I will be quiet

Summary: This very short story is based on "Bedsprings".

Disclaimer: Homefront characters belong to their creators. No copyright infringement intended. No profit is being made.

Author: Tracy Diane Miller

E-mail address: tdmiller82

I will be quiet and talk with you,

And reason why you are wrong.

You wanted my love. Is that much true?

And so I did love you, so I do;

What has come of it all along?

Robert Browning

The sound of the squeaking bedsprings felt like sandpaper scraping against his already raw heart. He couldn't do this. He couldn't be the better man and step aside, not even for his brother. He had tried to be gallant. He had even considered going to confession and asking for forgiveness, then trying to forget her and move on with his life, but he couldn't. Whenever he closed his eyes, she invaded his dreams.

He was raised to believe that lying was a sin. But what were he and Sarah doing now? They were lying by denying their feelings for each other. And Sarah was about to commit the ultimate sin by marrying Hank. The Church had taught him that marriage was one of the most blessed of the sacraments. How could Sarah even consider standing in church and swearing before God and the entire congregation that she loved Hank? And the thought of she and Hank consummating their marriage...Good Lord! That thought just made him sick to his stomach.

No, he couldn't allow that to happen. He wouldn't. He wasn't going to give up.

The bedsprings squeaked again. A moment later, there was...

Silence.

At Mike's wake, Sarah tried convincing him and herself that what they had shared wasn't love. The war had brought them together. They had cleaved to each other for comfort and support; that much was true. But it stopped being about Hank a long time ago.

Jeff remembered the exact moment when he and Sarah fell in love. It was in the spring. They were sitting on the Metcalf porch swing. Sarah was reading one of her poetry books- Robert Browning. He was never one for poetry. He always thought that saps wrote poetry. Poetry was just a bunch of screwy rhyming words that saps used to impress dames. Dames seemed to like that kind of stuff.

But sitting so closely next to her on that swing...God, she was beautiful! Her beauty had been kissed by the glorious splendor of the sun's rays. And she smelled of lemon verbena. He wanted to kiss her. He wanted to kiss her very badly. But he knew that he couldn't...not there, out in the open and risk the neighbors seeing.

The sound of the squeaky bicycle wheels had interrupted the quiet of Jeff and Sarah's moment. The young couple watched as the uniformed messenger dismounted from the bike and walked the path towards Mrs. O'Mallory's house. An eerie stillness descended upon the sleepy cul-de-sac as Jeff and Sarah gazed in reverent silence at the harbinger of doom carrying the tragic missive. Mrs. O'Mallory was out front pruning her rose brushes. When she saw the messenger, she knew. They all knew. Mrs. O'Mallory opened the envelope. As she read its message, tears streamed down her face. She walked slowly into her house, her gait a byproduct of a grief-stricken trance.

River Run suffered a rude awakening that spring. The town had lost another native son. Sean O'Mallory was only twenty-three years old. Sean had been an altar boy. He had helped Mrs. Seniff with her yard work. He had played football with Mike, Hank, and Charlie.

Sean was dead.

Sarah was visibly shaken. Jeff knew that he had to get take her somewhere, somewhere beautiful and safe. Somewhere that didn't reek of death. They weren't running away.

Maybe they were.

They went to Kirtland Hill. They found a quiet spot. For a few moments, they didn't say a word to each other. Then Sarah expressed what they both had been thinking.

It could have been Hank who had been killed.

It could have been Hank.

Jeff hugged her tightly, enveloping her in his cocoon of love. She was shaking. When she stopped shaking, she looked up at him. He gazed deeply into her eyes. It started as a kiss of comfort, tender and reassuring. Then it became a kiss of passion.

"Sarah. I love you." He had admitted when the kiss ended.

"Jeff, I love you, too."

He wasn't going to give up. Standing in the hallway of the Metcalf home, Jeff flipped through the poetry book- Robert Browning. Sarah would understand.

"I will be quiet and talk with you,

And reason why you are wrong.

You wanted my love. Is that much true?

And so I did love you, so I do;

What has come of it all along?"

So he did love her.

So he does love her.

Jeff wouldn't give up. He couldn't.

The End.