"Huurrah!" A gung ho Marine shouts as he passes me. The path is full of them today. Marines running to my left, Marines running to my right. But none of them, are you.
I'm alone. All alone. Stuck here without you, in this foreign place, full of foreign rules. And I hate, hate, hate it. Stick to the path! Don't go beyond the borders. Make sure you are indoors before dark. Always cover up. Don't even dream of going anywhere without an escort. Preferably a male.
Living backwards like this is just so frustrating. Damn it. You know me. Better than anyone else in the world. You knew I would come, knew it would be hard for me. But I know you, too. First to fight, always ready to charge off and stand up for what's right. Well, here I am. Seeing what you saw, eating what you ate, running where you ran and sleeping where you slept, all these months, without me. You were right. Living here is like being trapped in a beautiful all- inclusive Sandals resort. Except instead of the ocean safely blocking you in, it's an M-16 pointing in your face.
But I'm not going anywhere. Not without you. I can do stubborn too. Sit, stand, salute. Play by the rules. Then sit and wait some more. Time stands still and yet somehow manages to march on. Every day like the one before. I wait and wait for you.
Finally, you're here. My Marine is back. M-16s are going off, inside and outside my head. Bang, bang, bang. My Marine is back. But no longer will we push each other, running side by side. They fold up your flag and march it over in my direction. "Hurrah" I whisper, as they place it in my hands.