Dear Len



Scene Title Dear Len
Synopsis Sometimes in the fight for your country, the casualties are less than obvious.
Date June 14, 2009

Home of Len Denton, Sweetwater Texas

The red-eye from New York to Dallas-Fort Worth is long. It's been a month and a half since he was home. Funny that word 'home'. He left because it was his job, but New York has never really felt like home.

The rental was not his Jeep, but then again nothing is, but it got him to where he needed to be. The familiar sights and smells as he drove the near 200 miles to the place he called home.

A phone call from his mother prompted the visit. Something wasn't right at home. The car was gone, and had been for days. The grass hadn't been cut. The newspapers and mail have accumulated.

As he pulls into the driveway, he already knows. At least in the very pit of his heart.

He places the key in the lock and turns to open the door and when he moves inside he can almost feel the vacuum of emptiness that he knows is there.

The sound of his boots hitting the hard wood floor echo through the empty house. There were never any children here, none that were theirs, but he always imagined that one day there would be those sounds of toddlers and teenagers, fighting and playing and teasing.

Everything is gone, except what was there when they moved in. Stove and refridgerator. Washer and Dryer.

Something sparkles on the mantel of the fireplace and it draws his attention as he walks over and picks it up. He remembers when he first slid this onto her finger. They were so young. In love. That was thirteen years ago. She knew the risks going in. How he'd be gone for long periods of time. When he was transferred to New York, the fight was big. He argued that he was doing right by his country and she fought back that he needed to fight for his family.

She was right.

As he holds her ring in his hand, he notices the note propped on the mantel against the wall. His name is scrawled across the front of the envelope. He pulls the slip of paper from within and begins to read:

"Dear Len.."

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