A Promise of Summer
How hard it had been sharing your excitement. Naturally, I was happy for you and proud. You deserved the opportunity to prove what an outstanding journalist you were, covering a war you were so emotionally invested in. But for me, only long, lonely months lay ahead.
Your promise to be home by summer was all I had to hold onto, and your letters, of course. Letters that became fewer as the months passed. While your articles became more frequent and, poignantly, more revealing.
They contained just a brief mention at first. A nurse, putting her life on the line for others. Before she became the focus and heart of your stories. Each recounting one after another of her selfless acts — a true hero.
I forced myself to block out the suspicions and dark thoughts that infiltrated my mind and to look to the future.
Our future. And the promise of summer.
We’d revisit all our favourite haunts and relive precious memories. And we’d discover new places and make more memories.
My misplaced imaginings and feelings of isolation would be a thing of the past. And you would be mine again.
These were the thoughts that sustained me until your last letter arrived.
You were coming home!
A cloudless blue sky and scorching sun welcomed you on that day I’d dreamed about for so long. But a heatwave proved no match for the words I’d read in your article that morning. Words that chilled me to the bone.
I don’t know what I expected. You looked no different from the day we said goodbye.
But you were different. How could you not be? Your angel of mercy had lost her life only days before.
What should have been the summer of my life was now overshadowed by hers.
A wave of helplessness engulfed me while my whole being ached for you.
Then your arms wrapped around me. And I knew. You needed me just as much as I needed you.
With love and understanding, we’d get through this summer.
Facing the future together, with the promise of summers to come.