Posted by asm826 on September 27, 2006
To those of you who have been taking the time to read my words, I apologize. I have made several starts at the last evening I had with Emie. I have found that thus far it has resisted my ability to write it for Lex’s site. It was an interesting evening, and it ended on the bridge, with her riding down in a jeepney to walk with me to the gate.
The picture describes my memories well. Sepia toned and blurred by time. I remember being young, in love, and torn by the situation I found myself in. She brought me a present, wrapped to ship home, and we said goodby on the bridge. She was crying, not sobbing, but crying. We stood at the middle of the bridge and said words to one another. She handed me the box, and about that time, the sky opened up. She kissed me one last time, both of us drenched in the cold rain of the monsoon. Then she turned and left. I watched her go, looked out at the lights of MagSaySay, and then turned to go into the base.
I can pick the story up there. The events of the next couple of days are interesting and appropriate to this site.
Tom walked up to the gate and showed his ID card. The PFC at the gate looked at him, and gestured at the box he held.
“What’s in the box, Sergeant?”
” I don’t know.”
The PFC cocked his head, “What do mean you don’t know? Take that box inside and see the Staff Sergeant.”
Tom turned and went into the duty hut. He had been thinking about Emie, but this turn of events was a little alarming. All the trips he had taken in and out the gate and he had never been stopped before.
“Evening, Staff Sergeant. The PFC sent me in.”
Tom played it straight and open, “My girl gave me a gift, I hadn’t opened it. Since I didn’t know what it was, he sent me in to you.”
The S/Sgt sighed and stood up, “How about you open it now, Christmas is a long way off.”
Tom nodded and pulled at the twine, then opened the box. Nestled in newspaper was a mahogany lion. About six inches tall, it was beautifully carved, showing a craftsmanship that had been lacking in the souvenirs he had looked at in the market. He lifted it out and set it on the counter. Laying the crumpled newspaper next to it, he found a sealed envelope in the bottom of the box. He set the box and envelope down as well, then stepped back.
The Staff Sergeant looked at the box, the lion, lifted up the newspaper and shook it. He felt the envelope and tossed it in the box. He nodded at the carving.
“That’s nice, real nice. Maybe the best I’ve seen. But you better be glad that’s all that’s in here. Could have been a real bad day for you, Marine. Go on, you can go.”
Tom realized he had been holding his breath and relaxed. He tucked the lion and the envelope back into the newspaper, closed the box, and left the guard shack. The rain continued to fall, soaking him again as he walked out to the taxi stand for a ride up to Cubi.