What happens when you take a chance one night … make a decision that will change your life forever?
Kasey Wilson, the girl next door, had a crush on the boy next door … Joseph Mitchell was that boy.
Kasey was left with the consequences of her decision when Joseph left her behind, leaving for the Marine Corps. She never thought she would see Joseph again, leaving her to continue on with her life, moving forward.
But fate has a way of intervening …
Joseph Mitchell always lived with the regret of walking away that night, never to see Kasey again. Finally ready to settle down, he’s now engaged to someone else. But when he finds Kasey again, he learns of a secret she’s been keeping, a secret that will change both their lives forever.
Can they finally have the relationship they never had? Or will Joseph be forced to walk away again?
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I’m standing amongst a crowd of people waiting, as I am. The minutes have turned into an
hour, but in reality feel as if they are seconds slowly ticking by. I keep silently asking myself how much
longer do we have to wait? It’s agonizing.
“Mommy, how much longer do we have to wait?” Josephina anxiously asks, looking impatient
as I feel.
Forcing a smile on my face, I tell her, “Not much longer, sweetheart,” hoping I’m not lying.
Time continues to trickle by and within minutes I’m growing frustrated. I hear someone announce the
bus has been delayed, but the wait will soon end as they are nearing and it should only be another
couple of minutes. I’m not the only one smiling wide as we take in the news as Josephina begins to
excitedly hop up and down.
Although I’m as excited as she is, I’m more anxious for the wait to be over. The months of
separation have been harder than I had expected and all I want is to hold Joseph again.
Within minutes we all see the buses pulling up in the distance and my heart quickens a beat,
my vision becoming cloudy from the tears of excitement. Josephina tugs me forward as she pushes
us ahead with the crowd, trying to get as close as possible to the line they’ve designated for us to stay
The buses finally come to a stop and one by one the Marines step off as they rush to their
families. My eyes are frantically moving back and forth between the entrances of the two buses
searching for Joseph. Wives, girlfriends, moms, children, continue to all run to their loved ones. Hugs
and kisses are exchanged, but I’m still looking for him. The fear of not finding him is growing stronger
by the minute.
“Mommy, I don’t see daddy,” Josephina cries, my tears now matching hers as I continue
whipping my head in every direction looking for his familiar face. But, I can’t find it. It makes it
harder that the Marines all blend together due to their uniform, the camouflaged brown become one
amongst the crowd, but I’m determined not to give up. I need to find him. I’ve waited long enough.
The minutes continue to slowly pass by as I take notice that the final soldier has stepped off
the bus and Joseph is still nowhere in sight. My heart plummets into the depths of my stomach.
I can feel Josephina nervously tugging at my arm, requesting we move to search amongst the
crowd. I stay rooted to my spot, hoping if I stay in one place, he’ll find me, just like he found me that
day in the crowd of people. The day I never expected to see him again.
Everyone is slowly beginning to leave. The hundreds of people that were once waiting are
trickling down to only a handful. It’s then the panic sets in as I continue to search, still not finding him.
I grab onto the arm of the first high-ranking officer I see. “I’m sorry sir, but will there be
another bus coming soon?” I nervously ask.
He’s confusedly looking back at me and I don’t know if it’s from my question or because I look
like a train wreck at this point. The perfectly applied make-up I had put on this morning is probably
a mess, but that’s a result of standing out in the heat and crying for the last thirty minutes. “I’m sorry
ma’am, but no,” he apologetically replies. “Were you expecting someone today?”
“My husband,” I choke out around the tears lodged in my throat. It’s at that moment I hear the
wail of the baby awakening, forcing me to focus my attention on comforting him. My tears can’t help
but to continue to fall along with Josephina’s, who is at my side silently crying with me.
The officer is staring at all of us looking just as heartbroken. “Which platoon was he with?”
he asks. Without hesitating, I blurt it out, praying he has some information. “That platoon was on the
bus, are you sure he wasn’t there?”
“We’re sure. My daddy didn’t come to us,” Josephina answers.
The officer gives me a quick short nod before walking away, leaving us there to miserably
wait. He returns minutes later looking disappointed. “I’m sorry ma’am, there were a couple of soldiers
forced to stay behind. He may have been one of them.”
“Are they coming later?”
With a sad shake of his head, he explains, “No ma’am, unfortunately not for another couple of
months. I’m sorry.”
Shocked, I take in his words, silently allowing my heart to shatter as I force myself to comfort
a heartbroken Josephina. When I finally find the strength to walk again, I slowly begin to take the
steps needed to move us to the parking lot where I parked my car. We’ve only taken a couple steps
before I hear the rotors of a helicopter above us. It’s normal for them to fly by being that it’s an
airbase, so I think nothing of it as I continue walking my family to the car. It surprises me when it
comes closer and closer to the tarmac I’m standing on.
Curiously I watch as it lands in the far off distance. We watch as the door of the helicopter
opens and a single Marine climbs out. I should be turning around to walk away, but my heart is
telling me to stay. I feel my heart practically stop when he begins running towards us. “Daddy!” I
hear Josephina sequel before she yanks her hand from mine, already running towards the Marine.
“Josephina, come back here!” I yell to her, already running after her with the baby in my arms
thinking she’s lost her mind. There is no way this Marine can be Joseph, but I watch him scoop down
to pick up Josephina and continue to run in my direction before taking the baby and me next.
The feeling of him in my arms is unreal. Without waiting I kiss him, the feeling of his lips has
haunted my dreams every night since the day he left. I kiss him, robbing us both of our breath, and
when we finally pull away, my lips feel swollen, and my chest is rising and falling trying to take in air.
“I thought you weren’t coming,” I cry to him through my sobs. “They told me you may have had to
“Even if they tried to keep me away I would still come back to you,” he declares with a smile,
making me cry some more.
“I had to stay behind to do something and got delayed. I had my buddy give me a ride,” he
says, nodding his head at the helicopter behind us. “Did you really think I wouldn’t come back?” he
asks with a chuckle.
I can only nod my head as I’m rendered speechless that I have him standing in front of me. “I
would have moved heaven and earth to get back to you,” he declares, and from his expression I know
he truly means it.
Smiling up to him, I tell him, “I love you,” meaning it from the bottom of my heart, feeling like
the luckiest girl in the world because my family is whole again.
About The Author
Gabbie is a Southern California native, who currently lives in Washington with her wonderful husband, two amazing kids and a senior citizen kitty. When she’s not writing you can find her reading or sneaking off for a run. Some might say it’s a crazy life, but she wouldn’t change anything about it.
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