The phone rang at 9:34.
It was Tom calling from work.
“Yo,” I said.
“Yo?” Tom was a little confused.
“Yo,” I confirmed.
“Okay. Uh. Yo. Guess what? I have some news.”
News? Uh oh.
“What kind of news?” I wondered.
“I got orders for our next base.”
We had been waiting to hear about where we’ll be going next for awhile. See, Tom is going to Korea for a year. He leaves in August. When he gets back we figured we’d be moving. We just didn’t know where.
“Is it....a good base?” I gripped the phone tightly. Awhile back the Air Force had tried to send us to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Yes, I might have pitched a fit about that only because I had heard awful things about it. Plus, it was another missile base. The base that we’re at now is a missile base. All we wanted was a bit of a change and it seemed like the Air Force wasn’t willing to give us one. Thankfully Tom’s supervisor was able to pull some strings and we got to stay here.
“I don’t know,” Tom answered. He was teasing me. He knows I have very little patience. I tried to read his voice but it was difficult. He didn’t sound upset...but he didn’t sound happy either. Oh my God, what if we got one of those Middle of Nowhere bases?
“Is it…Texas?” I crossed my fingers. I’d love to go to Texas since my family is there.
“Ohio?” I crossed my fingers harder.
My heart was beginning to drop.
“Florida?” I squeaked out.
“No.” I could tell Tom was enjoying this.
“Could you just tell me then?”
“I don’t know...” Tom said playfully. He’s lucky he wasn’t home. I’d have jumped on his back and forced the news out of him. Granted he’d have probably easily gotten me OFF his back but then I’d have gone for his armpits because that’s where he’s especially ticklish. Really, we have a healthy relationship.
“Just TELL me,” I demanded. “Should I be sitting down?”
What if it was another crappy base?
“Sit down only if you don’t like Oklahoma,” Tom replied.
“Oklahoma where the sun comes sweeping down the plain...and the something something something....” I sang, off key.
“Huh?” Tom was perplexed.
“When I hear the name Oklahoma, I immediately think of that song in the musical.”
“Um okay. Anyway,” Tom said. “We’re going to Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. Is that okay with you?” He said this sarcastically.
“I don’t know. Does it have a Target?”
Tom made a noise. “How would I know? I could care less about Target—”
“Tom, that’s blasphemy.”
“All I know is that I’m happy with the base,” Tom finished. “Please tell me that you aren’t going to freak out like last time.”
I drummed my fingers on the kitchen counter. “No freak outs here. Unless Oklahoma doesn’t have a Target.”
“I can almost bet that it does,” Tom assured me.
“Let me check.” I strolled over to the computer and typed in a quick search. And..phew! A Target popped up not far from the military base. “I’m good to go!”
“Great,” Tom said dryly.
“So when do we go?” I asked.
“Not until I get back. My report no later than date is the end of September 2011. I should get back in August so that’s when we’ll start the move. Unless the Air Force takes the orders away. I’ve heard stories where they’ve done that,” Tom grumbled.
“Oklahoma then,” I breathed. I typed in Tinker AFB in Google and a Murder-Suicide story popped up. “TOM! People have been MURDERED around the base.”
“People have been murdered around every base,” Tom reminded me.
“TOM!” I shrieked. “It says here that there are gang shootings at certain areas. I don’t want to be shopping at Target and have to dodge bullets at the same time.”
“So avoid those certain areas. Sheesh,” Tom pointed out.
“I hope we get a big house. I have a lot of stuff,” I continued.
“You might want to consider getting rid of that stuff. You don’t need your old high school notebooks,” Tom said.
“But I do. Suppose I want to remind myself what the French word for door is?”
“Over the summer we’re throwing out a lot of stuff,” Tom said firmly.
I laughed and let him think that he was in charge.
“So Oklahoma,” I said.
“Oklahoma,” Tom repeated.
“Oklahoma where the sun comes sweeping down the plains!”
“I’m going now.”
“Are you saying you don’t like it when I sing?”