Chapter 31: If Only Us... Chapter 31

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance

Reads: 315
Comments: 3

Soon, too soon, it came time for my family to leave also.  Virginia and I helped pack their household goods too.  We ended up with more things than we needed, but we took them anyway.  We could always put them in the attic or, as my dad told us to do, sell them.

We tried to have them over for dinners as much as we could, but as time became short, our gatherings became bittersweet.  We would sit and reminisce a lot.  Conversation slowed and we just sipped coffee or wine and remembered.  Finally there was no more time for dinners.  They were to leave the next day.

They had taken their bus up to Bremerhaven to drop it off for shipment six weeks ago so all they had to do was take a train up to Rhine-Main Air Base for the flight home.  We repeated the scene at the train station that we had for Virginia’s parents.  Once mine left, we’d be really by ourselves.

Since I had a GS rating, I still had base privileges so that wasn’t a problem.  I couldn’t buy anything at the Class VI store (liquor store) because of my age, but I did have limited Base Exchange access for some things but not others.  My job at the PAO was keeping me very busy as well as coaching the high school soccer team on Saturday afternoons.

When we got home from the train station Virginia and I sat in the living room, her head on my shoulder and we both got a bit weepy.  Marie woke up and blew a nice, wet, raspberry at us and smiled.  That broke the tension and we laughed; maybe a bit forced, but we did laugh.

“Virginia, Honey, it’s just you, me and Marie now.”

She snuggled deep into my shoulder, sniffled once, and lifted her head to kiss me.

“Yup.  Just perfect.”

* * *

We stayed in Germany for another five years.  I was promoted to shop supervisor which carried a GS-9 ranking.  That made me an honorary Major.  My pay allowed us to move into a larger apartment downtown.  We now had three bedrooms so I was able to set up one of them as a darkroom.  I taught myself how to develop color film and began taking baby pictures around the base for even more money.

I bought Virginia a secondhand Volkswagen bug and rebuilt the engine for her one weekend.  She named it Christina.

Virginia landed a job as teacher’s assistant at the base high school.  Her first assignment was to teach women’s health, which tickled her a bit owing to her own history.  In the three years she taught there, many girls came to her for advice on how to handle an overly-aggressive boyfriend.  During the same time, only one girl became pregnant.

Marie, now six, was a very inquisitive kid.  She asked hundreds of questions about the world around her.  She could also switch seamlessly between English and German because when she started talking Virginia and I spoke German on odd days and English on even days.  Of course, Danni and all our neighbors spoke only German.

Speaking of Danni, Virginia and I held impromptu classes and taught her conversational English.  She went on to apply, and land, a job at the base elementary school teaching German to the children.

Frantz had a severe stroke which put him in the hospital for over a month.  It took away his ability to speak clearly.  Angelina assumed the entire care of the Inn but it became too much for her and she ended up selling it to a big chain that promptly closed the Inn and razed it in order to put up an ugly steel and glass parking garage.  Frantz passed away six months before Angelina sold the Inn.  She moved away to Osnabrück to be with her younger sister.

Don had become a close friend of the family and on Christmas day, six weeks before Paula was to return to the States with her parents, he proposed to her and she accepted.  They had both gone to Hanover to attend the American University run by the University of Maryland.  We still keep up correspondence with them.  They have a two year old son now.

Hans was promoted once more to Station Manager for the whole Bahnhof.  We attended his promotion party that lasted a whole day.  That same day, Hans announced that Gerd had taken and passed with high marks his test for engineer.  Hans put him in charge of the little switcher he’d been firing for ten years.  Gerd, in turn, announced that he was engaged to marry his girlfriend of four years.  She stood beside him and blushed mightily.

Mr. Espana, Arlo, who had been one of the chaperones on the event-filled trip to Paris so many years ago, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  He was eventually confined to a wheelchair in which he scooted around the halls of the high school.  I began to help out more with the Photo Club and eventually was asked to be one of the chaperones on yet another trip to Paris, but this time Virginia and I were in charge of five guys and eight girls.  I was tough, but fair, and kept a weather eye on them from reveille to taps.  What went on at night was up to the individual girls and their moral compasses (plus a very frank talk by Virginia).

Virginia, Marie, and I wish you a very heartfelt ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ from Germany.


Submitted: July 31, 2013

© Copyright 2022 B Douglas Slack. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:



A beautiful end to a lovely story.

Mon, December 9th, 2013 3:51pm


Thank you very much. They say to write about what you know, or what you'd like to know, and let the words fall where they may. I do appreciate you reading the whole story.

Mon, December 9th, 2013 7:53am


My pleasure :)

Tue, December 10th, 2013 3:08pm



Tue, December 10th, 2013 8:04am


Great story, on to read others.

Wed, June 25th, 2014 3:32pm


Thank you very much for the comment. Happy you liked it.

Wed, June 25th, 2014 9:43am

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