 

We took off our Alice packs and our ghillie suits and passed them to the waiting Marines using the same protocol. When the ghillie suits came off, the crowd started cheering and cameras started flashing. The general held up his hand again and order was restored.

 

DI Anderson continued, “Unit Bravo Juliet, fall in. Platoon, Move out. Left, left, left right left.”

 

We started marching for review. I’ve never seen such a huge review stand in my life, and it was packed with dignitaries. The band started playing the Marine Hymn and the crowd was cheering. It was controlled pandemonium.

 

We were in the middle of the platoon in the row closest to the stands. When we reached the middle of the stands, DI Anderson straightened his spine even more.

 

“Platoon, halt. Right face, ten hut.”

 

We turned towards the stand, and there in the middle of the stands on the lowest row was the President of the United States with his wife standing beside him.

 

“Salute,” we were commanded, and we did. The President returned the salute.

 

DI Anderson continued, “Left face, forward march. Platoon Cadence,” the DI sang out, and the platoon started singing:

 

“Ben and Jens running on the road,

It ain't easy carrying such a load.

Ben and Jens running in the sand,

Fightin' in Iraq gonna save this land.

Ben and Jens running on a mountain,

So many kills we lost track countin'.

Ben and Jens swimmin' in the sea,

If you don't wanna die you better leave them be.

Fighting and killing that's their job,

That's why we call them Devil Dogs!

When I grow up I want to be like them,

A Devil Dog until the end.

Oraaahh!

Oraaahh!”

 

I was glad that we both had on our faces. Otherwise they would have gotten some great pictures of us blushing. The DI marched us around past the other review stands, and had us stand at attention in front of the main review stand when we returned.

 

The general came out and said, “Unit Bravo Juliet, front and center.”

 

We stepped forward two steps from the platoon and stood at attention.

 

“Platoon, close ranks.” The platoon moved in to fill our places.

 

“Unit Bravo Juliet, salute.” We snapped a perfect salute, the President and his wife came down, and the general at-eased us.

 

The President shook our hands and smiled, “America is proud of both of you. In three days, you have given America back its hope and have put fear in the hearts of our enemies. Thank you both for all that you have done for us.” He shook our hands again and he and his wife embraced us.

 

The press was going crazy, taking pictures. The general’s wife came out and stood beside Jens with her arm around her, the general stood by me with his arm around me, the President’s wife stood beside Mrs. Donaldson, and the President stood beside the general. Then we all waved at the reviewing stand and the crowd and the press went crazy.

 

Just when they simmered down, a bunch of young kids came out running up to us. The girls were dressed like Jens had been on the day we met, in red Devil Dog t-shirts and pretend MCCUUs, and the boys had the same outfit. They ran up to us and started jumping up and down and talking to us, which fired everyone up again.

 

Finally, the President and the general held up their hands and got things quieted down. We made sure to greet each of the children that came up and found out they were members of Bravo Juliet clubs that were starting all over America. The clubs taught marksmanship and most of the Marine code of conduct with a heavy emphasis on  “waiting until you’re married.”

 

The President and his wife left, and we were ushered over to a raised table for a press conference question and answer session. Jens and I were seated with the General and his wife at our sides.

 

The press conference started out bad. The first reporter stood up and started bothering us about waiting until were married, all but calling us liars.

 

We both got upset and stood up together, saying, “Death before dishonor.”

 

All the Marines shouted, “Orraaahhh!”

 

Jens glared at him and said, “What in your sick perverted mind won’t let you believe that I’m a virgin and that we’re going to wait until we’re married?”

 

I added, “We aren’t a bunch of fricken animals. We can control our urges.” I took both of Jens’s hands and said, “I love you, and you’re worth waiting for.” Then we shared a less-than-chaste kiss.

 

The press started hooting at our kiss and booing the idiot. The general motioned to the MPs, and the offending reporter was removed in disgrace.

 

Ms. Morgan was at the press conference. She said, “Dr. Donaldson, it’s good to see you again, and in much better circumstances (many of the press members snickered at this because they knew about her ‘accident’). Can you describe your working relationship with Ben?”

 

I fielded the question. “Jens is the beauty and the brains of our unit–”

 

“–and Ben is the brawn and the boss.” Jens continued.

 

“Could you elaborate more on this?” Ms. Morgan asked.

 

So we both took our turns explaining how our strange relationship works. We could both tell that most of the  “high-powered” female reporters had some big problems with our combined answers. Naturally, this generated a follow-up question from one of them.

 

“Jens, we don’t understand how you could subjugate yourself to a man; you’re so successful.”

 

Jens started laughing and answered, “You know that’s yours and many women’s problem. You don’t understand. I’m not subjugated to Ben, I’m completed by Ben.”

 

I added, “And I’m completed by Jens.”

 

We continued together, “We realize that together we’re better than apart. Together we won the Leadville trail 100. Neither of us could have done it alone. And together we won this exercise, when we couldn’t have done it alone. We have become a synergetic unit; our combined effect is greater than our individual effect.”

 

“You seem to be completing each other’s answers or answering together, what is going on?” was another question. So we explained how we feel each other’s feelings.

 

One of the male reporters asked, “Ben, do you have any problems taking orders from Jens?”

 

It was my turn to laugh. “Wow. You really don’t understand us. I don’t have any problems at all, because she is almost always right.”

 

Jens added, “Ben always has the finally decision. I live and love to serve Ben.”

 

And I said for the first time, “And I live and love to serve Jens.” She turned and looked at me and gave me a kiss. The press started hooting at us again.

 

“Why did you just kiss Ben?”

 

Jens said, “Duh, cause I love him and that was the first time he told me that.”

 

They all started laughing.

 

We kept answering questions for over an hour, and there were a few that we didn’t like and refused to answer.

 

We were down to one more question. “Now that you’re heroes, will you stay home from Iraq?”

 

We both answered with a startled tone, “What, are you fricken crazy? We can’t wait to get to Iraq and start doing our job.”

 

The general stood up and closed the press conference, and the reporters shocked us by standing up and clapping for us. It was lunchtime and the general had a mobile field kitchen set up and the cooks were busting ass to feed everyone.

 

Jens looked at me. “Want to help?”

 

I replied, “You know I do.” So we went over and helped serve the food. This wasn’t planned, but was a big hit with everyone and gave most people a chance to meet us as they went through the line.

 

When things slowed up, we each grabbed a plate of chow and sat down to eat. The press was hovering around, but gave us some peace to eat.

 

I asked Jens, “I assume those two suits that are following us are Secret Service?”

 

Jens answered, “Close my love. They’re actually better; they’re Seals from the platoon that we beat.”

 

“And the snipers on the three hills are ours?”

 

“You noticed them? I looked but I couldn’t find them,” she answered.

 

I leaned over and whispered, “I’ve seen all three. I wouldn’t have seen them before, but I’ve been more observant since I need to keep you safe.”

 

She nearly knocked me out of my seat with her kiss.

 

After lunch, we wandered around some, meeting and greeting people. I felt better knowing that we had protection keeping an eye on us. We saw the poster that they made of us. Jens was in her white dress sitting on the chair with her hand over her mouth and a look of disbelief in her eyes, I was on one knee in front of her in my evening dress uniform holding up the ring. The title of the poster was “The All-American Couple.” We stopped for awhile and signed posters, which caused a huge line to form at the poster table.

 

They had all our gear on display – all three of our rifles, our “fake” Alice packs and ghillie suits, and a history of snipers, their role in the military, and what it was like to be a Marine sniper. It was pretty one-sided; they left out the really bad parts.

 

The general called us over to the press conference table again. All the press was there, and we both looked at each other and thought, “Shit. Not again.”

 

We sat down and a man walked up onto the stage with ten men following him, each carrying a case.

 

The general said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Chris Barrett, one of the owners of Barrett firearms. He has a special presentation to make.”

 

Mr. Barrett addressed the press. “Thank you, General Donaldson, and a very special thank you to Sergeant Major Blaine and Sergeant Donaldson. I’m here today to personally thank you two for helping to make my company so successful. Since the beginning of your exercise, sales of our rifles have skyrocketed – we can’t keep up with the demand. As a token of our thanks to both of you, we would like to present each of you with one of every rifle that we make.”

 

The press started clapping. I stood up and shook his hand.

 

Jens stood up and started jumping up and down, saying, “Oh, goody; I love your rifles!” She gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. The press loved that.

 

I was excited, too; shit – we had just been given about $40,000.00 of rifles.

 

The celebration was finally winding down and we were both exhausted and ready to go home. We did one more bunch of photos, this time with a photographer from our ad agency. It ended up being fun because he took the time to pose us in interesting poses.

 

General and Mrs. Donaldson came up and he asked, “Are you two ready to head home? We have a limo for you right over there,” and pointed to a big black limo.

 

We looked at each other and together said, “We would both prefer to just drive a Humvee. Is there one available?”

 

The general’s aide ran off to get one for us. We went over to the sniper display and started picking up our gear.

 

One of press that had been following us asked, “Hey, you guys are heroes, and you’re still moving your own gear?”

 

Jens said, “Of course; we’re Marines first.”

 

The press gasped collectively when we walked right past the waiting limo and started loading the gear into a waiting Humvee. At least they were far enough away that they couldn’t question us.

 

Just when we finished loading the gear, I looked over to see that the Hawaii State Patrol had cars to escort us to the base, and driving the lead car was Jack, my old spotter. I grabbed Jens’s hand and we ran over to him. I gave him a handshake and a hug, and Jens gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. We talked for about fifteen minutes, finding out that Masha was doing fine, and sent her best wishes.

 

As we walked back to the Humvee I looked at Jens and said, “Yes, I think it would be good if you drove.”

 

She replied, “Thanks honey. See, I told you that you could feel my feelings.” I opened the driver’s door for her and went around to the other side and got in. At last, we were on our way to the base and our home. It was good being alone again with Jens.

 

I looked at her, “I had no idea it was going to be that bad.”

 

“Neither did I. That was a fricken zoo. I don’t ever want to see a reporter again; they’re such assholes.”

 

Of course that wish never happened; everywhere we went after that day, we always had the paparazzi to deal with. Our life was no longer our own; it was now owned by the world.

 

We were both happy to make it home. I opened the doors for Jens, and she said, “Let me get cleaned up and I’ll make us some dinner.” I started humping gear into the extra bedroom. Jens came out of the kitchen and said, “We have a surprise, mom made dinner and left it for us. Let me help with the gear and then we can both eat.”

 

We were both hungry, I could smell the fried chicken again and my mouth was watering, so we hustled the rest of the gear into the third bedroom and then went in the kitchen. Jens started pulling the food out of the oven where it was being kept warm, I went to the fridge, pulled out a couple of Guinness beers poured them into glasses and sat them on the table, helped Jens into her chair and sat in my own.

 

I looked over at her raised my glass and said, Jens joined in on the second line,

“May we live in peace without weeping.
May our joy outline the lives we touch without ceasing.
And may our love fill the world, angel wings tenderly beating.”

 

We clicked our glasses; Jens downed her whole beer in several big gulps. I said, “Damn, you were thirsty,” and got up us both another one.

 

The beer and the food helped us to relax and unwind and to discuss the day and all that happened. It was so strange that we couldn’t believe it really happened. After our leisurely meal I cleaned up the kitchen while Jens went in to shower and take off her war paint. I finished the kitchen and went in and finished stowing the gear, I even setup Jens laptop that had been dropped off and then I went to my bathroom and cleaned up myself. Jens knocked on the door and asked, “You mind if I come in, I’m getting lonely?”

 

I told her to come on in and she mostly behaved herself while I finished my shower. I say, “mostly” because she did throw some cold water over the top of the shower stall on me a couple of times, just to hurry me up.

 

I came out of the shower, and Jens handed me the towel and helped me dry off. I was so tired that I didn’t get too excited this time. Then she gave me my underwear and shorts, offering to help me put them on, but I didn’t totally trust her not to attack me; she had that mischievous look in her eyes.

 

We walked into our bedroom together, climbed into bed, and just held each other like an old married couple. We had no need to talk because each knew what the other was feeling.

 

The last thing I remember is seeing her lovely eyes flutter closed and her lips part as she slipped into sleep.

 

************

 

1Cherokee for Great Spirit

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