Love from One Perspective
“Rachel, come on. I’m not cleaning this attic by myself. Gran left a lot of stuff up here. Bring the trash bags.”
“Good grief, Bev. You’d just throw away everything. We need to go through this stuff.”
“Why?” Bev rolled her eyes. “It’s just old junk that Gran stuck up here fifty years ago.”
Rachel sighed. “You have no sense of history. Look at this old trunk. I wonder what’s in here.” The lid creaked as she opened it.
“Wow!” Bev exclaimed sarcastically. “A trunk full of crap. Shocking.” As the sass dripped from her lips, Bev dropped to her knees and reached for a small book with a faded leather cover. Flipping through the pages she commented, “I think this is Gran’s diary.”
Rachel smiled at her sister’s sudden interest. “What does it say? And before you get cranky again, think about Gran. She loved sharing family history.”
“You should know. All that old stuff is your thing.” Bev passed the book to her sister.
“Like I said, you have no sense of history.” Rachel opened the diary and flipped through the pages. “Look here.” She began reading.
“January 21st. Dear Diary. Today I met the most interesting young man at the church social. We talked for hours. He is so smart. He is planning to attend college next fall. He even introduced himself to Daddy and asked if he could come calling. His name is James.”
Bev perked up. “Hey that’s Poppa.” She no longer tried to hide her interest. “What else does it say?”
Rachel scanned through several pages. ”Accounts of their dates.”
February 10th. Dear Diary. James and I went to the rodeo with Cora and Luke. It was fun. When it got chilly, James gave me his jacket. He’s a real gentleman.”
“That must be Great Aunt Cora.” Rachel flipped more pages. “They held hands at a church service. He came to a family dinner. She went shopping with his sister…blah, blah.”
“Blah, blah? I thought family history was important. Aren’t you always telling me that?” Bev scolded. “Now read on. And wipe that smirk off your face. You got me. I’m interested.”
Rachel grinned widely.
“March 16th. James and I went for ice cream this afternoon. We sat in the porch swing until after dark. When he got up to leave, he kissed me. Right on the lips. It was nice but I wasn’t ready. I can do better next time. I am looking forward to kissing James again.”
She laughed out loud. “Go Poppa! Stealing that first kiss. Don’t you just love it?”
Bev shook her head. “That’s sweet and all but it took him two months to kiss her!”
Rachel rolled her eyes and continued reading.
March 18yh. After church today, James had lunch with us. He and Daddy went down to the barn and talked for a long while. Cora teased me that he might be asking Daddy if he could marry me. Turns out that ain’t it at all. James wants to join the Army. He will be gone at least two years. How can he do this to me? I was so mad I told him to just go. Then I cried half the night.
March 19th. I’m so mad at James. Does he think I’ll just wait for him to come home? What about college? Does he think I’ll just pine away for him while he goes off and gets himself killed? Well I won’t. There are plenty of fish in the sea.
March 20th. What will I do if James doesn’t make it home? My heart is breaking. I think I may even love him. What shall I do?
March 23rd. I saw James in town today. He said he leaves for basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia next month. After training, he’ll get one chance to visit home before he ships out over seas. I tried to wish him well but found myself scolding him for joining up. He said I didn’t understand. We had a big argument. I never want to see him again. He can do as he pleases.
April 9th. Today James left for Basic Training. I wasn’t going to go but found myself down by the bus station as the boys were loading up for Georgia. I saw James. He looked so handsome. I waved. He ran off the bus, took me in his arms and kissed me. This time I was ready. I kissed him back. We kissed until the bus driver honked for James to board. All the fellows on the bus applauded. I will love him forever.
Rachel wiped away a tear. “That’ so sweet.”
Bev snorted. “If you ask me, Gran was a flake. She couldn’t make up her mind.” She placed the diary into the trunk.