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Welcome Home, Soldier

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The moment she wakes up in the bunker, she knew what she had to do.
She quietly slips out of medical, a scalpel hidden in her sleeve. The people did not even notice her as she makes her way through the bunker, finding a quiet place where she can be alone.
Slipping through a door, she finds a bathroom with a tub and smiles. Perfect.
She removes her shirt, shoes and pants and gets into the tub while it fills up. When there’s enough water in it, she pushes the tab down, closes her eyes and sets the scalpel where she needs it to be.
Finally she can be free.

***


“Baby? Hey, wake up!”
Her eyes flutter open and she looks at a very familiar face.
“Jake?” she whispers and tenderly touches his face. “What… how?”
He gently kisses her forehead and caresses her cheek. “It’s all going to be okay. You’re safe now. Nothing can happen to you. Not anymore.”
Abby smiles and looks at her surroundings for the first time. She’s on earth. In a tiny cottage. With Jake. Marcus is nowhere to be seen.
“Where’s... Marcus?” she softly asks, not daring to look at him.
“He isn’t here. It isn’t his time yet.”
Nodding, Abby gets up and looks outside. It’s beautiful. Green grass, trees, flowers, birds singing and happily flying around.
She sighs. “I’m so sorry, Jake.”
He hums , then hugs her from behind. “It wasn’t your fault. None of it.”
Turning around, she looks into his blue eyes and smiles. “I missed you.”
Jake laughs and hugs her close. “I missed you too. So much.”
Abby holds onto him and breathes him in. He smells exactly the same.
“I miss him,” she confesses quietly. Jake kisses the top of her head and rocks her back and forth. “I know. You love him.”
All she can do is nod and cling to him. “Abby, you’ll see him again. He’ll be here when his time has come and you can be together again.”
“Why are you so okay with this, Jake?”
“Because I love you and just like you, I have moved on. It’s what you do in Heaven. You forgive. Everything. And I only want you to be happy, Abby. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”
Tears spill from her eyes, so Abby hides her face in the crock of his neck, not wanting him to see her cry over his best friend, her love.

 

***

 

“Welcome home, Soldier.”
Marcus opens his eyes, slowly adjusting to the bright light around him.
“Took you long enough,” the woman said with a laugh, gently touching his hair. He knew her. He’d know her anywhere.
“Abby?”
His vision clears and he sees her beautiful, radiant face.
“Hi.”
Marcus engulfs her quickly, kissing her hair, neck, cheek. “I’ve missed you so much. Those years without you were torture.”
Abby untangles herself from him and looks into his eyes. “I love you, Marcus. I’ve never stopped.”
With that, he finally kisses her, after spending thirty years without her by his side.
“I love you. Don’t leave me again.”
“Never.”