Meetings

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 01, 2020

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Submitted: May 01, 2020

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MEETINGS

 

 

It had been two years since the end of the war. The continued ache in Charles Blake’s left leg reminded him it had ended earlier for him. His plane had gone down over the Pacific in a bullet-riddled mess. One of those bullets had found its way through the fuselage and into his leg. 

After his recovery, he continued to serve in naval intelligence until Japan’s surrender.  He then moved on to the Pentagon.  At this particular moment, he was running late for a train to get to a meeting.  The woman standing before him was delaying him even further.

She was a pleasant enough lady.  Surprisingly, she recognized him as he hurried past her.  It was remarkable, because she had recognized him from a picture, one her son sent her before his own plane had gone down.  He had not been as lucky as Charles.  He remembered her son well.

Randall Tanner.  They called him Rusty because of his hair, the color of bright red rust.  His personality was as vibrant as his hair.  Charles saw traces of that same bright color in the woman’s own greying hair.  Although she still obviously grieved for her missing son, he saw hints of Rusty’s fun-loving demeanor.  He could see where Rusty got his contagious zest for life.  Despite the obvious pain in her eyes, they contained a spark of hope. 

“Randall spoke very highly of you, Captain Blake,” she said softly. 

“Just Charles ma’am, please. I am no longer active in the military as an officer,” he politely corrected her.

“Of course my dear, Charles.” She smiled at him, slightly embarrassed at her mistake.  He assured her it was quite all right and felt very much a fool for correcting her.  

He felt time tugging at him, the urgency of making sure he met his train to D.C. He was expected at a budget meeting about a project, which would lead to yet another meeting, with yet another group.  Such was his life these days.  The ache in his leg was practically screaming at this point. He shifted his feet to take some pressure off his injured leg.

Mrs. Tanner stopped in the midst of her story about her grandchildren, Randall’s children.  She realized she was keeping Charles from wherever he was going.

“I am so sorry my dear.  I’m keeping you from your business,” she said, hurriedly writing something down in a little notebook she had been carrying. 

She handed him the paper and then she was off, saying goodbye with a light kiss on his cheek.

Charles looked at the paper.  It was her address, along with a picture of Randall’s children.  He thought of his own family. 

He looked at his watch.  He had missed the train to his meeting by five minutes, but the train to take him back home would be here in two.

Charles took that train home to kiss his wife and play with his children.

 


© Copyright 2020 Stephen Q. Nokes. All rights reserved.

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