Friday, October 2, 2015

No Greater Love- Part 5

Rachel stood off to the side as her parents told Richard goodbye. She knew putting it off wouldn’t make her feel any better. But it does make me feel like I get a little more time with him. Even though that may sound completely ridiculous.
She turned around so she was facing the rest of the base. Although it was early, the place was already buzzing with activity.  “You knew I wouldn’t leave without telling you goodbyes, right?” A voice whispered while a hand reached out and tucked the loose strands of hair behind her ear.
Rachel smiled and turned, “yes, I knew you wouldn’t, but putting it off made it seem as though you were here just a little longer.”
Richard glanced at her quizzically, “You do know that’s not actually possible, right?”
“Of course I knew! But still.”
Richard glanced around, “I really need to go. Are you going to tell me goodbye or not?”
Rachel tried to smile, “of course I am. But please, Richard, don’t say goodbye. Tell me I’ll see you later. It sounds much less final than a goodbye.”
Richard grinned, “alright, sis.” He leaned down and gave her a hug and Rachel held onto him. The thought that this may be the last time she ever saw her twin threatened to overwhelm her. “I love you, Richard.”
“And I love you.” He stood then began walking away, then paused and glanced back, tipping his hat, “I’ll see you later, Rachel.”
Rachel waved and did her best to smile as Richard disappeared down a different hallway.
Mom came and wrapped her arm around Rachel, “don’t worry, sweetheart. We’ll see him again.”
Rachel nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
They turned and walked out into the chilly, winter morning. Less than an half an hour ago, Richard was with us when we walked here. The thought crossed Rachel’s mind. Without Richard, everything seemed different. 
She glanced across the road, then stopped in surprise. “Mom, is that Alison Martin?”
Mom glanced over to where Rachel was pointing. “Yes, I do believe it is.”
“But what is she doing here?” Rachel wondered. “Mom, Dad, do you mind getting the car while I talk to her?”
Dad nodded, “that would be just fine. I’ll pull the car around front to pick you up.”
Rachel smiled her thanks then left her parents and hurried over to where Alison was standing.
“Alison. What are you doing here?”
Alison turned, traces of tears on her cheeks, “Oh, Rachel!” She burst into tears.
Rachel gave her a concerned look, “Are you okay?”
Alison nodded, wiping her eyes, “yes, but Marshal has been sent to Vietnam with the first detachment of troops. Oh, Rachel, you have got to be so grateful that Richard is still home! But why are you here?”
Rachel bit her lip, “Richard was sent as well. We saw him off this morning.”
Alison glanced up at her in surprise, “really?”
Rachel nodded, “yeah. I have an idea, would your parents mind if you came over to my house for a while? We could talk and try to cheer each other up.”And it might help keep my mind off Richard.
Alison chuckled, “that might work.”
“It already is already working; you actually smiled!” Rachel exclaimed.
Alison laughed, “alright. I don’t think they would mind. Mom is still home; she wasn’t feeling good this morning. I can ask dad. He’s--” She turned as a car pulled up, “there he is now. Dad, can I spend the day with Rachel?”
Brian, Alison’s dad, smiled at her, “that would be fine. Just call me whenever you want me to come and pick you up.”
“Oh, I’m sure my dad wouldn’t mind driving her home, Mr. Martin,” Rachel said, entering the conversation.
“That might actually work better. Thank’s for the offer Rachel. Say,” he glanced around the parking lot, “why are you here?”
“Richard been sent to Vietnam as well. He left this morning.”
"Really? Then it’ll be good for you two to get together and talk. Have fun!”
“Bye dad,” Alison called as he drove away.
He waved as the car turned and sped out of sight.
Rachel turned as another car pulled up. “Okay, here are my parents. Let’s go.”

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