Love in Wartime

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February 8th 2016  |  0  |  Category: Drama , Fiction , Other , Romantic Love  |  Author: sanjoy  |  606 views

Love makes an ordinary life like a fairy tale. I was born in the Ferguson family and named Emily. My Dad started his own company building houses for others. An immigrant from Puerto Rico he worked hard and slowly built his fortune in the USA.

Early in life, I understood my mom ruled the house. All was controlled by her, be it our dress, the menu, or our friends. Nothing escaped her eyes and everything required her approval.

After I graduated from high school, I took up the theater to get away from mom and the men she kept introducing me to. She urged me to spend time with them just because they had money.

“You want to be an actress?” Mom did not seem pleased.

“I want to learn to write and direct plays,” I replied.

It was not comfortable for her, but she allowed it.

When I left for college, my sister Ruby gave me a diary to encourage my writing. It did not take long for the pages of my diary to fill up.

I met Paul, the young drama teacher. His charms, calm personality, and perception of drama drew my respect. I enjoyed his classes and formed a deep interest in writing. He and I would spend long hours together. We walked home together from class and often sat in a park conversing about everything from drama to the war in Europe. I
loved him but kept it to myself.

One day Paul said, “I want to say something, but I don’t know where to start.”

“The beginning is a good place!” I said.

“Emily, I love you,” Paul softly said.

His quiet words struck direct in my heart. I wanted to tell him how long I had been waiting to hear this, but instead, I leaned forward and kissed him.

That summer Paul took me home to meet his mother.

“Paul always talks about you. You are so beautiful Emily.” Paul’s bulky mother said and she hugged me in welcome.
She talked with me for hours as I helped her in the kitchen. She became a widow at a young age and raising Paul alone wasn’t easy. I learned about his favorite dishes, childhood friends, and his emotional character. In his house, I felt like the happiest woman on earth, safe and secure in Paul’s arms.

I wrote to mom about Paul expecting her to disapprove. When her reply came I was in shock, she wanted to meet Paul.

I was overjoyed. I was about to learn happiness is a transitory state.

All of a sudden, Paul stopped replying to my letters and there was no answer at his mother’s house. After a few weeks of no news from him, I went to his home only to find it vacant. No one knew where they had gone. I was devastated, but my heart said he will come back.

The war ended and I became a teacher. I spent my spare time writing and reading. Although I dated men, none of them held any interest for me. My heart was still waiting for Paul.

While browsing at a small bookstore one day, the book ‘Love in Wartime’ written by D. Alan, caught my attention. The story had a sweet plot:

Beth, born in a rich family, loved her teacher Tom. Her mom warns Tom, she will never accept the union. She threatens to use her money and influence to ruin Tom and his family’s life. She
offers him a large amount of money if he just leaves quietly. Tom moves his parents to a new town and joins the war. He returns so crippled that Beth doesn’t recognize Tom when they meet many years later.

The book was an instant hit and became a best-seller. I followed the author his voice seemed so gentle and familiar.

My writing efforts were paying off as well. My memoir was printed in a journal and the response was so good, my editor printed it as a book. It won the critics award and I was thrilled to accept it from my favorite author. Nothing prepared me to find out just who D. Alan was. Paul was standing in front of me once again.

“Was my mom as evil as Beth’s?” I asked.

“I still have her check, uncashed, you were more than money to me, her threatenings, ring an alarm in my ears,” Alan said.

I was dumbfounded to hear what kept him away from me, “So did you ever marry?” I smiled.

“Ann was a nurse in the hospital where I was treated, we married after the war.” he said hesitantly.

To celebrate the success of my book my editor treated me to a Chinese dinner after the ceremony. When I opened my fortune cookie, it said,
‘Your past is an image you can never touch.’

I couldn’t control my tears.


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