Remi turned off the radio. She didn't want to hear another stupid love song, not while her heart was breaking. Not while she was on the road; tears would make it harder to drive.
Anthony, her high school sweetheart, her first love, the man she wanted to be with for the rest of her life, was gone. Not dead, but gone nonetheless.
A year ago, right after they graduated, Anthony had enlisted in the military. He'd laughed it off, saying that there wasn't a war so he'd never be deployed. At least, that's what the recruitment officer had said... but he'd been wrong.
Anthony had said this was good for their future. They'd get military discounts, health benefits, he'd get to go to college for free. Remi had never felt at peace about the decision, but it was Anthony's choice, not hers.
Still, even Anthony hadn't planned on actually being sent out to fight.
They got the news a month ago, through the mail. Remi had watched as Anthony tore open the letter. She froze when she saw the color drain out of Anthony's face and his shaking hands drop the selfsame paper. She shook her head and started to back away as his eyes found hers, and she saw fear. Pure, terrible fear. She didn't have to ask. She knew.
They talked about it the next morning, and then spent the next month doing all the things they loved doing together: walks through the park, horror movie marathons, cooking for her parents, planning for their future.
Now the game was up, and there was no avoiding the terrible reality. Anthony had left only moments ago, and Remi was driving home from the airport alone.
Of course the radio was only playing love songs; it was Valentine's Day, after all. Remi shook her head in disbelief. She couldn't go anywhere, not on this day. There'd be couples everywhere, happy and in love. All while Remi had to deal with the crushing weight of the possibility that Anthony would never come back, never smile at her, never hold her ever again.
Not every soldier comes back a hero; not every soldier comes back at all.