She rewarded him for waiting so long. It had been 100 years. Sure she had been unfaithful, but now they could be together again at last! It had been during the last war of 100 years, their love separated by nations, separated by war. She said she would wait for him forever. But that couldn’t happen. Because as she waited, she grew restless, because she was yet courted as though her husband no longer existed, though he did. Her suitors pried and questioned, probed until she was molested, asking for her hand in a literal moment, with perhaps more to follow. And she couldn’t resist. Weak without her husband’s arms to fall into each and every night, she succumbed to the embraces of others. She welcomed them into her home, without ill intent, to paint the house, or move furniture, or help her perform any number of her former’s husbandly tasks. And they took advantage. Licentious, vile men, with no considerations for others’ claims, desires or needs. They behaved upon their instincts, reckless, careless, inconsiderate of what relations they could destroy. But she let it happen. She provoked them with her clothing, her exposed flesh, that those undisciplined creatures could not control themselves. She accepted their initial advances, afraid to withstand what her lonesomeness feared for lack. And she allowed their touches to wander, placed hands and closened bodies with parts that her husband could not accept, though understanding he could sometimes be. It is difficult to wait 100 years with so many pursuits waiting to offend. And once one entered, he paved that wrongful path for others. There was no stopping them now. Pursuit and coyness, contact and acceptance, lustful thrusts at the end of once inadvertent paths. There was no turning back. She had betrayed him through faults, and others through the same.
But he had waited 100 years. Hundreds of miles and an international boundary apart, he would hop on a rocket to fly back to her, if he could. At the start of the war, he had been sent to the northern border, tensions with every flinch or flicker, a hair-trigger ready to resume the war. And there he waited, not a movement, not a sound. And when his rest cycle came, he wrote to her. How much he loved her and missed her and wished they would be together again. And his luck would find such a reward, initial though it would be. He was granted mid-tour leave, and traveled home, full of elation, and all the anticipated pleasures of holding her in his arms again. Waiting for a shared embrace, and wondering if it would lead to romance, or even love-making. It could happen a thousand ways, and he imagined every possibility, lost in his fantasies the entire flight home, only interrupted by such lesser stewardesses than the steward of his cupid’s heart. And when he finally departed the plane, his elation wasn’t intervened by her absence, because he knew her limitations. And that couldn’t stop his love. So he continued headstrong to her supposed waiting embrace and met her at their lovely home. Somebody’s car was in the driveway. They were pulling away. He went up to the door and knocked. She yelled to him to “just come in.” She smiled nervously when he saw her, and continued washing the dishes in the sink. “It’s hot,” was how she explained her clothing. He didn’t care. He started to kiss her, and pauses for slight words led them eventually to bed where they made love. She made a comment when he finished, and their joyous reunion was complete, discussions returning to the material for the remainder of his visit, until he had to return to his employ and obligations.
He was returned to the eastern front of the war. His efforts there would lead to an eventual accumulation of awards, medals and promotions to rival Audie Murphy himself. He was the most competent private, executing every assigned task or detail to perfection, pleasing his NCOs beyond delight. But he still managed his recovery time well, with a “Sergeant, can I write home to my wife tonight?” These same NCOs became his senior NCOs when he finally joined their corps. Nobody was more professional than he. All his soldiers loved him, and that helped his senior leadership by allowing him and his men to accomplish every mission successfully. And when he grew into the ranks of senior NCO, all of his wisdom earned over half the war earned him the respect of his subordinates, and great trust and confidence placed in him by the officers appointed over him. In the second half of the war he earned a battlefield commission, and though overtasked as he was, he still managed sit down after meetings following meetings before meetings, and wrote to his wife love letters or poems. He never heard back from her. He continued to work, expend every energy save for that one letter back home, and eventually he took command. As a commander he won every decisive engagement in the field, and some not so decisive back in garrison. And by the time he had commanded units through flawless campaigns, they decided to make him a general. He wrote home to tell his wife about his new positions, how it bothered him that they wasted and entire PSD team on just him, and that they even assigned him personnel to take care of his laundry. His secretary followed him around and scheduled and took notes for his mind to be free for decisions. He knew he could do everything himself, yet his wife never wrote back to tell him whether she agreed.
When he returned after 100 years, things were strange. He tried to resume where they left off. It began with that first embrace, the heart-pounding thrill of holding the woman who loved him, the pure elation of holding her tight in his arms again, swinging her around and around, then setting her down and peppering her face with kisses, her soft cheeks, her lips, eyes closed, the reckless abandon of unfettered love. Eventually, though, they had to leave the airport. Dismay. But not before long they were back home, mere steps inside the doorway before they started again, passion overtaking 100 years’ worth of cares and worries, every kiss worth 1,000 ‘I miss you’. Her warmth and her soft skin rekindled a fire that was burning furiously for her now. But she made him stop. They had to bring in his bags from the car. Quickly completing tedious hindrances, that first night back with her awoke his full passions once more, never alight but wrought through 100 years of sufferance that could finally be appeased. Their renewed honeymoon would not sustain though, and could not last. He tried to buy her things like before, and spend more time together as well, but he would start to see that she was different now. Lovers once, lovers always, but not forever, no. He took her out, tried to begin life anew, though it was not. 100 years had changed the both of them, irreconciled them for eternity, whether they realized it or not. He tried to involve her in his life, and she a little him in hers, but they were two separate lives now, having been experienced as strangers, with others, but never each other. Yet every fool is taught to believe in impossible, to believe in what we know cannot be true. Truly, 100 years? How absurd. But he refused to believe so. And he didn’t realize until it was too late. He tried to pamper the woman who wasn’t anymore his, and she tried to accept him. But after 100 years, the best answer wasn’t ‘forever’. It was never, outrageous though it may seem to erase their history of 100 years.