Death in Diamonds – New Chapter 7 cont’d

I lingered in the office as I was no no hurry to head home for the night to an empty apartment when there was a knock on the office door. I slid my right hand into the top desk drawer and wrapped it around the butt of my .45. “Come in,” I called out.
“How ya doin’, Sarge? How’s Vanessa?” He said.
“We’re both fine. Corporal, what’s up?” Corporal was my old platoon corporal and best friend, Ben Lyons.
“Good, I just got back, I’ve been in South America for a few weeks. The job took a lot longer than I figured.”
Ben Lyons is six feet three inches tall with dark, wavy hair that more than one woman said they would die for. There was the ever present dark stubble on his strong face. He looked like Willie and Joe, Bill Mauldin’s World War II cartoon characters of two weary and bedraggled infantry troopers who stoically endure the difficulties and dangers of duty in the field, in civies. We’d been in Iraq together and in the field almost a year when one night we were hunkered down behind good fortifications in a half destroyed house. The sun began to set and the rest of the platoon were hunkered down behind good fortifications in other nearby abandoned houses for the night. We were ordered to wait until we were relieved. It appeared that relief wouldn’t happen before tomorrow dawn.
We settled down sitting hip to hip, our backs up against a wall and our legs stretched out. I could feel the tension draining down my legs and out my feet. We feasted on our MRE’s. We were quiet. It looked like Lyons was deep in thought.
“Sarge, my mother abandoned me the day I was born,” Lyons said. I stayed quiet and listened.
“I grew up in an orphanage in New York City. Stayed there until I was eighteen. Nobody wanted to adopt me. Its a bitch seeing the other kids being adopted. Nobody wanted me. There was a matron at the orphanage who started working there the day I was born. She told me that her first task that day was to go to the hospital and pick up an abandoned baby. That abandoned baby was me. She became my unofficial mother; she was the only mother I would know. As I grew older, I heard the other kids who had parents, at one time or another, talk about their mothers and fathers. I had no conception of what they were talking about. When I finally figured it out, I started calling the matron ‘Mom’. She taught me a lot of things about life.

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