Based off the picture prompt for this week.
It wasn’t as if I wanted to do this. I grew up believing that I loved Lillian, but I also grew up with the knowledge that if a war were to start overseas, I had to enlist. Germany had invaded Poland in 1939, two years ago, and as of now, America was involved. I had to do my duty. In wars before my time, my brother had down his duty, and so had our father, and our grandfather, several great grandfathers after that. They did their duties and so would I. I grew up knowing I would enlist if the opportunity arose because that was what was expected of me and that’s what I expected of myself.
Yet the same, I could not deny that I believed I loved Lillian. The problem was, she didn’t deserve me: she deserved someone who’d at least vow to stay on the same continent as her. She was too great a person to stay and wait for my return, something that may never happen. She’d deserved – no, she needed – better.
“One day I won’t know you anymore.” I paused to gain my composure. I didn’t want to say this, but I had to.
“You’re being silly,” Lillian protested. “The only people who can say that and really mean it are old people with dementia.”
“Lillian,” I said with a sigh. I was trying to say goodbye to her and she was making it so much harder. “I need to say this, alright?” I took a deep breath. “One day I won’t know you anymore, but someone else will. Promise me you’ll be good to him.”
“But I know you right now. I know you’re leaving, but that’s doesn’t I won’t know you when you leave. It means…”
She paused and I looked down. It was exactly what that means, and that’s why she couldn’t think of a different answer.
“It means we’ll know each other from far away,” she finished.
“I wish it worked that way, but I don’t think it does.” I flung my bag over my shoulder. The train blared its horn. It was time. “Be good to the lucky man, whoever he is.”