This is the 132nd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
Romancing of the Fighter, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 11th April 2013
Word count: 758
“Let me put this a way you’d understand,” Francis said, “I need room to manoeuvre.”
Robert stood there quietly, waiting for more, challenging Francis to go further, when he didn’t he asked, “Why?”
“Because this isn’t the life I wanted. Fair enough you got drafted, a lot of people did, but after the battle for Epsilon Eridani, most people quit and returned home. You went career without even talking to me.”
“They needed me,” Robert said, he was a man of few words, a trait he considered stoic, right now Francis just found it infuriating.
“I needed you,” Francis said, “I needed you, and you are barely here. Always off on some secret mission or another you can never talk about when you are home.”
“I understand,” and he really thought did, his colonel had warned of the hardships of a career in the defence force.
“I need space, and I need time. I need to find out if this is what I want,” Francis said quietly.
“I understand,” Robert repeated.
Two weeks later Robert was gone, he’d been out of contact for a week, Francis already knew that meant he was on mission again, and he was trying not to care, but he worried, he always worried. Pilots had short life spans, so many things to go wrong when you’re in and out of space constantly. Francis had seen the war documentaries, accidents had taken nearly as many lives as the enemy in the two years of the war.
There was an electronic chime from the door.