Iuh yes do you have a question she asked and looked

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“I..uh…” “Yes do you have a question?” she asked and looked at me expectantly. I was nervous. “No-well yeah, sort of. I just didn't expect to be in here with you, not that, it's just that you're like the boss right?” She smiled coyly, “Yes I suppose I am ‘The Boss,’ but I prefer commanding officer and I'm here because there are so many of you and everyone must do their part.” Her voice dripped with some acidic and familiar quality. “Well I'll get to them then.” “Please do.” I looked over the forms, grabbed the pen that had been sitting next to them and began to fill them out. They were basic medical forms. They asked if I had any known allergies, if there were any medications I was on, and so forth. As I filled them out I anxiously clicked my pen, driving the point of the pen in and out. The Colonel looked up from her work “Would you mind not doing that, I have a
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splitting headache,” she asked with a tinge of frustration. “Yeah, sorry” I said, deflated, “I'm almost done.” She had already gone back to her computer so I finished the paperwork as fast as I could. “I'm finished.” “Done already? Good just give them to me and you can leave.” I handed her the papers sullenly, and avoided eye contact, some deep shame burst to life deep inside me. I exited the room quickly and quietly, not wanting to disturb the Colonel any further. I thought of my wife, the way I left the room earlier today. The way I left the room for years. Our lives were elaborately choreographed so that we never had to discuss what we were missing. We danced around it like furious ballerinas, spinning and spinning, getting further and further from everything. We tried to escape the emptiness that was born into our lives, emptiness that was all it was, but it ate us up until there was nothing left. So she ran; I couldn’t blame her, I had wanted to run too. I was safe though, there behind the impregnable walls of Fort Bennings nothing could hurt me; I could forget. I wandered towards the building with the words “Mess Hall” spray painted on the outside. A man splashed an approximation of food onto my meager tray. “Enjoy,” he said without looking at me. I looked around the room for somewhere to sit when Private Durey waved me over to a small table in the corner. I nodded at him and made my way over to the open seat. “How did you like the Colonel’s speech?” he asked me “It was .... reassuring. I guess.” “Heh, yeah she ain't exactly the mothering type but she'll keep us alive.” Mother; such a devious word, like the surface of the ocean concealing its true depths. “So, how long you been at the fort?” “Oh about 4 years now, it’s not so bad. I'm a radio operator so I mainly just sit in front of a computer all day.” A brief, awkward pause followed, one of my conversational trademarks. “Got any family?” He
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broke the silence, I preferred the silence. Family wasn't always a tainted word; recently it was a vicious joke. A family, happy and smiling and together, it’s all anyone wants. But I was not destined to have
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