An uncertain future

viet-nam

Brian and Judy had a favorite spot to picnic, on a granite bluff overlooking the ocean. Warm summer updrafts carried the sound of waves up from below. The last time they visited what they called their “private place,” they made love. No one had noticed. Not a soul.

Disposable glasses of wine went deep ruby red in the mid-day sun. After lunch, they talked for a little while. Their conversation soon became hushed whispers of love lost in a seagull chorus.

Spent, they edged toward the edge of their cliff. Looking out from their special place, the sandy shoreline below went on forever.

Judy propped her chin on an elbow, “Isn’t this beautiful?”

A breath of salty sea air pushed Brian’s hair straight up, “Yes, honey. It is. I’ve dreamed of this place. A sad dream. One I can’t shake free. We’re in our private peace and I look down from the bluff. When the birds go quiet, the sound of an ocean wave crashing along the shoreline is like an oil painting on canvas being torn from corner to corner.

Fran touched his cheek and thought, “How can I not love this man?”

She wrote to him every Sunday, from that day forward. Willie came home from Viet Nam three years later. The loss of one his hands and a leg mattered not. They embraced tight for three full minutes. Tears of love and sweetest joy bathed each other’s shoulders.

The lovers never returned to their bluff overlooking the ocean. It wasn’t necessary. Their private place had become sacred in their hearts. And they kept the memory of it locked away forever.

 

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