Michael came into his house with his wife Joanna. His brother Josue had passed away and they had came back from the funeral. After the funeral, he went to the bar with the guys and drank lots of shots. Joanna opened the door and was trying to keep her husband from falling over. He could barely stand and she knew that she would have to carry him, wondering if he would be too heavy for her. She kicked off her heels and threw them aside and said to him, “I’m going to carry you Michael”. Michael nodded as he put his arm around her shoulders.
Joanna put one arm under his knees, and the other around his waist. To Michael’s surprise, she was able to sweep him off of his feet. “Whoa, you’re strong Joey. Weee!”, he said as she started walking while carrying him. Her legs were trembling as she headed into the living room. When they got to the couch, she laid him gently onto the cushion and propped his head on one of the pillows. Joanna sat by his feet and put them on her lap. She pulled the laces to untie his shoes and peeled each shoe off.
“I’m sorry I got drunk Joey, I know I promised you that I would stop drinking so much, but I needed to drink this day. I’m sorry you had to carry my heavy body since I got drunk,” Michael sobbed. “It’s okay Mikey, these are soft socks” she replied as she massaged his socked feet. Her thumbs stroked his instep and went down to his heel. She then bent his toes back and palmed his other instep. He groaned “Oh, you are so good at that Joey. Your hands are wonderful. I promise to rub your feet when I wake up. ” As Michael dozed off, she held the cuffs of his socks and pulled them off of his feet. Before she stood up, Joanna put her index finger on his right sole and tickled his foot with a few strokes. She put the socks in his shoes and went to put them away.
Joanna went back to the car to get her purse. She was wondering what they would do for Thanksgiving. As she got her purse, she found a small box in the backseat. Inside the box was a USB flash drive, a medal, and a note. The note was from General Henry Chu, Josue’s commanding officer. She wondered what this was about and walked into the house with the box. Josue was in the US Army, but he didn’t tell them exactly what he did. He implied it was some type of administrative position, but Michael didn’t believe him. As she sat in the loveseat adjacent to the couch her husband was sleeping in, she looked at the note and started to read it.
Dear Michael and Joanna Suarez,
Josue was a fine soldier and performed exemplary service in Afghanistan. His death enabled his comrades escape as he was able to guide reinforcements and air support into the enemy. This USB stick belonged to Josue as he instructed me that if he were to die in combat, it would be sent to you.
General Henry Chu, US Army
PS, Josue requested that the items on the flash drive would be shown to his friends and comrades.
Joanna grabbed the laptop off of the table and put the USB stick into the slot. The drive showed a bunch of pictures, video files, and some documents. One was a thanksgiving video where he wished them a happy thanksgiving. There was another video file shot by a combat cameraman that showed Josue battling some insurgents to rescue some children. She clicked on a picture showing Josue and Michael about to throw her into the pool during Memorial Day. Oh yeah, I remember that she thought. That was the last time they saw him in person before he was shipped out.
From what she was reading, Josue was a member of this new Special Forces team that was different from other Special Forces in the US Army. They were disguised as a regular infantry unit and lots of their administrators were actually specialized soldiers. Apparently, he was able to infiltrate into many enemy units and provided intelligence to other units. Michael woke up and sat next to her. He took her feet and started to caress her arches.
“Hey, how was your sleep?” She asked as she enjoyed his strong hands on her foot. “I feel like a new man, what are you looking at?” Michael responded. The note was handed to him as she watched another one of his videos. This video showed Josue and his fellow soldiers having a bbq and shooting up cans with guns. “That looks like fun, we should do that for thanksgiving. We can go to the cabin and shoot some stuff with the shotgun” Joanna said as he pressed his fingers into her toes, “Oh yeah, that’s the spot, push harder”. He obliged her as he pushed into her trigger point on her toe.
Michael took the laptop from her and started to look at Josue’s files as Joanna went to the kitchen to look what they would make for Thanksgiving. He found a file that had all of his friend’s phone numbers and email addresses. “Why don’t we ask all of Josue’s friends if they can come over for Thanksgiving? I’m sure they’re still around”. She looked back at him and nodded and Michael went to call them. Michael said he didn’t get many responses.
He went to help her gather the food they were going to cook and cut up some vegetables and meat. It was too late to go grocery shopping and there wouldn’t be enough time to get food on Thanksgiving Day. Much to their surprise, Josue’s friends and the rest of their family knocked on the door ten minutes after Michael called and brought food with them. They said that Josue called them a few days before he was killed to surprise them since he knew that Michael loved Thanksgiving.
Michael cooked some jambalaya as everyone else helped set up their dishes and get the place ready. Forty people came and everyone enjoyed the massive Thanksgiving in honor or Josue. Joanna plugged the laptop into the TV and everyone enjoyed Josue’s pictures and videos. One of Josue’s fellow soldiers named Christine told everyone that Josue and her were dating and that she was pregnant with his child. Everyone left after they sang some of Josue’s songs and cleaned the house before leaving.
Joanna was feeling tired and Mike scooped her up in his arms and took her up the stairs. “Thanks for carrying me, you owed me for carrying you earlier. You’re heavy.” she stated. “You’re welcome Joey. Have you gained weight? You’re getting heavy”. She laughed and punched his chest as they went into their bedroom. Before they went to sleep, they were discussing how to plan for Christine’s baby shower.