Happy to be Home From War - fiction
This is annart's challenge.
Dedicated and attributed to: Ann Carr
This story is an acceptance according to annart’s challenge. The link to her challenge is below.
Richard, who had black hair, dark brown eyes and was over 5 ½’ tall, was with his mates and they were on their voyage home aboard their P. T. boat - a motorboat equipped with torpedoes and used in the military - and they were all above deck drinking beer and talking about what it was like “over there”, except him. One of the things they ‘cheered’ about was the U-boat (Unterseeboat – which is a German submarine) which they hit and sunk. He was below deck playing computer chess on his cell phones. They were on leave, he was injured in war and going home.
Besides wanting to forget about what happened in battle, Richard did not have a taste for beer.
He had a lovely family to whom he was strongly waiting to return home to.
A True Sailor’s Dream
While being on the waters over there for seven years, he fantasized of buying a boat when he came home. He had been looking at catalogs for them and saved a few. Next he decided that when he got home he would discuss with Susan which family yacht, or sailboat, to purchase.
He preferred the sailboats to which you could have a motor attached and therefore when it was not windy enough, or the wind blew in the wrong direction, you had the motor to use as a backup. They were also larger than the sailboats which did not have the motors. He even believed that sailing in one of the motorized sailboats he would feel freer than if he used a yacht.
Home with the Family
When he was home, he stood outside for a few minutes thinking about his family. Take Susan, his wife, with light brown, wavy hair, blue eyes, plus she was 4’ 10” and 110 lbs. They had a 4 year old son whom they had named Timmy with short yellow hair and golden eyes. He was always happy and never sad, and very inquisitive.
Rick also had a wonderful home which had a beautiful view of the lovely sunsets at the edge of the sea.
He came in and said, " I am home!" Susan came running with her arms, outstretched, crying with a big smile, and shrieked, "Richard!" Just as Timmy ran downstairs and came right over to grab his legs,"Hello Daddy, please stay. Tell me you can stay - pleeeeease."
"I am staying Timmy."
"Are you really", asked Susan.
"Yes. I was discharged on account of injury", he told her.
"What happened", she inquired.
"I went too close to a bomb", he answered, "it will heal again. I am going upstairs to change clothes."
"I will go finish supper. Welcome home."
The next she knew, she heard the front door opening and she checked. “Where are you going Richard? Supper is almost ready”, mentioned Susan.
“I will be back before you put out supper Susan,” he said, “I will be just on the beach.”
He reappeared in 10 minutes and began helping her to serve supper. “Thank you for helping me”, said Susan, “Your son and I are so glad to see you home.”
“After seven years, I am glad too. You know that I did not choose to go over there voluntarily I had to go. About my arm, it will heal eventually, with the proper therapy and exercise. I just have to find the right doctor and continue to exercise once I start”, he commented.
“I know honey, and you will do it too. If you ever want help then I am right here to do that for you. All you have to do is ask”, she said.
Medals and Awards:Click thumbnail to view full-size
Medals and Awards:
Susan and Timmy looked at the medals which Richard had received while across the sea. They were amazed at the colors and what he had received them for and of course they asked.
“This is the medal for Good Conduct”, replied Richard, “You could say that it is for perfect behavior. If you have that type of behavior Timmy, I will make you one like it. This was the Medal of Honor for bravery in battle; this explains my arm. The last one is the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. I stood out by heroism but it was not by conflict with the enemy.
"And what about this one with the big bird and that silver thing with the two points", Timmy asked.
Richard said, "I received that when I first went in from the Coast Guard for commanding a boat at sea by myself. That was before I was on the larger ships."
"What's a ship, Daddy? And you were the only one on the boat? And what are commands?"
"Well son a ship floats like the toy boat that you have, only a ship is bigger. No, I was not the only one on the boat. What commands mean is that I gave the orders to the other men and there was nobody who gave orders to me. Just like I give orders to you."
When Susan and Timmy had left the room he placed the medals in a box, side-by-side, and placed the box on an upper shelf out of harm’s way.
Standing at the Shoreline
One day when Timmy was at school and Susan was at a PTA meeting, Richard was standing out into the water just enough that it was up to his ankles. He just stood there, thinking. Slowly time went by – 1 hour, 2 hours, 3, 4. Susan had come home and seen him out the window and wondered what he was doing. It was not easy for her to avoid going out and asking, but she knew that he wanted to be alone. He came in just before Timmy returned home from school as if he had a timer in his head. Actually, while in the Navy, he had learned to tell time with the sun and the wind.
Before supper, when he was helping her again, she mentioned it. “When I came home from the PTA, I looked out the window and I saw you out there. I suppose that you miss being in the Navy.”
He quickly responded, “No way! I was standing out there to release the memories from the Navy – all of that violence and killing – I hated it. I tried to avoid what I could. You could say that what I did today was a form of meditation to let go of all of it. Allow the waves to wash my mind clean from it so that I can start fresh. Now that I am at home with you and Timmy I will have past memories of you two before I left and space to add my new memories. "
"Okay", she replied, "I promise not to talk about nor ask any questions, and I will have a talk with Timmy but I cannot swear anything for him. You know how quickly he forgets something, being a kid at his age."
Do you think that Richard should have, or should not have, forgotten "over there"?
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