Letters to Dad

Dearest Dad,

I miss the days when I could just call you and talk with you. I miss the days when just hearing your voice would make everything ok again. I've tried to be strong since the attacks. I've tried to be the soldier and the woman I know you wanted me to be. I've tried and I've failed. What's worse, Dad, is I don't know how or why. I don't know where it went wrong. I've done everything I can think of to be a good officer, a good person. I love my work. I … loved being Commander Regas' Aide. It wasn't so much who it was - that was simply an honor. It was that I could do the work and do the work well. Sometimes I wonder if he ever saw me at all, if the work even mattered to him.

I wish I knew what to say. I can't get around the feeling that I'm a disappointment to you. You always told me to stand up for what I believed in, to be respectful. He was maligning two other officers, two good men. I know they're men and can take care of themselves, but what he was doing wasn't right. So he humiliated me in front of the Major. That much I could take. Sometimes it's part of being in the military. You always taught me to keep my mouth shut. But he crossed the line, Dad. It was in that moment that I knew he never trusted me and that I was nothing more than an imposition to him. Oh, he said the words. He acted like an over-protective father at times when I went to him for advice. But the mistake was mine. I thought…I thought he could take your place, just for a little while. Ever since the attacks, I felt lost. You were gone. Mom was gone. My whole world was gone. Everything we had envisioned together…gone. The first time I cried was when I found Uncle James alive. I can't cry, I can't allow myself to give in, or else I'm going to break. I've never felt this fragile, this alone.

I'm being transferred. In fact, it's already gone through. I found out this morning in a memo. Major Reed is a good Commander and I'll learn quite a bit from him. I only hope I can be the Aide he needs, do the job he needs done. He's a good man and I look forward to working for him. I found out in a memo this morning. The transfer is my own fault, I know. But I won't look at it that way, I'll look at it the way you taught me, as a new opportunity.

All of this because of scuttlebutt. Because I took two hours to sit with a man who was injured, to talk with a man I respected. You would like him, Daddy. He comes from a military family, too, and is Genesis' JAG. I think he's the only person who understood how afraid I was and understood that I had to hide it from everyone else. I saw on the edge of his bed the way Mom used to sit on the edge of mine. We talked. We talked about work. We talked about our lives before the attacks. I told him stories of you and Mom, stories of the Commander and Uncle James. He smiled and laughed. For a little bit, I think, he felt better. For a little bit, things were…normal.

And now, like you taught me, things are going back in their boxes. I don't have time to be upset. I don't have time to cry. I have a job to do, and I forgot that. Soldiers don't cry. Not where anyone can see them.

Sometimes, when I closed my eyes, I could hear your voice speaking his words. I knew, when I fell asleep at night, that I was safe. Now I'll have to make my own safety. I knew the day would come. I just didn't know it would come so soon.

I love you, Daddy. I miss you.

Pep

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