It has been a week since we got the letter in the mail that said Jeremy had to go to Iraq for a week or so. Today is his first day to be in Iraq. I'm so worried about him, but I know he will do everything in his power to come back home to me.
This is an account of my journal entries of the time that Jeremy was in Iraq. My experiences of the way I act and the way others act towards me.
January 7, 2005
Today is the first day that Jeremy is actually in Iraq. I got up this morning and almost didn't want to climb out of bed. I hated the feel of his empty side of the bed.
I finally did get up though. I got a shower and got dressed in the best clothes that money could buy. As I headed out the door though, I grabbed Jeremy's letter-jacket out of the front hall closet and threw it on.
I couldn't believe that this is only first of at least five days that he is going to be over there.
I stood at the door, not ready to leave yet and I turned and looked back at the house. How quiet the place was. It was the quietest the house had been since I had moved in. I never would have imagined that Jeremy was in the Army, let alone going to go to Iraq.
It felt good to be wearing his letter-jacket with last name emblazoned on the back. With it on, it felt as if he was right there holding me in his arms.
As I stood there and thought about him, tears starting running down my face. It took almost all that I had to stop crying.
I walked out the door and climbed into Jeremy's black Dodge 3500 with the redneck lights and electronic step-bars.
It felt good to be in his truck because it actually smelled of him.
I drove to school and pulled in the parking lot. As I stepped out of the truck and headed toward the doors, heads turned from all directions. People were looking at me and some were even whispering.
I walked in the doors and all the way down to the library. There I at least knew that I could get away from some of the looks and whispers.
Can you imagine what it would have been like if I had had to go into the cafeteria. All those faces, all those eyes burning holes into my skin because they thought I might breakdown because my lovers in Iraq.
At least the library was quiet, this I noticed the second I entered.
I saw Amber and Dana and they waved me over.
"Hey hon, how you doing?" Dana asked.
"I'm okay," I said. "Yeah. Okay. It's the first day but I can handle it."
Amber, Dana and I sat there talking until the bell rang and then I went about my normal routine.
Finally 3:20 came and I was so relieved to get out of that school.
I headed to the parking lot and was about to get in the truck when Alex came running up to me and invited me to spend the night at her place.
January 8, 2005
On Saturday, I told Alex thanks for inviting me over and I left for the apartment.
I got there and I headed off to the bedroom and got changed into a wife beater and a pair of wind breaker pants. I went down stairs to hit the punching bag. The bag gave me a way to relieve some stress.
As I walked through the apartment, having relieved all the stress I could, I looked at the pictures on the walls and at the surroundings that Jeremy and I had made for ourselves.
I grabbed a picture off of the wall and sat down on the couch to take a look at it.
The picture was of Jeremy and I at my junior class prom. Alex had taken a picture of us dancing to a slow song and I had my head on his shoulder.
Tears started to run down my face as I sat on the couch and looked at the picture. I saw the way Jeremy held me and looked at me in that picture and I knew that he was going to come home safe and sound.
It was strange, I had never been the kind of person to believe in love at first sight but that day back when I was a freshman and he was senior, when we started talking after the pep rally, I knew that we would be together forever.
There is another thing that I know for sure and that is when Jeremy gets home, I'm not going to let him out of my arms for a second.
All of a sudden, the phone rang so I dried my eyes and cleared my throat.
"Hello," I said.
"Hey Jason. How are you doing?" Mom asked.
"Why does everyone keep asking me that. Jeremy is not dead. He is going to come back home as soon as possible. I have to go right now," I said.
"Okay. Talk to you later," she said.
We hung up the phone and I walked over and opened my laptop and checked my email.
'Hey Baby' was the title of one of my new emails.
Hey Baby, January 8, 2005
We have been in Iraq for over twenty-four hours and this is the first chance I have had to contact you. I'm actually lucky that I came this late in the war. There haven't been any attacks since I have been here. Things are looking very good. The people in Baghdad have seemed to settle down. My infantry has been assigned to explore an enormous abandoned building that before now hasn't been entered by Americans. I have to go. I will contact you again. As soon as possible.
I LOVE YOU SOME MUCH,
I saw the 'Go Farmers' and I knew the email was authentic.
I closed the email and went online to CNN.com. I had to make sure that what Jeremy was saying was the truth and that he wasn't just trying to soften the blow for me.
In fact, Jeremy was telling the truth. There was an article that stated that United States relations with Baghdad and Iraq are better than ever and getting better with every passing day. The people of Iraq have sworn to stop the attacks but there are still those rebels who bomb occasionally.
That didn't help my worriedness but the fact that Jeremy was going to take precautions to ensure his safety and that of the others around him did help a little.
I took the laptop and went up to the bedroom. I put the laptop on the bed and put on some music and climbed in the shower.
I spent close to fifteen minutes in the shower just letting the water rush over me.
The feel of the warm water was so exhilarating that I almost didn't hear my cell phone ringing on the bathroom counter.
I got out of the shower and looked at my phone and what I saw, I couldn't believe.
"Jeremy?" I asked as I answered the phone.
"Yeah Baby. It's me. How are you doing?" he asked.
"I'm okay. The question is, how are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm okay. I miss you so much. My heart aches at the thought of being so far away from you. I only have seven days until I head back home to you. Like I said in the email earlier, don't worry. I'm going to be careful. I have to go for now but I will contact you again soon. I love you Jason. You're my fire, my one desire," he said.
"I love you too. You're my fire, my one desire," I said. "Bye baby."
"Bye babe," he said and we hung up the phone.
"DAMN," I thought as the thought of how bad this was hurting Jeremy. If the trip wasn't hurting him enough to just be over there but the fact that he was away from me was hurting him emotionally.
Jeremy is such a kind and loving man and the thought of his heart aching made me want to cry again. I held back as good as I could but a single tear escaped and ran down my cheek.
"I... we are very luck to have each other," I thought.
I stood and I walked over to the wall where I had hung a cross and lit the candle below it.
I dropped to my knees and began to pray.
"Lord, I know I don't talk to you a lot and I'm sorry for that. I call on you today to ask for a favor. My boyfriend Jeremy is over in Iraq right now and he is fighting for our country. To save the people that you created. I ask you to watch over him and keep him safe and to bring him home to me.
Thank you Lord. AMEN," I stated.
I stood and blew out the candle and got dressed.
I didn't really have anything to do so I just put the laptop and my cell in the truck and decided to go for a drive.
First I drove over to Memaw's and talked her into coming with me out to Denison to the cemetery up there. Then the two of us drove up to the picnic spot that Jeremy had taken me to on our first date.
"So how are you doing, Jason?" she asked. "You seem to be doing pretty well."
"I know. It's because I have talked to Jeremy twice today. The first was through email and the second was on the phone about five minutes before I left the house to head to your place. He says that he is going to come home to me and I just know he will. I even prayed to God and asked him to bring Jeremy home safe and sound," I said.
"Well that's good," she said.
"Well I guess we should be getting back. It's getting late and I need to get home because I have to get to bed early," I said.
We headed back to Rockwall and I dropped her off and then I headed back to the apartment.
"Ring. Ring. Ring," went my cell phone.
"Hey baby," said Jeremy.
"Hey babe. How are things?" I asked.
"Still going good. We looked into that building and discovered that it was a school. The locals have helped us get it back up and running and I think the kids are going to start going to that school again," he said.
"Jeremy, that is so great. I'm so proud of you," I said.
"Thanks babe, but I have to go. Got to get up early in the morning. I love you Jason," he said.
"I love you too," I said.
We hung up the phone and then I got undressed and climbed into bed for the night.
I fell asleep and that's when I had the worst nightmare ever.
"Men, take cover. They're firing again," said Jeremy's voice but I couldn't see his location.
His men ran behind walls and trucks. Anything they could, they got behind.
Again came Jeremy's voice, "Forget about the school. The people were evacuated so let's retreat and regroup."
The men did as they were told and that's when I saw him. Jeremy, dressed in his uniform and gun in hand, retreating but apparently I wasn't the only one who saw him and a rebel took aim and fired.
"JEREMY!" I yelled in the dream and in reality.
I jolted upright, sweat covering my body. "That dream felt so real," I thought as I sat there in the middle of the bed.
I turned on the television and it was already on CNN as usual.
A news castor was making a breaking report.
A school was bombed earlier tonight. The Twenty-third infantry was attacked as they tried to evacuate the people inside the building. There were no fatalities but there were some minor injuries. Among the injured was the twenty-thirds leader, Major Jackson. Jackson suffered a few cuts and scrapes and a few bruises but other than that, he is fine and has requested to return to duty as soon as possible. He had this to say though.
The newscaster finished what he had to say and then Jeremy came on the screen.
"I'm lucky I didn't die out there, but it was weird. I heard a gun shot and I could have sworn that I heard my boyfriend's voice call my name so I stopped and the bullet missed hitting me. I know that he wasn't there but he still saved my life," said Jeremy. "Thanks Jason."
After he thanked me, the news castor showed back up and went onto another topic.
I turned off the television but didn't know what to think.
"Was I really there with him somehow? Did I really save his life or was my part a dream? I don't know about any of it," I thought as I sat there on the bed.
I reached over and grabbed my laptop and immediately brought up my email.
Sure as anything, there was one from Jeremy.
I don't know if you have heard or not but that school was attacked and I almost died but I heard you call my name and stopped and the bullet missed me. I don't know if it was real but either way, you saved my life. Jason, I love you so much.
Oh by the way, President Bush has agreed to move my infantry to a safer area since we were so quick in evacuating the people within that school.
I know me telling you this won't keep you from doing it, but don't worry my love. I'm going to come home to you in one piece and safe and sound.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH,
I clicked 'REPLY' and started to type my own message back to him.
Don't worry, I won't worry. You're a smart guy. You're going to get through this and come home.
Listen, there is something I have to tell you.
Before I heard anything about this happening, I had a dream about this exact thing happening. Someone shot at you and I yelled your name and that is when I woke up. That was when I saw the report on the news.
I couldn't believe my eyes or ears.
Then when you came on and said that you thought you heard me and I guess maybe you really did.
I don't know. I'm just glad that You're okay.
What's the count, five more days?
Come home safe!
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH,
I closed and sent the email.
I didn't know how Jeremy was sending his emails so I locked the email with the password that opened our apartment.
I typed in, "Come on Jeremy. Open the apartment door," as the password hint.
I knew he would get he hint.
I laid back down and fell back asleep and luckily this time I didn't have any dreams.
January 9, 2005
It's Sunday so I didn't get up until 11:00. I got up out of bed and walked over and refreshed my email and Jeremy had already written back.
Good idea locking' that email with our apartment codes.
I don't really know what to say about that dream. I'm just glad it's all over.
I hate to go so soon but we are moving to a new location and I have to go. I will contact you later tonight or tomorrow morning.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH,
'Reply,' I clicked again.
I love you too.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH,
I sent that back to him and walked down into the kitchen with my laptop in hand. I wasn't about to leave that out of my sight for any reason what so ever.
I made some food to eat, got a shower and got dressed.
I climbed into the tuck and headed to Mom and Dad's house.
"Have you seen the news?" Mom asked.
"Yeah and I talked to Jeremy already too. He is supposed to call or email me later tonight or in the morning," I said.
"Do you want to stay here tonight?" she asked.
"I would like that. Thanks," I said. "I'm guessing my room is still in the same place?"
I smiled as I said that and I headed toward my room. I opened the laptop up on the desk and laid down on the bed.
"Great. Noon and nothing to but lay here and worry. I know I shouldn't be worrying, but what would anyone do if a place where they could get seriously hurt or even killed? What would anyone do if they knew that they could get a letter in the mail that says their loved one is dead? What would anyone do?" I thought to myself and it got me a little stressed out.
I didn't have a punching bag here but I did have work-out equipment.
About thirty minutes of weight lifting cleared my mind significantly.
"Hey Jason. Your Dad and I were going to go out and eat tonight. Would you like to come?" Mom asked as I got out of the shower and headed in my room to get dressed.
"Sure I would. And Mom, I love you and Dad. Thanks a lot for letting me stay here tonight," I said.
"No problem. Stay as long as you need," she said. "We love you too."
She turned and walked out of the doorway and I got dressed.
It was going to be a little cold out so I put on a wife beater for now and would grab Jeremy's letter-jacket later as we were going to leave.
I walked out into the living room and saw where Mom had put up pictures of all the family. I also noticed that all the pictures were of the couples in the family. There was Mom and Dad, Memaw and Ron, Linda and Darrell, Richard and Jenny, James and Christy but there in the middle off all the others was one I didn't expect to see.
There in the middle was a picture of Jeremy and I. I don't know why it shocked me so to see the picture. Mom and Dad are happy that I'm happy but I guess I just figured they wouldn't want to flaunt that I'm gay. I didn't really care. Heck, Jeremy mentioned my name on international television.
"Ring. Ring," went my phone on my belt.
"Hello?" I said.
"Hey hon. What are you doing tonight?" I was wondering if you wanted to go and do something with me?" Dana asked.
"Hold on a minute," I said. "Mom, do you care if I do something else tonight? Dana wants me to do something with her tonight."
"Sure. Have fun," she said.
"Okay. What are we going to do?" I asked to Dana.
"Well, I thought we could go to the mal and hand out. Maybe get a bite to eat and then go to the movies. Do you want me to come and pick you up?" she asked.
"Nope. I'll come over there now. Be there soon," I said and we said our good-byes.
I went to the bedroom and grabbed the laptop and Jeremy's letter-jacket.
"Here Mom, take this and you and Dad can go over to my garage and take any one of the vehicles. I know the Hummer has a full tank and the Jeep has heated seat for the cold weather," I said. "Can I have the keys to the Mustang? I don't really have time to go over to the garage but you and Dad will."
"Sure. Here are the keys," she said and she gave me a kiss on the cheek and I headed out the door.
I went out and got in the Mustang and headed over to Dana's house.
"Hey hon. Is that your car?" she asked.
"No. It's my Mom's. I could have gotten my Hummer but didn't think I had time to go get it and then come over here. Now come on let's go," I said.
Dana and I drove toward the Frisco Mall. It took a while to find a place to park the Mustang but it was cool because this trip was going to help me get my mind off of things.
Don't get me wrong or anything. It isn't like I don't want to think about Jeremy but if I think about it too much, I will get all upset and probably start yelling or crying or something. I need to be strong right now so I get my mind on something else.
I would give anything to be over in Iraq right now, fighting by his side.
But right now, I would just like to sit down and...and...
"Hey Jason," Dana called me back to reality.
"What?" I asked.
"You sort of zoned out there. What were you thinking about? Oh wait. Let me guess," she replied. "You were thinking about getting Jeremy home and just ripping his close right off. No wait, you don't even make it out of the airport parking lot. You just go at it right then and there in the truck."
"Yep. That's it. You hit the nail on the head," I said with a smile. "No. I was thinking about how I would give anything to be over in Iraq fighting right by Jeremy's side right now. I just need to escape the real world for a little bit and have some fun.
Jeremy would want that. He wouldn't want me to be setting around worrying. I will do enough of that later tonight," I said and Dana and I walked through the mall.
"So where to first?" she asked.
"Well. I want to go to Spencer's and get some neon shot glasses and then to the bookstore to look around," I said.
"Okay. Spencer's it is," she said and then she grabbed my hand and we walked toward Spencer's.
I got the shot glasses and Dana got some stuff and then we walked back out into the corridor.
"Having Dana there to talk to and holding my hand was cool and everything but I really wanted Jeremy there by my side. I wanted Jeremy there. I wanted Jeremy to be the one holding my hand. I want Jeremy to smile at me," I thought to myself. "I WANT JEREMY."
Dana and I walked around for a while and then I looked at my watch.
"It's already four. We have been here almost four hours now. Do you want to go to the food court and get something to eat?" I asked.
"Sure hon. Maybe if I show a little skin, I can get us a discount," she said with a smile.
Dana and I went up to the food court and got a couple of burgers and everything.
"Come on. Let's go see a movie now!" I suggested.
"Okay," she said.
The two of us went out and got in the car and headed the hour drive over to Mckinney Movies Fourteen.
"Two adults for 'Sin City'," I stated.
"ID please," the ticket-taker said.
I reached in my pocket and pulled out my wallet and handed her my license.
"That will be five dollars please," said the ticket-taker.
Again, I reached in my wallet and I handed her a hundred. A hundred being the smallest bill I had on me at the time.
"Here's your tickets and ninety-five dollars is your change," she said and we left to watch the movie.
The movie lasted little over two house and then Dana and I left.
"Hey Dana, do you want to spend the night here with me. I really need someone to talk to. You can invite Joe over if you want," I offered.
"Sure. Joe doesn't have to come though. It can just be the two of us," she said.
"Okay. Cool," I said.
Dana and I stayed up and talked late into the night. I turned on the television and that's when I saw it.
Again, the same news castor was making another breaking report.
The members of the twenty-third infantry were taken hostage earlier today. Major Jackson was able to speak with us and told us that his team and himself are being treated well. The people holding them have made some demands and the situation should be cleared up in a few days.
I stood and looked at Dana sleep and tip-toed over to the bar.
I quietly opened the laptop and check my email.
To my surprise there was one from Jeremy, but it wasn't sent from a computer. The email had been sent from his cell phone.
I know you have heard about what has happened. Again, don't worry baby. We are going to get out of here. I will contact you when I get out of this place.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH,
I wanted so much to send him a message back but I didn't know whether his phone was on silent or not.
Slowly, I turned off the television and went to bed.
January 10, 2005
The next morning I woke up early because Dana had to go back to her house to get some clothes and then I had to go to Mom's to give back the Mustang before I went to school.
I went to Mom's and found that they had taken the truck to the garage and left it there and took the Hummer. I left the Mustang in the driveway and took the Hummer to school.
I parked the Hummer in the parking lot and then went in the school and of course everyone was staring at me.
Finally, I made my way to the library where I found Alex and Amber.
"Oh Jason. I heard about Jeremy. I'm so sorry," Alex said.
"It's okay. I talked to him last night and he says that it should all be cleared up in no time," I said.
We all sat around talking until the bell rang.
The day went by pretty slow and I was setting there in Physics when my cell phone started ringing. I had it on silent for all calls but if Jeremy called, it would ring out loud.
Schaffer looked at me and stook out his hand.
"Mr. Schaffer, the phone was only supposed to go off if Jeremy called. I need to answer this," I said.
"Understood. Go ahead," he said.
"Jeremy?" I said as I answered the phone.
"Yeah. It's me. Where are you. It's sounds really quiet?" he asked.
"I'm in Physics class. What is going on over there?" I asked.
"We did it Jason, we escaped those son's a bitches. I'm coming home to you baby," he said.
"That's great. I love you so much," I said.
"I love you too but I have to go," he said. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"It's okay you guys. Jeremy is going to be home tomorrow. They got out," I said.
School went by quick after that and I headed home and what I saw on the bar when I opened the door nearly sent me into shock.
Two dozen long-stemmed red roses were setting on the counter. There was a card in them.
I love you so much. I'm so glad that we were able to get out. I can't wait to come home to you. I can't wait to get back into your arms
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH,
Later that night, I could hardly sleep. I couldn't stop thing about Jeremy coming home tomorrow.
I called everyone I could think of and told them that Jeremy was coming home tomorrow.
I finally went to sleep at about three in the morning.
January 11, 2005
"He's coming home. He's coming home," was all I could think about.
I got in his truck and headed to Alex's house and then we headed to Dana's. Alex was going to drive to the airport with Dana.
I walked, practically ran, up to the gate when I saw the plane come to a stop.
All of the people that came through the gate were army personnel.
That's when I saw him. Jeremy was the last one off the plane.
I ran up and nearly tackled him down to the ground.
I wrapped my arms around him and just pushed my face into his shoulder. The tears started to flow down my face.
Slowly I moved my face off his shoulder and pressed my lips to his.
"Oh Jeremy. I have missed you so much. I was so worried that you were going to die. Promise me you will never leave me again," I said.
"Jason, I promise. It hurt me so much to be away from you. I wanted to yell every night when I had to lay down without you by my side. I love you Jason and I won't leave your side again. Can we go home now?" he asked.
"Sure baby. Let's go. The truck's out front," I said.
Jeremy and I went home and Alex and Dana did too. I told them that I would call them tomorrow.
Jeremy and I walked in the house and he grabbed me and wrapped his arms around me.
"Thank you," he said.
"For what?" I asked.
"For saving my life. I saw you there that day. At least I think I did," he said. "It doesn't matter now. I'm just glad to be home."
"Right now you need a shower," I said with a smile.
"Okay," he said and he turned and went toward the shower but stopped when he realized I wasn't coming with him.
"Aren't you coming?" he asked.
"No. I have stuff to do real quick. I will be there in a minute," I said.
He walked off and I dropped to my knees.
"God. Thank you for bringing him home to me. Thanks for keeping him safe. Thank you," I said.
"Jason, what are you doing?" Jeremy asked he hurried over to me.
"Honestly, I was thanking God for bringing you home to me. You don't know how worried I have been the last few days. Enough of that though. Come on, let's go get that shower," I said.
From that day on, I thank God everyday for bringing him home to me.
God only knows how much Jeremy means to me.
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