I turned away dejectedly from our mailman again. Still no letters.
"What's the matter pretty boy?" one of my burly comerades slapped me hard on the back, "Getting homesick?"
He had no idea.
"Well, " he tore open his own letter, "all I can say is you'd best git used to it. Does no one any good to mope around."
"Thanks," I rolled my eyes and turned away from him, walking slap-bang into an even bigger soldier.
"Watch it," he growled, shoving me out of the way. I tripped on someone else's foot and knocked at least two people over before landing on my rump.
"You alright?" one of the men asked, getting to his feet and offering a hand.
"I'm fine," I replied, letting him help me up, surprised at his response. Most soldiers would curse the very day I was born --especially in this scorching weather, "Sorry about that."
"Don't worry about it."
He looked at me curiously for a moment before turning away, only to turn back, "Say, what's your name lad. I may know your father."
"Yes," I allowed myself a hopeful smile.
The man nodded, "I used to work for your father...good man. You look just like him, but I'm sure you get that a lot."
"Yeah," I shrugged.
"By the way," he offered a handshake, "the name's Gerald Elliot."
"Nice to meet you. You have a son I understand?" I asked, remembering the Elliot boy who always picked up the frequent letters they got--the one I was always jealous of.
"Yes," he grinned with pride, "Luke. Would you like to meet him? You're closer to his age and he might like having someone else besides us old men to talk to."
"Alright," I agreed, deciding I had nothing better to do. Besides, I'd like the same thing.