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His Wife for a Year

SM Micthell had too much work piled on him when he returned from Paris. His TDY assignment of splitting between Yongsan and Daegu was wearing on his nerves and patience. He had no time to spend with Kendi. They were only able to talk a few times a week and that was short. His time spent with her was keeping him motivated to put things in order so that they could live peacefully.


His flight to Baumholder was booked. The only thing standing in his way with Kendi was Management, his wife, and possibly his brothers. Time had come for Mak to exit his current life for a fresh, new one.


“Looks like you’re deep in thought or hard at work figuring out the logistics of the next shipment,” Private Beck said before entering his office.


SM Mitchell looked up. “Hey son. Come in and close the door.”


Private Beck did as he was told. “You know the rapist has either left South Korea, in jail, or something. Nothing has been happening or reported,” he stated as he sat down in front of Sergeant Major’s desk.


“So, I see. You ever hear anything about who it could be?’


“No. Nothing.”


“Well, in time people like that will slip up and the authorities will be waiting.”


“They always do. What’s on our agenda, Sergeant Major.”


“Promotion. You are to be promoted, son.”


“Really?!” Private Beck was excited.


“Yes. Who would you like to pin you?”


Beck thought about it for a while. They had been putting in long hours together and he knew that since his return from Paris, things have been going rough for Sergeant Major. “Does it have to be someone from the company?” he wanted to know.


“It could be anyone you want.”


“You will be performing the ceremony?”


“The company commander will do it. I will be there to assist him.”


“How many people can I get, or does it have to be one person?”


“Two would be your max.”


Moments ticked by as SM Mitchell tried to gauge what was going through the young man’s mind.


“I would like you to pin me along with PFC Markus,” Private Beck finally spoke up.


“WOW. OK? I wasn’t expecting that. May I ask?”


“I know that she is someone special to you or you wouldn’t have sent me to walk her to work. Ever since you’ve been back from Paris, you’ve been in a different mood.”

“Different how?” Mak played with the paperweight on his desk.


“You seemed…at peace more.”


“Very perceptive.”


“You taught me well,” he hood-saluted. “Anyways, during those walks, she and I talked a lot about some of everything. If I have my vote, I like her for you. Some people may think otherwise, but who cares.”


“She’s the reason I took interest in mentoring you.”


“And for that…I am grateful and want to return a small fraction of the favor by having both of you there for the pinning ceremony.”


“So say. So done. Am I going to call her or you?”


“Can I?” Beck asked with admiration.


Sergeant Major reached in his pocket and pulled out his phone. “The ceremony will be this Friday after work call.” He quick-dialed Kendi and handed the phone to Beck.


Kendi answered on the second ring. “PFC Markus.”


“Hello PFC Markus. This is Private Beck.”


“Well, hello Tavarius. This is unexpected. How are you?”


“I am well ma’am, sitting here with Sergeant Major Mitchell. He just informed me that I will be getting a promotion. I would be honored if you could come down to Daegu to pin me alongside him.”


“Oh! Congratulations! I would be honored. Why me?”


“You are the reason I am becoming a better man.”


“You are going to make me cry. When is the ceremony?”


“After work call this Friday. Can you make it?”


“I will do my best. Can I get back to you tomorrow with an answer?”


“Yes. Ok. Talk to you then.” Beck hung up the phone, handed it back to Sergeant Major. “She will let me know by tomorrow.”


“I will make sure she can be here.”


Beep. Beep. Beep. Mak received a text message. He looked down at his phone.


“Looks like we have another shipment to get out.”


“Sounds like you are not looking forward to it.”


“I’m done. This year could not be over fast enough. You are coming along great in learning the ropes. At this point, I am just there to ensure your safety and watch your back. You’ve booked your flight to Baumholder yet?”


“All set.”


Tavarius looked at his mentor. No man has ever taken him under his wings. He was learning more by watching than what Sergeant Major was teaching him verbally. Private Beck had hoped to not let him down.




The day had been long and exhausting. Kendi had forgotten all about asking the Commander to have Friday afternoon off. She was just about to leave the motor pool when the Commander called after her.


“Yes sir,” she turned around and stood at parade rest.


“At ease, soldier. My calendar has been cleared for Thursday and Friday. Therefore, I am taking the little lady on a mini vacation. I am, also, giving you a four-day weekend. I’ve already told your First Sergeant not to disturb you. Do not answer any calls from them. Better yet, call me if they even reach out to you. There is no need for you in that motor pool. Understood?”


“Yes sir.”


“That is all. Carry on.”




Mak was going over the logistics of his next shipment of supplies. He was trying to figure out how to navigate his new order from Management when Sergeant Major Douglas walked into his office.


“Working hard or hardly working, brother?”


Mak felt anger reverberate through his body. With all the strength he could muster, he attempted to be happy to see his little brother. Albeit, unannounced. “What’s up, little big brother? You putting on some weight?” He stood and rounded his desk to hug and dap Douglas up.


“You’ve noticed too? Man! I need to do something about that.”


“What, someone else noticed?”


“Yeah. My wife came to see me right after getting back from Paris. Said she missed me.”


“Aaah, was that planned?”


“Not at all. Had to turn my phone off from the birds that kept tweeting. Man, that woman threw a monkey wrench in my plans.” Douglas went on to explain how he strategically had to let his birds know that the bald eagle had landed, and he was going to be out of the nest for a few days. His wife’s visit was not just a social call though.


“Oh yeah. What did she want?”


“She put me on notice of a pending divorce if this is not my last time deploying without her and the kids.”


“WOW. What are you going to do?”


“I guess it is time for me to hang it in as well,” Douglas looked out of Mak’s window for a minute, then turned his attention back. “Which is why I am here. I like the extra money we are making. Hell, I love it. So, I need you to put in a good word with Management for a government position that will keep me in the loop with continuing to make this money.”


Mak was no fool. Douglas was after his position. Their conversation in Paris came back to mind. He needed to play his hand close to his vest.


“Are you going to Baumholder on mid-tour leave?”


“I can’t. The wife and kids are expecting me to return stateside or else. As much as I love being the sex symbol here and other places we travel, I am not about to lose my good thing at home.”


“I hear you. She’s been down with you since we were foster kids. I wouldn’t want to lose that either.”

“What do you say? Can I count on you to put in a good word for me?”


“I will speak to them when I get there about everything.”


Douglas knew Mak was loyal and counted on that for him to get what he wanted. He had been in Mak’s shadow for years. It was his time to become the Boss of the empire and receive a bigger piece of the pie.


“What’s going on this weekend brother? While I am down here, we might as well hang out.”


Mak was skeptical of Douglas’ sudden visit. Especially with the text message he received that the order needed to be out by Thursday night. Being that it was Wednesday, the timing of his visit had Management all over it. He hesitated to tell him about the shipment, as if Douglas hadn’t already been informed. However, Mak knew, just like in foster care, to play along with the games being played. Plus, he wanted to see how this one was going to play out. “We have a shipment that needs to be out tomorrow.” Mak waited to see any signs of deception in Douglas’ eyes. Gotcha, he thought. Douglas could not hide that fact that he already knew on his face. Mak looked at his computer screen, to open an instant chat to Tavarius but continued talking to Douglas. “Other than some company promotions and things, I am going to hopefully relax.” The last part Mak declared straight-faced. He had no plans of relaxing. He needed to tie up more loose ends on this side before heading to Baumholder. His gut told him, after his meeting with Management, there was going to be a quick moment to get him out of the country. He wanted to secure Kendi’s safety and future.


Tavarius was outside talking to a female soldier he had been seeing when he saw the chat on his phone from Sergeant Major Mitchell. We have company. Little, big brother is here. He quickly responded. Message received. Worry not.


Mak quickly ended and deleted the chat’s history.


“We can go fishing,” Douglas offered.


“Not this weekend. I have plans to do nothing. Been working nonstop since returning. Tired Boss. Dog tired.” Mak lied.


“You need any help to get the shipment out?”


“Might as well use you while you are here and available.”


“Great! Then I will get out of your hair. I am staying in guest housing if you want to grab something to eat or whatnot.”


“I am preparing things for tomorrow and Friday. Will probably be working late.”


“You gotta eat some time but suit yourself.”


With that Douglas left. Mak followed him to the door and watched as he walked down the hall. His brother was up to something, he knew it. Closing the door, Mak pulled out his cellphone. He had not talked to Kendi the night before. Needing to know she was ok, he hit the speed dial.


Kendi did not answer Makaveli’s call. Makaveli dialed Kendi’s number a few more times throughout the day with no answer. He called Tavarius.


“Beck speaking.”


“I can’t get Markus on the line. Has she talked to you?”


“No. I was going to check to see if she called you back with confirmation of her attendance this Friday.”


“Where are you?”


“With my lady, getting ready to grab something to eat. You need me?”


Mak thought for a minute. He was losing his mind with worry but did not want to get Beck involved at this point. “No. Enjoy your girl.”


“Ok. Let me know when and where, and I’m there.”


“I know.” Mak disconnected the call. Cap! came his next thought. He called his dear friend.


“Long time no hear, Boss. You in Daegu?”


“Yes, my friend. Need a favor.”


“I’m listening.”




“Is leaving the PX with her roommate right now.”


Mak was relieved.


“I’ve been keeping an eye on her ever since you told me what went down in Paris.”


“My friend.”


“I got you Boss. My loyalty is to you not Management. Plus, she is good for you. I like her.”

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