Into the Trenches
Andrea Barringer is a veteran of the United States Army having served four years active duty at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC and four years in the Reserves. She is happily married to James Barringer and lives in Florida. She writes to share the hope and redemption that is found by having faith in the one true God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Into the Trenches
Chapter 1 - June 2003
"Wow, Alexi." Annelyse stepped into her sister's bedroom and joined her by the mound of clothes on the bed. "This room's a mess, do you need any help?" Despite her reservations, she would be happy for Alexi.
"At least I have a reason for my room looking this way." Alexi gave her a teasing grin.
"Hey, if I were you, I'd be nice to the one offering some help!" Annelyse squeezed Alexi's arm, then tried to make herself comfortable on the bed. The room was bright with its yellow colored walls highlighting the sun's rays. The decadent aroma of cilantro, chives and garlic had made its way throughout the house, while downstairs their mother was cooking up some soup before they all hopped into the car. Mami had said she didn't want her little girls to go hungry during the ceremony.
"I'm nice," she said a little too quickly. "Let's not forget that I didn't pick out nasty pink puffy bridesmaid dresses."
"Yea, 'cuz if you had, I wouldn't be here. And we both know that." Impatience lifted Annelyse from the bed and onto the floor, and she began to fuss with Alexi's suitcase.
"Yeah, right! You love me. You would have worn the ugly thing and complained the whole time."
"Hmm, I guess that sounds a little bit more like me." She began to tap on the suitcase with a rhythmic beat, while simultaneously gazing at her beloved sister. "So, are you ready for this?"
"Just think, Sis, after tonight, I'll no longer be a child. I'll be a woman." Alexi huffed out a giddy sigh. "I'll be with the same guy forever. He's going to be my first and my last."
Annelyse nodded, swallowing back a retort. Alexi didn't mean to be unkind. They just had different ideas about these things.
Alexi eyed her. "So is Fabian going to show up?"
"Yeah, he'll be there."
"Wow, just think; Fabianat an event where the name of God will be mentioned?" Alexi smirked. "Oh, my, I don't know what to say."
"Well, he didn't have much of a choice. I told him that if he didn't come I'd never speak to him again. And besides, he'll have an alcohol based IV bag connected to him at all times, so he'll be well sedated by the time the pastor starts talking." Annelyse took her cell phone from her small purse to see if he'd sent back an answer to her text message. No response. She stuffed the phone away and turned her attention back to Alexi.
She still couldn't believe her older sister was getting married. When did she grow up and fall in love? More than anything, Annelyse wondered if this was a wise or a hasty move. But the glow on Alexi's face proclaimed her love. Annelyse should have been happy for her, but she wished somehow that time would slow down and things would go back to the way they used to be. With Alexi moving away, who would she pal around with?
Alexi's engagement had surprised Annelyse, but her own reaction to the news surprised her even more. Oh, she wouldn't dare to say something aloud or try to stop the wedding, but she wished that Alexi would somehow change her mind about marrying Joshua and moving to Clearwater. She especially wished Alexi hadn't enlisted in the army. What kind of sense did it make to get married and then two months later go off to basic training?
"I really hate that you're going to be so far away." She could hear the whine in her own voice.
Alexi laughed. "Sis, Clearwater is only a few miles away. Any time you want, you can hop in your car and be there in an hour."
"Yeah, but what happens if the Army sends you to Afghanistan or Iraq? I've been watching the news, and it's getting worse out there. I just don't know if you've really thought about this."