Chapter 10- Just Walk Away, Renee

Afghanistan flag, American flag, United States Marine Corps flag

Please read the beginning of this story as shown within the “Afghanistan Story” tab above.

Afghanistan, May 2010, Camp Delaram

William and I became extremely close over the next few days. We would sit on that porch and talk until two in the morning about life, politics, religion, our families, our upbringings…I had told him about my husband and how I didn’t want to swing anymore but that he was indulging in whatever he wanted while I was gone. When I told him that, my head sank and I didn’t talk for a few minutes. He looked down at me, seeming to ponder something over in his head.

“Hey, let me show you something.”

He walks over to the door of his work building, unlocks the door and walks in, leaving me outside. I had no reason to be inside of his work area so I waited patiently.

Deployment teaches you a lot about yourself and those you are deployed with. There aren’t any cellphones to pull out in times of slight boredom. If you wanted to read a book to pass the time, you needed to carry that book with you at all times because boredom was a random occurrence. Books were slim on that base and relegated to the few that people passed around, like that copy of World War Z that was dog-eared by every single person in Communications. I had brought a few books from Camp Leatherneck and I had read them all within the first week. So without distractions, you are subject to a lot of introspection. If you are lucky enough for someone else to be around, you got to know each other pretty well. Theories about the world’s purpose, religious arguments, and discussions of which actress you would drink the dirty bath water from after a bad bout of diarrhea were all too common. No topic would be left untouched in a group of Marines.

Remember a time before cellphones? People would rely on television to zone out when they were gathered in groups. Well, in Afghanistan, we had our laptops if you were lucky enough to have brought one, but laptops break after so much exposure to sand and being thrown around in our packs. Without an electronics store around, even the communications Marines couldn’t keep their computers operational. As it was, my laptop barely lasted the deployment after the fan broke. We still didn’t have Internet access beyond what the military allowed us to have (it was so extremely slow and not worth using). So we watched videos on the universal sharedrive. That sharedrive was where everyone dumped their copies of shows like Weeds, music like 3OH!3, and all of their porn. When everyone had uploaded what they had, they downloaded what they wanted to see. To this day, I can’t listen to 3OH!3.

William walked back out and showed me a picture of a baby.

“This is my daughter, Amelia. We call her Amy.”

She had the most adorable rolls of fat around her ankles. He proudly looked down at her and asked if I wanted children.

“Of course. I can’t wait to have a baby of my own.”

“Good.”

I turned red and changed the topic back to Amy, admiring how adorable she was.

Continue Reading In Chapter 11

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