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"A Time to Remember"
Dedicated to U.S. servicemen everywhere
Submitted by Ed
He first saw her walking along the beach about 50 feet from where he lay. He tried to
wipe the sun and the sleep from his eyes, as he perched on his elbows for a better look to
see if it was really her. It had been two long years since he last saw her and didn't know what to expect. A lot had happened in that time and, for him, not all for the good.
For the last sixteen months, he had been in Vietnam, and Ellen had been in New York.
He had been fighting the Viet Cong and, more importantly, his own fears, while she was
wrestling with Economics and Philosophy at college in upstate New York. It hardly
seemed fair, he thought.
His eyes welled up as he thought of the beauty of Hawaii, this island paradise, and how distant it seemed from the mud, the rain, the smell and the death that lie ahead. He tried to put those things out of his mind and convinced himself that he would enjoy his last day here at Waikoloa Beach. Vietnam -- and all that it wrought -- would have to wait.
He rose up when he realized it was her, and they hugged awkwardly for a moment.
"Well, you found me. I...I...didn't think that you would recognize me after all this time," he said.
"It wasn't hard," she said. "After all, there aren't too many guys with pale legs and short hair on this beach. The reflection almost blinded me." They both laughed, which seemed to ease the momentary tension between them.
"Well, you are just as I imagined you to be -- but only better somehow," he said.
She blushed and smiled at the same time. They sat down on the blanket to try and catch
up on old times.
He wondered if it would be the same as it once was. He had changed a lot in those two
years, from once a boy to now a man. He wondered if she was the same girl he used to
pick up on his bike to take to school. He remembered the smell and feel of her hair as it brushed against his face as he speed along the narrow streets. They spent all their free time together, especially in that last year before the war separated them. They agreed to meet in Hawaii the first chance they got but somehow that "first chance" was two years later.
But, at this moment, he didn't want to dwell on all the reasons for that. He wanted to
enjoy the warm sun, the smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, but most of all, her presence. It was a beautiful moment at a beautiful time, and he
wanted to soak it all in. He knew that in the months ahead, especially in those sleepless hours at night, he would come back to this moment again and again.