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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Promises (02/09/04)

TITLE: Whispered Promises
By toronto49 Aird


The red glow of the numbered display of the digital clock was the only light holding back the complete darkness of the room. This welcomed companion by the bedside of the elderly woman lying in her bed spoke mutely of the present time and its passing. It was 2:00 a.m. and again in the sleeplessness of those passing moments she found her solace and joy in reliving memories of times past.

Glancing over to the side of the room where he once laid, Myrt, as he called her, could not help but wonder. Wonder how he was doing? Wondering if he knew he was passing on? Wondering... When asked by the eldest son if she missed him a lot, she responded, “Sometimes I do, sometimes, I don’t.” Truly, the response of a committed marital relationship.

This particular early morning found her remembering another chapter in their life together. She recalled vividly the days of her youth and smiled as she remembered the handsome young man whose talent for Christian music was so exceptional. Together, they dreamed. Dreams of a good life spent married, working together, raising a family, and just being content with life, but, as is so often the case, life and its events intruded upon their dreams. The dark clouds of war formed and her talented young musician responded to his duty. Standing there at the railroad station in his military uniform he looked so brave, so noble. As if it were yesterday she remembered the train station where their goodbyes were tearfully expressed. There they embraced and encouraged each other with words of comfort and he whispering promises of return. This separation would temporarily put their plans on hold. Soon the madness would be over and upon his return they would fulfill their dreams in spending their lives together. She relived the pain of that moment once more as she saw Cliff wave goodbye from the slowly departing train that took him away.

The war years were a difficult period of time and ones filled with sacrifice for both of them. Time crawled as faithful letters were dreadfully slow in arriving, but when they arrived she thrilled to the words of love and longing.

Four long years later and a lifetime had passed since they had last seen each other. Remembering the anxious moments at the train station for her hero to return, the haunting thoughts of her friends tried to prepare her for the worst. The words of caution stated by her friends informed her, “Time has a tendency of changing things and people.” Their pronouncement weighed heavily upon her heart.

On that gray November morning at 11:00 a.m. sharp, the train pulled into the station returning service men and women to their loved ones. Standing on her tip toes to catch a glimpse of him she remembered how her heart was pounding so. It seemed that its beating was louder than the brass band welcoming home the heroes to their families. Finally, she spied him in the distance and time seemed to freeze and blur all the participants on that train platform. Falling into each others arms they embraced as if there was no tomorrow. And yet in that instant, she recalled thinking that moment and a million tomorrows were theirs as Cliff bent down and whispered into her ear…”I promised I’d be back.”

Sighing to herself Myrt closed her glistening eyes comforted by her memories, fulfilled whispered promises and in the glow of her soothing, timeless, bedside companion she whispered, “I know” and soon fell fast asleep.

Member Comments
Member Date
L.M. Lee02/16/04
how sweet...women today who have men in Iraq can appreciate this simple promise.
Donna Anderson02/17/04