Chapter 5-My Sister's New Guy
Music: Far Away-Nickelback, Sorry-Halsey
I sit at the desk watching the blue screen dial-up my family. Today is my scheduled call home, and I missed them something awful. As usual, though I had no idea what to tell them, they always want to know how Damien and I are doing. Damien has made it very clear he doesn’t want Emily to know anything about him. He says he doesn’t care for her anymore but I see the pain he tries to hide in his eyes and I hear it when he cries out for her in his sleep.
He is hurting and swimming in guilt, having to shoot that kid really hit him hard. Damien is my best friend and I know him better then he knows himself. When things get hard for him or when his emotions get to be too much, he shuts down and pushes everyone away. Just like he did with Emily, I don’t know what really happened between them. He just said it was a mutual breakup but I call bullshit on that, those two were always inseparable. I tried to ask him about it once but he quickly shut me down.
He won’t talk to anyone, he’s become reserved and melancholic expect when we are on patrol our working with the citizens. At that point, he goes into full battle mode, his hand always on his rifle just waiting for an attack. Commander Russell ordered him to talk one of our medics, who just happened to also be a licensed Shrink. From what we’ve been told he won’t talk to her either, but only goes because our Commander said he needs to get his shit together or he will be going through hell.
After five minutes of being locked in my thoughts and waiting for a face to appear on the screen, I finally see those beautiful green eyes and her gorgeous face smiling back at me. It’s knowing that she is at home waiting for me is what keeps me going. I bet if Damien knew Emily and his mom were waiting for him he would have something to get him through those tough days as well.
“Hey, baby.” My voice comes out soft but maybe a little uneasy. Danika picks up on it quickly. Her bright green eyes soften and her smile drops. She places her hand on the screen and I put my hand up against hers. It’s not the same as touching her but it’s all we’ve got right now. “I got your package; I really appreciated that picture you sent of everyone. It came on a day I really needed to remember why I’m here and who I’m fighting for.”
“Are you okay, Dan?” She asks with concern. My girl is the only one I really tell the truth of what we face over here but I still water it down. She would have nightmares if I told her.
“Yeah, I will be. I’m just worried about my friend, he hasn’t been the same since that first mission and seems to be getting worse.”
“Dan, some of us handle trauma better than others. You hold it more together because you have me and your family to talk too. Damien is strong but he’s also been dealing with a lot since he was little. You just need to give him his space but still be there for him. Let him know you are still his friend and that he still has family waiting for him. We all love him as we do you.”
“I know, but he’s always been able to come back from what his Dad did to him. I don’t think he will ever truly come back from this. I’m watching my Best Friend since birth crumbles and there is nothing I can do about it.” Large tears fall down her pale and freckled cheeks and I want to reach into the computer and wipe them away. The longer I’m here the more I ache for her, and yearn to hold her in my arms and kiss her plump lips.
“Sweetheart, I know this is hard on you and you are an amazing support for him. You are doing what you can right now; the rest is going to be up to him.” Danika has always been so supportive of me, I thought that she would have had issues with me enlisting with Damien and truth is I was hoping she would have begged me not to go, but she understood I needed to follow Damien. “Our time is running out and your family wants to say hi, so I’m going to let them on now. I love you Dan; just remember that when you feel it’s too much.” I fight back my own tears as I tell her,
“I love and miss you so much, baby.” She kisses her fingers then puts them on the screen. Then she walks away. I compose myself and wait for my family. Emily’s face pops up on the screen, and I’m glad Damien isn’t in the room with me at the moment. She is smiling and glowing. Something I haven’t seen on her the last few times we’ve Skyped.
“What’s up with you Sis?” I have a very strong inkling I’m not going to like what she’s going to say.
“Well, I need to tell you something.” As she says that a guy with dark blond hair and blue eyes comes up from behind her and rests his hands on her shoulders. I haven’t met the guy but something was off with him, I could see it when he looked up at me. “Dan, this is Zeek.” Zeek? Who the fuck dates a guy with that name?
“It’s nice to finally meet the infamous Brother.” He states and his voice sets something off in me. I find myself wanting to punch the prick in the face.
“Yep, that’s me.” I find this guy and this whole situation disturbing. He bends down and kisses the top of her head, and I cringe. That was her and Damien’s thing.
“Do you want to tell him, Baby?” He says again.
“Tell me what Em?” She pushes away from the desk and stands up, I can’t stop the holler that comes out of me.
“What the fuck Emily, you’re pregnant and this tool is the Father I’m assuming.” I know I should calm down but this is the most fucked up thing my sister has ever done. I’m mad at her but mostly angry at myself because I wasn’t there to protect her. “How far along Emily and how long have you been with him?” Emily sits back down and I almost feel bad when I see tears falling down her face but I can’t bring myself to care.
“I’m four months and Zeek and I have been dating for 6 months. We met at a party during the first week of school.” As she tells me this I’m so beyond pissed. She just threw away any chance she had of getting Damien back and this goes against everything my parents taught her. She had dreams of being a photojournalist and now she went and shot that to shit.
“So you gave it up to him after two months? Damn, Emily, you were with Damien for three years before you got to that point.” I’m being harsh but I just don’t get this girl sometimes. If it wasn’t for Damien and me, she would have probably shacked up with Derrick, That creepy ass guy from High School. I pierce her baby daddy with a stare that would make anyone run for the hills. This dude fucked my sister and got her pregnant and something feels wrong about it.
“Would you take off and give me and my sister some space? She doesn’t need your ugly as fuck face hovering over her.” He doesn’t budge and my anger riles up. Yeah, some would say I’m being a bit childish but this guy hasn’t moved his hand from her shoulder and I swear I see her flinch when he first touched her.
“No, I don’t think so.” He snakes his arms around my sister’s shoulders possessively. The next words out of my mouth were violent and scare even me. I guess my time here has changed me in ways.
“Look, Asshole, if I wasn’t here doing the right thing by serving my country and fighting an unwinnable war I would be there kicking your ass. Regretfully, I’m not so this is my warning, you know I’m a trained solider so I could shoot your worthless ass and you would never see it coming. If you so much as hurt my Sister, in any way I will kill you. I don’t make idle threats Dude, so heed my warning.”
If I scared him he doesn’t show any signs of fear, Emily, on the other hand, is shaking and I do start to feel bad for her. I highly doubt her fear is because of me, she knows I would never hurt her but I won’t hesitate to put a bullet this guy’s ass if I need to.
“What about your dreams Emily? What about College?” I lower my voice so I could get her to see why I’m so mad. “You’re only twenty Sis, and this is just so messed up. I wish I was there to help you through this.” Her blue eyes lower to the table and the douche bends down and says something in her ear, I watch as her as stiffens her back and changes her body language. I’ve gotten really good at reading body language in my year in a half over here, and she is showing fear.
“I quit college, Zeek wants me to stay home with the baby.” I can just imagine my parent’s faces when she told them the exact same thing. They just spent a shit tone of money to send their only daughter off to get pregnant. My leg starts shaking up and down with anxiety, I will need to find a way to get this anger out. Maybe I’ll just go kick Damien’s ass for being so stupid. Something she said stuck to me and I needed to ask her if Zeek was forcing her into quitting college. She didn’t sound too happy about giving it up.
“Em, if he is forcing you into doing this please walk away from him now.” I would hope that she would come clean but how can she when the devil himself is standing right next to her, never removing his hand from her shoulder. He is holding on to her like he owns her and it’s being to make my blood boil.
“He’s not forcing me into anything Dan, he loves me and wants what’s right for our baby. I may go back to college in a few years but right now need to focus on my baby and him.
" I call bullshit, Sis. Your eyes are dilated and your hands are shaking. “You’re either really high on something or just scared out of your mind. I’m going to go with the latter.
“Dan, there is something else, you can’t tell Damien.” I roll my eyes.
“I won’t keep your secrets, Emily, he will find out anyway. I think what you are doing is very cold and disrespectful.” She slams her hands down on the desk,
“He told me to move on Daniel, he didn’t want me anymore.”
“You want to know why Sister, he pushed you away because the day he got your letter, he had to shoot a ten-year-old boy.”
“Oh, shit.” She murmurs.
“So while he was over here dealing with the guilt of killing a kid and pushing you away, you go and get yourself knocked up.”
“I’m also getting married,” Now I’ve heard the most ridiculous thing.
“Over my dead body, just because he knocked you up doesn’t mean you have to marry him.”
“Emily’s pregnant and getting married?” I turn around and see Damien’s eyes glued to Emily, I can’t tell what he’s thinking or feeling since he’s gotten so good at masking his emotions.
“I’m sorry Day.” She cries.
“Congrats and I hope you are very happy together.“He does an about-face and leaves the room