The phone only rang once before he picked up making me laugh.

“Waiting by the phone for me I see.”

“Always.  So you got there ok, how was the flight?”  My dad asked.

“It was fine.  I slept most of the way.”

His voice was an instant comfort.  I wanted to tell him that I missed him already, but I didn’t want to sound like a pathetic, home-sick summer camper.

“What time do you guys leave in the morning?”  I asked.

“We have to be on the tarmac, loaded and ready to roll by zero-three-hundred.”

“Ouch, that’s rough.”  I said.

“How’s everyone?  They treating you well?”

“Everyone’s great,” I assured.  “Well, everyone I met,” I corrected.

I explained the introductions, the new family member, and described the house to my dad.  My recap seemed to put him at ease.  The last thing I wanted to do was stress him out before a deployment.

“I knew you’d love it the minute you saw it.  Well honey, it’s late there, you should get some sleep.  We love you, Katherine.”

“Love you guy’s too, bye.”

It took my last ounce of energy to sound enthused for him.  I hated lying to him,but it was one of those acceptable occasions, like when convincing someone that you love the tacky sweater they gave you for Christmas.

The worst part of any deployment was the waiting, and that phone call I knew would be the last with dad for some undetermined amount of time.

I decided that sleep would be the best cure for the pity party I was contemplating.  I quickly unpacked my bag, put on my usual tank top night gown and, brushed my teeth.  Just as I crawled into bed, a flash of lightning bled through the window curtains.  I was probably more excited about the possibility of rain than I should’ve been, but I hoped it would lull me to sleep faster.  The rain never came, and neither did another promising flash of lightening.

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