“I have someone,” Brock says as he slips the film roll back into his shirt pocket, as faded and sunburnt as the picture was, he could still see the one face he most wished was here with him. The one that mattered most in the world.
His mother just sighs and shakes her head. “When are you going to grow up and out of this fantasy?”
She sets the dish back into the sink and turns to look her son dead in the eye. “When you go to college, you’ll forget all about these foolish things.”
“Mom!” He starts, but she’s already not listening, the tap water is running again and drowns out his voice.
“Mom, I love him–!”
She stops him with a cold look over her shoulder. “Go do your homework.”
After three years, Brock had begun to give up hope of ever seeing Evan alive again.
He hadn’t wanted to let loose the belief that Evan would one day come home but, deep in his heart where he still kept the flickering flame alive, he always thought Evan wouldn’t give in so easily to death.
He had volunteered for the war before the draft even came into effect, leaving Brock behind.
Brock with his “too big” flat-footed feet that prevented him from enlisting alongside the man he held hands with.
Kissed under the stars and moonlight.
“When are you coming back?” He’d whisper, never knowing that there would be no reply.
Brock never heard about the letter that came, years too late, to Evan’s mother until he was old enough to father grandchildren.
If he had ever married, that is. Instead of living his life alone, eternally waiting to once again see a face that has since become faded and worn in his front shirt pocket.
Simply, sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with the Fongs, the madam on his right bursting into tears as the mashed potato are set down, crying for her son. “If only he hadn’t died in the war.”
“He’s not dead,” Brock says with firm belief as he hands her his napkin to dry her eyes. His hand warm and comforting on her shoulder.
“Brock,” her expression pained beyond all words. “He died after two years serving. He stepped on a land mine.”
“He.. no one .. no, no one ever.. why didn’t anyone say..” His heart caught in his chest, Brock’s hand falls in his lap.
He can’t stop staring at Mrs Fong, but its too early to cry. His brain refuses to process the possibility that, after all this time. All this hope..
Evan was never coming home.
[All this time alone..
how am I expected to live now?]