Once, in Iraq, Beans asked all the guys, “Rita or Fern?” He was trying to mess with me. Beans was always messing with me. They all were. But the first thing that came to my head was you. Fern. Red hair, sweet smile, brown eyes. And I knew, for me, the answer was Fern…not Rita. I never told him that. I never told any of them. But I kind of think they knew. I promised myself that when I came back, I would get to know you. I wanted to know you better, and I missed you. I missed the girl I got to know in the letters we wrote back and forth. And I think I realized then that I was half in love with you already. That’s why I kissed you before I left. I know it’s hard for you to believe that. You don’t know you’re beautiful, you don’t know that if things had gone differently, if I’d never been injured in Iraq, if I’d come back the same Ambrose, I still would have found you. I still would have loved you. I may be a changed man, but that much wouldn’t have changed.
I love you, Fern. I think I always have. And I know I always will.