Solider of Love & War

January 10, 2018
By DBarats BRONZE, Philadelpiha, Pennsylvania
DBarats BRONZE, Philadelpiha, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments


  It all started in a small town named Johnsonville in 1952, During the Korean war era. Vincent thought he was in love and was deeply wronged. Thought he had a best friend but was proven otherwise. His life changed for the worst in the beginning. An intuition saved his life. And in 1958 his life was turned around for the better. He saw the light shine through his darkened tunnel. 

    Vincent was always your typical "fight for your country man". He has always wanted to fight for his country and fight in war. He dreamed of it since he was a little boy. So in 1952 that's exactly what Vincent had done. He became a Navy Seal and fought in the Korean war. In the mist of fighting war, he was a young man and thought he had fallen in love. What he thought was the love of his life turned out to be a nightmare. Vincent and Betsy were young and in love. They were together for a year or so before they decided to get married. Vincent and Betsy were so in love that they decided to finally go ahead and get married. They had a normal typical marriage. A little after a year Vincent had gone off to fight in the Korean War. Betsy was so scared and felt hurt in her heart as she watched Vincent walk off. Wondering if she'd ever see him again or not. She felt hurt in her heart because they were so in love. He made a promise to her before he left. " Betsy I Promise no matter what happens I will love you till the end and I will be OK. Time is very slow for those who wait, very fast for those who are scared, very long for those who are lament, very short for those who celebrate but for those who love time is ETERNAL, ". Betsy replied "Vincent, I love you and promise to always cherish our love". Betsy had walked Vincent to the bus stop where all the Naval men were being picked up. They gave their finally hug and kiss. Betsy didn't want to let go. Before Vincent got onto the bus he had handed her a locket with their wedding picture and a quote on the other side saying " Our love is Eternal, I love you to the moon and back, Love Vincent". Vincent than walked over to his best friend Ernest and thanked Ernest for being the best-est friend and agreed to take care of Betsy while Vincent was gone. As Betsy saw Vincent walk onto the bus her face began to become washed out with no color. And the tears had fallen down her face. All Vincent could do was say "It'll be OK, I love you, I'll always be with you, and at night just look up at the stars". He blew her a kiss and Betsy watched as they drove away. Ernest hugged Betsy and Betsy found a little bench nearby and sat down and held that locket tight and with all her strength and looked up at the beautiful sky and said "Vincent I will always love you". As many months passed by they constantly wrote each other back and forth. One of the letters written to Betsy said " Dear Betsy, my darling wife, everything is OK with me. I'm doing what I love best and that's fighting for my Country. Things are starting to get a little hectic over here but I will promise to still write you. I hope your OK and coping better with me not being home and Hope that Ernest is taking care of my darling. Please do let me know if anything is to go wrong. I love you! P.S, look up at the stars and I'll see you. Love, Vincent." Betsy replied back to his letter as soon as possible. She replied with " Dear my dearest Husband, I am glad to hear everything is going OK, I miss you dearly and cannot wait till your home. Everything is going good over here and dear Ernest is taking very well care of me." Vincent was so excited to see that letter back to quickly. His face lit up and a tear ran down his face reading the letter. He loved and missed Betsy dearly. But knew fighting for his country was his other love since he was a young boy. Season's, weather, holidays and time was slowly passing by. They continued to constantly write each other back and forth. Both Vincent and Betsy were so excited and always waiting at the mailbox when mail was being dropped off. They still were so madly in love. But Betsy had got this one letter that Vincent sent. " My Dearest Love, everything is still crazy over here. I am still doing well but had a small accident. I have a minor injury to the leg. I was trying to help my partner up and got skid in the leg with a bullet. I was lucky enough to get skidded so not much damage at all. I'd say a few bumps and scratches. I hope my Queen is still being taken care of and let Ernest know I appreciate him looking out for you and being by your side". Betsy replied with " My Lovely Husband Vincent, once again I am so glad to hear that you’re doing well. But OH My GOSH! Are you sure you’re alright?! How's your leg feeling? Will it cause you to have to sit out? How are you dealing with it? Well my brave solider I am sorry to hear your hurt but I love you and hope that you continue to be safe and doing what you love best; And Ernest says Hello. He wants to know how you’re doing? And hope you come home safe and happy. He can't wait to see you Vincent". As usual Vincent was so excited to see that letter back. He read the letter and replied." Everything is fine, I will be OK my love. It's just luckily a skid, just a little pain. Not too much where it'll cause me pain, and please do tell Ernest I will write him a letter too and again I'm so glad he is taking care of you while I can't. Love, Vincent".  Another week past ad Ernest received a letter from Vincent. "My dearest and greatest friend Ernest, I do appreciate you taking care of my lady while I'm gone. You have no idea how grateful I am to have a friend like you. Thank you again and I can't wait till I see you guys again and can give you a hug of thank you. Love Vincent." Vincent waited and waited for a reply from Ernest but got nothing. Vincent thought it got lost and so he wrote Betsy a letter as usual and said " My Dear Love, I have not yet received a letter yet from Ernest, it must have got lost somewhere in the mail. What did he say darling? Love, Vincent."   Betsy received her letter and "Replied Oh it must have got lost in the mail. Well Vincent I'm making your favorite desert, Banana Bread. I will send you some dear."  Vincent received that letter and the Banana bread and wrote Betsy back again as their normal and a few months went by that Vincent continuously wrote Betsy and no response ever came back from her. So Vincent decided to write his twin brother John. "John, how are you? How's everything going with you? I can't wait to see you guys and be home." Vincent got a reply back "Vincent, I miss you and everything's well. We can't wait to see you." But still Vincent began worrying and thinking of all the bad with not getting a reply back from Betsy nor Ernest. Kept thinking The worst of the worst.  But he knew he couldn't let that interfere with his performance during war so he brushed it off.  Vincent kept writing though hoping that he'd receive something back soon. He even wrote Ernest and didn't get anything back. So as Vincent knew he had to keep pushing and fighting war and fighting for his country. He did it with bravery and a strong head on his shoulders even though he was worried being as though it had almost been a year with no letters being sent back to poor Vincent. Vincent would lay down at night wondering what was going on, if they were OK, if he just wasn't getting their mail. But he looked up at the sky and always felt that security again. But something still threw his security off no matter how long he starred into the stars.  SO a year and a half had finally passed by and Vincent and the entire Navy was being sent home for good. Vincent was so excited and eager to get home. But before he went home the Navy had a little relaxation day / celebration day to thank and celebrate all of the brave fighters. But still somehow Vincent couldn't do anything but think of his Beautiful wife Betsy. All he wanted to do was see and know Betsy and Ernest were OK in safe hands and no harm. Vincent enjoyed his night with the guys as much as he could. Everyone exchanged address etc.  Vincent went to the closest pay phone to try and call Ernest and let him know not to tell Betsy but He was coming home. He wanted to surprise her. To no surprise Ernest did not answer. SO Vincent thought nothing of it and said "AH OK he must be out or something". Vincent decided he wanted to surprise Betsy more than him just being home so he went to the nearest jewelry shop and got her a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet.  It was the most beautiful thing he has ever seen and thought it was perfect for his wife. By the time Vincent had got home it was really late so he decided I'd like them to be awake when I arrive so he went to the closest motel. He crashed there for the night holding the Tennis bracelet and a picture he had of Betsy and he at their wedding.  The next morning came around. It was about 9 am. Vincent had washed up and dressed up in a nice button up, nice slacks and nice shiny black dock shoes. Vincent hurried his eager self-up and rushed to get to his home. Vincent took a deep breath in before entering his door. With a bit relief but also curiosity. Relief because he saw the car's out front both Betsy and Ernest. Vincent walked in the front door and dropped his bags to run in for a hug from his wife. But to his shock she turned around and all Vincent could do was drop his jaw in shock... He just stood there and couldn't move nor say a word. Tears ran down his face. Betsy just stared at him. While Ernest was saying " UM, Vincent I can explain."  Vincent finally could talk and his face got bright red and told Ernest to get out of his house and get away from his wife. Ernest left but Betsy tried leaving too. Vincent was so lost and confused. Vincent begged for Betsy to stay and that's what she did. Vincent just starred at Betsy and said "how could you... My best friend... Why Betsy, Why? How far along?" Betsy replied "5 Months Vincent, It's a girl". All Vincent could do was still hug her but at the same time cry his heart out. Vincent said " Is this why I haven't got any replies? I thought we were in love. You made a promise when we got married. Where did I mess up? Was it because I was away?" Betsy simply replied " Vincent, I'm sorry but I don't know how it happened. I guess we both got mixed up in feelings being as though all we had for each other. I... I still love you but I think I love Ernest too."  And Vincent just went to his room for the rest of the night and cried. He constantly wondered Why he wasn't good enough... Why his love wasn't enough... How he was so foolish for trusting what he thought was his best friend. When he finally decided to leave the room there was a note with some warm tuna fish casserole on the stove. "Vincent, I'm in love with Ernest but I will always love you. I can't thank you enough for everything but this is just how it has to be. Don't try and come for me and try and make things better.  ~ Betsy". All Vincent could think was How do I go on? How did this happen? She told me not too come after her to make things better but what if I can? He sat down alone at the dinner table eating. He was a wreck. He was so depressed. Day after day night after night all he could do is think to himself that this was his fault.  Several weeks went by and Vincent was still all alone dreading in agony and depression. Vincent tried calling Ernest and wanted Ernest to man up to everything. He wanted Ernest to tell him why and ask him why Ernest took his whole life and love away from him. Why he ruined what was thought to be the best friendship he ever had. Why he had to take everything that meant the world to him all away in one cold shot. But not one time did anyone answer the phone. SO Vincent gave up on trying to get answers.  Vincent just wanted everything back to normal. He had wished he never left but always knew in his heart that fighting for his country was what he wished to do since he was a little boy. He just wished he could turn back in time. Vincent day in and day out tried forgetting about Betsy, Ernest and the pregnancy. He wondered Why him? Almost a month had passed and all the boys from his Naval ship wanted to get together on several occasions but Vincent just declined every time until one night. He asked and told himself " Maybe this will make me feel better". SO Vincent did as his mind told him and went out with the crew. All of them had a few beers just sat back relaxed and talked about their lives. One of his Naval men friends said so Vincent, "How are you? How's your Mrs. doing?" Vincent just stared into space and said "Best friend knocked her up while we were fighting in the war". And all the guys felt so bad for Vincent. Vincent said NO! NO PITY! We are here to enjoy our night so here's to another day of us being able to come home safely". Vincent and the boy decided to have more drinks and have a nice laid back relaxing night. And that is exactly what they did. They decided to get something small to eat and for this first time in weeks Vincent actually ate his whole meal and started to feel a bit more comfort with the boys. He wasn't mopping in sorrow and sadness.  He was laughing with the boys and having conversations about their families and all the times they enjoyed together even in war. Although the war was a hassle and had a sad ending for Vincent he didn't let that bother him as the night settled in. Vincent knew in his heart he may be enjoying his night now but as soon as he was back home all alone and with all the memories lingering all over the house that he'd soon be back to his old depressed self. Vincent was dreading that loneliness, that feeling of misery and struggle of trying to go on. The night had finally ended and Vincent had finally gone home. He laid in bed and just starred at his ceiling. He couldn't sleep. He tried with all his might but again just thought "WHY?". The next day creep-ed up on Vincent out of nowhere. He heard a soft knock on the door. Hesitant to answer at first he heard the knock again and someone say " Hey Vincent, you home? It's your twin John". Vincent slowly but hurriedly got up to answer the door. John had started to walk away and Vincent had opened the door. Vincent said " Hey John I'm home!".  John walked up to Vincent and gave him a big hug. John was so excited to see his twin. Vincent was happy too. But John sensed something off with Vincent. He wasn't being his good 'ole happy jolly self. Vincent was very quiet and distant. Vincent was definitely in shock as he didn't expect his brother to stop by. John asked Vincent if he could stay for a while as he was looking to buy a home locally and start his own family and Vincent was happy to oblige. Days passed by and John couldn't help but to still take notice in Vincent's behavior and quietness. So John finally said “Vincent what is going on? Why so sad and out of it? Where's Betsy? How's Ernest?". Vincent just looked his brother in his eyes and tear's ran down his face. John replied " What is it?". Vincent said " I lost my wife and best friend. John I don't know what to do with myself anymore". " While I was away "My Best friend" got my wife pregnant", " I don't know where I went wrong John, I just wish I could go back and change time and what happened, I'm so broken. I'm so lost and hurt. I can't even seem to get my thought's together some days... I haven't gone out since the boys and I went out that night to eat and have some drinks. I Need to clean and cook and try and regroup myself, I just don't seem to know how..." John replied " Vincent, I'm so sorry, why didn't you call me, why didn't you come to me... I'm so sorry brother". " It's OK John, I didn't want to be a burden on anyone... I think I just need to handle and cope with this myself. Maybe... I just need to learn how to regather myself back to a whole." "OK well for starters Vincent, let’s go get some food for your house, How about that?" " No thanks John, I'll clean the house while you run that errand if you don't mind?", "NO not at all Vinc, I understand"." Thank you brother, I love you... Don't forget that". "Vincent, I love you too, you sure you'll be OK, I can stay home and we can go food shopping when you feel up to it, I can just grab a few things for dinner tonight?', "Na John it's OK, I could use some food in this house beings as though I only have freezer burned Pea's." John chuckled and did exactly that and went food shopping with no hesitation. Vincent began cleaning up until a picture of Betsy fell out of his dirty pants pocket. Vincent just starred at it for a few moments and started crying and dropped to his knees.  He walked outside and over to his outside shed. He grabbed the thickest and strongest rope. He contemplated for a few minutes wishing something would change his thought for the moment about what he was about to do. He walked back in, slowly closing the door wishing someone would stop him. He knew what he was about to do would be a sin but he thought it was the only answer to his problems right now being as though he felt like a burden on his brother’s shoulder. Vincent grabbed a wooden chair from the kitchen table. He found a sturdy beam in the ceiling of his bedroom. He tied the rope tightly around the beam. he stood there for a moment and looked around to see a glimpse of Betsy that may have remained in the house. A sign so to say. Something that would stop time from ticking and give him the strength he needed to go on but there was nothing. As he was getting the rope ready to put around his neck, His brother John had a weird feeling in his stomach. He had sensed something was wrong with his twin brother Vincent. John hurriedly left the cart and everything in the cart and sped off to get home to Vincent. John walked in the door and yelled out " Vincent!" ... There was no answer so John walked to the bathroom and still No Vincent. He walked into Vincent's bedroom and saw his brother standing on the chair with the rope around his neck. John ran over so fast that Vincent didn't have time to finish his sin. John took him out of the chair and rope and threw them both out of the room. "Vincent! What were you thinking!!, You said you would be OK". "Oh my God! I Can't believe I left you while you are so unstable! What was I thinking! I'm so sorry". Vincent just curled up and cried and held his brother so tight and said Thank you! John replied, " Well what are twins for? I am so grateful we are twins. The intuition and gut feeling that something was wrong was what sent me home to you, and I'm so happy for it, I love you Vincent." John Knew Vincent needed some help but he didn't want to see his brother alone and institutionalized so he told Vincent he would stay and live with him until he was stable again and everything was OK. John did as he said. A few months passed by and Vincent was somewhat halfway back to some stability. Not 100 % there yet but there was progress. He was finally cleaning the house, keeping his appearance up and going to church. He was going food shopping with John and taking small steps to move on with his life though it was not easy.  He wasn't comfortable with anything else yet nor having anyone else over yet but he was working on being himself again. John was working on helping Vincent and knew it would be a long but rewarding ending once Vincent reached his full stability. One day they were out going shopping for food and necessities they bumped into Betsy and Ernest. John had noticed that Vincent saw them and said" Vince, we can go home, would you like to go home?" "No thanks John, I'm OK... We have things we need to get done and we live in the same town so we're bound to run into them time from time." John thought that was a huge, encouraging, and brave step for Vincent to have took. He was proud of him but didn't want to make Vincent feel funny so he just smirked and put his one arm around Vincent, "come on Vince let's finish up here". They were in the car headed home and John thought "HMM, want to try something new today Vincent since it's still early in the day?" "Sure" Vincent replied. They both headed to the house to drop the groceries off. After they did that they headed to an Ice-Cream Parlor. They got some delicious cold Ice-cream to go and John drove to a quiet, secluded place. They got out and Vincent asked John " What is this place? It's beautiful and so peaceful looking". " It's what I call my quiet place. My place to think. My place to set free when times are hard or I just need to clear my mind." John said " Just hand me your Ice-cream once I do something". John just let out a big huge scream and then chuckled and looked at Vincent. " Now Vincent hand me your Ice-cream and I want you to just let out a really big and loud scream". Vincent let out a big huge scream, looked over at John, and laughed and hugged his brother. They sat there and just starred at the beautiful sky as the sun was going down. " John, thank you SO much for today and everything you've been doing, for putting your life on pause for mine." " Eh, no biggie it's the least I can do for my " little" brother" being as I'm born 2 minutes earlier" They both laughed. John told Vincent to check out the place and explore a little. Vincent saw the beauty that John most of fallen in love with because Vincent was himself falling in love with this place. The tranquil lake and the forest that backed the lake was thick and comforting.  They finally decided to head home once sundown was over. They had to cook dinner. " What would you like for dinner John?" "I'm fine with whatever you'd like to make." "Whatcha thinking" They both thought for a minute and at the same time said " Steak, mashed potatoes a corn on the cob". They started both hysterically laughing at one another and let out a sigh of a long but good day. They finally arrived home, Vincent got changed and cleaned his hands up and started to prepare dinner. " Dinner is smelling good Vince”, I always knew you had moms hand at cooking". Dinner was done and it was delicious! John had said " Vincent could I ask you a question?" "Sure" said Vincent. " How'd you do it earlier? I am proud of you but how'd you do it?" " I simply just saw them and knew I need to finally move on and be happy for myself, for you and everyone else that loves me. I need to get better and I can't by throwing myself in self piety and depression over people that clearly never cared for me nor could be trusted." " I'm proud of you Vince, I am so happy your moving and gradually getting better". " I have seen and been able to notice and partake in your progress to finding yourself and happiness within yourself again and I couldn't be any happier to be able to be your twin and the one person to be such a helping hand". " John, honestly thank you for EVERYTHING". " I am glad you're still here, YOU saved me, your intuition and gut feeling saved me. I am so happy I am still here! I couldn't imagine what you’re as well as everyone else's lives would've been like if I weren't here". " No need to thank me Vince, that's what I am here for. And I as sure as other's wouldn't want to know what it be like without you. I'd be so lost; I'd have lost literally my other half. Without one another we would feel empty and like a piece is missing. I love you and we will always have each other no matter what, Don't EVER forget that." John and Vincent spent that night talking about the things they did when they were just kids on the Mountain in Nanticoke. "Vincent, remember that time we had to use the outhouse but it was too far away do we decided to pee out the window?" John asked. "yea I sure do... Uncle Fred and Aunt Gert thought it was raining! Boy did we get a whoppin' that night" replied Vincent.  Vincent asked John ... "How about when we decided to go sledding down the hill and take Great Aunt Rita with us.... All the way to the bottom right to the bus stop!" "She went kicking and screaming and her legs in the air the whole time" laughed John. The night continued on the same note and both Vincent and John went to sleep with smiles on their faces. The next day they drove out to see their mom who lived a few hours away. Vincent's mother was so pleased to see both of her handsome sons especially together. "John" she said "did you find a house?" John just smiled and said "not yet Momma, still looking".  She then turned her attention to Vincent. "Where is Betsy at Vinny?" she asked. Vincent looked at John and sighed "well Momma here's the thing". He told her about everything. He apologized to his mother for not visiting her sooner nor telling her of his situation. He explained how much this hurt him and that he was saved by John. His mother opened her arms to both Vincent and John and said " Thank God you are still here and that you have your twin intuition." "My boys!" she exclaimed. "You are my heart, my soul and my everything and as for Betsy & Ernest.... well the Lord will deal with the two of them in his own way". On the drive home Vincent thought about Betsy and Ernest. Wondering if their "little girl" had arrived yet. He said it out loud, " I wonder if they had their little girl?" John asked "who?" 'Betsy & Ernest?" said Vincent. why would you want to even know?" asked John. "Oh well I didn't realize I said that out loud" laughed Vincent. "After taking to momma, I just thought well it isn't the little girls fault and if they are happy then that little girl will be happy and that's all I want." Like Momma said "the Lord will deal with them when he's ready." "I am ready John" said Vincent. "What are you ready for?" asked John. "I'm ready to move on with my life!" exclaimed Vincent.

Already 2 years had passed.  John was able to go back to work and finally found the house he was looking for. It was only a few blocks away from his brother and though it was small it was suitable enough for him.  Vincent was finally going out on his own. He got a job working as a manager for Pathmark and was at full recovery. He was himself again. His head was finally clear. John was so proud of everything that Vincent had overcome and he let him know that every day. Vincent decided to treat John to a night out at dinner. They decided to go to Outback Steakhouse. They both had such a good time laughing and just enjoying the time out and away from work. They both had one drink and just sat back and relaxed." No rush." John said to Vincent " Want to go get a case of beer for tonight and watch the game?" " Sure, I could use a couple drinks and a good 'ole relaxing at home game day, lets grab some snacks... Maybe you could Invite some of your buddies over and I can invite some of mine and you can meet the boys from the base finally." " Sure, I'd love that Vince, let me call up some guys", They both called up a few buddies and they all met up at Vincent's house. There was still a half hour from start time so they just sat back relaxed and talked. Several guys had asked Vincent if he has a" Mrs." Vincent replied" No, I do not but hopefully someday I can try it again. That id if the right gal came along." The boys started hooting and hollering and the game finally started. The group of guys were split on the teams. Half the gang were Eagles fans and the other half Steeler's fans.  As you can imagine it was a very loud night. The game ended at about 11 pm and the gang started to fizzle out. By midnight it was just John and Vincent again. They both agreed that it was a good night and John hugged his brother and set off for his home.

A few months have passed and Vincent was still managing the Pathmark. He came in to work on day and saw that there was someone who looked familiar to him at one of the registers. He took a step back and there; he saw it was Ernest. He was standing in line holding the hand of a little boy. This little boy was about 2 and a half years old. Vincent was a bit confused and decided to walk up too Ernest. He approached Ernest with pride. "Hello Ernest" he said. Ernest quickly turned around and saw Vincent standing there. "Hhheellllo Vince" Ernest said. "Who's this we have here " asked Vincent looking at the little boy. "My name is Richard sir" said the little boy. Ernest just stood there with his head down and Vincent asked "I thought it was a little girl?" he whispered Ernest. "well, I guess they were wrong" Ernest stated in a low cowardly voice. Vincent tapped Richard on the top of his head and said "good to see you Ernest!" At that moment, Vincent felt a rush of relief and felt that he was finally free from that part of his life. The next few days Vincent was so busy at work that he didn't even realize that there were a few new people hired. He saw a new face in the produce department, a new cashier and a new girl working in the bakery and she caught his eye! She was a bit younger then him but strikingly beautiful. He introduced himself to her "hello there, my name is Vincent. I'm the closing manager here, welcome to the store." The girl replied "hi there, I'm Corrine and it’s nice to meet you!" Over the next several weeks Vincent kept his eye on Corrine and was working up the courage to ask her on a date. He didn't want to seem to eager but he was! Corrine had been having trouble with a few things in the bakery and reached out to Vincent. "Vincent I can't seem to set this oven right, is there a trick or something?" "Well let's take a look" said Vincent. The two of them worked together on the oven and started talking while working. "So, where are you from Corrine?" asked Vincent. "I'm from Philadelphia, how about you?" Vincent replied "Oh a city gal! I live local right here in good ole' Levittown." As they continued to work on the oven the two continued to talk. Corrine asked " Are you married?" and Vincent replied... "Was once but that's a story for another time, how about you?" Corrine blushed and said "Same, was once." They finally got the oven to work right and both smiled at each other before going back to work. Corrine said "thank you for all your help Vincent" and Vincent replied "it was my pleasure and just call me Vince!" Corrine smiled and turned back to the bakery. Later that week Vincent approached Corrine after work and asked her if she would like to grab some dinner one night. Corrine with a blushed face replied "Yes I'd love that!" Vincent surprised by Corrine's response exclaimed "WHEN?" Corrine blushed even more and replied "Saturday would be great with me". The bid each other a goodnight and left for their homes. Vincent was so excited he couldn't help himself and he drove to his brother John's house to tell him! He ran into John's house screaming... "Yes! She said Saturday! We're going to dinner on Saturday!" John was startled and asked "What and who are you screaming about?" Vincent grabbed John's shoulders and screamed ... "CORRINE!" John asked again "Who in the world in Corrine and what are you going on about Saturday?" Vincent took a deep breath and calmly said "there's this gal at work. Her name is Corrine and she's beautiful! I asked her to dinner and she said YES!! I have a date brother ... on Saturday!"  John grabbed Vincent's face and said "it's about time brother, now go home and let me get some sleep!" Vincent left John's but didn't go straight home. He drove to that beautiful peaceful place John had introduced to him those many years ago. He got out of his car and with a huge smile screamed across the lake just one simple word.... "CORRINE!" The next few days couldn't go by any faster for Vincent. He was so excited for Saturday to come. He pressed his suit. Washed his car three times. Polished his shoes and tidied up his house. He made reservations at the finest restaurant in the city of Philadelphia, The Moshulu. It was a boat on the river so it was so suitable for Vincent, after all he was a sailor. The details were all set. He would buy her a boutique of flowers along with a box of the finest chocolates. Everything was set.  All he was able to do think about was Corrine and Saturday.

Finally, Saturday arrived and Vincent left to pick Corrine up for their date. He drove up to her house. Nervous and shaking. He grabbed the flowers and chocolates. He said to himself "Vince, you are a grown man and she is a grown woman. Stop shaking and ring the bell". Vincent took a deep breath and did just that. He pushed the doorbell button and the door slowly opened and there was Corrine. Her hair up in a beehive style. She was wearing a Yellow dress with a white sweater over her shoulders. She had very little make-up on but still nothing nor no one could compare to her beauty. Vincent handed her the flowers and candy and she welcomed him inside. "Please do come in Vincent. I must put these beautiful flowers in some water". Vincent being bashful said "Oh, um ssuurree." Corrine went right to the kitchen, filling a vase with water and placing them on the dining room table. She said ... "these are just too beautiful and fragrant, I want them where I can enjoy them all the time.' Vincent said "I'm so happy you like them. I wasn't sure what your favorite flower was so I went with the mix." "You did good Vince" said Corrine. "Well we have reservations at 6 so we really should be going" said Vincent. Corrine replied with " great let's get going!" They exited Corrine's house. Vincent being the gentleman he is opened her door and helped her into the car. They started off for the Moshulu. Corrine had no idea where Vincent had made reservations for and politely asked Vincent, "where did you make reservations at?" Vincent replied "nowhere but the best so obviously, The Moshulu of course!" Corrine blushed and said " Why Vince that it the most expensive place in the city, why on earth would you pick there?" Vincent cleared his throat and said "well you see, I haven't done this in quite some time and I wanted you to have the best time possible because, well you see, I really like you." Blushing even more now Corrine replies. "Vince I will have the best time because I'm with you!" Vincent grinning from ear to ear, "I'm glad you said that because here we are!" They pull up into the parking lot and Vincent hurries to open Corrine's door and help her out of the car. He offers her his arm and she gladly excepts. As they walk thru the parking lot he ship is becoming bigger and bigger. Corrine turns to Vincent and says " Oh this ship is just huge!" All Vincent could do was laugh." Vince" she said a bit irritated "What is so funny?" Vincent quickly stooped laughing and said "well if you think this ship is big you should've seen the battleship I served on during the war!"   Corrine burst out laughing herself." I guess you're right Vince, this ship is small in your eyes". They walked up the ramp to the bow of the ship greeted by the concierge ... "welcome to the Moshulu, please come right this way". Vincent and Corrine followed the concierge down into the bow of the ship to the most beautiful restaurant either has ever seen.  They both were in awl of the setting. Fish tanks with fish neither have ever seen, crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling an adorning the tables.  It was like they were in a movie! Vincent turned to Corrine and said ... "Order whatever you want! No price is to high!" Corrine grabbed Vincent's arm a bit harder and said " I will order anyway I see fit>" Vincent said with a gulp, "as you wish my dear". They reached their table and Vincent pulled out Corrine's chair like a gentleman should. The concierge placed their napkins on their laps and lay their menus opened on their plate. He stated that "Jim, will be your waiter for the night, enjoy".  'This is some place don't you think?" said Vincent. Corrine smiled and said "yes it is quite some place". "Let's see what's on the menu, shall we?" Corrine said softly. A young strapping man walks up to the table. Adoring a towel over his forearm, "my name is Jim and I will be your waiter tonight, what can I get you two to drink tonight?" Vincent clears his throat ... "eeehhhmmm... well what do you recommend Jim?" Jim starts rolling off a list of wine and champagne, every name Corrine just scrunches her nose at. Vincent politely excuses himself to Jim and asks Corrine, "what do you drink? do you even like to drink?" Corrine giggled replying "I like to drink here and there but not any of those things. I'm a good ole' fashion beer kinda gal!" Vincent with a smile turned to Jim and said " You heard the lady, can we get two good ole' fashion beers please". "Coming right up" said Jim. Jim walks away and Corrine with a smile asks Vincent... " Vince tell me more about yourself." Vince clears his throat again "ehm well, what would you like to know?" "Well You said you were married once, if you don't mind me asking, what happened?" asked Corrine. "Well to put it to you shortly, While I was away during the war my best friend and wife had an affair. When I came home she was pregnant. It was a dark time of my life but I am okay with it now." "Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry Vince" ... said Corrine. Vince just winked and smiled as Jim arrived back at the table with the beers. "Are you ready to order?" Jim asked. Corrine and Vince giggled and replied "we didn't even look!" Laughing, they both picked up their menu's and started to read to see what they would like to eat. Jim turned and said... "No problem! I'll give you a few more moments." Vincent said to Corrine... "Do you see anything that interests you dear?"  Corrine replied... "Everything is so fancy but the Flounder Florentine sound delicious!" Vincent smiled and said "You like seafood? " "Absolutely!" Corrine replied with excitement. Vincent smiled and said "I think I will have the same thing." Vincent waved for Jim. Jim hurried over and Asked... "Are we ready?"  Vincent nodded his head and folded his menu and replied... "we will both have the Flounder Florentine with the house salad, thank you." Jim smiled and said "good choice." He shuffled away quickly. Vincent turned to Corrine and said... "I believe it is your turn, you said you were once married as well?" Corrine bushed and said... "Well, my ex-husband and I decided that we just we not happy together anymore and we were different people then when we first me so we decided to part ways for the best." Vincent sipping his beer nodded with interest listening to Corrine. She went on to say "he's a good man, just not good for me nor I him." Their dinner had arrived as they continued to get more comfortable conversing the whole time. "So your Irish too?" Vincent as Corrine. With a huge smile Corrine replied "Erin Go Bragh" and Vincent replied "Ireland forever!" As they finished their meals they Vincent could not take his eyes off of Corrine and Corrine seemed to have the same problem. They had a few more beers and declined dessert but continued to talk for some time. Vincent paid the check and asked Corrine to walk with him for a little while along the waterfront and Corrine anxiously excepted. " I would love to, Vince" she said. They departed the ship and walking hand in hand along the waterfront continued to talk. Corrine telling Vince all about her parents and her heritage and Vincent telling Corrine about growing up in the mountains and working in the coal mines as a very young man. The moonlight glistened off the water, the hustle and bustle of the city seemed not to faze either one of them. It was like they were the only two people in the entire city. Before they had new it, it was 11 o'clock and Vincent turned to Corrine and said... "I don't want this night to end. It was the most perfect night I have ever had!" Corrine grabbed Vincent's arm tightly and replied... "I couldn't agree with you more.' They both looked at each other and Vincent leaned in and kissed Corrine. After their kiss, Vincent turned to Corrine and said "I think it time to call it a night." Corrine nodded with a yawn. Vincent drove her home and as the gentleman he is walked her to her door and she obliged him with another kiss and whispered in Vincent's ear "We must do this again and next time I will cook for you!" Vincent replied with ... "how about next Saturday?" Corrine said... "Perfect! Thank you for a wonderful night. I will see you at work and dinner will be here at my house Saturday around 6pm." Vincent turned and walked back to his car and watched as Corrine closed the door. He drove home slowly. His thoughts all consist of Corrine. He pulled up in his driveway, turned off his car and turned in for the night. He woke up later than usual the next day and hadn’t felt so good in so long. He dressed for work eagerly as he knew that Corrine would be there. He walked into the store and the first person he saw was his brother John. "What in the world are you doing here?" Vincent asked John. "Well, I wanted to know how your date went!" John said with excitement. Corrine was in the Bakery and could see that Vincent was there. She took a double look and realized that there were two Vincent's standing together. She hurried over and with a stern voice said "Vince??" Vincent turned to her and said "Well hello my dear. How are you today?" Corrine smiled and said "Well, I didn't think I drank too much last night but I see two of you so I'm guessing I drank more than I thought." Vincent and John burst out laughing... "Hahahaha" "I am so sorry for the confusion Corrine; I guess I forgot to tell you that I have an identical twin brother. This is John." Vincent said. John held out his hand and said "I am taking it that you are the date from last night?" Corrine blushed and nodded her head yes. Vincent said "We talked about so many different things last night that I just assumed I mentioned John and the fact that we were identical twins. I'm sorry my dear." Corrine shaking John's hand still in disbelief "It's a pleasure to meet you John, " she said. Vincent turned and said Well brother I have to get to work and I'm sure Corrine would love to stay and talk as well but we both have work to do." John said "oh but of course, It was nice to meet you Corrine and I hope to see you again soon." Corrine replied likewise John” and hurried back to the bakery. John turned to Vincent with a grin... "Wow! She's a looker there Vince!" Vincent smiled and said "yes she is and she's a smart and wonderful gal too!" The week went by fast as both Vincent and Corrine were excited to have dinner again.

Saturday arrived and Vincent once again adorning flowers and candy arrived to Corrine's house. He walked up to the door rang the bell and Corrine swung opened the door with excitement. "Please do come in" she said. Vincent entered the door more swiftly than before. "Here dear, these are for you." Vincent handed Corrine the Flowers and candy. "Again?" Corrine exclaimed. "Only the best for my gal" Vincent replied. "It smells fantastic in here" Vincent said to Corrine. "Well, I do hope you like shepherd’s pie and you came hungry Vince?" Corrine asked. Vincent replied ... "Why, I love shepherd’s pie and I'm famished!"  "Great!" Corrine said with excitement. Vincent asked Corrine if there was anything he could help with for dinner and joined Corrine in the kitchen. Corrine asked Vincent to grab two beers from the fridge and open them up. as the two worked in the kitchen to finish dinner together they talked some more about their lives before meeting each other. They talked about their childhoods, their goals in life, their friends and work. They continued to talk throughout dinner and dessert and before they knew it, it was midnight. Vincent grabbed Corrine by the waist and kissed her long and passionately. And at that moment both Corrine and Vincent knew that they were destined for love and marriage. They embraced each other and neither wanting to let go decided that they would just fall asleep in each other’s arms, holding and snuggling until morning.  As the sun came up and the birds started chirping, the two would bid each other goodbye for now until they would be together again. That very morning Vincent drove to his brother’s house and picked John up. "Where are we off to Vince", John said. Vince turned to John and said "well brother, I need your advice and help with a ring."  "A RING!" John screamed. "Aren't you rushing this a little bit their twin brother?" John asked. "Last night, I looked into Corrine's eyes and it seemed as if I was able to see into her soul. I saw myself. I saw my future. I saw everything a man could want, in just a moments time. I love her John!" said Vincent. John turned to Vincent and said... "I never heard you talk about someone like that Vince. I think you may have just may have found your soul mate. Now let's go find a ring!" Vincent and John headed out to several stores. They went to three jewelers, and finally at the forth Vincent had spotted just the ring. He turned to John and stated, "This is the one, right here; This is it!" John looked at the ring and said "Now that's a rock!" Vincent promptly paid the jeweler and started to plan for his proposal. He ordered the finest musicians, a quartet to play in the background, four of the most beautiful bouquets of red roses, and the finest case of beer he could fine. He planned on the proposal to take place at the spot he had grown to love the most. The spot by the lake, that very next Saturday. It was hard to keep his excitement all week long. Corrine seemed as though Vincent was distant and was a little alarmed. On Thursday, Corrine finally approached Vincent, "Vince? Is everything okay? You seem different." she said. Vincent said “Oh my dear I am just fine. Have a lot of work this week, that's all". "Oh, are you sure?" she asked. Vincent with a smile nodded yes and kissed her cheek. He whispered in her ear "Saturday my dear I have a wonderful day planned for us, just be patient." He winked and they both went back to work.

Vincent had tossed and turned Friday into Saturday and his anxiety was in full force. He had everything prepared and the excitement was killing him. He drove to Corrine's and picked her up. "Where are we going today?" Corrine asked. "To a very special place that I hold near and dear to my heart." Vincent replied. As they drove Vincent seemed to be shaking and Corrine was a bit concerned. "Dear, is everything alright?" she said. "Well of course sweetheart! Why do you ask?" Vincent said. "You are shaking" Corrine replied. Vincent looked out his window and said " Just excited to show you this place, that's all." He took a deep breath and said "We're almost there! If you would do me a favor and close your eyes as I have a surprise for you." Corrine a little hesitant did exactly that. As the car slowly came to a stop, Corrine asked if she could open her eyes yet. Vincent with a shaking voice said "Just one Moment dear." He hurried out of the car, opened Corrine's door and guided her to the spot that he had set up with all the roses, the quartet and the case of beer.  He positioned Corrine right in the middle of the roses and got down on one knee. He signaled the quartet and asked Corrine to open her eyes. Corrine now was shaking as the quartet began to play, opened her eyes to see Vincent on his knee, holding a box with a ring. Corrine gasped with excitement and started to cry. "Corrine" Vincent said... "The moment I saw you, the moment I looked into your eyes, I saw my future. I am the happiest when I am with you. I was lost until I found you. I can't see myself without you. I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy and I love you... forever and always. Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"  Corrine hysterically crying and shaking screamed out "YES! YES! YES! A MILLION TIMES YES!" The two embraced and would live a long and happy life together.

And here you have it a soldier’s story of love and war!

The author's comments:

This is a novel I had to write for my Creative writing class. This piece is inspired of a similar event that occured in my family. I hope all who read this piece enjoy it as much as I did writing it. My mom played a huge part in helping me recreate this amazing love story.

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