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Nov 2010
I remember it like it was only yesterday. But one could only understand the love of the first smile with the back story that comes with which can only be described as the most beautiful site that my eyes ever saw and will ever see again. Picture if you will a man, a soldier, another broken heart of a fool too naïve to realize what life was all about. Ready to give in to what was presumed to be the standard for the rest of time. And just when the decision was beginning to form to end it all a risk was taken that would change everything. An invitation from a friend to go to party with some new people and get out of the funk and smoke that seemed to have eroded any care. The party was obviously for those close friends and I was the outsider.  Plenty of drinks to go around and I could have pounded them away. Erased the night in a cloud of stupor. But realizing I had a long drive back to the base I decided for a few beers alone. As the party was beginning to die down and it was obvious that it wasn’t going to start up till I left I poured out my beer and grabbed my keys. And then she said something to me. First words she had said all night that I remembered. She asked me had I been the one who had made a comment on MySpace that earlier in the week on my friend’s page. I replied with a yes. She told me she had read it and thought it was really good what I wrote. She explained to me that recently her husband had left her and that he had been a soldier too. I didn’t know why at the time but I felt I could have talked forever and never even worried about the party, the drive home, the lateness of the hour. Nothing mattered as long as we talked.  She had the most beautiful eyes and just her relaxed state of dress and mannerism spoke volumes about the type of person she was and the troubles that weighed her shoulders. It was a quick and innocent conversation when I look back at it now. Maybe five minutes. But before I left we exchanged phone numbers so that maybe we could become friends. I wasn’t gone on the road five minutes when the first text rolled in and she stated we should hang out some time. Six days later I would be taking her to the movies.  I remember that night and will remember it to the day I die. I drove to her house and she waited on the front porch to wave me in. Something about the house alone was welcoming. Warm to approach even as a visitor. I was introduced to the family. Mom and dad, the two brothers and the sister who I had failed to realize at the party was there as well. Call it love drunk. It doesn’t matter. I realized soon after the part that this girl was something special. After some short introductions she came down from her room and walked down the stairs. We hoped in my truck and headed back into town to the movies. On the drive there as we were chatting the conversation steered right where I had thought it would. She looked over at me and asked me flat out what it was about her that I had found so interesting to take her to the movies only a week after meeting her. When she asked she had this smile on her face that spoke volumes. It showed pain and apprehension. Almost as if she was scared of my answer. I could tell that the recent events of her husband leaving her had broken her heart. Even today months afterwards I still cant seem to understand why any man would leave her. I could die the most horrible painful death known to the pages of history and still die a happy man to even talk with such a lovable person. As I looked into those eyes and that pained smile, I realized. I realized that without a doubt this day would lead to many happy days, many sad days, but days that nonetheless I would suffer through and come out better for no matter what the ending result was. And my answer meant everything to this belief. I looked back at the road to which I realized I had begun to drift from as I had been lost in that smile. I answered as surely as I would now when anyone asks me why I did everything I did. I told her it was her smile. I had seen in the night at the party and using words like intrigue are weak in comparison to what my heart screamed out as heaven and happiness generated in her smile. When I replied something happened that I would never have expected. The smile was gone. It was replaced what by an even more magical smile without pain, and completely innocent. It was this small event in life to some that would change me forever. The man I am today will never be the same as the man I would have been had I not met this person and not had the chance to see a smile sent from the heavens. I remember the movie we watched. We saw the horror movie, “Haunting in Connecticut”. I can honestly say I don’t remember any of it. My mind was far from any movie.  I could only think to where I had been in life a week ago and where I was now. Content is the only word I can find to describe it. After the movie I thought I would be driving here home but it wasn’t it be. We were near the turnoff when she asked me if I would like to go to a party at a friend’s DJ spot. I said sure. Time meant nothing and any excuse to be with her longer was good for me. We drove to another country where I passed the fire hall where the party was. So I decided to do a turn around on a bridge on the edge of town. Well I over compensated and slapped the bridge with my taillight. To this day I still maintain that the bridge was in fact at fault and had jumped out and hit my truck. I should have been mad about wrecking my new truck on some foolish bridge. It didn’t matter to me though. We looked at the truck when we got out and it had sounded far worse than it looked. I wasn’t worried. To summarize we stayed at the party for a few hours. She danced with her friends some and we listened to some music. All together it was a good party, down to earth really. I stayed back in the corner still not understanding the question that still nagged me since the night at the party where I met here. After the party I drove her home and we talked for a few before I left and headed back to base. So far I had a broken taillight and a new friend. The question that had nagged me and still does at times was what was it about me that such a beautiful and great girl even bothered talking to me. Today is what it is. A lot has changed and some things never will. One thing that will remain forever in my mind whether I am back in the states, here in Iraq, or in the future in Afghanistan. That smile burned not into my memory but into my heart and soul. I have never loved a woman more. And never will again. God can only do me justice in life by making sure that she lives a happy life for all time. No matter what that first smile will guide me through any darkness.
Written by
Bryan J Powers
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