Siobhan did not have much longer to wait, if it was news of Andrew that she was waiting for. Just the very next day the first letter was recieved. She ran down to the door, picked up the thick, creamy envelope...but she was afraid of what it might say.
Slitting it open with a paper knife, Siobhan pulled out the sheet of paper inside and started to read.
My dearest Siobhan.
I've been here a week or so and I miss you already. The food here isn't great, and I miss your cooking. Perhaps you could send me a parcel? Ask my mother if she'll put in an extra biscuit or two next time; I forgot to tell her in my letter to her.
I hope you aren't missing me too much. Didn't I promise you I'd come home safe and sound? I don't intend on breaking that promise! I couldn't bear to think that I lied to you, even if it wasn't intentional. That's how much you mean to me, Siobhan. Don't ever forget it.
I can't write too long a letter because I have to report in a few minutes time. It's like a register. They call it 'stand to'. And besides, I've heard rumours of censorship. I don't really know what I'm allowed to say. So I won't tell you about the accomodation. I don't suppose you really care. All I'll say is, forget complaining about our beds at home!
But I've met some great guys. And, like me, they've all left someone behind. I think everyone has. David, in particular, is very like me. We even have the same birthday, and his girl is apparently the most beautiful in the country. I told him that wasn't possible, because you were. He laughed at that.
I still believe it, though. Siobhan, you told me to remember you, but I think it was I that should have asked you to remember me. You're at home. You're only seventeen. You'll grow up and move on, and I don't want to be left behind completely.
I just want you to be happy, Siobhan.
Your ever-loving Andrew
Siobhan crumpled the paper in her hand, holding it close to her heart. She was trying not to burst into nosiy sobs. Her mother--tired and worn down with the strain of looking after five children, even though Siobhan and Eleanor were almost grown up now--would not want to be woken so early.
"I will always remember you," she choked, thinking of Andrew as though it would make him come back. "Of course I will. But I could never be happy unless you were there."