To say that I was dreading this dinner party was the understatement of the century. My company(I run my own burger joint) was throwing it as a welcome home ceremony for the soldiers returning to the base that was situated about 5 miles down the road. Normally, this would be a joyous occasion, but this past year the Army has not been nice to me. I lost my younger brother in a training accident and my boyfriend decided that it would be best if he concentrated his focus on the deployment. So knowing I'd be seeing him and a slew of my brother's buddies had my emotions all over the place. I still loved Kyle wholeheartedly. We'd been that couple that made all the single people jealous. I had met him my first day at my new high school and he'd been by my side ever since. We had made it through basic training, he had enlisted the day he turned 18 with my explicit blessing, and a good chunk of the deployment, until one day a week or so after my brother's accident, I got an email saying "I think it'd be best if I focused solely on my job over here, just know, I'll always love you Cal."
I had tried to move on, but of the four first dates I went on, only one made it to the second date and none made it to a third. Kyle was my one. But our four year relationship was done with a single sentence email. My phone buzzes with a text from Marina, my best friend and business partner, letting me know she was five minutes away. I texted her back and then slipped on my boots that I had bought last week on sale. She beeps her horn and I lock my door and get in her car. "How are you doing, hun?" She asks. "Emotional wreck. Like I need a strong drink." "It'll be fine, he'll probably just hang out with his buddies." she tries to make me feel better.
At 5:45 we hear the bus pull up and the men file in rowdily and I see a few of Ry's friends come in, I go over and welcome them home and they give me hugs as I try to choke back tears. "What about me, don't I get a hug?" the voice I'd recognize anywhere says. I turn to run to my office, but run into Marina instead, "please deal with him!" I whisper. "Hey Ky, what's up?" she says, but I can hear him try and push past her but she stops him in his tracks, "You will leave her alone, do you hear me? She's been through hell and back." The last thing I hear before I shut the door to the office is, "but Rina, you don't understand, I still love her."