He had not been expecting a letter. It had more than the usual amount of stamps on it and no return address, which confused him. He was already late so he stuffed the letter in his briefcase and continued to his car. He would have to read it when he got to the office because he really couldn’t afford to be late again.
He got the office a few minutes early and already his boss had stacked the papers on his desk for him to read, offer comments, and then pass them along if he felt she would enjoy the read. His boss was a bitch, but she was very good at what she did and just about every book she passed along for publishing was a best seller. She was the best of the best when it came to publishing, but one of the worst when it came to socializing.
His boss was on the phone and clearly very busy he decided to read the letter now because it was really bugging him. Who would send him a letter with no return address? He opened the letter and pulled a tattered piece of paper and short letter. He did not recognize the handwriting.
You don’t know me, but I know your friend Alex. She was my best friend and served with me in the Army. She told me a lot about you and always carried your picture with her in her helmet. She was killed in the line of duty about a month ago, but you probably haven’t heard anything about it. Her death is not being publicly acknowledged because the US can’t expose the rest of us as Americans. Her close family knows, but that’s all that has been told and they know nothing about her death. All they know is that she died in service to her country. She always regretted not letting you know how much you meant to her and she asked me to say something to you before she died. She will be receiving awards when I return to the US. It will be a private ceremony and she asked that you be the one given the awards. She wanted you to have them. She loved you more than anyone else in her life. I will contact you when I return and let you know about the details of the ceremony.
He didn’t know whether to believe it or not. ‘Could it be that she really was gone? Why would he just get a letter? Why wouldn’t her parents call him about this?’ he stared at the letter for a long time. He had to know for sure. He had to hear it come from someone’s mouth that his Alex was really gone. He dialed her parents’ phone number and waited for someone to pick up.
“Hello Mrs. Bay. It is Kevin. I don’t know how to ask this question, but here we go. I received a letter from someone who says they knew Alex and that was killed in action and I need to know if that is true.”
“Yes that is true.”
“And you never thought to call me and let me know. I was a huge part of her life and she was my fiancée at one point in time!” he screamed a bit too forceful into the phone and immediately felt bad.
“I am sorry Kevin, but we were told family only.”
‘Family only, that’s right he wasn’t truly her family, no matter what he felt and he never would be. He was just Kevin, the one boy that made Alex have feelings.’
He immediately shut off all his feelings, something he had learned from Alex. “Okay, I am sorry for bothering you. Sorry for your loss.”
“Kevin, I am sorry. I should have called you. I am glad someone let you know. I know even though she never said it you were the only person who mattered to her. I am sorry for your loss”
He hung up the phone after her mother said that. He couldn’t bear to talk anymore. He had nothing left in his life, but a job he hated. He had always hoped she would come back to him when she was done being a hero, but now she had paid the ultimate sacrifice for her country and so did he. She was the only person he had ever loved and now she was gone. What else did he have?
“Nothing,” he said out loud to himself as he stared blankly out the window.
All he had to do now was to wait for a phone call from Mike, if he ever got one. For all he knows Mike was long dead by now too.