Let's Get This Over With.
“I haven’t been this nervous since...”
The latch closed. The action was careless, not angry, but the sound of the door closing echoed across the linoleum and masonry blocks like a detonation in closed quarters. The concussion rang in his ears, penetrated his flesh, made him want to duck and cover.
He shifted his eyes. On the opposite wall, a white bunny in a vest carried eggs in a basket. Further down the hallway, stick figure drawings hung from a wire by clothes pins. At the end of the hallway, a door opened and a single person walked out. Jon stepped back against the wall, his hand reaching for the sidearm that wasn’t there.
Shit, he thought. The shadow turned into a door half-way between him and the door at the far end of the corridor. He hadn’t felt this exposed since—no, he might have felt safer in Falluja. The only cover available for twenty yards in either direction was a janitor’s cart.
“Jon.” He snapped toward the woman’s voice to find his sister standing in the doorway, impractically dressed for walking in a skirt and three inch heels. She studied him with worry. “Are you ready?”
“Let’s get this over with,” he exhaled and followed her through the door, coming face to face with twenty second graders.
“Class,” she said. “This is my brother, Jonathan Seaver, Sergeant First Class in the US Army. He’s come to talk to us about the children he met in Iraq.”