Story #21- Dear Wilbur

IMG_0473Dear Wilbur,

Lest you forget.

This what I looked like when we first met: Finger waves, hair pinned. Church dress with long sleeves. My round baby cheeks. Unfortunately, those I kept.

Lest you forget.

This is what you said when we met: Hi, Gook.

My name isn’t Gook. My name is Doyle. But you knew that. You saw my eyes. You saw my mother, and you knew what you said. I pushed you into a wall that day. You sat there as I walked away. But you kicked a hole in my chest. I bet your bruise healed before mine.

Lest you forget.

This is what you said when we next met: I’m sorry.

And you ducked your head and walked away. If you hadn’t walked away, I would have pushed you again. But you weren’t after a thing. So I went after you.

Lest you forget.

This is what I said next: Come with me.

I held out my hand for you. You took it. We went to the corner store and bought one ice cream. Only one. Do you remember? We had to share it. We met at the corner store every Thursday that summer. And at the end of our last shared ice cream, you pushed the cone into my nose. And you kissed me.

You kissed me.

Lest you forget.

This is what you said three years later, down at sun set: I’m leaving.

Going to war. Going to get the gooks. But you kissed me and said that wasn’t me. It was an enemy. You’d be home in six months, you bet.

Lest you forget.

It was a war with no winners. It was a war of loss. It was filled with ugly. And you slipped right in between its bars. There were no gooks. There were no Ame-koh. There were only men. And, of course, some boys. They had you. And while you were away, I stayed home, shut in my room, to fret.

Lest you forget.

No talk of letters, no talk of news. Then the day came when I saw your name. And the news was done.

And maybe if you had not known the word- and the world had not known the war- you would be here too. And you would look at me and see I was always Doyle. And you were always Wilbur. And we were just two people who had met.

Lest you forget.

Lest you forget.



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