The crash of thunder and sudden torrential downpour woke me from restless sleep. I looked in the bed beside me. Elliott was gone.
He had slipped out of the house at 4:30am for a PT (physical training) test at Ft Sam. I had been sleeping lightly and praying urgently ever since. Elliott’s performance in today’s PT test was critical. His shoulder had been sore for the past few days, sore enough that he had several times asked me to carry Lena and her car seat while he carried lighter things. We were concerned the test wouldn’t go well. If Elliott collapsed in the middle of 50 push-ups, we’d be heading back to Sicily.
The rain kept pouring. Suddenly I sensed a movement in the apartment. Through a foggy haze, I realized Elliott was home, shuffling around quietly to avoid waking me or Lena. I wanted him to come so I could ask him how PT had gone. But I was too sleepy and he was too far away to call to him over the sound of the rain.
Vaguely I thanked God for the rain. We’re in the middle of the potentially worst drought in San Antonio history. (This seems to happen to poor San Antonio every two years.) Perhaps this torrential rain shower would stave off the record for another summer.
When I woke again, it was to Elliott slipping into bed beside me and Lena stirring awake. There’s no putting her back to sleep after she wakes up. I turned to Elliott, suddenly scared. Maybe he’d been hiding his PT results from me so I could get a good night’s sleep? He does that. He waits till I’ve eaten most of my dinner before he tells me he’s being deployed for a year, and so on.
“PT?” I asked, tense. “How did it go?”
A simple nod. “Fine.”
I sank back into the pillow, grateful. So we would be here for the next two months, making a home (making room) in San Antonio while Elliott attended the mandatory Captain’s Career Course at Ft Sam Houston. Elliott scooped up Lena and sat her on his stomach. Still waking up, she surveyed him with glee, a huge smile spreading across her face.
“Lena, do you want to see the rain?”