This was written in response to the 5-12 writing prompt from Arakun the Twisted Raccoon.
|My grandmother, who I had always known as a practical, intelligent, well-spoken woman, was showing signs of dementia. We maintained her at home as each of us kept watch and sat with her. My turn was midnight to 6am one Tuesday. I was dozing in a chair when she startled me awake standing in what can only be described as a military uniform. At first, I was unsure if I was dreaming.
"Drew, I have to tell you something."
"What is it Grandma?"
"I have to tell you something important that happened a long time ago."
I glanced at the clock on the mantle. 2:15am. My aunt had warned me about sundowning and the strange things that happen to dementia patients at night.
"What is it?"
"I was a spy."
"I was spy in the resistance."
"You were an American spy?"
She scoffed, "No, don't be ridiculous, French. J'ais un espion. I reported to British intelligence."
A tear formed as I looked at the wizened, care-worn face of the woman who raised me.
"You are Nanette Boazman from Savannah, Georgia, you are not a French spy. You do not even speak French."
"Oui. J'ai appris en tant que fille."
That had my attention.
"Even if you were, they'll never believe you."
I could not tell from her expression if she was angry, embarrassed, or confused.
"Then how do you explain this?"
She held out a yellowed piece of paper. I took it and looked.
"Holy shit, Grandma, how come you never said anything?"
"I shouldn't have now."
In disbelief, I looked at the paper again. It was a royal commendation from King George VI commending Nannette Francine Boazman for loyal service to the British Empire in Nazi-occupied France, 1942-1945. You may never know what others have done.