I’ll Be There in a Minute


This was one of my first short stories, it is hard and terrible.  War touches more than those who are fighting. This is also on Shortbread Stories

 

 

I’ll be there in a minute

Hello – Are you there, I am at the station now, I know you are there, you always are. It’s quite busy here but of course you know that don’t you. As I look around it is so unreal, like looking through aged Plexiglas, scarred and scratched, opaqued by time and use. The shades move about on the other side, drifting and unreal. You would probably know it, for you it would look just the same, our station, but to me it is another world.

When they came and told me, two men, uniforms and sad faces, there was no pain. It was too great, too powerful that feeling to describe as pain. Too far beyond any human capacity to feel, a great, endless nothingness. No way to travel through it – no way back

They told me that there was not much left of you, not enough to recognise as you. There would be a box, brought back on the plane and paraded through the streets, a box, a flag and pomp and ceremony but not you.

The arms, your arms would not be there, your beautiful, strong, clever hands they were vaporised. Enough of that, you are not there in the box you are here with me now on this platform, in the underground.

As I stand here now, do you know I have no shoes on – I wanted to curl my toes over the edge of the platform, the same as we used to do on the high diving board and so I stand now in my business suit and no shoes. A man further along looked at me puzzled but, this is England and so you don’t talk to a woman in a business suit and no shoes. He turned away, wrapped his conscience back in the newspaper and left me with my bare toes curling over the hard stone.

Today when I left the house, took a last look – the daffodils are in flower by the way, of course I suppose that you know that, where you are. Anyway, I left and I looked at the garden with the swing in the sunshine and I understood that one great pain, the loss of the babies was now so clearly a great blessing. If they had lived I couldn’t have come today, I would have had to carry on, meet our responsibilities plodding on forever and so there we are. We can all be together now, you and the babies and me.

I have left it all tidy and as you would like it to be. There shouldn’t be too much trouble for anyone, they have all had enough already so I have tried to be kind and make you proud. I am ready to leave now, I want to be with you and let you take care of it all again.

Are you ready, I can hear it now, the train is coming, my toes curl over the stone, the wind rushes through the tunnel, are you ready. I am coming now, the train is coming. I can see it – wait for me I’ll be the……

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5 Comments

Filed under Serials, Shorts and Stuff

5 responses to “I’ll Be There in a Minute

  1. I think I remember reading this on Shortbread. I still teared up – again! 🙂

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    • I have to be honest that when I read it again I did a gulp – I get so sad about it all I really do. One thing that it nice though is the number of young people I have seen wearing poppies, that is nice. If only we didn’t need to eh!

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      • That is certain! Unfortunately, I read a news article recently about a teen who robbed a veteran of his poppy money. It makes me angry that some young people have so little respect for their elders. I’m glad there are young people where you are that still have reverence for the occasion. 🙂

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      • That is terrible isn’t it. Yes, I have been pleasantly surprised although, to be honest it also saddens me as it means that war is still something on people’s minds. These young people are probably thinking about more recent conflicts and their own age group suffering. I am really pleased that in the last few years they have reintroduced the two minutes silence as well. In France where we have the house they have the children laying the wreaths at their memorials, mind you they were right in the thick of it. all around where we are there are memorials to people who were shot for being in the French resistance and our own little town narrowly escaped being wiped out. It’s horrible isn’t it.

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      • Yes it is! We do need to remember the horrors of war so that we might appreciate the peace and learn how to prevent conflicts in the future.

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