Norma looked down at her lap, at her daughter’s fingers wrapped around her own hands. “Patricia, it’s not what you think.” She contemplated how much truth to reveal.
“Mom, Dad’s been gone six months and now you want to marry this guy. Just take it slow, is all I’m asking.”
Norma laughed. “I’m seventy-five years old. I take everything slow these days.”
Patricia frowned. “Mom—“
“Let me tell you a story,” Norma interrupted. “At thirteen, I’d fallen in love and wanted to get married. Grandma Rose disapproved and said he was too old for me. An eighteen-year-old had no business around a child of thirteen, she said. I couldn’t get a marriage license without her signature, so I had no choice but to wait. Then war happened again. I cried when the Army issued his deployment orders for Korea. The year was 1950 and the Korean War raged. He promised he would return, but I’d heard enough on the radio…”
“Mom. Are you okay?” Patricia handed her mom a tissue and draped an arm around her mom’s bony shoulders.
Norma sniffed and rubbed her eyes. “Grandma Rose got a letter in March 1951. Said he died in the Battle of Chipyong-ni.” Norma shook her head. “Hearing the news almost killed me. I couldn’t bear to see the words. I always regretted that I hadn’t read the letter myself.”
“Did you love Dad?”
Norma lifted her guilty gaze. “Of course. But not like Richard.”
Patricia stared, slack-jawed. “I can’t believe…” her voice trailed.
“Grandma Rose lied. Richard had been taken prisoner but was released in 1956. I’d already married your father.”
“Richard kept his promise. When he called three months ago, he said he’d been waiting for me.” Norma looked into Patricia’s eyes. “Truth is I’d been waiting for him, too.”
This is my entry in the Trifecta weekend challenge. I guess I’m a bit of a romantic, and my “it’s never too late” attitude shows – but I hope this story isn’t too sappy 🙂 Anyway, the challenge this week is to write a 33 to 333 word response (mine is 303 words) using the following word and definition:
Year: a calendar year specified usually by a number <died in the year 1900>
If you want to submit your own response, click on the tricycle picture to get to Trifecta’s site, which will have the complete guidelines.