Charles is packing his bag ready to head to the train.
V You don’t have to go back you know. You could apply for a transfer, somewhere at home, somewhere away from the front line. Where it’s safer.
C Vee. Come on. You of all people know that’s not true.
V You could apply for a transfer, somewhere at home, somewhere away from the front line. Where it’s safer.
C Where I’m not doing anything.
V You would be doing something! You’d still be in the army.
C But I wouldn’t be making a difference. I wouldn’t be helping the war effort.
V So what I’m doing isn’t making a difference? Isn’t helping the country?
C You know that’s not what I meant. But it’s different for you. You can’t fight–
V –I wasn’t allowed to fight.
C smiles at her. Right. That’s what I meant. Can’t as in not allowed, not can’t as in not capable. You know I think you can do anything.
V I can’t keep you safe. Not when you’re out there on the front line.
C Vee. Vida. I promise I’ll be careful. But I have to go. It’s my duty.
V You know you can’t promise that. Look at Arthur, and Will. There were careful, weren’t they? And now they’re gone, and what for?
C For the future. For our future. Our kids and our grandkids. Going back out there, that’s how I look after them. How I look after you. I can be your hero.
V You’re already my hero. That doesn’t stop if you stay out of the trenches.
C Like a coward?
V Like a man who wants to survive this war.
C I want to win this war. Surviving doesn’t come into it.
V You getting blown up in no man’s land is not going to make a difference to whether we win the war.
C Wow. Don’t I feel important.
V I’m not—Of course you’re important. To me. But why did you marry me if you’re not planning on having a life to spend with me?
C I am. I will come home. And soon. We’re so close to winning. That’s what the generals say. Just one more push.
V They’ve been saying that for two years.
C You know I can’t stay.
V I know. But you could transfer. You could go to Africa with George and Reggie. Where it’s safer.
C Will was in Egypt. There is no safer. Europe is where the action is. It’s where they need me. Where would you want to be?
V I know.
C I’ll write when I get there. Besides, I get more leave now we’re married. I’ll be home in 3 months.
V And what’s 3 months out of a lifetime.
He has finished packing his bag and walks out of the house. She watches him go.