Dale didn’t worry about anything. He’d been through the worst life could offer while in Iraq. The roadside bomb that took his buddy’s life, had only taken his left leg. Everything now, was a downhill slide,…”smooth and simple” was his motto.
Life, in general, was pretty good to him lately. He’d found love in the arms of a fellow Marine. Samantha would not have been in his life had he not joined the service. If he’d learned anything in his 30 years, it was that things always get better and Sam sure made everything better.
It was the laughter about subjects too horrible for civilians to comprehend that made them so close. Samantha was a marathon runner and her frequent invitations for him to race with her, even across the backyard, kept him cheerful. No matter where they were, he’d shove her off of her feet and shout “Go!” for an impromptu race. He’d have won the one at the flea market last Sunday, if the kid with cotton candy didn’t trip him up. He went to the left and his artificial leg, went to the right. It rolled into the path of a draft horse pulling antique furniture on a flatbed. By the time Sam, put on the brakes, she wasn’t able to stop and fell headlong into taco stand. Their eyes met as a sympathetic crowd gathered. They laughed so hard that they were crying real tears. This, of course, concerned folks more.
A police officer, offered a hand to Dale and he hopped up on his foot. Samantha was still wiping salsa from her face when they took a look at the wayward broken limb.
“Wow, dude, a good thing you couldn’t feel that one.” Samantha was still chuckling.
“Guess it got the worst of our “horsing around”. The Marine Ambulatory Care System is not going to be happy. Three legs in as many months. Hope they are running a sale this week.”
Samantha kicked him playfully in the shin as he feigned an injury and sat down abruptly on a hay bale, she said,” Right. And in this new claim, you don’t have a leg to stand on.”
“Go!” she shouted and raced off toward their car.