I told you I’d come back

What flowers should I order?’ said Harry struggling to stand as his legs trembled and the pain in his chest got worse.

‘Well what does she like’ said Kali the care assistant, trying to look interested as she wiped the dust around his room.

Harry, thought for a moment, then smiled and said ‘Roses’.

*

The blitz was still bad but Harry ran through the streets to Rose’s house. He was being sent up to York tomorrow for training and then being shipped out to the Far East. As he neared the house she was waiting for him.

‘Hurry up, mum will be back from the factory in an hour or so,’ said Rose in a strange nervous tone.

Shutting the door behind her, she kissed him and pulled him upstairs to her room. In one sweep her dress was off and she stood naked.

Harry stunned, said, ‘No, it’s not right’.

Rose just put her fingers to his lips and said, ‘you could be dead before I see you next and I don’t want regrets and might have been’.

Throwing back the bed covers the sheet was covered in the petals of a red rose.

*

In the morning, Harry’s son came to lay out the old demob suit that he had always kept just in case. Thanking him, he stayed with his thoughts. His wife, now long since buried, had always known she was second fiddle. Thank God, she saw me as a good man and knew that love comes in many forms. Our Mark was never left bitter.

Seeing his father crying Mark said, ‘Dad you know that mam, would be OK with this’.

‘I know but-,’

‘No not for me to know.’ Mark quickly got busy and distracted his father with shaving and dressing.

*

Harry got the letter while on service about Rose and his baby and wrote back but was captured by the Japs, When he got back he only found bombed houses and half- remembered names. After a while he got on with his life.  Then one morning a knock at the door and a Hello dad,’ from a dapper grey haired man.

‘Pardon, I ain’t lost me marbles yet, you’re no son of mine.’

George just smiled and said ‘Rose begs to differ.’
*
At the church, Harry’s younger son walked him down the aisle as they waited for his older son to push Rose down to meet them. Meeting eyes, they both knew it was right and Harry bent down to whisper, ‘I told you I’d come back.’

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