“I’m sorry if I offended you earlier.” Chrissy kept her voice low. Her roommate was asleep in the next room, and she didn’t want to be rude by talking too loudly on the phone. “I seriously thought you were joking about being scary looking… and having killed people.”
“There are a lot of things that happened in Afghanistan that I don’t like to talk about.” Phil’s soft voice sounded incredibly sexy. “I did what I had to do to get out of there alive.”
“How long have you been home?”
“Less than a year. I was lucky. Not all of my platoon made it out.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t feel pity for me.” Phil’s voice grew harsh. He took an audible breath. “Sorry, I get a little defensive sometimes. Maybe we shouldn’t try to do this. I’m still pretty messed up, Christina.”
Chrissy gulped, not sure how to respond. Did she really want to get involved with a guy who was still affected by a war his mind couldn’t escape? She knew nothing about Phil. If there was any time to back off, now would be that time. A peace came over her heart, and her pity shifted to compassion. She sighed and smiled, even though he wouldn’t be able to see her through the phone.
“Are you still there?” Phil’s voice was quiet again.
“I’m still here,” Chrissy whispered. “I find it very honorable that you were willing to wear a uniform and put your life on the line to help innocent people and eliminate danger. Thank you for your service.”
“You’re welcome. I’m sorry I was rude. Many of us have come home with damaged bodies and haunted minds. I still have a hard time fitting in with society.”
“Do you have a job?” Chrissy asked. “Do you go to school?”
“Yeah, I’m a computer programmer part time. And thanks to the GI bill, I go to MSU at the discounted rate of free, compliments of Uncle Sam.” Phil chuckled.
“I think you paid your dues.” Chrissy stifled a yawn.
“More than you know.” Phil’s mumbled comment was barely audible.
“I look forward to getting to know you.” Chrissy yawned louder. “Ugh, sorry. I can’t keep my eyes open.”
“I’ll let you get some sleep,” Phil said. “Send me a text when you get out of class tomorrow, and maybe we can talk some more.”
“That sounds good. See ya tomorrow.”
“I’ll talk with you tomorrow.”
“Whatever.” Chrissy’s answer was veiled by another yawn. “Goodnight, Phil.”
“Goodnight, Christina.” Phil’s velvet voice drifted across the phone line and lulled her to sleep.