Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)
By Mary Lisa
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Helen was closer in age to her nieces and nephews than to her siblings. She was especially fond of one niece, Rachel, who was almost 20. One evening, Rachel asked Helen go on a blind date that she would set up for her. Rachel wanted to date a serviceman from Fort Riley who was in town for the weekend and asked Helen to come along to make a foursome since he had brought a friend from the Army base. Helen reluctantly agreed to help her niece that evening and be part of a foursome. Little did she know how much her life was about to change.
After that first date, Rachel and the serviceman never saw one another again. However, Helen and Robert, her blind date, really hit it off. Robert was an attractive man in uniform and she could not resist his steel blue eyes, thick blond hair, and boyish charm. For the next couple of months, they dated whenever he had time off from the Army base where he was stationed as a fireman for the US Cavalry.
In July that summer they decided to get married, but they didn’t tell anyone. They made their plans in secret because her parents would never have approved of a serviceman she just met. On the appointed evening, Helen dressed nervously, her shaky hands barely able to fasten her hose. Robert picked her up as usual, but this time instead of dinner or a ride in the country, they went straight to the preacher’s house and asked to be married. There was no waiting period and the preacher said the simple words over them. They spent the evening together before Robert took her home as normal. With him beside her, she told her parents what they had done. She hated to see her father cry, but she knew that no one would have ever been good enough in his eyes and she loved Robert.
Helen continued to live at home for the next few months until Robert was able to rent a place for them to live off the base. He came for her early in December and they were unpacking in their first home together as the radio announced that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor.
The young couple’s life changed quickly when Robert’s Army unit was called up to serve in the war and Helen spent the war years in their rented apartment alone in unfamiliar surroundings, unsure of the future, and waiting for Robert to return. Although her parents eventually accepted her marriage, their relationship was permanently strained. She had made her choices and had become an adult.
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