Telegram

Three evacuees' during the 2nd World War have tough choices to make as there life is ripped about by the War.

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I gripped the letter in my trembling hands as the wind whipped across my face. The yellow envelope opened easily as I pulled at the back. I opened the folded paper and began to read.

 

No not him. Not my brother. No NO NOO this not right! the piece of paper was now cutting into my hands as I gripped until my knuckles went white. Tom pulled at my arm inquisitively.

"Jamie, Jamie what's wrong?" called Tom from a seemingly far away place. He tried to pull the piece of paper out of my hand but I couldn't let him see it. I had to tell him not the telegram. I looked down to see his eyes staring up at me. He looked worried but confused as to why I wouldn't let go of the letter. I was all he had now; this was it, just me too look after them. I bent down and tried to give him a smile, 'go and play football with Daniel for a second'. He nodded slowly and let go of my arm as he edged backwards to Daniel. I looked down at the letter still in my hand as it blew in the breeze so innocently. 

Mr. James William Portman

The Royal Air Force Department deeply regrets to inform you that you're brother Patrick Lucas Portman was killed in action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country. The department extends to you its sincerest sympathy in your great loss. On account of the recent death of your Brother and Father you will not be called to service when you become eligible for enlistment. 

Flight General Smith

The Chief of Air Force Personnel

 

My back slammed as I collided with the wall. I slowly sank down so that I was now on the floor. Tom ran over and stood in front of me. His eyes scanning over me as he tried to realise what was going on. I looked up as the tear dropped from my eye. I stood up as the brisk Scottish wind stung my face. I bent down so I was Tom's height and told him to go and sit in the kitchen for a minute whilst I got Daniel inside. I picked up my little brother as he squirmed in my arms, I brought him inside with Tom on my tail. I grabbed the little aeroplane of the counter and put Daniel down on the sofa and placed the cold object into his reaching arms. He sat there mesmerised by his toy as he began to make the plane noises. I left the room shutting the door behind me. Walking across the bleak corridor to the small kitchen I found Tom sitting at the table. I sat across from him as he looked up, his hands fidgeted as mine had done when Patrick had told me about Mother. Tom looked down and began to whisper. 

"Is Patrick dead?" it was almost inaudible but when he looked up and saw my expression, he knew the answer. Tom nodded slowly as he rose from his chair. Everything went quiet and the tears began to drip down his face. I was rooted to where I was, I couldn't move. Tom crossed the room towards to cupboards. He slammed his fist into the counter and then into the wall. He screamed as he continued to do so. I got up and walked towards him, I grabbed his arm and tried to turn him around. Tom began hitting my chest as he couldn't control his anger anymore. I gripped him tighter into more of a hug and we sank to floor. He cried into my shoulder as he began to stop hitting. We stayed there on the floor until the last tears came out of both of our eyes. Tom suddenly then got up and went out the back door slamming it behind him. I sat there and closed my eyes, when I opened them again the light streamed in and a small boy was standing in front of me. I blinked as I saw Daniel standing over me. I hadn't heard him come in but he had been there a while. 

I reached for his hand and pulled him down, sat on my lap with his back leaning against the counter.  The words trembled as they left my mouth. 

"How long have you been there" Daniel's head turned slowly and I knew he had followed me into the kitchen when playing with his aeroplane and heard what Tom had said. 

"Is it true, is he really gone?" His breathing growing rapid. 

"Yes" Daniel got up and stood over me. I reached for the counter and pulled myself up. Daniel lunged for me and hugged me as he mumbled into my stomach.

"Who will take us back home?" 

"I will"

"But your nearly 18, you will leave us as well"

"No I'm not leaving, I''m never leaving you' the realisation hitting me as I said the words. I carried on 'When I turn 18 I will get a job and take us home, I will sign of custody, I am not going to loose you. Your my responsibility now." I rubbed his back as he still held on tight. 

"Ok" I pulled Daniel back and picked him up. I took him outside whilst he sniffed into my collar. I spotted Tom standing in front of the sea whilst the waves crashed of his ankles. I stood next to him with Daniel in my arms as the sea expanded in-front of us. I put my remaining arm around Tom's shoulders and pulled him into me. The three of us just stood there as the sun hid behind a cloud. This was it, just the three of us.

 

No Mother. No Father. No Patrick. We were alone.

After that day I knew that nothing would ever be the same again. 

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