Shelby listened to Philip’s side of the phone call frowning. She couldn’t remember ever hearing Philip yelling at someone before. Whatever they were saying to him was really pissing him off.
After hanging up the phone, Philip took several deep breaths. He closed his eyes trying to calm himself down. He was able to hear the kids next door playing at Shawn’s house. He was able to feel Shelby sitting there beside him.
He opened his eyes and looked at his wife. He took her hand in his. “I’m sorry.”
“What was all that about?”
“That was the base commander. They wanted me to go back to the base. Said I was going to be discharged and something about medals.”
Shelby did not like the idea of him going back. She squeezed his hand.
“I’m not going. I know it’s just a publicity stunt for them. Present the guy that they had kidnapped and tortured with medals and hope that he keeps his mouth shut.”
He shook his head starting to get upset again. “It’s not going to happen. I am not going let them use me to try to make them look good. Not after what they did.”
Shelby listened to him frowning a bit.
“They were the ones that kept you there? It wasn’t the people raiding the place?”
Philip shook his head. “It was the military. They kept a few of us there. The mission was a set up from the start. They hand picked a few of us based on our test scores, our scores during training, and a few other things. They were testing new weapons on us. Both chemical weapons and the usual stuff.”
He tugged the sleeve of his shirt, making sure his arms were covered. “If we refused or tried to fight back, they found ways to force us to do it anyway. The most common way was to make all of us watch while one of us was raped.”
Shelby laid her head on his shoulder as she listened to him. Some of this she had already heard. Some were new details.
“I watched as the others died. There was nothing I was able to do to help them or to stop it.”
Shelby looked at him. “Did you try to call me a couple times.”
He nodded his head. “I was left alone in a room a couple of times when they were dealing with one of the others. I managed to get to the phone in the room to try to call you. I’m sorry that they were short calls. I had very little time to tell you what I needed to before they would come back. I did pay for those calls. They would come back and find me on the phone and punish me for it.”
Shelby lightly kissed Philip. “I knew they were you. They are what kept me searching for you after they told me you were dead. I knew you were still alive.”
“Thank you for not giving up on me.”