My Honor Guard
by Catherine Marinelli
I fell in love with a soldier. I fell in love with a warm and kind-hearted soul, a troubled little boy with trauma in his past. A confused young man, except for when it came to affairs of the heart. He never did seem to be able to stay out of trouble. I often put him in the doghouse, funny how that was the name of his company. We talked about shooting and death and plague, we talked about turning the guns around on ourselves, we discussed the darkness that hid within us both. I reminded him of the ammunition of his teeth, the strength of his smile, how his profile would make my heart leap into my throat. I would place my hand on his chest right before we first kissed after a long time apart just so that I could feel his heart jump in tune with mine. I often sat with my heart in my throat.
I fell in love with a soldier who wanted to be deployed. I fell in love with a man who wanted nothing more tan a family of his own, a house to return to with the scampering of little feet and the warms arms of a lover. I fell in love with a man who enabled me to imagine a future that I never could. All I could ever see was darkness, blackness, the water underneath a bridge or the barrel of a gun. I did not anticipate begging for him to put me in front of a firing squad. I did not anticipate asking him to torture me and then leave me alone. I did not anticipate feeling the universe explode when my lips touched his.
I fell in love with a soldier. I fell in love with a young man who could not sing, a young man who barely passed high school English. A young man with short hair, sun spots, and veiny hands. A tall, skinny young man, smallest in his company, with big dreams and an even bigger heart. I fell in love with a young man a sick sense of humor and a loud taste in music. I fell in love with a man who removed my hatred for country music by listening to him sing his favorite songs at the top of his lungs when I took him to meet my mother for the first time.
I said yes to my soldier. I said yes when he proposed to me after we stared at the stars on the hood of his car. I said yes to his career, I said yes to his dreams and his love. I said no to the demons inside of my head, took away their residency, and promised to do the same to him. I cried when the ring didn’t fit, I cried when it eventually fit, I cried when I was in his arms again. I said yes to my soldier and my life began.
Catherine is a freshman in college, double majoring in biology and absolute fear of the future. She has won WPW in the past and appreciates the creative escapism it brings.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'War and Love'
'eons of war'