Thursday, February 01, 2007

Phone Call From The Front Line

Sunday morning I was lollygagging in bed, not wanting to get out of the warm cocoon that I was ensconced in. I had woken earlier and then was drifting off again when my phone rang.
D was at his dad's over the weekend and even though he is supposed to stay until Monday morning he is always ready to come home on Sunday so I was expecting his call.
I answer the phone expecting a "Hi Momma" and instead I heard "Hi Sweetheart". I recognized the voice immediately and the first word out of my mouth was "James".
Apparently his ears had been burning from my previous post as I hadn't heard from him since August, right before he left for Iraq.
When I met James he was in the Army. I was 21 and he was 25. We were "together" off and on for 2 years before he went to Korea. We kept in touch while he was in Korea and then he was stationed in Colorado.
Before he went to Colorado we had a falling out and I lost contact with him for about 9 months. During that time our lives took different paths. He got married and I gor pregnant with D. We reconnected when I was 3 or 4 months pregnant and talked on the phone a few times.
The feelings were still there between us but due to circumstances we kept things on the friend level and would only talk occasionally on the phone.
Since that time he has had a child, I moved to Michigan and his marriage has fallen apart. He remains married for his child (his wife has told him point blank that if he leaves her that she is taking his daughter to Mexico and that he will never see her again) but according to him it is emotionally dead.
I have only seen him one time since 1997. It was very bittersweet as all the feelings that I still felt for him were only made stronger but I knew that nothing could come of them.
I still love James and I know that he still loves me.
James is now in the Army Reserves and is currently stationed in Camp Anaconda, Iraq which is inside the Sunni Triangle (where 80% of the attacks occur). His job has something to do with transportation and he did tell me that he does go off base occasionally but it isn't an every day occurence.
I asked how things were over there and he said "Sweetheart, this is the worst I have ever seen in my life." He has been to Korea, Germany, all over the United States and was in the first Gulf War so he is aware of how bad the situation really is.
We talked for about 40 minutes and we laughed and I got teary eyed a couple of times, especially when I told him that I have been checking the casualty lists praying that he wasn't on there. I asked him how his daughter is and he said that she is doing OK. He occasionally will get packets from her with a letter and schoolwork but he doesn't receive anything else.
I asked him if there was anything that he needed and all he asked for was some fishing magazines. I think that I can handle that.
I had to discuss a few difficult things with him. One being that if something did happen to him that I would be informed. Because I am not related to him, no one would think to let me know.
It was a good conversation. I tried to keep it light and cheerful because I could hear in his voice that he was exhausted and needed a distraction. He says that he works 12 hours a day, every day.
I don't know why I still love James, but I do. I wish that I didn't. I wish that I could just get over him and not think about him. It has gotten better with time. I no longer think about him constantly and I don't get upset when he calls. I used to get really upset because I felt like he was stringing me along and I would be angry that he wouldn't allow me to move on with my life and keep him in the past.
James always says that I won't ever get rid of him. That he is always going to be around. That in our old age we will sit on the front porch together and talk about everything that has happened in our lives. I used to get mad when he would say this because legally he is still married even if in his heart the marriage is over. Now, I am looking forward to it. Even if it is just as friends.

9 comments:

Dennis said...

Wow. Not sure what to say. Can he not get custody or a temporary injuction to stop her from crossing the border?

Erica said...

What a sweet post. I am very sorry that he is in Iraq. My cousin has just come back from Nasariya, he was there for 1 year, so I know what it means that someone you care about is over there. I wish they would all come back safe.
It must be so hard for you to think about him being there risking his life, while also of course feeling proud of him. It could be destiny that one day you end up together again somehow and I hope that does happen. After all you still love each other, it is not fair you cannot be together because he is married to this person he doesn't love. Why is she being so cruel? She should let him go...

l.b. said...

Even if you two never actually end up TOGETHER together you still have a deep and meaningful relationship. It may not be ideal, but some people live their whole lives without experience a bond like that.

laughingattheslut said...

Am I the only one who thinks Rachel is better off without this guy?

Lydia said...

I found that really moving, Rachel. But it does sound like he's not the guy for you, because of his career and his marital situation. Yet we feel what we feel, and you two clearly have a strong emotional connection. Perhaps a friendship that you can enjoy and feel comfortable with would be the best outcome?

Moonbeam said...

Rachel, your post touched my heart in so many ways. Hang on to and believe in fate and destiny. Dang...life is way to short sometimes to end up the way it should.

Rachel said...

Dennis ~ She has family in Mexico so even with an injunction she can cross the border and disappear.

Erica ~ I try not to think of the danger of where he is or it would eat me up inside.
I don't know if she is cruel, just selfish. She wants someone, even if he doesn't love her. I haven't ever met her or talked to her but she knows about me.

l.b. ~ James knows me better than most people. When we saw each other a few years ago he said that I was exactly the same as he remembered. I thought I had changed so much but I guess the most important things never change.

laughingattheslut ~ I would absolutely be better off without him. I wouldn't have to worry about him or pine after him as I have in the past or be eaten up with jealousy. But the bond and love that I have with him is something that I just can't seem to let go of.

Lydia~ I agree. It isn't the best situation by far. There is a lot more history than I wrote about. It would take days to write it all down. Suffice it to say that the bond is deep and will probably always be there. Even when we go a year without talking or communicating as soon as I hear his voice I know who it is and my heart starts to pitter pat.

Moonbeam ~ Life is short. That is why I try not to delude myself by living in the past. It is really in the past few years that I have accepted reality and that there is an extremely high liklihood that we will never again be more than friends.

Moonbeam said...

I think it was Oprah that said...as soon as you let go of something and dont worry about the outcome, that is when fate jumps in your lap and gives you a big lick in the face. Or something like that.
Maybe this woman will come to her senses and give him the piece of paper he needs to move on, but still be a father to the child. Lotsa people do it.
I guess I am a romantic at heart. Ya know like the happy movie ending that Richard Gere movie, where she ends up flying into his arms and they live happily ever after...Officer and a Gentleman, I think was the name of the movie.
I think you are right to carry on with your life, but still leave a little crack open for what might still be in the wind....even if in the end its just FRIENDS. Nuttin' wrong with that.
Hey, how bout friends with benefits?...Bad attempt to be funny..sorry bout that!

ANON1 said...

Look for me live at the Superbowl on Sunday...20 YARD LINE!

GO BEARS!