She took the pictures from the back of the closet and placed them in a box for the movers. She promised herself that she wasn’t going to look at them, but she couldn’t resist and turned over the small one that used to sit on her makeup table. As her fingers stroked the glass her mind drifted back to that magical day.
It went precisely as she had planned. All of their family and friends were in attendance, the sun was setting just as the ceremony ended, and the reception tent was aglow with twinkling white lights. So much love. So much joy. So much promise.
She was Cinderella marrying her Prince Charming and they were going to live Happily Ever After. That was then, back when life was easy breezy.
Military life was a challenge but she embraced the new duty stations as an adventure, creating a community with the other spouses. Above all, she loved being a stay-home mom to the two boys born three years apart, exactly as they had planned.
Her husband was set for a vasectomy but was deployed for hurricane season and had to reschedule. Baby number three was most definitely not planned, but the announcement that they were expecting a girl was met with incredible anticipation and happiness. A Princess would perfectly complete their family.
The week before her birth-day, her husband’s father took a sharp decline in his battle against cancer and passed. She was left alone with the boys and a baby ready to burst into the world while he consoled his mother and drank with his brother. Everything seemed to be in chaos, except for the upcoming planned labor induction.
What was not planned was the emergency caesarean section. And the uncontrolled blood loss. The baby was perfect but mama was not. Three days in ICU and five after giving birth, she finally went home.
He was moody and distant with her, and she was constantly exhausted from her recovery and caring for the children and newborn. His family leave soon expired and he was back on regular deployments, leaving her alone with the children. This was not the life she had planned.
Good news came and the family rejoiced. He had been accepted to Officer Candidate School. He would be given more responsibility, better duty and almost double the pay. He had worked hard for this opportunity and the future looked bright once again. They made plans to travel across the country for his graduation and were excited about their new duty station and new life.
And then the revelation. He had fallen in love with a fellow servicemember who he was often deployed with. And who they socialized with and lived down the street from. Now they were planning a divorce.
She thought she should feel sad and waited for the tears to fall as she relived the last few months in her mind. Instead she picked up the frame and threw it across the room, watching it hit the wall and shatter into a million tiny shards, broken just like his promises. He could clean up the mess he made. She had plans to make to live Happily Ever After.
Written for the To Live & Write in Alameda June 2019 “Flash Lit” Challenge #5. We had three days to write a poem or short story (of 500 words or less) or create a piece of art to the theme “Back When It Was Easy Breezy” and post the link in our group.