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You Didn't Keep Your Promise
I fell in love with you the first time we met. You came into my life like a sudden burst of flames. But, of course, I would never tell you that. You’ve got a girlfriend and I don’t want to ruin that for you. So, I can deal with just being friends for now.
I saw you at the dance in your suit. Your tie was the exact same green as my dress. You slowly walked up to me with my favorite flower in your hand - a white rose. You handed it to me, and I saw that you had another one pinned to your jacket.
“Dance with me,” you whispered in my ear. You grabbed my hand, and led me to the dance floor. Everybody stopped dancing, and watched us. They were as surprised as I was. You put my hands around your neck, and rested yours on my hips. We gently swayed to the music, while everybody we knew watched us.
When the song ended, you led me outside. We sat on the bench, and I looked up at the stars. You sat there, watching me. “I want to be more than friends,” you told me. I had stopped breathing. You leaned down to kiss me, and sparks flew. That was the best night of my life.
You proposed to me the night of graduation, and we married only a month later. We bought a house on the lake. You left for the military shortly after we settled into the new house. “I promise I will come back. We will raise our baby together,” you said, and rubbed my bloated belly. “We will grow old together, and be happy forever. It’s me and you forever.” And then you left.
You left me with an empty house, and a child on the way. You promised me that you would come back, and I held you to that promise. You wrote me about what was going on every day that you could. I cried when I read about the brothers that you lost, and I cried when you told me you had been shipped to the heart of the war.
The last letter I received from you while you were alive was two months after our baby was born. A baby girl, that I named Summer. Because you favorite part of the year was Summer. You told me how much you loved me, and how bad the war was. You told me that you wished you would get to meet our baby girl, but you didn’t think you would live that long.
The very last letter I ever got from you came with the man that told me you had been shot. You had written it as soon as you were moved. You told me that you were sorry, and that you loved me. You told me that you would be happy for me if I moved on and found another man. If I found another father for our daughter.
But you knew that I wouldn’t, couldn’t, do that. So, you told me that you would be watching me from a better place, where soldiers lived in peace, and angels sing Amazing Grace.
I cried for you every day. I cried myself to sleep every night. When I felt someone watching me, I knew it was you. Summer cried when I told her what had happened to you. You would be so proud of her. She looks like me, and fights like you.
You didn’t keep your promise. You never came home to me. I raised our daughter alone. I grew old on our lake house, alone. Every morning I would sit on the porch, waiting for you to come home. But you never did.
I lie my letter on your gravestone, along with a single white rose. I start to cry, and a single gust of wind blows the tear from my cheek. And I just know that it was you, keeping an eye on me. The caress I felt on my cheek was you.
Arlington Heights, Illinois
Hackettstown, New Jersey
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"I may be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it." - Maya Angelou
"Did you know 'I told you so' has a brother, Jacob?" she asked cutting me off. "His name is 'Shut the hell up.'" - Bella Swan, Breaking Dawn