“What’s wrong, Les? What happened?” Robin asked.
Leslie sat open-mouthed, shaking her head slowly from side to side, and staring at the letter in her hand. “No… no… that couldn’t happen…”
“WHAT couldn’t happen?” Frannie asked.
“Paul. Paul’s dead. His entire squad was killed in a bomb run. I can’t believe he’s gone. I was glad he went to Vietnam because he was doing something worthwhile with his life, and he wasn’t making me miserable. He was so lost when he didn’t get a scholarship, and angry that I accepted one so far from home.”
No one uttered a word. “I haven’t thought about him in months,” she continued. “We were so busy last semester, and summer was a blur. I hardly noticed he wasn’t around. He was a huge part of my life in high school and we expected to be together forever, but then it turned out we had nothing in common.” Tears streamed down her cheeks as she stared at the letter.
“You didn’t turn your back on him.” Robin insisted, “You did everything possible to include him in your life. When he came for homecoming last year, he wasn’t interested in joining in; he wanted you to ignore everything and pay attention to him. It was all about Paul. You two were finished before he left.”
Katie added, “We all knew he didn’t want to be part of the life you chose for yourself. He only wanted you to be part of his. Of course, you feel bad that he died, but you aren’t responsible for his choices nor for what happened to him.”
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