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Dear Jack,


Dear Alex,

You don’t have to apologise for letters that take a while to write / arrive, it’s perfectly fine. It makes the actual receiving of the letters that much more worthwhile, don’t you think? Troubling weeks, indeed. You must understand that I’m not entirely at liberty to divulge a lot of information concerning my past few weeks but you can tell me about yours in as much detail as you want, who knows, I might be able to help you out; even if it’s just you writing your problems down on paper to let it all out, I’ll help as much as I can. At this moment in time I can assure you that I’m safe and well, plus I don’t think that sounds very weird at all, if anything it’s actually comforting to hear, or in this case to read. I promise you, I’ll stay as safe as I can, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold onto that promise forever, in my line of duty, safety is never a sure thing, but I’ll do my best for you. I promise.

You’re lucky to have memories like that; I take it that you’re really close to your Grandma? I don’t really have any memories like that, especially with my Grandparents; they’re rather proud people that like to take care of the house and garden rather than spend time playing with their Grandchildren. I suppose the closest memory to yours that I have, is when I was ten years old and my parents went away on vacation for a week. It was just me, my brother and sister alone in the house and unfortunately for me, it was a thunderstorm week. I know, a guy in my profession shouldn’t be scared of a little thunderstorm, but…it was a really bad one that week and it scared me so much that I just started crying. My sister came into my room to see what the matter was and held me close to her, rocking me back and forth while softly singing my favourite lullaby. It calmed me down a lot and it’s the one time that me and my sister got close, after that week whenever there was a thunderstorm, she’d sit with me and we’d watch movies and she’d tell me different stories and just make me laugh. I loved spending time with my sister, I still do but due to my duties and her work, we hardly see each other anymore.

I’ve got to say, you’re the first person who’s thought that about me, everyone else…well, I don’t think that they’d say anything about me as they don’t really know a lot about me. I don’t know why I haven’t spoken to anyone about myself…I don’t know why…Well, actually that’s not true. I haven’t spoken to anyone because I can’t, the only person that really got to know me; they ended up being taken away from me. I’ve told myself that I wouldn’t let that happen again. I suppose that it all depends on who you are as a person, and the state of your mentality that leads you to signing on as a Soldier. To you, it may seem a little suicidal but it’s not that uncommon nowadays. I waited about a year after I graduated to sign up myself, but at the time I wasn’t really in the best of places but now, I’m much better and I wouldn’t go back on my decision. It’s what I needed. I seemed to adjust to the change rather easily, for some soldiers it’s a lot harder as they’ve come from a quiet life with a family and friends. I still have music in my life, so it’s not that bad, but I’d hate to be without it all of the time.

Even though that we’ve only been writing to each other for a couple of weeks, I think that I kind of have an idea about who you are as a person, but I don’t want you to get the impression that I know you completely because I know that I don’t. I would very much like to get to know you though. I don’t know what it is, but when I write to you, it’s comfortable…easy for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like that, felt at ease talking / writing to someone. If it’s okay with you, I would like to get to know you, really know you and your past. I understand that you won’t want to tell me everything, especially the painful memories but I want you to know that I’m here for you, that I’ll listen to you, that I won’t walk away from you even if things get too much. I want to be able to get some positivity in you; I want…I want to get you believing in something that you think isn’t real. That is…if you’d let me.

You don’t have to be sorry. Just take things one step at a time, there’s no need to rush; we have plenty of time to write and get to know each other. I’m sorry to hear about your brother though; I can’t imagine how you must have felt / how you’re feeling now. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost either one of my siblings. It seems like the brother / sister section of the conversation is covered, how about we move onto the topic of parents, what are yours like?

That would be good, I’ll be sure to drop by at your address within the first couple of days that I’m home. I’ll have to catch up with my family first, when I’m home they tend to go a little overboard and gather everyone together before I have to head back off to the line of duty. I’m really looking forward to meeting you. Your letter thankfully reached me in time; we’ve all started to pack up our stuff, so your letter arrived in the last collection before our relocation. I promise you, that I’ll take care of myself, though you don’t have to worry all that much, I’ll be fine. I guess that I should wrap up this letter, I don’t know how much longer we have before we actually move out, but it should be too long now.

Keep your head up, Alex. I know that things may seem a little rough right now, but I can assure you that things will get better. Everything happens for a reason, although we may not like the things that happen, something great always comes out of the disaster and chaos. Take it from me, you’ll be okay.

- Jack

I take one last look at the last part that I had written, deciding quickly in my head whether or not to cross it out, before putting my pen down onto the table. I pick up the letter and place the neatly folded pieces of paper into the awaiting envelope before sealing it shut and taking up the pen again to scrawl the intended address as clearly as I can before resting it back down on top of it. Looking at it, I can’t help but think that I don’t really need to send the letter, it would be a waste of time and postage costs to send it when I’ve been told that I’m going to be heading home in a couple of days’ time, so it just makes sense to take it back with me and hand it to Alex when I see him…if I see him. I’m aware that our meeting is still not set into stone just yet, but I’m hopeful that I’ll get the chance to meet the curious individual who has agreed to spend some of his own free time writing to me.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but reading through Alex’s last response, I couldn’t help but get the feeling that something seemed to be a bit off with his writing. All of the other letters that he’s send me have been so…inquisitive, detailed but this last one…I don’t know it’s probably just me being a little paranoid but it just seems less detailed, a little darker and also a little lifeless which is causing me to think whether or not I should be worried. Don’t get me wrong, I know that Alex isn’t a kid anymore and he’s perfectly capable of taking care of himself but I’m scared to know what’s gone on in his life that has caused him so much pain in his past that he doesn’t want to talk about. To anyone else, it could seem like typical teenage drama but I know that there’s more to it, that there’s something in his past has made him seem so defeated and disbelieving in anything good. It scares me but at the same time it makes me want to change that, to help him see things differently, for his own sake.

My mind was whirring as I sat there, staring intently at Alex’s letter, I’m so caught up in my worry and anxiety that I don’t hear the soft scuffle of boots that are making their way towards the tent, soon followed by a loud authorative voice that’s directed straight at me.

“Barakat! Have you packed up all of your stuff yet?” My Commanding Officer shouts over to me from the entrance of the tent. I stand up from my seat quickly and salute him before confirming that I have indeed packed up all of my belongings, ready to head out when needed with the added addition of ‘Sir’ on the end of my reply to show my respect towards my Commanding Officer. “Good. Your team is heading out first thing in the morning. I know, it’s a little sooner than you were told but we’re moving everyone around and your team isn’t needed for the next few weeks. So head back home for a breather, rest up your shoulder and come back for duty a stronger man.”

“Sir, yes Sir.” I reply with another salute and watch as he nods slightly before walking back out of the tent. I let out a small sigh before falling back in my seat, my head in my hands, letting a small whisper escape out through my semi-closed lips. “I’ll try to be stronger, even if I know that it’s a futile attempt.”
The Commanding Officer was true to his word. My team of soldiers were being taken to the nearest airfield as soon as breakfast was over and done with. To say that I’m relieved is an understatement. I mean I love being a soldier and helping to protect my country and fellow comrades but sometimes it can be a little strenuous and overbearing. It will be good for me to get back home and take a little time off to relax and catch up with my family and friends, I just wish that I had a bit more time but I’ll take what I can get.

“Barakat. Time to head out.” Matt says, nudging my arm lightly. The look in his eyes showed me that he was just as relieved as to be heading home as I was. It was different for him though, he had someone to go home to, whereas all I had to head back to is an empty apartment. “I’ve already put you bags in the cargo area. Be outside ready. Flight leaves in ten minutes.”

“Okay. Thanks, Matt.” I reply, giving him a little smile as I look around the base camp one last time.

It’s strange to think that I’ve been calling this place home, more than the place where my family have lived all their lives, but as I take in a moment to inhale a deep breath, I can’t help but think of how lucky I am to have survived yet another time in the firing line. I stand up from the breakfast table and follow Matt outside to where the rest of the team are standing ready to board the aircraft. The majority of the team nod at me in greeting and I exchange quick hello’s back at them before leading them onto the flight. It will take a good seven to nine hours to get back to the states and for the majority of that time, I plan on catching up on sleep and making sure that the letter to Alex, that’s currently tucked away in my pocket, remains just where it is.
The flight back to the states was nothing special. Most of the soldiers caught up on sleep, some of them were re-reading the letters that had been sent to them by loved ones and tearing up a little at the thought that in a few hours’ time they’ll be in the arms of the ones that they love but the remaining majority were talking with each other about what they were planning to do with their limited time off; most of which involved drinking and catching up with some friends.

It was hard not to eavesdrop, but my curiosity and jealousy got the better of me. I know that it’s stupid to be jealous of my fellow comrades wanting to spend time with their loved ones, but it just brings back too many memories, especially the amount of pain that I felt at the loss of my loved one, the memory of that day still burning fresh in my mind every time that I close my eyes, it causes me to resent the people that I spend most of my time with.

It took a while for me to shake off the thoughts of the past, but I managed it. I realise that I’m going to have to do something to block out the painful memories, but it isn’t until we were all gathered around in the bay, collecting our bags, that I make up my mind about what I was going to do about it. I say goodbye to the other soldiers and begin to make my way towards the parking lot, waiting for Matt to catch me up as he’s my only ride home.

“You heading to yours, or your parents?” Matt asks, creeping up behind me, making me jump, in the silent way that he usually does as takes my bag from me and placing it at his feet as he fumbles about in his own bag for his car keys.

“Actually…neither.” I reply thoughtfully, avoiding eye contact with him as he shoots me a confused yet worried look. “I’m not going to head home just yet. There’s somewhere else that I have to go to first.”

“Look, Jack…I know that it’s been a while since you’ve been there, but you can’t keep tearing yourself up over what happened. It wasn’t your fault. You’ve got to let it go and move on with your life, you can’t let it haunt you for the rest of your life. It’s not fair on you.”

Matt’s words ring around in my head and I don’t know what to do. That’s the most words that I’ve heard him say in all the time that I’ve known him. Matt doesn’t like to talk all that much, mostly through choice other times it’s because he has nothing to say. I can’t help but let his words echo in my ears, wondering to myself how he could bring this up right now. Lifting my gaze up to meet his, I shake my head.

“Yeah, I know and I’ve begun to make peace with that, but I wasn’t going to ask you to drop me off there. There’s somewhere else that I want to go…” I let my sentence trail off as my hand glides lightly over the pocket that the letter to Alex rests in, my mind telling me to make my decision now before it gets any later.

I may as well settle my worry and anxiety sooner than later. My thoughts demand, as I shake my head again and get in the car as Matt loads the trunk up with our bags. Sat in the passenger seat, all I can think hope for is that I’m wrong about the letter and all of my worry and paranoia was over nothing.
The whole time that Matt drove through the familiar streets of our hometown to the location that I told him to head to, I could feel him shoot some wary looks my way. I know that he’s concerned about me, especially with us returning home, but he doesn’t seem to believe me when I say that I’m okay, that I’ve handled everything that happened…even if I am lying to him. I give him what I hope looks like a reassuring smile before switching on the radio and turning it up so that the music of Blink 182 can fill up the awkward silence that sits between us while I close my eyes for a few seconds.

I must have fallen asleep as the next thing I know Matt has turned off the radio and began to nudge me in the ribs.

“Barakat. We’re here.”

My eyes burst open and I’m taken back at the sight before us. We were parked up in one of the poshest neighbourhoods in Baltimore, the sidewalks were all lined with freshly mowed grass and the streetlamps were all placed at a reasonable distance and all in line with each other. There was a couple of kids riding up and down the street on what looked to be brand new mountain bikes, the only other sound was coming from the birds that were singing softly in the trees that had been planted in between each streetlamp to give the seemingly peaceful street a strong family type of vibe.

“Thanks for the ride, Matt. Really appreciate it.” I say to him, opening up the passenger door and stepping out of the car, looking round at my surroundings once more before heading round to the trunk to collect my bag before returning to shut the door.

“I’ll catch you sometime this week, right?” He asks me as I lean against the car door to get a better look at him and nod.

“Yeah, I’ll be around, plus we have our traditional ‘game night’ coming up as well.” I smile as he grins back at me, remembering that we had a schedule night to look forward to where we sat and watched both our teams play against each other with a few cases of beer and plenty of pizza to go around. “Hey, before you go. My Mom wants to know if you’re going to be turning up to the party that she’s throwing the week that we’re due to leave again, do you fancy it?”

“Yeah, sure. Tell her that I said thanks and I’ll see you there.” Matt replies, waving at me as I step away from the car, watching as he pulls away from the sidewalk.

Turning round, I pick up my bag and look for the number house that’s written neatly on the piece of paper that I now hold in my hand, spotting it right away as I make my way towards it. Upon reaching the front door, I take in a deep breath before raising my hand to lightly tap my knuckles against the door three times. Biting on my bottom lip nervously, I try to make myself look somewhat more presentable as I wait for the sounds of someone coming to answer the door and who would ideally lead me to the person who I’ve been longing for some time to meet.


*This is the account to follow for new updates!*

EarthToLottie; EarthToLottie;

i miss this story so much

JalexInMyButt JalexInMyButt


AllTimeSlut AllTimeSlut


Well, thank you :D

@Dean Winchester;
Yaaay! :D This story is awesome, by the way.

MakeMeLoveATL MakeMeLoveATL