Charles and Tom were flight instructors at the United States based air force. Charles was somewhat of charismatic man, never shy and the ladies loved him! He had short black hair and a body that shouted fitness. Tom on the other hand, was a quiet, mysterious man. With long legs and skinny arms, he liked to keep well away from the dangers a woman might hold. But none the less, they were best friends and had grown up together.
Charles was waiting at the parking lot on a fantastic summer morning. Tom had yet again forgotten his identification card in his jacket pocket. To get a day off was something to look forward to!
“Hey bro you sure take your time man!” Charles joked as Tom eventually made his appearance.
“Thought I had lost the bloody card.”
“Now then, lets go show Martin who’s the man!”
They got in their SUV and drove South to Martin’s farm. They were going parachuting, a sport that they all loved very dearly. Upon arrival they saw Martin sitting on his porch, sorting out their gear.
“Hey ya hounds! How’s life at base treating you guys?” he asked.
“Better than expected. Old Tom here even got a little smooch from a lady friend!”
“No kidding!” Martin laughed. “You managed to keep it together?
“Yeah you fool. I’m not completely stupid! At least I got her number this time.” Tom was used to their teasing by now.
They all pitched in to finish up the task at hand, exciting anticipation filling the air. It was pure joy when they all jumped out of Martin’s Flossie. Martin’s father Pops would be flying the old bat. They’ve been doing this since they were kids and it is what kept them young and anchored on the bond they shared. They were like three brothers.
“Up, up, up and away!” they all shouted.
“Will you look at that! It’s always like heaven up here! You never get to appreciate the scenery when in training!” Tom shouted over the holler of the engines.”
“Yeah man this is what we live for!” Charles slapped him on the back.
“Get ready guys! Wind’s a bit shaky so look out!” Martin’s fathers voice crackled into their ears.
Martin jumped first, shouting their victory cry.
“All for one and one for all!”
Charles was next and lastly Tom.
“All for one and one for all!”
They formed a circle, holding hand and shouting things no one could hear over the roar of the wind as they plummeted to earth. Giving the signal, Martin broke loose from the circle and they prepared to open their parachutes. Martin pulled the strings and his parachute opened to a wonderful royal blue color. Charles was red. Tom pulled on his strings but nothing would budge. He started to panic. The dammed thing won’t open! Then he realized he had never fixed the broken string. He looked down and saw earth coming near, ready to swallow him. There was no hope, no way of getting out of this.
Tom and Martin landed and ripped their parachute gear from their bodies. They had seen what had happened.
“Tom! Tom! Oh please Tom!” Charles yelled as he ran to the spot where Tom lay mangled in the bushes.
As he turned Tom around he yelled, “No! No! Why? Oh Martin no!”
Martin was by his side in an instant. Tom lay there, lifeless. The impact was too hard. Charles and Martin held him close, waiting for help. The tears ran freely as they shouted disbelief.
“Oh, Tom. You were my brother man! Oh Tom no!”
As Charles closed Tom’s eyes he whispered, “For you, heaven is now on earth.”
The waited with him until Martin’s father landed the plane. He had to drag Martin and Charles away from the scene. Charles took one last look at his dear friend and noticed something in his hand. His identification card. He picked it up and held it close to his heart.
“For you haven is now on earth.”