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The Soldier's Widow

Written By: Barbara Johannsen
Published by: Devine Destinies
ISBN #:978-1-55487-521-4
Word Count:25000
Page Count: 98
Heat Level:
Price: $3.99
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Hiebook, HTML, Mobipocket, Rocket, Epub, Sony PDF, Sony LRF

    Annie sat in the car and looked across the cemetery. The gravestones were illuminated in the soft white light given off by the streetlights along the winding road that snaked through the grounds. Massive stones with deeply etched inscriptions stood like bleak sentinels overlooking family plots. Yellowed leaves of oak trees fluttered in the late October breeze. The rustle sounded through the car windows, bringing a fall chill to Annie's body. She gathered her coat collar around her neck and poked her hands deeper into her pockets.

    When Annie left the airport terminal, her heart on her sleeve, she wanted to come to the cemetery and throw herself on Charlie's grave. The need to feel close to him was almost more than she could bear some times. It didn't seem like three long years had passed since she laid him to rest. A tear coursed down her cheek and she didn't bother to brush it away. There was no one there but her, alone with her misery and concealed by the darkness.

    Charlie had been her world. Her every other thought had been of him and when he was suddenly taken away, she lost all will to go on. For months she had stayed in her house, not having the desire to work or have friends in. Even her family was pushed aside in lieu of being alone and trying to understand what had happened to ruin her life. Finally, after two months, she awoke one day and realized that Charlie had been taken from her and there wasn't a single thing she could do about it. He was gone, she would never see him again, and despite the hurt clenching her insides, she had to get a grip and go on with her life.

    She immersed herself in work, taking on several board jobs for herself and a few of her fellow teachers. She began tutoring mid-grade students in math after school, a job she found very rewarding. Most of the children were latch key kids with both parents working and thus they went home to an empty house every afternoon. Annie found the kids fun to be around, once their lessons were completed for the day. Without consciously realizing it, she found her spirits being lifted.

    The wind seemed to kick up, blowing the dried leaves across the cemetery and catching Annie's eye. Headlights appeared, shining through the back window of her car. She roused and sat up straighter in the seat. The lights dimmed and went out, signaling that someone had parked behind her and shut off the motor of the car. A tremor of fright raced through Annie's insides. She reached for the key and started the ignition. Even though her doors were locked and there hadn't been any violence in Montgomery for months, there was no sense taking chances.

    As Annie shifted the car into gear and inched away from the curb, she saw a figure exiting the car behind her. Keeping an eye on the rearview mirror, she recognized the figure as male. He closed the driver's door and opened the rear door, extracting a bouquet of flowers. Annie's foot hesitated on the gas pedal as she recognized the soldier she had drawn the map for at the USO.

    Curiosity rose inside Annie. She braked the car and watched the man as he walked into the cemetery. He strode along the roadway, then walked amid the gravestones, pausing to place the flowers on a grave. Annie bit her bottom lip as new tears came to her eyes. Did the soldier have a loved one buried in the cemetery? Or had he laid flowers on the grave of a fellow comrade? There were hundreds of local men buried in the cemetery, those whose families wanted them nearby instead of in a military graveyard in another state. The thought of not having Charlie close had brought about her own decision regarding his final resting place. Though he was due an honorary place because of his undying sacrifice, she knew she would love him forever and someday take her place beside him, again.

    When Charlie Barrett was killed in Iraq, he left behind a grieving widow. Charlie was the love of Annie’s life and three years later, she still cannot put the past to rest. Lee McCord is on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. He knows the impact war has on a soldier and he understands Annie’s pain. Can Lee help Annie get on with her life? Will Annie reveal the depth of her hurt and find the solace she so desperately needs? Is it possible for a grieving widow to put the memory of her dead husband to rest?

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