The Paperback Edition
Letter writing was hard for Bobby those first weeks. Boot camp was tough, I knew that.
I wrote to him every day…sometimes twice…each time telling him how much I missed him and loved him and sharing everything that was happening to me.
Bobby’s few letters were filled with his new adventure. “Everything’s great!” he said.
“I love you Sammy…I miss you so much!”
It wasn’t a good time for me. Mel had met the love of her life, Stuart Archer and spent every moment with him…just as I had done with Bobby. I understood. But…
I was beyond lonely.
Then one night, three days before Christmas Eve, the front door bell rang. There on our front step stood Bobby in his full Navy-Blue uniform…looking so very handsome.
“Hey Sammy…Merry Christmas!”
His heart-melting Irish grin was plastered from ear to ear and his arms were opened wide.
I was in those arms before he could say one more word. His signature cologne, Old Spice, smelled like heaven.
Even though only a few weeks had passed, Bobby seemed more mature and definitely more confident about his life…and he was so happy.
He talked a lot about his future…his future…he kept saying “his” future. I know, I know…he meant “our” future.
I was sure that Bobby’s feelings toward me and toward us had not changed.
I had just turned sixteen.
The two weeks flew by like two days…we spent every minute together. One night he took me shopping and he bought ‘his girl’ a black dress and a pink necklace to wear on their last night together before he had to leave…and he said, “I love you Sammy” And then…
And then…as quickly as he had appeared…he was gone. I was even more lonely than before.
Bobby’s letters became shorter and shorter and there were fewer of them.
He said he loved me and missed me. I knew that he did…but sometimes it seemed like an afterthought.
His life had changed so much and he was different. Mine had not. I was not.
I wanted to understand. But every time I read another short letter…filled with all his new experiences…I felt forgotten and unimportant…replaced by the excitement of Bobby’s new life in the Navy.
Six months ago, I was Bobby’s life.
Dear, sweet Mel tried to make me feel better.
“He’s busy, Sam. He’s got a lot of new stuff going on…Bobby adores you. You know that.”
Every night I went to sleep…wearing an Old Spice scented, blue plaid shirt that Bobby had given me…tears trying to escape my eyes.