Lillian Franklin returns to Kevra Prime:
Lillian stepped out of her car in the driveway of her parents’ house. It had been nearly two years since she had been home on Kevra Prime. In that time she was never able to know if her parents were safe, but even worse, they never knew if their daughter was even alive at all. She had craved coming home for so long and now she was finally here. When she approached the door and lifted her fist to knock, her father opened the door.
“Lil?” He said astonished.
“Hey dad!” She replied with a happy smile. “I got leave for a few days.”
“Come here.” He demanded as he pulled her in for a hug. He held her tightly, hesitating to let her go, but after a few seconds he straightened up. He turned and entered the house, taking Lily’s bags and placing them on the floor inside. “Brielle!” He called. “Come out here for a second.”
“Dad…” Lillian sighed. “Mom’s gunna get all spooked about it.”
As she spoke, her mother walked around the corner, shouting with shock and awe.
“Oh my baby girl!” She cried as she ran from the other room, grabbing and holding Lillian.
Lily was happy to embrace her loving mother once again, there was no telling how long it would be before she got another chance, if she lived long enough at all. The moment was peaceful, but Lillian was both starving and exhausted.
“Mom, dad … is there any way we could have an early dinner? I’ve not eaten yet today.”
“Of course. I’ll make you your favorite.” Her mother said happily.
“Thanks. I don’t mean to be a burden, but I might go lay down while you cook.”
Both her parents gave her an offended glare.
“You could never be a burden to us Lil.” Her dad said defensively. “We love you and we understand. You have a very hard job and we are so proud of you.”
“Unlike Kamaron…” She jested, poking fun at her younger sister while she wasn’t around.
“Lily.” Her mom exclaimed.
“You know it was a joke. But where is she now? Still living in the same place?”
“Yeah.” Her mother said as she walked into the kitchen.
“I’ll message her. See if she wants to come for dinner.” Her dad added as he too left the room, leaving Lillian to relax for a few minutes.
“Okay. Sounds great.” She mumbled to herself.
She kicked off her shoes and undid her jacket, placing them by the door. She turned to face the living room and let out a deep breath as she finally felt the stresses of her career float away. She only had a few days but she planned on doing as little as possible for them. Mainly she wanted to see her family and spend time with them, but she craved the idea of sleeping in till midday; that was something she could never get away with if she was on base, even on her days off she ended up working on something.
She dragged her small feet across the floor and spun into the couch, firing her legs into the air as she landed in a slouch. Her eyes began to feel heavy as she just lay there staring at the ceiling. When she brought her eyes down, she noticed that her parents had moved some of the other things around the room. New pictures hanged on the wall, one in particular catching her eye. It was a holographic photo of her and her parents from the last time she came home to visit. She stood in her full uniform, duffel in hand, while her parents both kissed her cheeks. This made her smile and feel a warmth inside. She loved her family, they were everything to her. It was always them that supported her career with the UPDA; everything from helping her train at home to helping her with money for school. If it weren’t for them, she’d probably have never become an officer, let alone the XO of a new flagship.
Her father stepped back into the room behind her as she stared at the picture.
“Your mother loves that photo.” He said, startling her.
“Yes. It reminds her that you always come home. No matter what chaos is out there. No matter what we hear on the news, you always find a way to come home.”
“I have a good crew. And a good ship.” She informed. “And I’m really good at my job.” She said with a tense voice, almost as if she felt it was inappropriate to boast about her own skills.
“You’re very proud of what you’ve accomplished. And so are we.” He said certainly. “Kam should be here within the hour. So I suggest you get some rest.”
“She has a baby boy now. He’s a handful.”
“Oh my!” She laughed in shock. “She had a baby?” At first she was excited, but that faded when she realized that she had missed her baby nephew being born. She didn’t even know her sister had been pregnant for that matter.
Her father noticed her discomfort and moved to her side, placing his hand on her arm.
“Sweetie. There are things that you won’t be a part of. But when you are out there, you are fighting so that she can have the chance at being a mother. But remember that you’re the reason there are even things to miss. You and your comrades give the rest of us a chance at living. And one day it will pay off.”
“Dad … I know all of that. But it just doesn’t make it any less shitty.”
“I know. Get some rest before she shows up. And dinner will be ready in a bit. Love you Lil.”
“You too dad. If I fall asleep don’t hesitate to wake me up.”
“I won’t.” He said with a smile as he left her to be alone.