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Miss Ellie's night table drawer-Written in prose

Updated on March 9, 2015
always exploring profile image

I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.

Source

Letters from Charlie while serving in Vietnam.

Miss Ellie lying quietly across her bed, listens as her night table drawer appears to be whispering, " Go ahead Ellie open me once again

Peer inside at the memories nestled beneath the ivory cross stored away-back-when "

Inside the letters all neatly tied with a red, white and blue bow

Begging to be read once more, like so many moons ago

Letters from Charlie while serving in a place called Vietnam

Remember the day he was inducted to serve our country? Your emotions erupted. You were anything but calm

He proposed that day. You were unsure, so you said, " Let's wait the war will end soon, and I'll wait for you. Our time will come "

The unforgettable day you waved good-bye at the train station was the last time you would see him. A memory you've been unable to escape from

Letters sent back and forth, each reminded you how much you loved and missed him from afar

That's when you began making plans to be his wife when he returned safely after the war

It was not to be. He died in battle in a place called Saigon on the Ho Chi Minh City shore

Your time with Charlie ended as you cried, " Oh Charlie I wanted so very much more "

Somehow you never met anyone who could ever take his place in your heart

You've lived on memories and old faded letters Miss Ellie. Now close your eye's and peacefully sleep, knowing fully well your letters are safe in your night table's enclosed hidden space and from there they will never ever depart.

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    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello drbj. I can't believe I missed your comment. Please excuse me. I am happy that you liked this piece and my man Elvis. Thank you so much..

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      What an accurate, bittersweet portrait you painted, Ruby, with this remarkable bit of writing. And your choice of Elvis singing 'Love Letters' was the perfect accompaniment.

      Thanks you, m'luv.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Frida Rose. So sorry I'm late. I've been moving and redecorating, so busy! Your comment is beautiful. Thank you so much...

    • Frida Rose profile image

      Frida Rose 

      3 years ago from Maryland

      What a beautiful and sad story. . . You made it easy to imagine Ellie's pain.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mar, so glad to see you. It's a story many can relate to so I'm told. Thank you for the beautiful comment..Hugs.....

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Genna, I'm so sorry for being late. Thank you for the beautiful comment. Memories, what would we do without them? Hugs.....

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Profoundly sad, yet a reminder of the constancy of unconditional love.

      Beautiful work, my dear Ruby - from deep in your heart, as always.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      War has many victims; true love that is so tragically stolen, and unlived, is one. I had tears when I read this. Yet Ellie will always know that she loved, and was loved. We grieve for Ellie in what was lost, yet are comforted that she has memories which can never be taken from her. Beautifully written, Ruby. :-)

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Jo. Always so good to see you. I agree. Memories are forever. Thank you for the beautiful comment...

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      3 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      War takes so very much, but as long as we have those precious memories love will always survive in the human heart. Sad, poignant and beautifully done.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Theresa. Always happy to see you. I have old letters I've kept too. I found a letter I wrote to my sister Bea when I was just sixteen. It was among her pictures and keepsakes. I'm happy that you enjoyed this one. Thank you much.

      Peace and blessings..

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      3 years ago from southern USA

      Beautiful and poignant at the same time. Ruby, I love your creativeness in writing this one from the perspective of the drawer. I always have kept every letter I have ever received, but sadly, the days of writing letters are gone ... I am glad I save mine now, especially! Maybe my great grandchildren will see them one day and ponder why we did such.

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      Peace and blessings always

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Clive. I didn't have a loved one in the Vietnam war but I had friends who did. It was an uneasy time in our history. Thank you for coming by.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike. I know you served in Vietnam as a young marine. Thank you..Yes my man Elvis served in Germany. We groupie's had to wait for his return.lol

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello manatita. Yes, war robs many people of love and family. Thank you for the well crafted comment..

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      3 years ago from Jamaica

      Gone to war, many will not return, sometimes all we have are really letters and memories. Touching piece.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby. Yes, this is a common tradgedy in those sad, sad days . Great song choice of course it would be Elvis.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 years ago from london

      The despair of war, and of us left with our memories, pride, gratitude and sometimes broken dreams ... and human loss or tragedy.

      Woven through some letters or drawers and crafted well. Peace, Ruby.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Larry. I am so glad you find joy in reading my storie's. Thank you so much..

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DJ. Your comment BLOWS me away. I am totally thrilled that you enjoy my writing. This is not about me. I used to go to the Vietnam vet. reunion every year for about ten years. While there I heard so many stories, this is one told by a woman, of course I added to it to make a romantic story. All the war stories I write about are true with added content to make them rhyme. I love to rhyme. It is difficult to write without rhyming, but I'm learning as I go. Bill said to read-read-read to become a better writer and that's what I do. I dearly love to write. Your comment humbles me. Thank you so much. You made my day. Hugs..

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill. I think I understand. lol..Thank's for reading and commenting....

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello John. I miss getting letters and writing letters too, and you're correct, soon only the computer will have our written words, kinda sad. Thank you for coming to read my piece...

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shauna. I agree losing a husband would be just as bad if not worse. I'm so glad you like my storie's. Thank you for telling me....

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Frank. A time of war is a turning point for many, and yes the battle of Saigon must have been bad. Thank you for the well written comment..

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ann. A comment like yours, and coming from a gifted writer as you, makes me a happy camper. I'm so glad you liked it. Thank you so much..

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful story. A joy to read.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mary. I am so glad you told me about your first love. I think this must have happened to many, ( And you still have the letters, wonderful! ) Thank you for an awesome comment..

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 

      3 years ago

      Ruby, girl, you are learning to get to people's hearts and bore your

      way right through to their souls. Some one once said, 'You can only write about places you have been.' Do you write about Miss Ellie or possibility someone much closer to home? What ever the case may be,

      you are touching people right where they understand pain and sorrow.

      You are forever pulling a new trick right out of your hat! And, you keep the crowds clamoring for more!

      Ruby, you should feel really proud of your works. Your growth has been phenomenal!! And, yes, we want MORE!!!

      DJ.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mary. So glad you could feel her emotions. Thank you for telling me.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Patricia. I can imagine many young women with letters such as these. So many wars. So many lost loves. Thank you for coming and sharing...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This is fiction rooted in a whole lot of reality. I am tired of war, and sad that real life stories like this one have to happen. Beautiful work, my friend. Your heart is as big as your talent.....well, considerably bigger, but you understand.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A very romantic but sad story Ruby. The keeping of old letters hold so many memories...what will it be like in the future with letters now a dying art? No one will be able to open a drawer and take out an old love letter etc...it's all email now...far less romantic.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Ruby, this is so sad. I don't think the pain of lost love would have been any easier to bear if Ellie had married her man before he headed off for Vietnam.

      I love the stories you tell with prose poetry.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      a good little story .. always.. the fall of Saigon on the Ho Chi Minh City must have produced a lot of stories.. this one was very well written.. bless you

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      What a beautiful story from a refreshingly different angle, the drawer.

      It was gentle and sad. How awful to lose a loved one in that way (or indeed any way); the waste of two lives.

      It suits the style well; great job!

      Ann

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      My first love served in the Army, and was statoned in Germany. He wrote me many letters which I still have after all these years. He is now happily married to someone else, but I'll always remember him.

      Beautiful sentiment in your prose poetry, Voted UP, etc.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      I've heard stories similar to this. How sad the waiting goes on forever. Beautifully written, each line bringing us closer to poor Ellie's sadness. You make us feel her emotions.

      Voted up, awesome, and, beautiful.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Poignant and so sweetly shared...the bittersweet memory.

      How many young women sadly have the same letters stashed neatly away for another day.

      Voted up++++ shared

      Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Cam. This is a story I heard at a Vietnam reunion years ago. I just added a touch of fiction to make it more romantic. I'm happy that you enjoyed. Thank you for coming by...

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      The love of a lifetime, it would seem. War does that to people, doesn't it? War was a bad idea from the beginning. Thanks for the beautiful writing once again, Ruby.

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