5:44 Always

08-09-19_3-20-53 PM

Shelby had checked on the boys and walked back into the bedroom quietly. She didn’t want to wake Philip. She was surprised to see him sitting on the edge of the bed.

“Did I wake you?”

He shook his head and moved over a little as she sat down beside him.

“I think having you beside me kept the nightmares away. When you got up…”

08-09-19_3-23-36 PM

She covered his hand with hers.

“I’m sorry. One of the boys had been crying. I was getting him tucked back in.”

“Is he okay?”

She nodded. “Yeah. He wakes up crying for his mother a lot. Usually a hug and sitting with him for a few minutes will get him to fall back asleep.”

“He’s lucky to have you.”

“He has you now also.”

08-09-19_3-21-03 PM

Philip nodded thinking about that. “I don’t know how good of a dad I’m going to be. I’m not the same guy I was the last time you saw me, Shelby. A lot has happened. Things that permanently changes a person.”

“Is that what the nightmares are about?”

He nodded. 

“Do you want to talk about them?”

08-09-19_3-23-42 PM

He didn’t, but he also didn’t want to keep things from his wife.

“When we got to Strangerville, we were met by a huge crowd. They were blocking the gates and not letting us inside the base. They said that they were looking for the aliens we were holding captive in the base.”

Shelby listened as he told her about being taken captive along with a few others, and about several being shot. He told her about the threats, the beatings, and everything else. Just thinking about him going through the things he told her about broke his heart.

08-09-19_3-20-59 PM

She listened closely but also thought about what he was saying. His story did not match what she had been told when he first went missing. She was going to have to talk to her father about this and see if he can figure out why the military would lie about what had happened to Philip and why they declared him dead.

When he finished with the details she laid her head on his shoulder and felt his arm wrap around her. 

08-09-19_3-24-40 PM

“I knew that you would be home. You had promised me that you would be and you don’t break your promises.”

He gave a small smile when she said that. “I’m sorry that it took so long to come home to you.”

She looked into his eyes. “You are home now. That is what matters.”

08-09-19_3-25-07 PM

He kissed her softly. “You are what kept me alive in there. You and our son. I needed to come home to the two of you.” 

“Anytime you need to talk about any of this, you can talk to me. I am here to support and love you. I married you for the good times and the bad. The bad are now past us. We can focus on the good and the future now.”

Philip nodded and gave a small smile. “There will still be bad days, but at least we can get through them together.”

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