Why: From the Diary of Virginia Lake

A UFO Short Story

Written by Matthew R. White

© April 8, 2011

Based on the Characters and series created by Gerry Anderson

Historians Note: This story takes place in December of 1983 about four months before Timelash.

It was well after ten in the evening when Colonel Virginia Lake finally made it to the lobby elevator that would whisk a very tired Ginny to her third floor apartment. I haven't been home at a decent time any night this week, she thought as she arrived at her door.

Once inside, she dropped her coat and purse on the couch and made for her bedroom. I need to get comfortable. A few minutes later she came back out dressed in her favorite terrycloth robe and she strolled into her kitchen to put on water for her tea.

While the water was boiling, Virginia popped a CD into the stereo system and set the volume just above a whisper. It had started to snow on the way home and Ginny found herself wishing for a white Christmas, now only two weeks away.

After the water had boiled and her tea was steeping she pulled her journal out of the safe and set it on the coffee table. Having a journal could be considered a security risk but Ginny had kept one since she was a child. The Commander allowed it on the condition that she keep it under lock and key along with the other SHADO papers an officer in her position often had at home. The safe was tamper proof and would implode if it was fooled with, destroying everything inside.

Virginia wandered back into the kitchen to retrieve her tea, a mint variety that she preferred at bedtime. While she busied herself with mundane matters she considered the reasons for her sense of remorse. I can't believe it's been a year, she thought as she sat down on her couch. As the strains of Tchaikovsky played in the background, which only added to her melancholy mood, she picked up her journal and began to write.

I finally realized late today why I've been so on edge. A year ago tonight, Craig took me to see The Nutcracker, our first date. It was a wonderful show and we both enjoyed it immensely. I still think about him every now and then and I wonder what would have happened had he not been killed during reentry. Knowing now that it wasn't Craig who came back has helped me put things in perspective. I do miss him.

It still makes me angry when I think about how everyone at work saw us. The sniggers, the dirty grins, and people didn't think that I'd notice. Date a man more than once and automatically you're sleeping with him. Doesn't anyone have any respect for themselves anymore? I did love Craig, and I was falling in love with him. And there are some people that don't know the difference. Admittedly I was ready to explore the avenue of intimacy with him, because I thought we were going to have a future together. But that never happened. Why do things have to be this way?

I guess it's my own fault with Paul. Yes he did give me a shoulder to cry on and he did save my life, but that was no reason to start dating him. John Grey was right when he warned me and I should have listened. I know people still talk about us, I'll walk into a room and the conversation will just stop. It's so damned obvious that they were talking about me. It hurts to be thought of that way. Why do people always assume the worst?

Thank goodness Ed doesn't treat me like that as I don't think I could bear it. He seems to have included me in his small circle of friends as of late and he doesn't know how much that means to me, well yes he does, I told him that I cared about him before he went on the repair mission with Craig.

At the time I thought it might have been a mistake, but now I'm glad I told Ed that I didn't sleep around. I think he's the only one who believes me. I was surprised when he sat down to eat with me late this afternoon. We occasionally have breakfast together usually to discuss business but Ed almost always takes his evening meal in his office alone. I wonder if he knew what today was? It's inconceivable that Craig didn't tell him that he was taking me out, they were close friends.

She paused to grab a tissue to blot up a tear that had fallen on the pad. The tear had covered Ed's name and the act of blotting it had smudged the ink slightly giving his name a softer look. Virginia composed herself and continued writing.

It would be just like him to do something like that and not say a word. He hates it when people tell him how kind he can be. I have to admit, I live for those moments. I should call Mom and find out what she is doing Christmas Eve. I have to work second shift the next day. I don't know how he does it but Ed always finds a way to give those with spouses and children the day off. This is the one time of year that he insists on scheduling himself. No one had better compare him to Ebenezer Scrooge, at least while in my presence.

Things have been quiet with our unwelcome visitors. Since the incident a few months ago, we haven't seen much of them. Maybe it will stay that way for a while. After all this time, we still don't know why.

Virginia closed her journal and returned it to the safe, closing the door and setting the lock.

She placed her teacup on the counter next to the sink and turned off the stereo on the way to her bedroom. She still had to comb out her hair out and tomorrow was going to be another busy day.

As her head hit the pillow she found her thoughts racing about all she had written, torn between things that would never be, and things that she wished could be. That night, Colonel Virginia Lake, Executive Officer, SHADO, cried herself to sleep.