It was a chance meeting on a MOO. I worked helpdesk in the summer, helpdesk half the time and web administration the other half. I was bored. I spent half the day roleplaying, just chatting. A total stranger.
Funny how little things happen. Funny how they change the way you see things.
Strayling didn't want to go home for Thanksgiving. We had a week off. I didn't want to give up my friends. I don't think Ryk ever wanted to go home again, at the time. Angel was in Japan. So we decided we'd go camping, the three of us, on the East Coast. In South Carolina, to be exact.
Well, North Carolina was on the way, and we'd all talked to B in varying degrees, so we figured we'd invite him and any of his friends who wanted to go. Why not? He didn't seem like a serial killer.
Turns out B was the only one who could go. Turns out it was in the 50's the whole time we were there. Not exactly great beach weather, but we had a good time.
Remember rescuing the eel? Setting up the tent in the rain? Going on a walk in the dark to find the beach? Leaving "the boys" to start a fire with green wood and no flashlights? I should tell this tale, but it's not about the camping trip right now.
You meet people by chance. Funny thing, how it changes. He joined the Army. He came home and came to see us on his leave. He's listened and confided, cuddled and cried. He's engaged to a wonderful woman whom I adore. And now the word is out: He's leaving for the desert on Thursday morning. For a year. God damn it. I hate this war. Angel's dad is in Europe for who knows how long. And now this.
Come home safe and sound, heart-whole and healed. Come back not just for Jen, but for all of us. Be safe, somehow, be enfolded in wings of protection and love and slip unscathed through the dangers. Do what you have to do, but remember always and forever that I love you and I'm praying for you.