Posted: December 30, 2008

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Lost At Sea

They both stared down at their son. Patricia felt her husband gently release her hand and the warmth they shared dissolve. She rushed to fill the silence.

“Lloyd, he really missed you. I can’t tell you the times in the last week that we sat and talked about today, when you were coming home. He’s a boy, you know how it is. He’s just antsy.”

The young father was as determined as she to preserve the happy homecoming. “It’s okay. I know what it’s like-”

“If you’d just written that letter that I asked you to. Addressed it to him. He-”

“He didn’t get it?” He stared at her in shock. “It didn’t come? I sent it.” The shock faded into dismay. His head slumped. When he looked up she saw dejection and a flicker of failure.

“How long ago? Maybe it just hasn’t gotten here yet.”

“Pat, it was more than two weeks ago. I got your letter in Yokohama, and I wrote to him right after. I was almost finished painting the Marine, and in the letter I put-”

“Look,” she said, trying to make it better, “it’ll come. Maybe it got stuck in your books and things. You’ll find it. You can sit down at home and read it to him.” Now it was her turn to reach for what she had wished for so deeply. “It’ll show up…oh, Lloyd.”

She encircled him in her arms and burrowed her face into his neck, savoring the scent of him and his sea.