Day 67 – Charles and V, draft to discard

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.

C          Exactly.

He has finished packing his bag and walks out of the house. She watches him go.             

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