02 Escaped Kaneohe Bay Hawaii - Sunday

Escaped: Fighting my way home

© Copyright 2009

Written by Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

ben@banzaiben.com

 

 

Chapter 02 – Sunday 23 September 2007

 

Kaneohe Bay Hawaii – Hospital - Sunday Day Twenty-Four

 

I woke to something heavy on top of me, pressing me down into the bed.

 

What the hell? Hey!

 

Something was pressing on my mouth. I took a deep breath through my nose and recognized Jens's perfume.

 

Oh. Jens was straddling my hips and kissing me. Mmm. I could get used to waking up like this.

 

"Hey, sleepy Marine. Wake up," Jens sang.

 

I opened my eyes to my beautiful Jens. I tried to give her a hug, but couldn’t move my arms or legs. I was so groggy that it took me a minute to figure out that someone had tied me down. Then, I got angry. I hate being tied up.

 

I’m gonna kill the bastard who did this.

 

"Simmer down, my love," Jens ordered."After yesterday, they wanted to make sure that you didn't go crazy again."

 

I ignored her and fought against the restraints. My back felt like someone had flayed off a strip of skin and poured vinegar in the wound. Every time I struggled, it felt like I was tearing something on my back. The pain got through where Jens’s words couldn’t.

 

She gave me another huge kiss. "I've always wanted to have you totally under my control," she teased."Perhaps we can get a set of these when we're married." She grinned at me.

 

I struggled some more.

 

"Shit, that hurts!" I yelled.

 

"Duh, of course it does. Just simmer down and let me have my way with you." Jens smothered me with another kiss. “Don’t you remember how you acted yesterday?"

 

"Oh, yeah . . . I vaguely remember being a real pain in the ass to everyone. Even you," I added with a sheepish smile. "Did I laugh at your eyes?" I asked, wondering if I was in trouble.

 

"You sure did. And now I'm going to get even," Jens said, attacking my ear with her tongue. 

 

I thrashed around on the bed. "Damn, that hurts," I complained.

 

"Well lie still and let me get even," Jens commanded.

 

I ordered myself to not be ticklish, and remarkably, it worked.

 

"Hey. You're no fun. Just when I figure out a way to tickle you, you're no longer ticklish," Jens grumped.

 

Then she got this mischievous glint in her eyes and started kissing and nibbling on me, starting at the top of my head and working her way downward. Mmm, her lips on my neck felt good. I was just starting to relax a bit when she bit down hard.

 

"Ouch, that hurt!" I complained.

 

"You sure are a wimp. Are you sure you're a real Marine and not a poser?" Jens laughed and resumed nibbling on my neck, alternating between light nibbles and hard bites. It was driving me crazy, and I started getting excited.

 

"Oh, someone likes that," Jens teased as she wiggled her bottom on top of me.

 

I just moaned.

 

"Perhaps, I'll bite that," Jens speculated.

 

I was rock hard. All I could do was moan again.

 

"Wow, you like that idea," Jens continued, and started to move down towards my crotch.

 

Just then, the door opened and doctor Linus walked in. "What the hell's going on here?"

 

Jens turned beet red. "I was just making sure that my fiancé was okay. You had him tied down, and he was starting to get restless." She scooted over to her bed. My covers were tented.

 

The doctor smirked, reminding me yet again how much I dislike doctors. "Good morning, Doctor Penis," I laughed.

 

"That's Linus, jarhead. I think you're still hallucinating. Perhaps we should keep you restrained for another day or two."

 

"Oh, goody – I can play more," Jens quipped.

 

I pulled against the restraints. "I wouldn't recommend that. It wouldn't be good for your health." I shot him my “don't-fuck-with-me-or-you're-going-to–die” look.

 

He laughed. "Damn, I love working with jarheads. It's so easy to yank your chains

 

“It's good to see you’re alert this morning. Yesterday you were fighting with everyone to get out of this bed. You feel up to a little assisted walking this morning?"

 

"Sir, Yes Sir," I yelled.

 

"Good. Let’s get you out of the restraints. Then let's get some real food in you, and we'll see if your fiancée thinks she can help you walk some," Dr. Linus said.

 

My stomach growled loudly at the mention of food. We all laughed.

 

"I guess even your stomach agrees with that. I'll send the nurse right in." Doctor Linus left the room and Nurse Battle Axe came in.

 

Wow, I thought she looked much uglier yesterday. She was quite cute with scarlet hair and green eyes. I looked at her nametag. Her name was Elle.

 

"Hey, Marine. Remember me?" Jens said, reading my feelings.

 

Uh oh, busted. It's not that I don't love Jens. But I'm not dead yet.

 

"Keep thinking that way, and you will be," Jens threatened, sensing my thoughts.

 

Elle left the room, saying she needed to get something. When she came back in, two more buttons were undone on the top of her uniform. She bent over my bed to take off the restraints, and I was doing my best not to look down her uniform. It was damn hard not to. When she was done, she looked over at Jens and they both started laughing.

 

"Thanks, Jens. It was so much fun to get even with him for calling me a battle axe yesterday," Elle laughed as she left the room.

 

Damn. I should have smelled that setup, with the way Jens was acting.

 

I didn't know what to say. Jens jumped back onto my bed. "All right, Marine. Give me a hug," she ordered.

 

I did, gladly. I wondered how many others I insulted the day before.

 

"Don't worry, my love. The paybacks are almost done," Jens chuckled.

 

When breakfast came, Jens fed me. It's not that I couldn’t do it myself – she just wanted to help. It was nice having the attention.

 

After the food and the coffee my mind was working. I hugged Jens and asked, "Hey what are you still doing in the hospital?"

 

"My love, don't you remember?" She asked.

 

I shook my head.

 

"Do you remember being shot?" she asked.

 

"Duh, of course." I answered, earning me a poke in the ribs.

 

"You passed out in the training area due to blood loss. I carried you to the entrance, and they brought us to the hospital. You needed a transfusion, and I didn't want you to possibly get any weird blood diseases, so I made them use my blood for your transfusion," Jens stated.

 

"How many units did I lose?" I questioned.

 

Jens bit her lip, "Three."

 

"I thought you weren't supposed to give more than one unit."

 

"Duh, they only let me give you two so you're still a pint low. I can check your dipstick and see how your doing if you'd like," She answered, reaching for my crotch.

 

I'd been sexually frustrated enough this morning. I intercepted her hand, brought it to my mouth, and kissed her fingers. "Thanks my dear for giving me part of you."

 

"I wouldn't mind giving you all of me. Do you remember me saying that they'll always be a little of me inside you?" Jens asked.

 

I blushed.

 

"Good, I see you remember that and your reply," Jens chuckled.

 

Nurse Elle came in to get me ready for my walk. She gave me a new gown. It was short and small and had little yellow ducks on it.

 

"What sort of shit is this?" I barked.

 

"Sorry, it's all we could find. If you don't like it, you can always wait until tomorrow for your walk," Nurse Elle said.

 

"No way,” I said. “It's not like anyone's going to see me."

 

I should have known better.

 

Jens helped me out to the hallway. I turned the corner, and there was the general, his wife, Doctor Linus, and the rest of the hospital staff for that floor. They all started cheering and hooting and clapping. Someone even took a picture.

 

Jens smiled at me. "You're so cute when you blush." She looked very proud of herself.

 

One of the staff said, "Payback's a bitch."

 

I swallowed my pride and went over and held up my hand. "I had planned on talking to each of you individually. I wanted to tell each of you how sorry I was for being an asshole while I was sedated. But since that has been taken away from me, I'll apologize to you as a group."

 

I was so embarrassed, and I was upset because my Jens had set me up for this humiliation. In my anger, I pushed her away and walked back to my room. Jens followed behind me asking me what was wrong.

 

When we got to the room, I closed the door and turned to her. "I was so embarrassed by that stunt. I've worked very hard during my career in the Marines to develop a reputation. What you did today with this fucking scene has seriously damaged my reputation.

 

"Sergeant Donaldson, I still love you. And I still want to marry you after I retire. However, I'm not sure that we can continue with our relationship the way it has been." I turned away and started to get dressed. Flexing my back hurt like hell, but I wanted out of there.

 

Jens made a funny sound and ran from the room.

 

General Donaldson came in to chew my ass, but I beat him to the punch. "Sir, no disrespect. I've worked ten years in the Marines to develop my reputation as a hard-assed Marine that you can always call on and that always gets the job done. That stunt Sergeant Donaldson pulled has damaged my reputation. I never would have done something like that to her."

 

"Damn. You're right, Son. But what the fuck do you think you're doing now?" The general asked.

 

"I'm getting the hell out of here. If you don't like it you can court-martial me," I dared him.

 

He turned and left. Doctor Linus came in. Damn. I felt like there was a revolving door on my room.

 

"Jarhead, what the hell are you doing?" Dr. Linus queried.

 

"I'm getting the hell out of here. Just bring me the AMA forms and I'll sign myself out," I answered, getting bored of the question.

 

"Like hell you are, Marine." He left the room.

 

I was pretty close to leaving when Dr. Linus came back in with two MPs. "Take him to the brig and don't let him out until I medically release him," Dr. Linus ordered the MPs.

 

One MP walked over to me and reached for his handcuffs.

 

"If you try to put those on me, I'll break your fucking arm,” I growled. “Besides, how the fuck are you going to put those on me when I have a cast on one arm? You don't need those. I'll be glad to get out of this damn room and into the brig," I said, straightening as much as my pain would allow.

 

He took a look at me and figured out I wasn't joking. I walked out of the room between the MPs, glad to see that the fucking crowd from earlier was gone, but even though I was upset at her, I really missed Jens.

 

Damn it all, why did she have to go and do what she did?

 

 

Still, I was fairly sure that going to the brig was better than going back to the house with Jens. I remembered reading once, "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house." I figured the brig had to be better than a housetop.

 

 

Somewhere around Khudabah, Pakistan – Day Two

 

 

Wanting to get as far as I could from Khudabah and Hussein as possible, I drive for the rest of the day and all night. Zarika fell asleep hours ago. I don’t know how, with the way the truck bumps and clunks over the ground. I can only guess from her whimpers that she is fighting some of her demons tonight.

 

Now exhaustion is pulling my eyes shut, and I know I need to find someplace safe to rest. Just a couple hours of sleep, and then we can keep going. I scan the horizon for cover.

 

Just at when I’m reaching a state of desperation, I see a dilapidated building that might be large enough to hold the truck.

 

"Zarika. Wake up sleepy head." I use a soft tone to gentle her out of sleep.

 

She yawns and looks at me. "What time is it?"

 

"I don't know what hour it is, But I know it's time for me to take a nap. There's a building up ahead. I think it's empty, but if it isn't, we will need to fight our way out and I'll need your help," I answer.

 

She makes sure the weapons are loaded and sticks her head out the window. "I think it's empty. Wait here and I'll go see."

 

Before I can argue, she’s out of the truck and heading towards the building. I watch, jittery from lack of sleep combined with the need to be vigilant, as she jogs over and checks out the building.

 

Running back to the truck, she brings the welcome news. "There's no back or roof, and it looks mostly empty."

 

I pull the truck around back and right into the building, shut off the lights and the engine, and jump out of the truck.

 

"Zarika, please help me hide the truck tracks." I ask, pulling some weeds and handing a bunch to her.

 

By the time we finish wiping out our tracks, I am panting and sweating and have a strange half-numb sensation in my legs that makes them wobble. I lose my balance and fall to my knees.

 

"Ben, what's wrong?" Zarika cries.

 

"I don't feel well. Just help me get back in the building," I pant.

 

She helps me up, and we stumble back into the building. Zarika pulls out a blanket and helps me lie down on it. I’m shaking and sweating by this time, and can’t talk. Everything turns red . . .

 

 . . . Zarika's shaking me, "Ben, wake up. Something's going on outside."

 

Instantly wide awake, I sit up and blink my eyes several times to get used to the sun. Daylight. How long did I sleep?

 

Holding my finger to my lips to signal the need for silence, I grab the AK she‘s lain beside me and creep to the door to look out. She follows with another AK.

 

My heart beats faster at the sight of a patrol out front of the building in the road. They’re smoking and talking to each other. I motion Zarika closer.

 

"Can you hear what they're saying?" I whisper.

 

She presses her ear to the door. "They're Hussein's men, and they're looking for us." Her reply is barely audible.

 

We watch them as they finished their butts. Zarika and I exchange looks acknowledging that if they come towards our hiding place, we’ll have to kill them. We relax a little when they jump into their truck and head back towards Khudabah.

 

I let out a sigh of relief lay a hand on Zarika’s shoulder. "Thanks for taking care of me.

 

“It's good that they headed back towards Khudabah. That means they don't think we've come this way or gone this far."

 

I walk back to the blanket and drop down, wiping the sweat off my brow. "Is it hot in here?"

 

"Not really. Ben, you're still sick. You need to rest some," Zarika answers.

 

"Maybe I'll feel better if I eat something,"

 

Zarika smiles. "I thought you would be hungry, so I already made some lentil soup with some canned meat in it."

 

She gives me a bowl and some bread and a couple of tangerines. I start wolfing down the food.

 

"Ben, slow down, or you'll get sick," Zarika scolds me.

 

I know she’s right; I’ve been trained for this situation. I just didn’t care right then. I shovel the warm soup down my throat. It tastes great. Then I attack the bread and tangerines with even greater gusto. Fresh fruit. Damn!

 

Now my stomach’s upset, so I lie back to take it easy. I’m sure my face is a pale shade of green.

 

Zarika sees this and stamps her foot. "I told you not to eat too fast."

 

It’s as if she is channeling Jens when she does that. I laugh in delight. Zarika misunderstands. She throws me a hurt look and scoots away from me.

 

I hold out my hand to her. "Come here, Zarika,” I coax.

 

She sits on the blanket beside me, but won't look at me.

 

I explain. "I wasn't laughing at you. Sometimes you do things that remind me of Jens. When that happens, I laugh because of how happy it makes me."

 

She glances at me and sees my smile. Then she offers a little abashed smile. "I thought you were making fun of me."

 

"I wouldn't do that to my little sister," I reply.

 

The food helps restore my strength. I rise to my feet. "I've been lazy enough. It’s time to get to work and check the building and truck."

 

I’m still a little shaky, so I use an AK as a cane. I look around in the building and notice some unopened fuel barrels in the corner and several boxes marked “high explosive.” There’s also a workbench with a good selection of tools and electronic parts.

 

I feel a spike of fear as I realize what the place is. "Shit. Zarika, we need to get out of here. It looks to me like the Taliban have been using this building as a bomb factory. They could come back any time." It’s tough to keep my voice down. "Here, help me load up some of this stuff in the truck."

 

The crates contain C4, so we load up all of them. Finding the detonators on the bench, I load them into the cab of the truck behind the seats. Then I throw all the tools and electronic parts into the back of the truck. Finally, Zarika helps me roll a fuel barrel close to the truck and I top off the truck tanks and our empty gas cans.

 

"Zarika, please bring me a couple of grenades." I slip a couple of rubber bands from the bench around the handles on grenades, pull the pins making sure the handles don't release, and drop them into the fuel barrels.

 

"The fuel will destroy the rubber bands in less than a day, and then, boom," I explain.

 

Zarika giggles.

 

We hop into the truck and I back out of the building. I put the truck in gear and head back towards Khudabah.

 

"Ben, we're headed the wrong way," Zarika worries.

 

"Don't worry. I'm just going to drive a couple of klicks down the road. Then we’ll turn around. I want the Taliban to think that we're headed back to Khudabah." I answered.

 

Relief spreads across her face.

 

We reach a crossroads and I pull onto the side road. I back up, making sure to keep the truck straight so the tire tracks will be covered, then I pull back onto the main road and gas the truck.

 

I look over at Zarika and sing,

 

"On the road again,
Just can't wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is makin' music with my friends,
And I can't wait to get on the road again."

 

She looks at me like I’m crazy. There is no way I can explain it to her, so I stop singing and start teaching her about the AK-47. I have her practice firing out the window. In about an hour, she can shoot pretty well.

 

She turns to me, regarding me with a small frown for a moment before saying, "Ben, you need to learn Arabic. Somehow, I know that there will come a time that you might need to talk your way out of a situation rather than fight.”

 

I‘m sure that, on this road again, we’ll be needing both soon.