Semper Mine (Chapter Seven: Sawyer, page 2 of 7)


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Stepping out of the warm night into the barracks, I'm pleased to see that the kids are out cold, and so is she. Silently, I prepare for bed, irked to discover her lotion on top of my dresser when she's got space on hers. Her shoes are in the middle of the floor, her suitcase open at the foot of her bed. She's taken over the bathroom, too. Everything I need is confined to one small bathroom bag.

Katya's shit spills over the tiny sink area, and there are fluffy pink towels hanging beside my military issued olive, sandpapery one. The bathtub is littered with no less than five bottles and one of those pink scrubby-loofa things.

One week, I remind myself. Seeing the disaster that is our room makes me itchy. Clean, neat and orderly - it's how I like to live. Battle is messy, a place where adapting is a matter of survival. Here, at home or wherever I'm sleeping at night, I can control my immediate surroundings, even if that's nothing more than keeping my weapon at my side or a canteen by my head.

"Civilians." I survey the bathroom again then decide that no, I really can't live like this.

Within five minutes, I've got her shit straightened or put away, the towels folded correctly, and the bottles in the shower corralled in the basket hanging over the showerhead. When it's neat once more, I automatically relax. I can pretend the rest of the room isn't an issue in the dark.

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