When we got back to the hotel, it was time to say goodbye. We had to leave him in the lobby, as we couldn't pass through into the section of the building cordoned off by the military. I cried, the girls cried, Sam misted up a bit... we all hugged, and then he turned and walked away. He did not look back.
He'll be able to keep his phone for the next few days, until he gets through MEPS processing and arrives in South Carolina. I sent him a text to let him know we were home safe, and this is what he sent back:
I love you and miss you too. I think this is what I need to do to be happy. I'm sorry I don't show a lot of emotion, but I want to know that I really did feel like a part of your family. You did not have to do that. [Let him stay with us.] It is a very loving environment, you never made me feel like an outsider. I will be in contact when I can. Please tell the girls I love them.
I have such a migraine from all this crying. *rolls eyes at herself* I look at his side of the kitchen table, clean for the first time in months, and I'm ready to start all over again.
I may lie low for a few days. I love you guys, and hope all of you are well and with ones that you love.