Deployment

The Pity Flowers

I sort of knew something was wrong by the expression on his face.

When you’ve been married for almost 12 years, you know. He wouldn’t look me in the eye, for one. He bit down on his lower lip.

I had the flowers that he brought me in my arms. I was happy and surprised when he walked in with them after work. When you’ve been married 12 years, flowers don’t happen very often. So when he gave them to me, I breathed in the sweet scent, and then I looked at his face and I knew.

I swallowed hard. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe he had a rough day at work. With shaky fingers, I read the card that came with the flowers.

“I’ll always be here for you…”

My heart froze. No. No, not again. Please, not again.

“You’re not deploying?” I said this in a half-pleading tone. Please, please, please, no.

Tom’s eyes went shifty. And then he went, “Yes.”

“You brought me pity flowers,” I said. I wanted to open our front door and scream the f-word at the top of my lungs. This wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair! “Please. At least. Disney.” I couldn’t even form a proper sentence.

A small shake of his head. “I’ll be gone.”

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