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Grade
6

I Miss Him

 

“Sweetie! Time to get up!” My mom yelled as I groaned and rolled out of bed, wishing morning could come only when I told it to.  

    “Mhmmkhhigetinguoppp” I yelled in gibberish. Then I remembered a really important detail of my life after the next week: IT WAS CHRISTMAS BREAK AFTER THIS SCHOOL WEEK! IT’S THE WEEKEND! I didn’t have school for two whole weeks after the school week this week!  I stumbled out of bed and put on a black and white striped shirt with light blue writing. It said, ‘Believe in greatness” on the front. It had a cut out in the back, which revealed a sheer, light blue fabric. I paired the shirt with black leggings and gray Uggs.

    I pulled my hair up in a messy bun, and went downstairs to the great smell of Mom’s homemade waffles and smoothies.

    My heart winced as I looked at the picture of my dad on the refrigerator. His cheesy smile made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. My father - Josh Davids - had blond hair that got a little bit darker on the back of his head as it went down, and joking, brown eyes. The only thing that ruined the picture was his army uniform.

    I bet you guessed that he was killed in a war. Nope. But it feels like he’s dead.

    My dad is deployed. Iraq. I only see him on holidays, and sometimes on my birthday in July, but that hasn't happened in a while. I was born on the Fourth of July. The 4th of July. Very patriotic. Maybe that's why my dad joined the army. He was only 24 when I was born. My dad was still fit and young, at the time, so he joined the army. Although sometimes, it kind of feels like the reason he joined the Army is because I don't know, he just . . . didn’t like me.

    “Aw, Jordyn, honey. Come on eat your breakfast. We can go to the nets and practice volleyball. Your tryouts are Monday. Come on,” Mom urged gently. I knew it was hard for her, too. She had to do everything herself. Go to work (she and Dad own a restaurant, it has a weird name: Katie, Jordyn, and Josh’s) and be home for me.

    I pulled out a plate and got a waffle, as she passed me a smoothie, not answering. “I-I guess,” I stammered finally.

    DING! DONG! DING! DONG! “Who is it?” Mom called, and I groaned. Why visitors now?

    “It’s Carter!” I heard my BFF yell. I ran to the door rather slowly.

    “Hi Carter!” I exclaimed.

    “Jordyn. . . .” Carter started, but Mom came and cut her off.

    “Carter! Come in, come in! We were just going to go to the nets to practice volleyball, do you want to come?” Mom asked. Carter swished her ‘dirty’ blond hair around, her sapphire-blue eyes wandering.

    “Yeah. Right now?” Carter asked, then she grinned at her mistake. “I’ll just call my mom, tell her where I am.” Carter pulled her phone out and dialed.

    

*****

    Monday morning. My stomach was full of butterflies. School, and then volleyball travel team tryouts! Yeah, a lot of Ts. I live in Michigan, but summer is as hot as ever.

    I pulled on a turquoise shirt that said ‘never give up’. That had a cut-out in the back, so I put a black tank top under the ‘never give up’ shirt. Then I put that with a pair of legging-capris, plain black. I put that with my trusty light blue and pink tennis shoes.

    “Jordyn, Dad sent a letter!” Mom called, and I bounded down the stairs.

    “A letter from Dad or a guy named Chad?” I asked, but Mom’s smile said it was ‘Dad’.

    “Let me see!”

    I read: Hi Jordyn and Katie! Having so-o-o much fun doing things like - part of the sentence was cut off. That happens with all of Dad’s letters. It was  the other army guys. They cut off parts of sentences in case this letter falls into the wrong hands. If it does, hopefully they won’t get a clue where the U.S. Army’s base or what the U.S. Army plans are. Back to the letter: Yeah, I know. I hope I can come back soon. Gotta go, - {cut off}, love you! Dad

    “C-can we write back?” I asked, missing Dad more than ever.

    “Sorry, honey, no return address. You’ll have to wait ‘til Christmas to update him,” Mom sighed.

    “Oh,” I felt my nose burn.

    “But I got those stuffed animals where Dad can send a message to you!” Mom exclaimed, pulling out a stuffed snowman with an army badge on it. It made me want to smile and cry, at the same time.

*******

My mom and I were driving to the mall to get presents for our family for Christmas, which was in 5 days. Today was a half day and now I’m on Christmas break.

“Hey Jordan, Can I tell you something?” my mom asked nervously.

“Sure,” I responded.

“Your dad… he, he won’t be home for Christmas.”

I felt my eyes start to water and my cheeks grow hot.

“Okay, I guess,” I said sadly.

“Oh baby, don’t cry. He tried his best to get home, but the general isn’t letting anyone go home with the weather.”

“It-It’s fine. I just, I miss him sooo much.” I said, forgetting about the holiday cheer as a wave of sadness washed over me..

“I’m so sorry, Baby girl,” she said as she put her hand in mine, lacing our fingers together.

**********

“Jordan, tryouts are today,” my mom called up to me. I got out of bed and threw on a light pink shirt that said ‘dream big’ on it in black letters. I also put on some black volleyball shorts and, since it was freezing, some grey sweatpants. I put my long, somewhat wavy, light brown hair in a high pony and went downstairs.

“So, are you excited?” my mom said as I ate breakfast.

“Yeah,” I said excitedly.

 

**********

I got on the team, and our first game is Christmas eve, tonight - before the party we’re going to. I was at my game and it had just started and I was out playing and the buzzer, telling us to stop for a second, came on.

“Here comes soldier and dad Josh Davids!” the announcer said. Wait, did I hear that right?

     “DAD!!” I yelled as I ran into his arms.

“Baby, I’m home!” he said as I jumped into his arms.

State
MI
Zip Code
48176