Hello, Who’s This?
Originally I was scheduled to work today, but last night I asked my boss (who also happens to be my mother in law) if I could have the day off since I really just needed a day to pay bills, run errands, blog, and relax. Around 11am I checked the mail and lo-and-behold I had TWO letters waiting for me. Yesterday I didn’t get any letters but today I had two! I love reading about Kyle’s take on basic training and his favorite parts. He seemed happy and was as sweet as ever. I responded to his letters and drove them to the Post Office to make sure that they would get sent out today, then came home to continue with the errands and relaxing.
After dinner, I had just settled into the living room to watch some TV when my phone rang. The call was coming in from “Waukegan, IL” and I thought, “Oh! Illinois! Kyle?”. Why would he be calling on a Thursday? It’s probably not him, it’s probably just the NAVY trying to get a hold of me.
“Hello, who’s this?”
What a great way to start a conversation. I didn’t even recognize my husband’s voice. In my defense, he sounded tired, was calling from a payphone (that probably made his voice sound different anyway), and he was speaking very quietly.
“You’re calling me?”
“Yeah, some of the boys and I earned a quick reward phone call since we’ve been doing really well.”
“How much time do we get?”
“I dunno, ten minutes maybe?”
You would think that I would have been overjoyed to have been gifted these unexpected moments on the phone with him. You would hope that we would just pick up where we left off and could start talking about anything and everything like nothing had happened. You would presume that there would have been laughter and love.
It was AWKWARD.
Eleven LONG minutes of awkward.
We covered the basics like what we were doing right then, and how our days had been when we finally started talking about something important – our living situation once we move to Pensacola. You see, married candidates seem to have a difficult choice to make when they enter into the Aviation Rescue Swimmer program. They can live in the barracks with the other single men (which has its advantages) or they can go home to their wives (many people advise against that). You can read more about the specifics here. I brought this topic up in one of the letters I wrote to him a few weeks back and for whatever reason, he hadn’t responded to it. I knew we probably should have waited to discuss such an important matter until we were actually with each other, but it was something that had been assaulting my mind for awhile and I really felt like I needed to bring it up.
“So, do you remember in one of my letters I asked you what you thought about our living situation in Florida? What have you heard? What do you think?”
He quietly answered, “Yeah, I’ve heard it’s rough to commute to and from base when you live off base. A lot of the guys say it’s better to live in the barracks.”
My heart sank. It sounded like he wanted to talk more about it but he seemed to interrupt himself, “Hey, babe, I’ve got to go now. There’s a guy waiting in line behind me to use the phone. It’s his turn now.”
After saying our goodbyes, I was a wreck. I mean, a red-faced and swollen-eyed wreck. I was disappointed in our conversation and no one was home to vent to. So I pulled out my stationary that I write letters to Kyle on and started hashing out my feelings to him – feelings I hadn’t ever really acknowledged.
“Babe, I need to vent and be completely honest with you. I’ve already written you a two page letter this morning and it’s already in the mail. You just called me and I hung up the phone only 4 minutes ago. I’m really upset. When I saw I was getting a phone call from Illinois I thought it could be you. When I answered, I didn’t even recognize your voice. It really bums me out that I had to ask who it was. Our eleven minute phone call bummed me out even more. I thought that we would have been happier on the phone than we were. You sounded so tired and I know you needed to keep the conversation short but it killed me.
“All I get is short anymore. Short moments reading your letters. Letters that you write to me in a short amount of time. Short phone calls few and far between full of short words. I know you weren’t alone in line to use the phone but the fact that you felt like you couldn’t speak to me the way you normally would broke my heart. It felt cold. It didn’t feel like our relationship. The fun, loving, sweet relationship I share with my best friend.
When I brought up what the instructor said when I called NAS (Naval Air Station in Florida) about living in Florida, I was hoping you would be reassuring. I was hoping to hear something along the lines of, “Baby, don’t worry. I’ll live with you. I don’t care how tired I am, how long of a commute I’ll have, how much earlier I’ll have to wake up than the guys who live on base.” Instead, you hesitantly responded in agreement with the instructor. Do you know how hard that was for me? I know we love each other, but this sucks. The thought of not living with me for YEARS should anger you and make you ill. I don’t know how you can be okay with it. I tried convincing myself that I was okay with it, but the truth is…”
My cell phone rang again. From Illinois.
“You’re calling me again? Is everything alright?”
“Yeah, all the other guys who were rewarded with phone liberty finished their calls so I’ve got about twenty more minutes I can talk. Are you okay?”
“No, actually, I’m not.” I was about to explain when he chimed in.
“I’m so sorry that our conversation ended the way it did. I didn’t even get to finish explaining my thoughts about Florida. I’m glad I’m able to call you again since I know that would have been a terrible way to end that conversation. We’ve both heard similar things. We know that we can live together and we know that it means that I may not get the same amount of sleep as the other guys. But I will absolutely live with you. I need you there with me in Florida. Maybe in the past for other candidates it put stress on them to come home to their wives every night, but they’re not me. I know that I will not function at my best if I don’t see you every night, sleep in our bed next to you or eat your cooking. You’re my best friend, my wife. The NAVY is my career. I will re-classify into a non-spec ops job before I live without you. I’ll be spending months of my life apart from you while I’m deployed, so there’s no way I will willingly live apart from you while I’m in training. We’ll make it work. But I’m living with you, please don’t think I don’t want to. You’re my everything.”
Awwwww. After that, we started to chat about anything and everything without awkwardness. It was just like it always was. I think it was helpful for him to feel unobserved he second time he called since there weren’t any guys standing by him that time. We laughed and I had tears constantly streaming down my face. It was emotional.
“Babe, I have to go. The RDC’s have been really generous letting me call you a second time. I’ll call you again on Thursday, okay? Love you with my whole heart for my whole life.”
Hmmmm, okay. A girl can live with that. Only four more days till I get to hear his voice again. Until then, I can let my mind rest on the fact that he loves me so much that he’s willing to live off base with me and go against the popular route for other married sailors in his line of work. I guess it’s official that I’m Florida bound! Only God knows when, though.