Alternate Endings II

Sometimes life is like a box of chocolates,

You just never know what you’re gonna get.

–Forrest Gump

ACT 1–Mary arrived in Chicago and settled in with her sister, Gladys.  Gladys had never married but she was often in the company of a girlfriend, Monica.  Very few men were present in the world of Gladys.  This began to trouble Mary.  Things like this just didn’t happen in small towns.

Small towns.  Mary’s thoughts often returned to the gentle landscape of the village by the river where she had lived her life so far.  The buildings along North Michigan Avenue became monolithic monsters to Mary.  There were too many people…and these people didn’t really know each other very well.  Gladys had many acquaintances, but no real friends, with the exception of Monica.

Mary thought about Ron.  She wondered how he had been getting on without her.  For a time, Mary thought about filing for divorce but now she was having second thoughts.

After six months of trying to find a quiet place in Chicago that resembled her hometown, Mary made the decision to go home.  Not only did she miss her friends and the simple shops along River Street, she also missed Ron.  What had she been thinking?  Why did she leave behind the young man who loved her since childhood?

Mary bought a one-way ticket for home.  Gladys was too busy chatting with Monica at the Union Station cafe to pay much notice to Mary.

They parted.  Mary’s sister would always be her sister, not her best friend.

Her best friend, she now understood, was Ron.

Ron stood on the platform of the Erie-Lackawanna station, clutching a recent telegram.  He looked to the west and heard a distant train whistle.

Hands_of_God_and_Adam

ACT 2–Gary ate sand that June morning on the beach of Normandy.  He never thought of his own safety when he did what he thought should be done.  He never thought of his home or mother.  He didn’t have time to think about anything except to gain ground and help his comrades.

Tiny grains of sand were still lodged under his fingernails when they lowered his casket into the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery.

His mother clutched a medal.  It wasn’t a Purple Heart, it was Distinquished Service Cross.

MilitaryCemetery

ACT 3–Mavis sat in the waiting room of St. Basil’s Hospital.  She could hear the beeping of the respirator.

Three months later, Mavis and the love of her life, strolled along a snowy avenue in a small New England Town.  She paused to drop an envelope into the post box.  It contained a check made out to Kerry’s Funeral Home.  The next morning, fresh flowers would be placed on her husband’s grave.

CoupleOnSnowyStreet

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