M.I.C.: Headed to Parris Island, SC

5:00 AM

Before I knew it, it was time to leave for Clark's graduation. I had lost track of time amidst working and having a roommate. We were having such a good time that I seemed to be ignoring all the stress that was revolving around me.

For instance, Clark's family had planned a Hawaiian vacation for his ten days of leave before his next step of training. While this was fabulous, I had soon realized it wasn't a good idea. We had to find a new place to live (our current landlord was not a fan of Luna and wanted to rent the house as a whole rather than two units). Clark had to look into jobs for when he returned. And there was the possibility that he would be late, which the Marine Corps would not accept, thanks to the flights his parents had reserved.

It was irresponsible to go. This I knew. Convincing Clark was going to be something else. As I drove to my in-law's, I started to think about this.

I was going to spend a night in Fayetteville before we left for South Carolina. The plan was to leave in the morning, bright and early, with plenty of time to spare. We didn't leave until the afternoon. I probably should have just up and left with my sister-in-law in tow in the mini-van, but I waited for my mother-in-law to join us. Clark's paternal grandparents were having some health issues, so Clark's father stayed behind to help, in hopes that he'd get there in time for the following day's festivities.

Driving there wasn't too bad. At this point I wasn't exactly a skilled driver. I had barely had my license for two years, and would still let others drive as much as possible when the opportunity presented itself. After coming to a fork in a road with my mother-in-law shouting, "Right, right, right!" I went left. It's just how I function. If someone is yelling at me to do one thing while driving, I do the exact opposite. Never mind that I was intending all along to go right, I went left.

The best part about this? Clark's little sister said, "Mom, that's left."

We all laughed it off over dinner, and then Clark's mom took the wheel. There was no way I was driving at dark in an unfamiliar area. As you may remember from M.I.C.: Defending My "Crown", I'm not exactly a fan of night driving.

We arrived ridiculously late. I'm pretty sure it was somewhere around 10pm. That may not sound late, but even then it was to me. I am an early-to-bed, early-to-ride type of gal.

Clark's mom gave me half of a sleeping pill to calm my nerves. Truly. I was that restless. All the long drive had done was give me even more jitters. Think about it. I had gone thirteen weeks without seeing Clark. Truly without REALLY talking to him. It didn't matter how many letters or how few phone calls there had been, it wasn't the same.

I honestly started to hate that Clark's parents and relatives were there. Don't get me wrong. I knew my in-laws had every right to see their son graduate from bootcamp. His brother and sister and grandparents and all had the right to hug him and congratulate and support him. And I knew he'd want it. But, those first moments, I wanted it to be just me and him. I wanted to love on him and have him tell me how much he'd missed me and tell me that we'd do what was right when it came to his leave. I wanted it to be just me and him, against the world.

That wasn't precisely how it was going to be.

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