Too many Love Letters
I'm dedicating a short story I wrote a few years back called Lixue and Salvatore to this years BlogBlast4Peace. Without including any spoilers, please pay close attention to dates in the story.
Lixue and Salvatore
by Frank Sirianni
April 11, 1918
My Dearest Lixue,
Every day without you is agony. When I can close my eyes, all I see is you. When I wade through the trenches, gun and mortar fire all around me, I smell the sweet smell of lavender. A lavender that is you. I taste you, sweet as morning dew infused with honey. I taste you. Not one moment of this bloody war goes without the wanting, the yearning, the need for your caress. To touch you. To share a kiss, tasting our love.
They say this is the war to end all wars, Lord, I hope this is true. True and quick. For as soon as it is over, I'm not ever returning to England. I'm booking us passage to San Francisco, just as we talked about before I left Hong Kong to be in this damn battle. I can't bear to be away from you any longer. I don't have too much time to write you, the battle has been severe, but today the guns have slowed.
My Beautiful Snow,
Love and always,
May 27, 1918
My Salvatore My Love,
Every day is longer than the last. Without you, I'm empty inside. I worry everyday. But everyday I pray, I pray for your safe return. I return every full moon to the Pagodas of the 10,000 Buddhas and sit in the square just as we did so many months ago. Even though I am alone, you are there with me confirming our love, and melting my inner being. I can only imagine the hell you are going through, fighting some war that seems so distant.
The little news that we get of the war seems hopeful, Germany is showing signs of weakening. They say it is only a matter of time and Germany will surrender. I just pray that you stay safe and well till that time.
All my Heart
June 9, 1918
My Dearest Lixue,
They pulled us out of the last battle only to move us to a more bloody fight. I lost two friends this week, both were just young men that would have had a whole life ahead of them if is wasn't for this bloody war. I keep hearing that the allies are gaining a stronghold and that Germany is weakening and ready to surrender, but it doesn't seem that way in the trenches. Each fight just seems bloodier, more vile. All I can think about is when this tour of duty is over, and being with you. Every day is more laborious than the last without you.
When we're one again
June 21 1918
It seems that everyday, lately, we hear more and more news about Germany's weakening stance. The war may be over soon, at least that's what the papers are reporting. You could be coming home anytime now, but when you do return, there will be a little surprise for you. We are going to have a child. I didn't tell you earlier because I thought it might distract you on the battlefield. But now that it seems that you'll be coming home soon, I just couldn't keep it from you any longer. I'm due in August, and the doctors say everything is fine and going on schedule. Maybe the war will be over in time for you to be here for the birth of your baby. I wish it were so.
All My Love,
June 12, 1918
Dear Mrs. Lixue Sheppard
It is with our deepest heartfelt regret that we must inform you that your husband, Salvatore Sheppard was killed on the battle field June 11, 1918. I know it is of little consolation, but Salvatore died a hero to his troops, he fought with honor, he fought with conviction. Details of internment will follow in another communication.
Lieutenant Major Richard Donner
November 15, 1934
How are things in San Francisco, everything fine I hope? Your mother and father always had plans to go to San Francisco when the war was over. I've enclosed a few letters that I know that you are now ready to read. They are letters that your mother and father wrote to each other during the war. I've had them tucked away till I felt you were ready for them. Your mother gave them to me just before she passed away. She wanted me to give them to you so you could know them a little better, for you were just an infant when she passed. Your parents shared a true love, and from that love, I was blessed with raising the product of their love from bud to blossom. Take care Lixie, and through these letters may you see why we love and hold the memories of your parents with all our hearts. Enjoy your studies, I know you will do well, and don't forget to write...Often!
Keep in touch
Miss you much
Too many love letters. Too many. Sent to and from battlefields, sealed with kisses, scented with love. Too many, still being mailed, still being sealed from the heart with hope. Too many families broken forever. Too many soldiers that never knew the joy of fatherhood. Or even aware that they are to become fathers.