The Final Goodbye


It was 1939 and the Second Great War had just started. The Pennsylvania Station, in New-York, was crowded with many loved one's leaving to go do their part for the country. Many wives were saddened to see their beloved husband leave. 

Mary and James were saying their final goodbyes. He was leaving for Chicago to work on a secret weapon that was told, would guarantee the victory of the Allies. Mary hated that James could not explain what the weapon was or what it could do. She also hated his new job because he would be so far away. He was leaving with the promise that he would come back home uninjured and in good health.

“Please don’t leave me! What will I do without you?” pleaded Mary.

“I’ll be back before you know it!” James reassured her.

“But,” she moved closer to James, “I'll miss you!” 

“I promise that I’ll come home!” insisted James.

You could hear the rhythmic thumping of the train engine. The weeping in the station grew louder, and the caresses lasted longer. The sound of the engine grew nearer, THUMP... THUMP... THUMP... Then, suddenly the brakes squealed. The train was there, ready to accept more recruits for the war effort. The doors opened, and the men entered the train slowly. Unknown to some, this was the last ride of their life. James tried to look calm, yet a tear escaped his eye. He didn’t want to go.

“I love you!” screamed James with tearful eyes.

“I love you too!” responded Mary.

James climbed in the wagon, which was full of men who had the same expression, one of gloom and despair. None of them wanted to do this. However, deep down inside, they knew it was for the greater good. The train blew its whistle and slowly started moving down the track. The women and children on the platform were crying or yelling ‘I’ll miss you’ to their departing husbands. The women tried to hide their tears with their pink and white handkerchiefs. As the train disappeared from view, they started leaving the station with the same expression the men had. They knew their husbands would not be home for a very long time.





Submitted: April 23, 2020

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