I look out to the horizon and see the mountains far off. I feel the breeze hitting me, going in all different directions. The autumn chill making me cold and shiver. The sun coming in and out thanks to the clouds rolling over head. I stand there for a long time, just watching everything around me. I feel safe and secure. I take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. The fresh, cold air going through my lungs and the smell of the nature around me makes me happy. This is familiar, this is home to me. I start to walk once again. I pass the old rusty sign and turn around to look at it. I read it over and over again and each time I do, it warms me to know where I am. I have been gone for so long that I am scared to go away again. I feel like if I do then I will forget about this place forever and lose everything I am.
My family is waiting for me, I know it. I can feel it. I look down the mountain, it is peaceful and quiet. The little town I love is sitting there just waiting for me to return. I start to run down the mountain towards the town ready to see what I have been missing for the past eleven years. I will be able to see my wife, my son, and my mother. I left when my son was only three years old to help serve our country. I can’t imagine how big he has grown. I wonder if he still remembers me or if he will be mad at me for leaving him for so long. I hope nothing has changed too much and that everything is well with them. If something tragic has happened I don’t know what I would do.
I can see the town clearly now. The old white church, all the little houses where my friends and family live, the towns general store, I can even hear the music the radio plays outside the store. I stop at the entrance of the town, I don’t see anyone. The streets are bare, no cars parked on the side of the road, no one walking in and out of the buildings that make up this town, my home town is completely empty. I start to walk the streets and still can’t find anyone, not even a single bird in the sky. I keep walking slowly; no noise is around me anywhere. I get to the end of the main road and turn onto the next road. And there attending in front of me is a big banner that says Welcome Home with everyone in the whole town standing below it. Once they see me they all cheer and welcome me home. My wife comes out from the crowd; she runs at me and jumps into my arms, tears streaming down her face. I hug her closer to me not letting her go; afraid I might lose her once again. I look up and see my mother coming from the crowd also. Only this time she was with a gentlemen escorting her. It was my son, he was so big, and grown up I didn’t even recognize him. My mom and my son reach us and we all start to cry. I couldn’t hold back my tears and I know from that moment on I realized that I would never leave my family again.