So, originally I wrote this last year. It’s a little prequel about one of the characters from PTP but from his wife’s POV. It’s kind of spoilery but at the same time not spoilery. *clears throat* Anyway…
Federal Way, Washington, 2004
Moonlight filtered through half-open blinds and splayed across the occupied bed. Though her husband’s breathing was slow and steady, Heather Ross couldn’t help but wait for the inevitable moment he would wake up. It had become a habit after and IED sent him home almost a year ago.
“Ethan, your leg…it’s-it’s gone.”
He blinked. “You’re joking.”
She shook her head. “It had to be amputated,” she whispered. “I’m sorry, honey.”
After another moment passed without anything happening, she propped herself up on one elbow and flipped her pillow over. As she gave it a soft punch to fluff it up, Ethan’s groggy voice startled her.
“Baby keeping you awake?”
“No,” she whispered, lying back down and settling into a comfortable position. “I thought you were asleep.”
“I was. Kind of.” He yawned and shifted to his other side, which faced her. Her gaze darted to the chain tucked beneath his shirt and she sighed. Why did he still wear his dog tags?
She met his half-open eyes. “Yeah?”
“Am I keeping you awake?”
For one long moment, she didn’t know how to respond. “How-how are you keeping me awake?”
He didn’t answer, and she thought he had fallen back asleep. Then he said, slightly less groggy, “Isn’t that what I’ve been doing since I came home?”
“You haven’t had any nightmares tonight,” she pointed out. “So you aren’t keeping me awake.”
“You’re staying awake in case I do.”
“Ethan…” She reached out and placed a hand on his arm. Even in the darkness, with the moonlight being at his back, she could still see the pain in his eyes.
Pain that didn’t fade when he gave her a small smile and changed the subject. “You know, Neville is a nice name.”
“Oh no,” she said, giggling. “It sounds so…so…”
“Yeah, but isn’t there a movie with a villain named that?”
“Yeah. I’m just joking anyway.”
Smiling, she said, “What about Caleb? I really like that one. Or James. James Ross sounds good, doesn’t it?”
“Well, yeah, that’s my dad’s name.”
Heather shook her head, amused. She leaned over and kissed him, saying, “Love you.”
©2022 H.S. Kylian
(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)