|Charles "Chuckie" Jenkins|
What’s that mean, Mom? Is he lost? He was just here a few months ago. He came upstairs, Mom, and sat on the edge of each of our beds taking turns telling us to be good kids and to listen to you and Dad.
That night we had a lot of visitors. I climbed up on a chair and watched the television. My Dad watched it too, I liked Chiller Theater, but Dad kept trying to find the news. Two stations were the only choices, and I never saw my Dad change the channels back and forth so much.
When the last visitor left, and the television signed off to nothing but white specks on blackness, I went upstairs to bed. I could hear my parents in muffled serious voices, but could make out very little. They rarely talked in such quiet tones. So, I lay on my back with my hands folded behind my head and stared up toward the black ceiling.
Missing. Action. Vietnam. What did it all mean anyway?
My brother knew these woods like nobody did, I thought. He probably was camping, or hiding from the other guys. He did that a lot of times with us kids. He was good at it. I wished I could walk as quiet as he did. You couldn’t hear his boots in the leaves.
The covers feel soft, and I pull them over my eyes to make my darkness even darker. I fell asleep wondering if it was as black there in that place called Vietnam, and if they had katydids. I knew they had monkeys, because awhile back he sent home a picture of him with two of them clutching onto him. He even wrote on the back that they looked like the twins when we were little. Mom laughed, see, I have a twin sister. Good night.
Morning light through the window sure can make a blanket hot. I kicked them off, and noticed all four beds in the room were empty. I walked on my knees on the soft bed and positioned myself at that window. There were cars parked along the road outside the house and people milling around in the yard with their heads down.
A dark green car with a star on the side of it turned around in the middle of the road and I squinted from my perch and watched it leave.
Why are all these people hugging Mom like that?
I know. I know. I know ... I bet the Army guys are bringing my brother home.
|Ronnie Ray Jenkins|
Visit Ronnie's Blog
“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale
Do you have an opinion, or a comment, you would like to share about this post? Click on the comment button.