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The Past Rekindled

Posted on 30 Jul 2022 @ 7:20pm by Petty Officer First Class Rebecca Robinson

Episode: Our Path
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Timeline: 15 January 2025 - 07:00

The chilly morning air of the Smoky Mountains brushed over Rebecca's face as she ran for her morning jog. It has been a few days since she had arrived home and she had been relieved that her Grandma's health turned around, but she had taken a two-week leave as she wasn't sure how long she had left with her Grandma.

She had accrued a decent amount of leave from not really taking time off from her job and the command staff on the Arizona had been nothing if not accommodating. She had to admit it was nice to be back home, but she loved her job so it was a hard choice for her at the time. The balance between family and work was a minute line, but she thought she handled it pretty well.

She stopped to check her watch seeing what her current time was for her exercise and smirked she had already run 2 miles. She always tried to stay in shape, not that the stereotypical Navy hoodie and Arizona hat gave it away. She cleared the exercise goal and made her way back home. After cleaning up and having a pleasant morning chat with her dad she decided to go see an old friend who owned a local coffee shop.

Though she lived in Knoxville she was actually located in a little area right outside of the city and the community knew her well. She arrived at the shop and walked through the door hearing the bell chime she smiled. It was bringing back memories, The person behind the counter looked up and their eyes lit up "Rebecca!" the voice called as they quickly made their way from behind the counter to embrace her.

Rebecca laughed "Hi Morgan!" she replied as she embraced her old friend. Morgan was truly a lifelong friend. She had been there for Rebecca through everything, though she wasn't usually messaged due to how busy she was. Morgan let go and had a serious look on her face "You know phones still exist right?"

Rebecca nodded "I know I apologize for not staying in contact. Work has been...well crazy, but here's the information to contact me. Of course, if I am deployed it may not be so simple to get ahold of me, but I will answer when I can." She smiled as she went to a seat and plopped down "Now can I please get a coffee?" She pleaded with longing eyes.

Morgan rolled her eyes and laughed "Fine what do you want? The same thing you always get this time of year?"

Rebecca nodded "You know me so well...." Her next statement was paused by who she saw coming through the door. It was her high school crush, Max Powell. She had never admitted it to him and that was because he was the popular football jockey. She looked back at Morgan and smiled. Morgan smirked "How can I help you, Max?"

Max stopped sensing something was going on "Uhh just an oatmeal muffin and a black coffee." He said as he slid into the seat at the counter next to Rebecca. He took another glance at the woman in the seat and felt like he recognized her. "Hey do I know you."

Rebecca looked over at him and nodded "You do know me." she said as she brushed her hair from her face.

Max began to try and remember where he had seen the face before. His eyes lit up as he finally remembered "Rebecca!" he said in a determined excitement.

She nodded and smiled "Hi Max, it's been a few years. I wasn't sure if you would recognize me." she said as she took a sip of her coffee. She took her hat off and laid it in front of the cup making sure her hair wasn't a complete mess.

Max was so shocked to see Rebecca he didn't say anything. He had liked her in school, but he was never able to talk to her because of all the drama of being a popular football jockey. Rebecca was somewhat popular if he recalled, but in a different aspect due to her wanting to join the armed forces. He looked at the cap on the bar and saw the Navy vessel. "The Arizona? SSN..isn't that a submarine?"

Rebecca looked over shocked "It is indeed. Most of the time people have no idea what the ship is."

Max shrugged "I may have researched some of that when I was younger. Though that doesn't really matter now." He said as he tried to pass that part off subtlety. "So you're in the Navy then?"

Rebecca caught the comment, but shrugged it off "I am." She nodded "A Petty Officer First Class on the Arizona, but the ship was apparent." She said as she pointed to her hat.

Max chuckled "A PO1 well looks like you've been in longer than I remember. You must be doing something right." He smirked as he received his muffin and coffee. He took a bite and continued "What is your exact job or is it that secret squirrel stuff?" He smirked.

Rebecca chuckled at the comment "I am the Arizona's Lead Fire Control Technician. So in other words I help with targeting if you want to know more you will have to look it up." She winked and looked at Morgan tossing her some money "Here this is for Max's too."

Morgan nodded "Going so soon?" She said as she snatched the money and went to the register to tally the bill.

Rebecca nodded "Yeah, I have some things I need to take care of today. Keep the change I don't want it back. Your business deserves it and as a small business I do what I can for an old friend." She looked over at Max "If you want to continue the conversation ." She scribbled her number and email down "Here is a way to contact me. I hate to cut and run, but I need to finish some important task while I am here."

Max shook his head "Can't your task wait? I really would like to talk."

Rebecca thought for a moment as her heart began to beat out of her chest. She had wanted a chance to talk to Max, but this was a way she could do so. She thought for a moment and nodded "Ok let's go for a walk."

Morgan smiled and continued to work knowing the truth behind the reluctance of Rebecca, but that was something she was glad to see changing. "It was good seeing you, Rebecca! Don't be a stranger now."

Rebecca nodded as she and Max began to walk out of the shop "I will do that Morgan thanks for the drink. It was delicious as always.



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