🙂 Tuesday = #Blogbattle
#BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge using a single word for inspiration. Hosted by the talented Rachael Ritchey. Feel free to join in, or click here to read the current week’s stories and vote for your favorites.
This week’s word: Hero
A Hero Isn’t Just a Sandwich
This trip is long overdue. The last time we took such a trip was five years ago, right after I graduated college. It’s our thing, my dad and I; we are in search of the perfect Hero Sandwich. Oh, we currently have a top five, but each trip we take changes that, we haven’t found one yet, to hold the top spot for any length of time.
It’s a perfect weekend; the weather is beautiful. This is a two-fold trip. Since I will be moving to New York City to start my new job in the next couple of weeks, we are going to check on my new apartment, and take a few things down there. While we’re in the city, we’ll also check out the local delis for that perfect sub. It’s only a two hour drive from our home in New Haven, Connecticut, but that’s long enough, now that dad is getting older. Since we both enjoy driving so much, we split the time evenly; dad is taking the first leg of the trip. During our trips, sometimes we talk, other times we just enjoy the scenery. The radio is on, quietly tuned to an oldies station. Every so often I glance over at my dad, the look of contentment on his face makes me feel calm and secure. Always the proud military veteran, his ever-present Marine Corp hat rests on his head.
In spite of his stringent military persona, he has always been there for me, comforting me, encouraging me, pushing me when I wanted to give up. It’s who he is, the inner honor and valor radiates from him, so much so that you can’t help but admire him. He truly is my hero.
The ride was very enjoyable. We talked about our favorite sports teams, current events, and what this new job will entail. Once seated at the Deli, we continue our discussion.
“Addie, I want you to know, I’m very proud of you. You set out to reach a goal, and you accomplished it. This job is exactly what you need.” My dad says his voice full of pride.
“Thanks dad. I hate that I’ll be farther away from you though.”
“Oh, nonsense. I’ll be fine; your brothers are still around. Plus it’s actually a nice little trip to take.” He argues.
“I’ll be sure to do that as often as I can.” Realizing how much I’ll miss him.
“You just concentrate on you, sweetheart, and while we’re on the subject…I also want to let you know that I am so glad you aren’t dating that musician fella anymore.”
With a laugh I say, “Uh, dad, I don’t think we were on that subject.”
“Of course we were.”
“OK dad, but you know, civilians really aren’t that bad. The chances of me ending up with a military guy are pretty slim.” I try to convince him, but know it’s no use.
“I can always hope, sweetie.” He says with a smile. “It’s just that those musician types have lofty goals. You need someone in your life who has a good work ethic, he doesn’t have to be military, it would be nice. But you know yourself, how hard work and dedication pays off, look at what you have accomplished. I just want you to be happy Addie.” He says stating his case.
“I know dad, and I am. Can we change the subject now?”
“Sure. How about dessert? What shall we try today?”
Just as we look over the dessert menu, a man approaches our table, and addresses my dad with a quiet, yet confident ‘Semper Fi’, as he extends his hand to my dad. My dad reaches out, and gives him a firm shake, echoing the ‘Semper Fi’.
As many times as this scene has played out in front of me, I am still in awe at the unspoken camaraderie between soldiers. Gives me goose bumps every time. Or maybe it’s the tall, handsome man standing in front of me. Not that I notice his strong physique, his sun kissed blonde hair, or the way his jeans sit low on his waist. My lascivious musings are interrupted when he speaks.
Introducing himself with a salute, “Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Stevens, one tour in Afghanistan, two tours in Iraq” My dad follows suit, “General David Morgan,Vietnam. At ease. Why don’t you join us.”
“Oh, I’d hate to interrupt anymore than I already have.” Ryan replies politely.
“No interruption at all, we were just going to order dessert. This is my daughter, Adelaide Morgan, she’s starting a new job working in the Chrysler Building.” My dad says not withholding his fatherly pride.
We both reach out to shake each other’s hands, holding on a second longer as I get lost in the dreamy pools of his eyes. Ryan speaks first, “Pleasure to meet you Adelaide. What a beautiful name.”
“Thank you, it’s nice to meet you too, Lieutenant Colonel.” I say respecting his position, but really trying to get a grip, because good gravy, the man is gorgeous.
“Oh, just call me Ryan, I’m retired now. Entering back into the civilian world. Believe it or not, I also work at the Chrysler Building.”
“You don’t say,” my dad replies before I can. I look over at him and see the subtle yet satisfied grin on his face, and can’t help but think, what a great idea this trip was.
© 2016 Carrie Ann