A Crossing Story: The Phone Call

Another short story based on the Crossing Series: “So I got this letter yesterday from Mom.” Ryan slouched back, kicking his shoes off and resting them on the coffee table in front of the couch. After working for the past 24 hours his bed called to him, but his best friend’s phone call would take priority for now. These conversations were getting fewer with his friend’s training increasing, and as soon as he deployed with his Army unit, they would stop altogether.

“Are they still in Portland?” said David.

“I thought so,” said Ryan, “but the postmark on this envelope says Crossing.”

“Crossing? Where’s that?”

“No idea.” Ryan rubbed his burning eyes. “But I suppose I’m about to find out.”

“You’ll have to catch me up next week. I’ll be out in the field for the next 5 days. No phones allowed on this trip.”

Ryan heard the excitement in his friend’s voice. “You still really like it, don’t you.”

“Yeah, I do. Not all of it is fun, or even easy,” said David, “but I know I was made to do this. I feel God’s call to be a warrior.”

Ryan sat up, putting his elbows on his knees. He wasn’t sure what to say. When David first decided to enlist in the Army their senior year of high school, he thought this glorified-boy-scout thing would wear off within the first six months. But instead, David had grown more focused until he earned his way into a Ranger unit. Now he had his sights on Special Operations.

“How are clinicals going?”

David always knew when to change the subject and draw Ryan back into the conversation.

“Good. I learned a lot from Dr. Walker over the holidays, although I know Dad wasn’t happy when I didn’t make my way to Portland at Christmas.”

“You really seem to be moving more toward diagnosing and treatment rather than just emergency care. Think you’ll ever move to a hospital?”

“And do what? Chat with patients?” Ryan shook his head and leaned back against the couch again. “I don’t think so.”

“You never know! There are lots of cute nurses at that hospital where Melody works. There’s this one brunette…”

Ryan laughed. “You’re incorrigible! Just because you’ve found your Beauty doesn’t mean I need hooked up. When are you two getting married anyway?”

“I think we’ll wait until after this next deployment. The current plan says this trip should be relatively short and about the time I get back I will find out if I made SpecOps or not.”

“Well, you let me know when to show up for the wedding.”

“Wouldn’t let you miss it.

“And that’s not an opportunity for you to set me up with a date. I don’t need a repeat performance of last time you tried that!”

David laughed. “We’ll see, man. We’ll see. I really think you’d like that brunette.”

[If you’d like to read other short stories based on the Crossing series, click here.]