Home » , , , , , » Please Come to Dundee (A Dundee Short Story) by Anne Hendricks

Please Come to Dundee (A Dundee Short Story) by Anne Hendricks

The phone call came as the old man entered his home. “I really need to think about getting one of those fancy cell phones the grand-girls told me about,” he fussed. He picked up the phone. “Hello?” The area code was the Dundee, GA area. He did not know anyone in Dundee, GA. At least, he had not since the ‘40s. His heart began to ache and he wondered if he needed a nitroglycerin pill.
Please Come to Dundee (A Dundee Short Story)
Please Come to Dundee (A Dundee Short Story) by Anne Hendricks
No, just heartache, he reminded himself. Will it ever go away? “James Van Fersen?” asked a young woman’s voice. “Yes, ma’am. I am James Van Fersen. Call me Jim.” He could hear the rumpling of paper – a good sign over the phone lines for a World War II veteran like himself – and asked, “Can I help you, darlin’?” “Wow, you have a real Texas drawl! Did you help liberate France in World War II? Like Normandy?” James moved a chair near the telephone and sat. “Yep, I spent three years in Europe. Are you related to an old Army friend? At my last reunion, our Georgia friends were all gone… Just about all of us are gone.” “No, sir, I’m not. I found your name on the Internet, and it wasn’t too hard because your last name being so unique and you still have a landline.” He chuckled, “Not many Van Fersens running around my area of Texas. It’s a Dutch name. “Yes, sir, I know,” the young woman’s voice belied a smile. “We called the Germans ‘Krauts’ in my day,” Jim laughed. “I’m 93 years old, sugar. I know those fancy cell phones use up minutes, so you best tell me why you are calling from Dundee, Georgia.” “I found a letter you wrote when I bought something at the local Salvation Army. It was inside a big old CD.” “A CD?” he queried. “Oh, I mean an old record!” she giggled. He chuckled, “Records – albums – LPs – those descriptions all work. You say you found an old letter inside an album?” “Yes, sir, and my name is Vanessa by the way.” “Hello, Miss Vanessa. Call me Jim.” “Yes, Jim. I found this old Glenn Miller record. I don’t have anything to play it on yet, but it looked like really cool. The letter was inside the record, like someone had just stuffed it inside.” A letter? Letters – he had sent from Europe- Or the one he had sent from Texas, for her to be ready for his return. To the girl who wore his engagement ring, he remembered. Both ends of the phone fell silent as an old man stared at the pictures of his family on the nearby mantle. Widowed ten years, he lived alone. Only his heart hurt when he thought of Sarah Lee Cooper of Dundee, Georgia! “She stopped writing – and when I went back to Dundee, I was told she’d married. I came home to Texas, farmed, and later married. My wife died passed a decade ago. We have fine daughters, and two grandchildren. But Sarah Lee was the love of my life,” he said smilingly. Yes, he had loved Sarah Lee. However, being the son of a poor Texas farmer had made her father hesitant to allow a young army corporal to court her, but they had a romance. She had vowed to wait for him, even allowing him to spend his last twenty - five dollars on her engagement ring until he returned and change her name. He heard the phone in Dundee make a change to another person, “Hello?” “Who am I talking to now?” “I’m April, the roommate of Vanessa. Did you say that you went back to see her? And she had married?” Jim sighed, “Yes, Miss April. I went back to Dundee when we got back from Europe in the fall of 1945. If my guess is right, you are holding the letter I wrote her before I came from my Texas visit to my parents to see her. I told her the time and day I would be by her home. When I arrived, her father told me Sarah Lee married a month earlier and had moved. I left in a daze and took the bus back home.” His eyes misted over, “I went back to Texas and just … moved on.” “Sir, are you sure that’s what her father told you? That she had married?” “Yep. Her father was the head preacher, at the Desmond Baptist Church. He would not lie. Why would I leave the love of my life? She just stopped writing me because she did not love me or got tired of waiting. It did not matter: she was married. Back then, unlike way too many people now, we took those things very seriously!” He got his hackles up having to preach at this new generation. In his day, people courted. He had taken Sarah Lee to the movie show. He had walked her home. He had waited, patiently, to hold her hand and to kiss her. His surprise when she had kissed him first grabbed his heart. Her sense of humor, her beauty, her smarts – he had loved Sarah Lee with his entire heart. I always will, he thought. She had gazed up at him and promised, “Jim, I will wait. Write me – as often as you can. Come back to me,” she had grabbed his coat and kissed him passionately, “Come back to me!” He had departed for the War with the memory of her kisses and the treasured picture of Sarah Lee. Her letters had gotten him through the hell of Normandy, and suddenly, the letters had ended. April looked at Vanessa, shaking her head. “You got to tell him. You got to.” “Tell me, what?” Jim asked on the other end of the phone, “Girls, why you calling up an old man about his past?” “She’s here. Now. We found her first. She just lived ten minutes from our dorm…“ The phone sounded odd, such as someone trying to grab it, then, he heard a familiar voice, tinged with indignation. “Give me that damn cell phone, girl. First, you land in an old woman’s home with an old letter that had no business being in a record that belonged to my father and donated from my possessions by my nieces. Now, two busybody college girls showing up out of the blue to nag me about a fool man that broke my heart!” “Miss Sarah, I think…You need to talk to Jim,” April handed the phone to the old woman, tears running down her face. Sarah looked confused. “You say you got Jim Van Fersen on the phone?” Tentatively she put the phone to her ear. “Jim? Is this here really Jim Van Fersen?” “Sarah Lee?” “Why did you stop writing? What did I do, Jimmy?” “I didn’t stop writing, Sarah.” “Daddy said no mail ever came for me from you after Normandy!” “I wrote every week, Sarah. When I went to your father’s house, he said you had married Thomas Gregory and had moved away. Heartbroken, I went back to Texas.” Sarah began to laugh. “What’s so damn funny?” Jim cursed through the phone at the woman who had stolen his heart in 1942. “I never married, you old coot. I still got your damn ring on – since I could not take it off. I wore it to remember my stupidity to never trust a man.” “Nothing stupid I did. Was I just not good enough?” Sarah snapped at the young women to sit down and stop hovering over the cell phone, but he could hear her murmur, “Daddy must have censored our letters. I never knew. Why?” Jim sat in silence. “You were – are - always good enough, James,” Sarah affirmed through her tears. Jim shook his head as he drew the phone closer as if shortening the distance to the phone would bridge the miles and decades, which separated him from his one true love. “It’s alright, sugar. It is all right. Ya’ll still got that airport near Dundee?” he asked. He knew too well that buses took too long to get places, in the ‘40s and now. “Yes, Atlanta is about forty miles away,” his fiancée sniffled. She had never stopped being his fiancée. “Because you and I have a date…” Jim said softly. “Please come to Dundee,” she whispered, right then, and if a man could hold the hand of sweetheart through a phone line to a cell phone, he did. A few weeks later, two college girls stood witness at a wedding seventy years overdue. A soldier, in his only suit, pushed his forever love’s wheel chair to a judge and became her husband. A record player from the local pawnshop played a specific Glenn Miller record that made this long overdue reunion possible. He kissed his bride, vowing to love her until his dying breath.


Post a Comment

Read free eBooks, English Fiction, English Erotic Story

Delicious Digg Facebook Favorites More Stumbleupon Twitter