My parents met stateside during World War II, just a lonely northern soldier boy and a beautiful southern girl ~ their romance lasted a lifetime (& maybe more...). The following is the beginning of a story I wrote, a dramatization based on their fateful meeting and their life together.
If you are intrigued by this little teaser, please feel free to download the anthology Love and Chocolate.
by Chelle Cordero
Charleston, South Carolina
―"Make sure you send me a letter as soon as you get there." Jeannette stopped to dry her eyes. ―"You just know how I am going to miss you."
―"Oh honey, I‘ll write to you every day." Melanie hugged the best friend she always shared everything with. Their mommas had taken them for walks in their baby carriages together. They were there for each other‘s first dates, they consoled each other when Melanie‘s big brother left to go fight the big war, and they stayed up late reading letters from Melanie‘s ill mother. ―"Oh I wish I didn't have to leave you."
―"You tell your momma to get well so you can bring her home again."
―"Last call for Greensboro." The train engineer poked his head out to remind passengers to get their luggage loaded.
―"Oh, I have to make sure my suitcase is on board." Melanie gave Jeannette‘s hand a squeeze and then stepped towards the train.
―"Make sure you wave to me before you leave."
In another car an M.P. checked the cuffs of the prisoner he was transporting from Georgia.
―"I‘m going to step off and have a smoke." He was satisfied the prisoner wasn't going anywhere, especially since he was cuffed to the seat. The M.P. motioned to one of the other military personnel on board the car that he would be back in a few minutes.It felt good to stretch his legs as he stepped down from the train onto the platform. He watched as two women tearfully hugged each other and found himself unable to stop staring at the woman left on the platform. She was beautiful. He lit his cigarette and took a drag. Then he walked over to the woman.
Jeannette was aware of the soldier‘s stare and tried not to let it affect her. He was a handsome man, but it just wasn't polite to be scrutinized so thoroughly like that. He came even closer and she tried to look in the other direction.
She could tell by the nasal quality of his accent that he was a northern boy. Maybe this was how they acted up there but he was being awfully forward. She was raised to be polite and couldn't ignore his speaking to her. ―"Good morning sir." She hoped he would go away.
―"I've been riding this train all morning – transporting a prisoner." He motioned proudly to the M.P. sash on his arm.
She glanced quickly at his armband and realized he was probably trying to impress her. Jeannette gave him a polite half-smile and turned her head. She was trying to watch to see where her friend got a seat, but he wasn't making it easy.
―"Well imagine how I felt when I stepped onto the platform and saw this gorgeous woman standing there."
He was definitely making her feel uneasy. She wished she had one of her little brothers with her.
―"Hey, aren‘t you going to tell me your name at least? I‘d love to have a name to go with the dreams I‘m going to have of you tonight."
Her momma taught her manners and her poppa taught her to stand up for herself. Jeannette mustered her courage and finally looked the handsome soldier in the eyes. ―"Sir, I find your manners appalling. I would greatly appreciate it if you would kindly leave me be."
He smiled back at her, the smile reached his eyes. ―"So you aren‘t going to tell me your name?"
―"No sir, I am not." His smile was devastating.
The soldier put on his best pouting face. ―"Hey, come on, I‘m just a lonely soldier. Can‘t you take pity on me? Just your name, please?"