The Square: Don {Part 1}

It was funny how we met. Gwen hung out with my roomate’s girlfriend and she had been aggravating me to meet her friend in the same unit for months and we were deployed right? I was like really. This is my first deployment, a couple months in I got some reallly bad news from home, I’m not here to date girls. I’m here to be a badass, make my parents proud, and if some Army barracks rat is thowing herself at me it’s whatever. Ever heard of hate sex? I wasn’t able to go home when the death of my best friend’s sister in terrible circumstances happened so I was mad as hell. I wasn’t hurting these girls or beating them but let’s just say in the dark with her face almost banging against a poster of an actual chick I’d go after made me less mad to being hot and dusty and tired as shit all the time.

One week my roomate, his girlfriend, me, and her medic buddy were having these water balloon fights at night. My mom still thought I was about 5 years old so she was sending me grenade water ballooon’s, cheap plywood airplanes to make, and other bullshit and it was fun to soak the girls and laugh at how bad their aim was. So the girlfriend comes around the corner one night with some chick I had seen around from another company and tells me they come in peace and she brought her friend Gwen to meet me. I thought she was Iraq hot as in you could tell she had a banging body underneath the standard issue PT uniform and even though she had her hair pulled back in a small bun and glasses on she was pretty. My roomate and his girlfriend sat down in the doorway to chat and Gwen and I walked a little ways out the the concrete barrier and ended up talking about music and movies for hours. I offered to walk her back to her hooch and we sat up for another two hours on her doorstep as I scanned her music collection and flipped through her movies, both of which were awesome and kinda matched my taste. I borrowed a couple movies and went back to my area. This was the last four months of our deployment and it was her first too; at first I thought she would just be a challenge to bag but we never did anything but make-out a couple of times fully clothed and sit out on her doorstep till all hours of the night and early morning even just talking and she would play her guitar. Gwen never gave it up because she was here to do what I was doing: kick ass and take names, make her dad proud, and serve her country so she didn’t use her downtime to fuck around chasing dudes or hopping beds. She did her shit and I did mine, we would swap movies and share music, and then after a while I started really liking her so by the end of our rotation I was calling her my girl. We were heading back state side a few days apart so I had bought a stuffed bear with a heart and asked her to spray her perfume on it so I could keep smelling her until she got back and we linked up. With no phones on arrival in Texas and our unit being crazy it took us a week to track each other down. I heard she was back then had thought I was ignoring her for some ho since it took several days of leaving notes on doors and finally getting cell service set back up. When we reunited, we ended up back where we were but more intense; kissing her was like having electricty in my veins and a song I would sing the chorus to her went like this:

“…It’s really good to hear your voice, sayin’ my name it sounds so sweet, comin’ from the lips of an angel hearing those words it makes me weak…”

I hadn’t felt like this since I was in love with my ex-wife Kenna who was my high school and college sweetheart. Kenna was my first love but she had gotten lazy and spoiled only working part-time and sitting at home acting like a princess while I worked 16 hour days as a welder at a shop and she was cheating on me at home. Really broke my heart when I came home and basically caught the bitch in bed, that was over now but I still didn’t really trust women even though Gwen had never shown any signs of cheating or being a big flirt. Still, I was wary as a lot of the guys in our unit had a thing for her because she is beautiful and intelligent plus worked her ass off so she was a ride or die kind of bitch. Our first date she didn’t order a salad and nibble at my food, she ate a real meal with gusto then smoked a cigarette outside with me as her reddish hair blew in the wind. She was a fiercely loyal person with strong opinions and I just started falling in love with her little ways. I loved her little ways.

I found out I was getting transferred to a different unit attached to ours meaning we would deploy 6 months apart and be apart for almost two years. We had just taken a weekend trip with a group of buddies in our unit to Austin and I got a great hotel room and told her I loved her one night down by the river so fuck that; I never thought I would find love again and here was a perfect creature I know God made just for me. No way was I letting her go and I damn sure wasn’t going to let the Army separate us. I stormed up to her room after work and slammed her door as I told her the news and presented my solution and my heart to her: we should just get married. She was like “what the hell” but we talked about it for a few days and went apartment hunting; at the perfect place, which we could not afford with our seperate single status, I told her we could afford the place and took my family diamond solitaire off the chain with a cross I always wore and put it on her tiny ring finger.

Three days later I stood outside the courthouse in Bell county and watched her friend Bianca drive her up to the curb, I opened her door and she got out looking at me through her veil so I leaned down to whisper:

“You look like an angel.”

She was. Gwen was my angel, I found her during war and a hell of a time in my life and she was everything to me so I wanted her always. We were saying our vows and when the judge asked me  “do you take this woman…”  my heart exploded and I looked her dead in the eyes and said to her:

“Forever and always.”

She looked back at me and answered “For the rest of my life.”

We were married and were were going to be together forever, I felt like shooting fireworks and screaming from the rooftops that I loved Gwen, my wife. We stood outside and smoked while our friends discussed where to take us for the reception lunch and I pulled her by the waist to me and told her I loved my wife and that I would never, never leave her. Our motto became:

“It’s just you and me against the world babe.”


The Square: Gwen {Part 1} *edited 17 Sept 15*

Don and I met serving in the military during our first deployment overseas; we came back and fell in love as war has a way of bonding people in a powerful way. To me, marriage vows mean something, my new husband was on his second marriage before 25 and in the beginning he promised he would never leave me. Then he commited to 7 years of marriage and fell prey to a gold dusted opportunist; he accused me of cheating on him the entire marriage and, the interloper saw her moment to pluck me out of my life and insert herself in my place.

Even though I played perfect wife the first few years, I ended up getting really sick and was going through an untreated, PTSD induced depression. It was crippling, I couldn’t get out of bed, the VA system is permanent-backed up, and I was dealing with chronic pain from my Army injuries. I decided to do a volunteer conservation expedition that would put me out of touch with the rest of the world save for one day a week so I couldn’t write often You would think if I could last 15 months without seeing him during a deployment, he could last a month without me. Come to find out, he got lonely and did all the things he refused to do with me; experiencing our new duty station in Hawai’i with co workers, and having people over. At one of these parties is where Anne comes in: she knew the rank on his shoulder and the good pay that came with it and must have thought of the lower rank of her fiance. I can see her turning her face to the man I built from a jealous and hurt young ex-husband of his high school sweetheart, to a loving, caring husand. Noticing the life I built from $2 a day meals to regularly used gourmet kitchen things and and herb garden out front; Don loved to brag about us “comin’ up from nothing”. As she stood in our beautiful 2 bedroom WWII era on-post housing, she must have thought of her shithole barracks room she shared with another girl and her far away in Afghanistan fiance. It was then her succubus senses honed in on my vulnerable husband and his absent wife who was part two of a married couple going through a rough bump in their marriage. Anne sank her teeth in his jugular.

Don and I had a whirlwind romance and a very military-during-war marriage. We had spent every night together the last four months looking at the stars and talking while we were overseas, and continued the pattern when we came home. The barracks were pretty awful, we found out we were going to re-deploy separately, and had realized we would be going to different areas at different times so we would be separated for 2 years. Nothing, but nothing, was storybook or Disney princess about our entire relationship. He “proposed” to me by stomping into my barracks room slamming the door and saying

“Fuck! I’m getting transferred to the 74th, wanna just get married or something?”

I was floored. The way I was raised I thought the man had to ask the girls father for her hand with a big white dress and him in his class A uniform standing at the alter to follow. Don and I talked about it for a week; we loved each other, economically we were both poor as two lower ranking soldiers make shit for money so combining income would help. We could file the paperwork for married pay and get basic housing allowances meaning we could live in an apartment off post and enjoy privacy and freedom and get to be in a regular relationship. We talked about it for a week every night over fast food on my twin bed in my shared barracks room. We were engaged three days in which I got a white sundress and the low budget, creative version of the classic “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” ryhme. I made do with my blue Roxy sandals, a friend gave me a plastic tiara with a veil, and we got an affordable band for him and a spacer so I could wear his family diamond solitare. We got married in a courthouse; he wore khakis and a white button up shirt, and I stood shaking in my $15 dollar sundress with light grey shells. We had signed the lease on our first apartment the day before and spent the night apart; he at a friend’s house after a night of drinking and I went to a nice dinner with some friends from our unit and then a bit of tipsy karoke. When my friend pulled up to the courthouse on a cold and windy Saturday morning, I got out of the car and Don was right there to lean down and whisper:

“You look like an angel.”

We said our vows in front of 4 other couples we were frends with and a judge ending with him replacing his “I do” with:

“Forever and always”

And me replacing my “I do” with:

“For the rest of my life”

I was scared but excited about being someone’s wife. Don was the first guy to treat me well, he always talked about romantic things he wanted to do for me. I really did love him and I know he loved me, I was Don’s wife and now it was us against the world.

The Square: Preface

This is a series of stories based on a true story that tells the four points of view each person has of the same event. This is a writing exercise and the challenge is to see all four and find the seeds of truth that grow into the perceptions from an objective point of view. The characters are as follows: The married couple Don and Gwen and the engaged couple Anne and Lance; those are pairings in the beginnings anyway.

Thanks for visiting, enjoy ☺️