With the war's trials Broken Pieces depicts the lives of several people in WW1 England.
The young man, John, stood beside the window, its curtains drawn back. A young lady across the room sat low upon the sofa, with a mass of blond hair atop her head. He stared far away out the window and could feel the southern wind blow, that almost broke his restless daze. He thought of the young woman, Janelle. She seemed so pitiful lately yet he couldn't blame her, she was but a victim of fate.
Only six months married his lovely bride had now looked more like a sickly middle aged woman, since the sudden bout of fever she got, soon after the miscarriage of their child, she had seemed to pass years. He turned from the window to her, a sad smile his apology, his eyes reached for the door. The daylight finally subdued to the peach glow of twilight, then he opened his mouth to speak but thought it best to spare her the words, good-bye.
He walked over to her, struggling to fight his feelings trying to figure what to say but then she broke down in tears. He placed a tender hand on her shoulder and he felt his heart surge as she shook with broken gasps between her sobs.
“Straight away the words that would explain my trouble thoughts, are so difficult to find! There is the train everyday leaving either way,” He broke off and quickly wiped his own wet eyes then he caressed her soft hands and held her close. “There is a world you know, and there is a way to live. We'll soon be gone too, it's just as well that I leave, Dear and that we...”
“Is this your farewell?” Her simple words, that told him she knew what his little speech meant, cut him sharp as she cried with a new pain. He held her closer and kissed her brow. The tiny cradle in the corner rocked from the wind and then he looked over and in their room he saw one of her blouses laying over the chair to her dressing table. He thought of what he really wanted to do, stay here and comfort her and lock each other safely in their home and forget the outside world as well as their deep pain.
“John,” Her muffled voice hit his ears like an explosion, “Please, why- isn't there any other way? Can't we remain together? We can have another, maybe – if we but try, oh John – ”
“No,” He ripped himself away, as she clutched him. “Janelle don't!” He let his tears fall, the pain weighing on him so hard.
“But John, we are young and the cradle and...”
“No! That's what I can't bear!” He turned to face her. So distressed he forgot to wipe his now free flowing tears. “Jan, it's killed me to loose the babe, how could I recover? I plan to leave you with mother and father – for a while at least. I don't know if I could come back to this place. And you, your glow has left. Oh don't think I can't love you now for I do so, so much, You must have a rest from this, and so do I, that is all and yet I don't want to go!”
“That is all – just a rest?” She said sullenly, “There is something else John, you never are like this – unless its important.” she stood up and went to their room, “What can I pack for you?”
“Janelle,” He overtook her and held her in his arms, “You can't bear any more, don't ask me to explain where I go.” He eyed her swollen grey eyes and pet back her loose locks, “It is too much I can't burden you any more.”
Her eyes watered, as was their habit for these past four weeks now, but she met his gaze, “I trust you John. Don't break your heart and tell me, although I really can handle anything, but you know best in everything and if I mustn't know, then I mustn't.”
“I don't know best, but I fear it will be your death if I tell you and I can't risk that!” He smiled sadly again and then hugged her.
The train blew a cloud of steam and Mrs. Kline watched with envy as Janelle waved her kerchief to John, who stood in the doorway of the train car. Mrs. Kline pat Janelle's shoulder and smiled as her daughter-in-law faced her.
“Dear Janelle,” She coaxed inhaling some of the summer breeze, “Come you mustn't exhaust yourself now, should she my dear?” Mrs. Kline then turned to look over at her husband yet her arm still over Janelle's shoulder,
“What? Oh no.” Mr. Kline's always stern face hardly moved as he grunted his reply through clenched teeth.
“Ugh-um,” Mrs. Kline cleared her throat glaring expectantly at her husband.
“Oh fine then, hang the boy is it, and consider no one but the girl?” Mr. Kline mumbled and escorted them to the auto mobile.
“Hush Charles, our daughter is our guest now, yes. And John can take care of himself, you ought to know – ’twas You who trained him to do so, wasn't it?” Mrs. Kline smiled at her own clever words as she climbed into to auto car.
“Hump! And it's as good I did else you'd have taught him to be a simpleton!” But as he spoke Mrs. Kline looked on, again in envy, as Janelle was sat in the car with Mr. Kline's assistance and then he smiled at the young lady, a thing which he never did to her any more, “Yes Clare,” She looked away as he addressed her, “–Miss Janelle can testify of what a good lad I raised! Can't you my dear?” He said sitting beside their driver, in the front bench.
“Oh yes!” Janelle's meek voice caught Mrs. Kline's ear.
“Why so quiet Janelle?” she softly spoke, turning on the young lady who's eyes shrunk in fear.
“You see Clare?” Mr. Kline called triumphantly, “What's the wait Ben? Drive on!”
“Oh yes sir!” The Driver said and drove on.
By the author Faith Grubb. Soon available at Busy Hands Website Store (www.faithgrubb.com)
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