A/N: Here it is!! The sequel to 'I Love You'. It's probably not going to start out how you expect, but please stick with it, because I'm sure the ending will satisfy people's needs!
I couldn't stop grinning as I sat on Jimmy's lap, trying to catch my breath, watching all the other young people out on the floor dancing to Little Richard's latest song. Everyone was having a fantastic time, including me, and I'd not felt this happy in a long time. I looked good in my brand new poodle skirt with my white belt accentuating my figure and Jimmy hadn't taken his eyes off me all night. Everything was perfect. Until I glanced at the clock on the wall and noticed it was almost midnight. A knot formed in the pit of my stomach and I wondered what Sharon was doing right at this moment. Would she be fast asleep in bed or would she be out with friends? She was a teenager now after all, and our parents would no doubt let her do anything she wanted. I hadn't seen her in almost a year now but even back then she had a whole string of boys after her. There was no denying the fact that I was jealous, which made me feel even guiltier. Why should I be jealous? I was really happy. Okay, so maybe it had taken me this long to get where I wanted, but I'd finally achieved it. I had a good job as a reporter, I finally had a boyfriend, Jimmy, I was independent and living in my own apartment in Memphis. There was no denying it; the 1950s were the decade when my life had turned around for the best. So why did it sometimes feel like something was missing?
"Come on," Jimmy said, helping me to my feet. "Let's have one last dance before you have to head home."
I laughed as Jimmy twirled me around the dance floor, the music filling my body and making me want to twirl even faster. Eventually I realised it had hit midnight and I had to go. I had to work the next day and would be an utter mess if I didn't get a few hours' sleep. I gave Jimmy a quick kiss on the lips and he offered to walk me home but I declined. My apartment was only a few streets away and Jimmy had the next day off so he may as well stay out late with his friends. I stepped out onto the street and began to walk home, whistling a tune to myself, ignoring the catcalls and whistles from a group of drunken men on the other side of the street. As I walked I began to think about Sharon once again, and the life I'd left behind in Jenkinsville, Arkansas. Sharon had been very upset when I'd announced I was leaving and had begged me to stay. It was hard for me to leave her, and Ruth, but I knew it was something I needed to do. Ruth didn't even try to stop me. She wished me the best of luck and gave me a tearful hug. My parents didn't even say anything. They didn't even say goodbye. I sighed. It was funny how quickly things could change, how promises could so easily be forgotten.
I reached my apartment and let myself in, flicking on the lights and sighing at the mess before me. Half written articles, notes and summaries, interviews and various loose papers were strewn everywhere and I couldn't be bothered tidying up tonight. I quickly stripped out of my clothes and pulled on my nightdress before tumbling into bed and pulling up the covers. Naturally as soon as I tried to sleep I found I was wide awake. I tossed and turned, bashed the pillow, shifted the blankets and settled down again. Still sleep wouldn't come. I climbed back out of bed and poured myself a glass of milk. I glanced at the clock ticking on the wall and nearly choked on my milk as all of a sudden I realised what day it was. When the sun had risen it would be exactly ten years since the German POW's had arrived in Jenkinsville. I couldn't believe time had gone so quickly. I hurriedly pushed the thoughts out of my mind and gulped down the last of my milk. I refused to think about that summer. It was too long ago, it was almost like it had never even happened. Perhaps it hadn't. It was never talked about.
Wide awake now I knew I wouldn't sleep, and sat down to finish writing an article on today's economy to distract myself. After awhile I realised I couldn't concentrate because a face kept drifting into my mind. A handsome face with bright blue eyes and dark hair. Anton. I sighed in frustration and ran my fingers through my hair. I had been trying so hard to forget, but I couldn't. How could I? After all he and I had shared together, I just couldn't forget. But it had been so long since I had thought about it that I just didn't know how to handle it now. I opened my desk drawer and pulled out a cold metal object and held it against my chest. Anton's ring. I still had it and I'd never let it go. My mind wandered back to when Anton and I had said goodbye. After months of being on the run together he'd taken me back because he'd known it wasn't safe. He'd wanted what was best for me. I felt tears fill my eyes as I remembered his face when he'd told me he loved me. So tender, so filled with adoration. I knew he meant it. I never did hear from him again, which is why I tried so hard not to think of it now. What had happened to him? Had he been found? I'd read the papers every single day until the war ended but there had been no mention of him being found. Still, they might have decided not to publish it. He could have been killed for all I knew.
I shuddered as I remembered stepping through the front door of my house. Ruth had been the only one home and she screamed when she saw me. She'd been in the kitchen singing some Gospel music whilst cooking and had nearly dropped the eggs she was holding. She stared at me in shock for several moments before placing the eggs down on the table and rushing towards me, engulfing me in her warm embrace, clinging to me as though afraid I'd disappear again. I had been too tired to respond and she'd put me straight to bed. She must have raced to my parents' store after that because the next thing I remembered was little Sharon calling my name and I opened my eyes to see my family standing beside my bed with looks of horror on their faces.
"When was the last time you had a bath?" my mother had at last managed to choke out before the tears began to fall. It was only then that I realised I was filthy and my clothes were a mess. My father didn't speak, just stared at me like I was a ghost. The next whole week was spent being questioned by the police as to Anton's whereabouts. I refused to tell them anything. My father stayed with me the whole time, resting his hand on my shoulder whenever I got upset, and he defended me every step of the way. I was grateful for this and thought that perhaps things had changed, that he would show me how much he loved me. I was wrong. Oh, he was never cruel to me again, he never hit me again. But both he and my mother treated me with a great distance, as though I were a stranger who simply lived with them. Sharon was too young to understand what had happened and so acted her usual self, and Ruth was even more caring than ever.
The authorities had questioned me for a whole week when they finally realised I wasn't going to tell them anything and eventually gave up. They then tried to have me arrested for treason and all sorts of other things. My family defended me, saying I was just a child, and then Charlene Madlee wrote an article in my defence, saying that the authorities were only doing this because they had been outwitted by a German and a child. They left me alone after that.
And now I sat here at my desk, fiddling with Anton's ring, wondering why I couldn't just put this all in my past and carry on with my future. I had all that I'd ever wanted, so why couldn't I just forget? I was an adult now, in my early twenties, and had a life of my own. I needed to stop living in the past and just move on. With a sigh I put the ring back in the drawer and decided to hop back into bed and try for a bit of sleep. I didn't want to be falling asleep on my desk at work tomorrow. No, today. It was past midnight, so it was today. Ten years since the POW's arrived in Jenkinsville. Why did that thought give me chills? It almost made me feel like I'd been waiting for today. As though something important was going to happen, my life was really going to start. But that was silly! I shook my head and got into bed, resting my head on the pillow and let sleep consume me.
So, here is the first chapter. Don't panic if you don't like it so far, it will get better. Tell me what you think so far, what you like and what you don't like, and any suggestions you may have for future chapters. I have the basic outline planned but any plot ideas are welcome and will be considered. Even just little ideas you may have. Anyway, please review, next chapter to be posted in a few days.