It was 1942 on a warm summer day in Little Rock, Arkansas where two total strangers find themselves at the soon to be famous Blue Angel‘s show.
“Ladies and Gentlemen- if you would please find your seat. The Blue Angel’s Show will start soon.”
The announcement roared in Cassie’s ears as she hastily began to find a seat. The stadium was packed as it always was but what else could you expect from a Blue Angel’s show. They were of course famous for their stunts in the air and for Cassie this was an opportunity to see some jets in action. She had always wanted to fly in her own plane and shoot down some of the Nazi’s bloody aircrafts but when she told this to her mother, her mom resented the idea firmly telling her there was no way she was going to let her only daughter be shot down by a German. Even though Cassie was only 16, she knew well enough what was going on overseas and how the Second World War was definitely going down in the history books for being extremely bloody and gruesome but still-
The sky called to her.
So she had to get on the next flight to Arkansas to visit her aunt and to also attend the flying performance.
Pulling out of her thoughts, Cassie finally spotted a seat next to a man in uniform supposedly one on break from training here in Arkansas and made her way up the stairs. Cassie was so pleased that she found a seat that she was oblivious to the foot purposely shoved out by a child who more or less intended to trip her as a prank. Cassie fell with her face first but before she was about to get her face planted into the metal bleacher, strong arms caught her and lifted her up in one big swoop.
“Watch it there, Hun.” The person who had caught her said.
The voice brought her eyes to the man in uniform which she now noted was the air force uniform of the time. He had the slightest bit of stubble on his tanned skin and bright brown eyes that stared through her own dark eyes with concern. She guessed that he was in his early twenties but no older than twenty-three. “I’m fine. Thank you.” she mumbled.
Cassie’s voice came out crackly and shaky for she couldn’t stop staring at his eyes. It seemed to her, that his eyes burned. If eyes could even burn, she’d sure had just witnessed it. Awkwardly, she reluctantly took her eyes from him and sat next to him before he inquired where her parents were.
“I’m here visiting my aunt. She dropped me off not too long ago.” She answered him cautiously. Boy this man sure is friendly, she had thought while responding.
“Hmm-I see,” the man said. “Well I hope you enjoy the show, Miss-”
Then teen answered him quickly, “Cassie, sir.”
Before she could say anything else, he let out a hearty laugh before replying,
“It’s Jordan. Please don’t call me sir.”
Cassie chuckled to herself along with him, retorting soon after, “Only if you don’t call me miss!”
The two agreed with each other’s request and before another word was spoken, the loud whistle of the jet’s engine sounded informing them that the show was now starting. The two strangers watched the show together which Cassie would later add that it was one of the best performances she’d ever been to in all her life. She wondered what it’d be like in the pilot’s seat but Cassie shook off the thought because she knew that’d never happen.
After the presentation, Cassie and Jordan had some time to kill before they had to go back to their normal lives. Despite the age of the two, they became fast friends that shared a lot of interests and opinions, especially in the field of aircrafts. Jordan told her about his home in New York and how he joined the services, despite his parents begging him to stay and go to college. He waited a year to go to a technical college and then finally took off to Arkansas where he was positioned there. The solider also said to Cassie that he was soon going over to Germany to get a swing at shooting down the Nazis. This saddened her and she felt a little bereft knowing that another one of her friends was going away but when Jordan caught a glimpse of how she felt he assured her, “A friend is a friend no matter the details as long as you see them as your friend, then it should be that way.”
His quote would stick with her for a very long time but she wouldn’t notice this until a while later. The two exchanged addresses and promised to keep contact but before Jordan hopped into his friend’s car, she asked on impulse if he’d like to be her pen pal while he’s away in Germany. Jordan eagerly agreed with a warm smile and that is how it all began.
For a whole year they exchanged letters and talked about the experiences that they were going through. One of Jordan’s companions from home had died in the trenches that he’d heard only horrible things about and Cassie cheered him up the best that she could by drawing him a picture of the two of them at the air show. Jordan wrote back that he taped the picture to the cock pit of his plane and looked at it whenever he got the chance. Through each other’s letter’s Cassie began to become very close with the older man, but she had to keep it to herself because the people at her school would surely tease her and bully her about such a thing. Not to mention that her mother would be appalled because what was a 17-year-old teen talking to a now 24-year-old soldier that she knew she’d probably never see again? Cassie decided that one day once she’s out of high school, she would meet him once and maybe tell him the way she feels for him but for now she had to wait.
Another year passed and she began to have troubles with her boyfriend and wrote about him in another one of her letters to Jordan.
“Dear Jordan,” She wrote, “I told you about whom I’m currently dating but we’re having some problems. It’s really hard to talk about it because I haven’t even talked about it with anyone else. My boyfriend, Harold, been drinking lately and even smoking behind the school at lunch behind the cafeteria but that’s not the problem. Harold’s been getting extremely rough with me and he’s starting to take his feelings out on me and other people when he’s mad. Even to the point where he even uses physical force. Last time I tried to stop him; I ended up getting punched in the face and a black eye. I need some help. I don’t want this to go on any further with Harold.
He wrote back with extreme vigor telling her that she needed to dump him immediately if he was beating her. Jordan also said in his letter that if this Harold laid a single finger on her again he would gladly fly his jet to South Carolina and drop H-bombs on the snot’s home. This pleased her to no end and her heart bubbled with pride, joy and something else. Her next letter she corresponded with said simply, “Thank you.”, but before he got the letter, Jordan was unexpectedly moved to another station in a higher rank due to the incoming German forces, and she didn’t hear from him ever again.
World War Two finally ended and with each passing day, Cassie began to become more and more worried about Jordan. She’d dumped Harold a week after her last letter and wrote to him the next month about it but she didn’t receive a response. The month after that, she wrote again asking where he was, was he safe and if everything was alright. A numerous amount of theories resounded in her head but the one that always echoed was the speculation that her solider friend was dead. After six months of writing to Jordan’s address, trying to figure out how he was, Cassie finally gave up.
She was right the first time that he had said something about being diploid, after the Blue Angel’s Show she would never see him again. But, she thought, I have to move on. People die in wars and that was a sure fact. I just simply have to push the memories to the back of my mind and live on. Cassie tried extremely hard to do so but the thought always resided in the back of her mind and heart. During the time that she’d been pen pals with them, Jordan became one of her closest friends but after his last letter, she realized that there was something more. Maybe it was an illusion but Cassie didn’t want to think about it; it was just so hard to.
Almost half a year out of high school and now eighteen-years-old, she decided to that she’d attend yet another Blue Angel’s show. Maybe it would take her mind off of the many colleges that she’s auditioned for but the moment when Cassie stepped into the arena where the performance was held, memories came flooding back to her of the solider; her solider, and she quickly ran to the bathroom to cry. The quote Jordan had said to her rang in head as an echo would in the night. After many minutes of drying her eyes, Cassie finally came out of the bathroom and took a seat in the top bleacher where she had once sat when she first met him. The announcements were just the same and the voice was not the same. For heaven’s sake, that same kid tried to trip her up proving that he hadn’t gotten any smarter but she was. She stepped over the foot and took her seat as the show began. Once again Cassie imagined herself in the cock-pit of the jets but she anticipated that Jordan was there beside her, showing the ropes to her and acting as an instructor. A voice broke out then to her and for a moment she thought it was her solider but it actually ended up being the announcer naming off the new Blue Angel that was going to perform. She listened only barely interested now but when then name “Jordan” was called, Cassie jumped up in surprise, the jet springing forth in unison with her. A blast of wild wind blew her short hair back and her eyes grew wide as she try to see inside the tiny far off window to see if it were her friend. The announcer hadn’t said the last name of the pilot so she wasn’t sure it was him. She watched as the tiny aircraft did spins and twists, her heart doing the same turns within her. The show ended and Cassie pushed roughly though the crowd to see the stars of the show. He wasn’t there…
Her heart sunk as she felt tears build at the edge of her eyes and she left the arena without a word. There was a small jeep outside the arena at the entrance and Cassie inhaled in a quick wisp of breath, her heart truly stopping because…
There he was.