Friday, April 27, 2007

Vietnam Story 3

There is an update on the group. Here is an excerpt below.



Erica rubbed her brother’s forearm. “Will you be able to handle tomorrow? Will you be able to see her?”

He took a deep breath. “I already have.”


Erica had stopped walking, but Eric hadn’t, looking at his feet as he walked on the sidewalk. Soon the clicks of Erica’s footsteps could be heard, and her dainty feet appeared in his line of vision. “When?—is that why you took the car? How did you find her? You don’t even know where she lives—!”

“There’s this thing called asking—”

“Oh really,” Erica said, rolling her eyes. “Because it’s the South and everyone knows where everyone else lives—”

“I had her address.”

Erica went quiet at that, tucking her arm through his. They walked together in silence for a bit, Eric wondering just what was going on in his sister’s mind.

“You’ve had her address all this time?”

He nodded.

“Why . . .?” She shook her head. “Doesn’t matter anymore. But you went to see her?”

A breeze picked up, feeling good as it brushed against his face and hair. He took a deep breath, once again reveling in the freshness of it.

“I went to the diner, and I saw her there. Just a glimpse though . . . she’s tall. Dwayne had been tall . . .”

“They have the same parents, dear.”

“She’s a woman now,” Eric murmured. “She’s not fifteen anymore . . .”

Erica squeezed his arm and the three of them made it to the car. Erica drove back, though this time Dwayne sat in the front seat. Eric allowed himself to doze off, his mind conjuring visions of Addy, how their meeting might go. Would she be happy to see him? Upset? Sad? Would he even be able to talk to her? There were twenty years of stories untold between them; she could be a completely different person from the letters . . . he could be.

He was.

Would she still have tender feelings for him anyway? Did she . . . still love him? Was it wrong he hoped she did? God knew he still loved her. Out of sight was not out of mind in this case; she was always there, an imprint of goodness that had kept him sane during the war and in the years after it.

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