My Favorite Stop

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Tom and Abby make plans to make sure their baby has his name

Chapter 16 (v.1) - To Kansas We Shall Go

Submitted: May 21, 2016

Reads: 312

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Submitted: May 21, 2016

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Abby cried as she read his letter. He wanted their child, he wanted their life together. Curled in the bed, she held his letter against her breast. Rubbing her belly, she whispered, Daddy loves you, and can’t wait for you to be here with us. After saying that, she prayed that Tom would return in one piece.

 

The Chaplain went through the rolls to find a man from Kansas. He found ten, and then talked to them to see who might work with Tom to produce a surrogate for Abby to marry. He came up with five, and he brought them all in for a conversation. Jimmy was on the list.  When the Chaplain brought Jimmy in to see him, he was surprised to see Tom sitting across from Chaplain Carter’s desk. Carter rose and indicated that he should sit. Taking the seat next to Tom, he shot him a confused look. Tom glanced nervously at the Chaplain and turned to face Jimmy.

 

“I’ve got a problem I’m hoping you can help me with.” He began, “I need to marry my girl, but I can’t get back home in time. Kansas has proxy marriage, and we can get married there, but I need her to stay with someone to establish residency.”

 

Jimmy shook his head in disbelief.

 

“Abby? You mean you aren’t married?” Jimmy asked, “She told me you were married.”

 

Tom’s eyes bugged and his jaw dropped.

 

“She told you? How do you know her?”

 

The Chaplain’s head was swinging back and forth as he watched the conversation move back and forth. Tom replied,

 

“I met her in New York, on the subway when I was there before we shipped out. She got on and I was standing with my back to her. She called out “Tom” with so much surprise, I had to turn around. She was really upset, more so when it wasn’t you. I was worried about her, so I made her come with me for some coffee. She introduced herself as Abby Garber. She was wearing a wedding ring and I saw that she was just beginning to show.”

 

Chaplain Carter murmured, “You two are similar in height, build and coloring, I could see where she might have made that mistake, especially if she wanted it to be you, Tom.”

 

Tom was shaking his head, trying to make sense of it all.

 

“So, why didn’t you say anything when I came on board?”

 

“I dunno, I thought it might be you, and she was so worried, I didn’t want to say anything that would make you think anything untoward happened. I wasn’t even really sure until you mentioned her by name.”

 

Tom’s eyes softened and he asked, “How did she look?”

 

“Lovely, you’re a lucky guy. She loves you very much.”

 

Chaplain cleared his throat to get them back on track, “Well, it seems you know this woman. Is there someone she can stay with in Kansas?”

 

Jimmy nodded, “I can ask my sister. She and her husband live in a nice place near town.”

 

Tom asked, “Have you found out what she needs to be a resident?”

 

Chaplain nodded, “She needs to register for a license, and to do that, she needs an identification and an address.”

 

“I’ll write my sister right away and ask her,” Jimmy replied.

 

Tom rose from his seat and shook Jimmy’s hand heartily, “I’m forever in your debt, O’Conner.”

 

“Okay boys, I have another meeting, but come to me with the letter, I’ll make sure it gets there, pronto.”

 

Chaplain rose and showed the young men out. When they stepped out into the alleyway, Tom clamped his hand on Jimmy’s shoulder.

 

“I owe you a cup of coffee, have time? I owe you a story.”

 

Jimmy nodded in agreement, “I have a few things to tell you, too.”

 

Over coffee, Tom relayed the story of how he met and fell in love with Abby. Jimmy let him know that he spent the day with her and that they’d written a few times.

 

“Should I be jealous, Jim?” Tom asked.

 

The other man shook his head, “It was pretty apparent that Abby was taken, and besides, I’m not in the market right now. I want to move to New York after the war. I’ve always wanted to live there, and from the way I see it, Abby makes for a good friend.”

 

“The best. Well, you’ll have two friends, when you get back,” Tom smiled.

 

“Nice to know,” Jim replied.

 

Darling,

 

This will sound crazy, but hear me out. We can get married by proxy, but it has to be in Kansas. Luckily, I have a bunkmate that will help us. Good thing, you already know him. The fellow you thought was me, Jimmy O’Connor is my shipmate. Connecting two and two took some time, but, as luck would have it, the fella you thought was me is from Kansas, where they have proxy marriages, and he has a sister that will let you stay with them to get residency so that we can be married.

 

Now, this is NOT the way I want to marry you. I want to stand with you to proclaim that you will be my wife. I promise that we will do that, but to make sure you get my stipends and if God forbid, something happened, you and our baby would be protected, this is the best route.

 

I think you and I are on the same page about Jimmy. He’s a good guy, and he genuinely wants to help us. I think he might love you a little, but I’ll use that to our advantage to make you be my wife. Will you consider it?

 

I love you and our baby –

 

Tom

 

Abby’s emotions were tumultuous as she read Tom’s letter. Surprised of the coincidence that put Tom and Jimmy together, touched at Jimmy’s offer and swept away by Tom’s orchestration of everything, she held the letter in her hands and tried to still her mind.

 

Abby didn’t really care that they weren’t married. She knew Tom’s love was true, but she saw his points about making sure things were in order in case something happened. That was where her romantic soul tripped. I could marry him, yet never have a wedding night with him. I could bury him without ever having made love to him again.

 

She spent a lot of time batting that idea away. Calling her best friend, they spent a long time talking about every possibility.

 

“He’s making sure you’re protected, Abby. You have to respect that.” Theresa said.

 

“I do, but, what if I never see him again?” Abby replied, crunching her handkerchief in her hands, “I want to wake up with him again.”

 

Theresa gathered Abby’s hands in hers and pulled them toward her chest.

 

“You will have that chance again, Abby. Your job is to take care of his baby. Take that off of his mind and he’ll rush back as soon as he can. This man loves you, honey. Honor that.”

 

Abby wrote back her agreement and set out to contact Jimmy’s sister. She received a response a week later, expressing her happiness to help her, sharing the logistics of getting to Kansas City. Upon receiving that letter, she wrote to Tom to let him know that it was a go.


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