Dear John (or whoever)

Jeanette,

I guess things are going okay here. I mean, as good as can be expected. I’m glad I have two of your pictures. I keep one with me and the other stays pinned to the wall of my hootch next to my bunk. I swear that sometimes your photo is all the keeps me going. I think about what I’m coming home to. But also what I’m here to fight for. You and the people like you who haven’t had to suffer the rigors of war where you live.

Gotta run, I have a patrol coming up.

Love you, Jeanette!

Bob

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Hi Bob. It’s always good to hear from you and I’m glad you’re safe. But I’m feeling bad because I haven’t been real honest. As you were getting ready to leave, being ‘with you’ gave me status. You made me one of the cool chicks, you know? And, well, you know, it was all so romantic you know and It let me live a life I couldn’t have without being with someone like you. Such sweet drama, you going off to die and everything. But weeks and weeks have gone by, you know. And it’s like I’m supposed to sit around pining for you. Well, you know, that isn’t my thing. I like to party. I’m sure you understand. I’ve been going out with Gerard, you know, Gerard Pennar who’s captain of the football team and his dad like owns this major legal partnership. He makes sure I get to all of the ‘in’ parties and stuff and he’s lots of fun. It just isn’t right to string you along. I mean, I figured that you’d probably be dead by now. I know that sounds petty, but your friend, Steve Bishop (who says to say hi!) says that you’re a survivor. A badass who will take it to the Vietnam Cong and come back with great stories. I didn’t want you to come home expecting things to take up where they were, you know? I’m moved on and I bet you have too and your nice letters are just you trying to let me down slowly. But you don’t have to do that anymore because we don’t have to play games anymore.

I included your ring in the envelope. You can give it to your latest flame and I wish the two of you the best luck!!! I’m really on your side, you know. Your friend,

Jeanette

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Jeanette,

I’m so sorry to hear your feelings. I certainly wasn’t playing any drama games. Sorry you were. But okay, if you want to be with someone else then so be it. Caring for each other shouldn’t be a ball and chain.

Good luck to you and Gerard.

Bob

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Bob,

You don’t have to be such a jerk about this. But if you want to speak the truth, I just wanted to get the things from you I could, you know! Gerard says you need to stay out of Ardmore. If he sees you he’ll kick your ass to a bloody stump!

I can’t believe I kind of liked you.

Jeanette

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Well Jeanette, tell Gerard I’d be happy to show him some of my moves, I hope he like the smell of cow shit because that’s what we cover the pointed end of punji stakes with. Don’t bother to write me back, I have no interest in anything you have left to day.

Bob

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Hey Bob,

I’m so sorry I got all angry and emotional. Gerard was very upset that I volunteered him to kick your ass. In fact, he doesn’t want anything to do with guys with your training, Could you find it in your heart to tell Gerard that there’s no hard feelings and he can call me anytime.

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Jeanette

No.

Bob

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Six months later I stepped off the Jet JFK at :30 in the morning to greet me, home from the war. I waited about, but they failed to turn up. A janitor I got into a conversations with was nice enough to give me a ride into town and dropped me at the door to my parent’s grammer Park apartment. The doorman left me into their darkened rooms and I could hear them sleep breathing in their roo. I crashed on the guest room bet and woke to a circle of faces. “He doesn’t look an different,” said my dad. “He looks a lo stronger,” said my mom. “He looks like Bob. I gotta go catch my trains.

I sat up and said “hello, everyone. I’m back from the dark continent with its squabbles and unpleasantness.” My mother struck me with a pillow and dad said “Theyr’ll be no  goldbricking here. I expect you to get a job right away.” I mentioned that I would deduct it from his gains in the sales of my Lionel Trainset. Since it was,at the time of the sale, worth every penny of $100,000, that shut my father up immediately since he sold it to GoodWill for a mere $25. Was I a dick enough to sue the old man,  Yes, yes I was. I loved those trains more than the money and while it took six year, AlI got my hundred grand.

“I thin you should find yourself a new roost.” said my dad.

“Me too.” I replied. “Where’s Ardmore?”