It was a breezy March day in North Carolina and the wind was ripping apart the new leaves from the trees, delaying from their comfortable new home. Women and men though braved the weather and came out on the street, dresses and hats picked up at times and flung every which way. The door to the soda shop was open though as a young women walked walked in her finger-waved hair now blustered by the wind, “Thank you” she said to the boy holding the door and went to the counter and sat down. “Hiya Betty,” the acne-covered boy asked “What wouldya like today?” She placed her coat on the counter beside her as she adjusted her skirt for those wandering eyes. “Just some coffee thank you” she set down the menu she had in her hands, an ice cream was too cold for a day like today. “Coffee? I guess I’ll have some of that too,” the boy from the door had sat down next to her. The soda jerk walked to the back counter to get the hot drinks that were seldom sold. “Y’know they say Coffee will stunt your growth missus,” the man said taking off his hat to show a fresh buzz cut and a clean face “wouldn’t do any good for a woman like you” She spun on her seat to face the man. “And what makes you the authority on what is right for me or not?” he gave a side smile “My name in Jim and I’m a Marine miss..”
The weeks turned into month with each letter from him promising that he would be home for Christmas and in that small town the mailman would wink and smile and would wait for Betty to run up and ask for her letter. The letters came every other week. His handwriting was gritty but she wrote back in her flowery calligraphy and scented it with her perfume to make him think of her. She waited one, two, and three Christmas’s for her solider to come home.
“I do” Together they walked down the aisle of the small church with the town gathered to watch them get married. Her dress was white and the veil flew behind her blending in with the rice that was being showered down from everywhere she looked at him and he smiled at her as the cans clattered down the road after the happily married couple.
Her hair was snow white as he bent over her on the bed. Their hands clasped together. The room was empty except for the two of them. So hollow and white. Her hair blended in with the pillowcase that propped up her head up. Her body that had been an image of hope to him now laid shrivled up. “I love you, and I’ll be home for Christmas” she closed her eyes as she no longer clinged onto her pain and embraced the love that they always had.