Derick is second from the left.
Derick's sunbleached eyebrows were hardly visible next to his suntanned skin, but nonetheless I saw when they shot up when I'd spoke. He'd had his face glued to his iPhone and his thumbs had been working overtime. Probably texting one of his many girlfriends.
But now he was looking at me as though I had three eyeballs. His mouth fell open as if to say something, but as soon as it did, he snapped it back shut.
I looked him directly in the eye. "What?"
He grinned sideways and squinted his blue eyes at me. He shifted his large frame on the couch and stared at me for a few seconds. "I don't think I heard you right."
I played with the fringe of one of the pillows. "I said, I'm thinking about enlisting."
Derick's mouth fell slack again and his eyes widened just a bit. And then he looked confused all over again. He shook his clean shaven head at me. "Why?"
Derick's a friend of mine. He knows my situation with not being able to find a job. And he knows I have no desire to return to college.
But he also knows my temperment and ability better than most of my friends. And the reason I decided to talk to him about my contemplation was because he serves in the Army and has done a tour of duty in Afganastan.
My hands flew up, defensively. "Because, I'm jobless. Plus, the Army's got benefits. And it's service to my country... And it's a job."
Derick ignored his phone and awaiting text message. "Bullshit."
I think my face resembled a wrinkled Bulldog's at this point. "What kind of response is that?"
His attention was on his phone once again. "Mine."
Men. So freaking ridiculous.
"Derick, I'm honest to goodness considering enlisting. And I would appreciate some feedback."
Sighing, he flung his phone to the coffee table and laid his head back against the couch. "Don't."
"Why not?" I stared him down.
His gaze was directed toward the ceiling. "Because, Mand, you'll never make it."
He cut his eyes to look at me. He appraised me looking me up and down without moving his head or neck. And then met my eyes. "You are not military material."
I picked the nearest pillow and aimed it at his face. As it bounced off, he caught it. "What are you saying? I wouldn't survive?"
Derick's eyes always give him away. "No."
"But women survive the military everyday!" I narrowed my eyes at him
His smile was small. "Yeah, but Mand, they're not woman like you."
I swallowed. Time for a second opinion.
Lived Through by Mandie Described at 5:31 AM