Emerging Writers. Historical Fiction by Mary Ann DiLorenzo
Journeying Back to What Used to Be. Part 16.
“My, my, my!” Johnny muttered out loud as he folded up his father’s letter and put it back in the envelope, slipping it in his pocket next to the one from Emily that he had carried with him for so long. As he sat there on the porch, Johnny knew he had to go see his father. He got up, went into the house and sat down again, this time at his small writing desk.
Two letters he wrote that day, one to his father telling him after all these years of silence how grateful he was for the communication and that he would be headed west to find him again. The other he wrote to Emily, telling her that he was leaving to go west and, like his father, finally apologizing for the days gone by and the decisions he had made. And, like his father, that he had not stopped loving her. Then he got up and left the house to walk back into town to post those letters with Miss Ames.
Suddenly the years, long ago now it seemed, came rushing back into view! How he had left Emily and walked away on this road being just a boy. This road he had just traveled not but an hour ago, now seemed shiny new. His short-lived feed and seed career ended earlier in the day was already forgotten in the excitement of adventure once again. Not war this time though, but it was excitement just the same!
He stopped at Sam’s place to ask him to look over the farm and work it if he liked should Johnny not come back. Sam smiled and thought to himself, “He is just like his daddy. If his mama were still alive, she never would have been able to keep a hold of him either!” Sam slapped Johnny on the back, wished him well and then Johnny was gone, walking down that well-traveled dirt road once more.
When Johnny got to town and the general store, he asked Miss Ames to post the two letters for him. Then he turned to take that road back again to what was still home, if only for a short time more. When he reached the porch he took out Emily’s old letter and read it one last time. “Funny,” he thought, “I keep reading that thing, but I know it all by heart.” He stepped off the porch and walked the trail to the barn, thinking, “I must have walked this way a million times!” Suddenly he took Emily’s letter and ripped it into little pieces. He held those pieces out in his hands and let the wind catch them. As the pieces scattered, Johnny knew, like Emily’s letter, his old life was no more.
Journeying Back to What Used to Be. Original historical fiction that follows a Confederate soldier back from War. Delivered in brief vignettes, the series depicts this defining time in the history of our nation. Follow this Civil War Story About Going Home.
Journeying Back to What Used to Be, Part 16 (This one)