|I Know Why
Author: DawsonGirl777 PM
Wilma Wright once fell in love with a man named Fred Moore, but then he moved away from her at the start of the Great Depression. Come 1942, they meet again, only to fall in love and then fight. When Fred goes missing overseas, Wilma is thrown into a guilty panic. Will Fred return home to Wilma safely? And what about Wilma's fiance, Charles Brandy?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 12 - Words: 18,386 - Reviews: 1 - Updated: 05-16-13 - Published: 02-18-13 - id: 3102233
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
In a small kitchen of a small room in a small apartment complex in the large and growing town of Manhattan, a young woman sat in a chair at her dining room table dressed in a robe holding a newspaper in front of her face. On the front page, a photo of a plane releasing a bomb over a military base along with the headline, '1500 Dead in Hawaii; Congress Votes War' along with the tagline of 'New York, Monday, December 8, 1941' stuck out vividly.
"Well, would you look at this," said the woman holding the newspaper, and she lowered it to her lap and looked at the man cooking eggs on the stove. Wilma Wright was now twenty-three years of age and living in an apartment complex with her sweetheart, who was waiting to propose to her. "Can you believe it, Charles? War's been declared on Japan!"
"War on Japan? Sweetheart, you aren't serious, are you?" asked the man named Charles, who was dressed in a dark blue robe over his pajamas.
"Of course I'm serious, darling. Just look at the front cover! Why, it says here that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii yesterday morning! You aren't going blind, now, are you?" Wilma asked him, closing the paper and showing him the front cover. Charles rushed to her and took it from her.
"Well, I'll be God damned… The Japanese really did start a war! And Roosevelt's called for Congress to support war! They'll be drafting the boys any day, now… I wouldn't be surprised if there was already a telegram telling me that my number been drawn!" he exclaimed.
"Oh, Charles, don't talk like that. For all you know, this war could be over in days and you won't have to go," Wilma replied. Charles looked at her with a serious expression.
"Are you telling me, Wilma, that you don't support the war?" he asked her.
"Now, now, Charles, don't start acting silly. I don't support the war, but I'm not against it, either. You know that. That was one of the first things I told you when we met in 1938," Wilma replied firmly. She looked at the clock and stood. "Shouldn't you be getting ready for work, then? It's nearly nine o'clock." Charles looked at the clock and his eyes went wide.
"God damn it!" he cursed, and he ran out of the room to dress.
Charles was a few minutes late to the bank that morning, and as soon as he arrived, a letter was waiting for him. His boss handed it to him as soon as Charles clocked in.
"Brandy, you're late," said his boss, Andrew Williams.
"I'm awful sorry, Mr. Williams, sir! You see, my sweetheart and I were awful shocked this morning to hear about Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war-"
"I don't want to hear excuses, Brandy. A letter came in for you. I must say that I feel awful sorry for you," said Mr. Williams, and he left Charles to his confusion. As soon as he was alone, he ripped open his letter and read it:
To: Charles William Brandy
Order No. 326
Having submitted yourself to a local board composed of your neighbors for the purpose of determining your availability for training and service in the armed forces of the United States, you are hereby notified that you have been selected for training and service in the Marine Corps.
You will, therefore, report to the local board named above at National Guard Armory at 7:30a m on the 16th day of December, 19 41.
This local board will furnish transportation to an induction station of the service for which you have been selected. You will there be examined, and, if accepted for training and service, you will then be inducted into the stated branch of the service.
Persone reporting to the induction station in some instance may be rejected for physical or other reasons. It is well to keep this in mind in arranging your affairs, to prevent any undue hardship if you are rejected at the induction station. If you are employed, you should advice your employer of this notice and of the possibility that you may not be accepted at the induction station. Your employer can then be prepared to replace you if you are accepted, or to continue your employment if you are rejected.
Willful failure to report promptly to this local board at the hour and on the day named in this notice is a violation of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, and subjects the violator to fine and imprisonment.
If you are so far removed from your own local board that reporting in compliance with this order will be a serious hardship and you desire to report to a local board in the area of which you are now located, go immediately to that local board and make written request for transfer of your delivery for induction, taking this order with you.
Charles's breath caught in his throat: his number had been drawn and he was being drafted into the Marine Corps. And he was in perfect health, as well, so any hopes of rejection were flattened. Oh, what was Wilma going to say when he told her? Would she be furious? Would she be frightened? Would she be worried or proud? Would she look to him as a hero? With Wilma, Charles wasn't sure what to think when it came to her opinion. She was always unpredictable. The best thing for him to do now was to push it aside and worry about it later. After all, he had a job that he had to do.
Charles returned to the apartment in a rush, hoping to be alone, and jumped and let out a cry of surprise when he found Wilma standing right behind him.
"Wilma, honey! I nearly jumped right out of my skin! Don't do that to me!" Charles cried, and Wilma laughed.
"Oh, Charles, you silly boy…" she said in response, and walked into the living room. "So how was work today?"
"All right… We've been getting a lot more customers lately," Charles replied.
"You sound nervous! You didn't get fired, did you?" Wilma asked him, sitting down on an armchair.
"No… No, not fired…" Charles replied.
"Well? What happened? Set down your briefcase and take off your coat and hat and talk to me!" Charles did as he was told and sat down on a couch.
"Wilma, honey… You said that you didn't support the war, right?"
"Indeed I did."
"But you also said that you weren't against it… Right?"
"Yes… Go on."
"Well… Today, as I was arriving at the bank… Mr. Williams-"
"Oh, what has that swine done to you now? Has he said anything about the war? Is he forcing you to support it or go against it or something?"
"No… not exactly…"
"Well, what is it? I haven't got all day, you know!"
"Well… Today, as I was arriving at the bank… Mr. Williams handed me a letter from the recruitment offices…"
"My number's been drawn… I'm going to war, honey…" Wilma was silent, staring at him with a blank face. Charles's fears crept back into him, but he was utterly surprised at Wilma's level of calmness.
"When are they requiring you to be examined?" she asked him.
"On the sixteenth… That's in-"
"A week. Yes, Charles, I know…" Wilma replied. She stood, not looking at him, and went to a window. She looked down upon the busy street below, where people were crossing the streets and taxicabs were driving down the road honking at other careless drivers and pedestrians. "Do you think they'll accept you?"
"They'll have to, Wilma honey… I'm in perfect health. Why wouldn't they want me in the Marine Corps?" Charles replied.
"That's the problem…" Wilma replied silently, staring out the window. She turned to face him. "Well, I've got things to do. I'll be home later tonight." Without another word, Wilma pulled her coat on, opened the door and left. Charles still couldn't guess how Wilma felt about his being drafted.