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.