Good morning! Welcome to yet another Tuesday Tales. Today, we are working with the word BREAD. I’m back to Wedding Bell Blues, and we’re just about to have an evening beach wedding, that’s going to be a whole lot more real than either the bride or the groom had anticipated. So, sit back and relax. We’re getting ready for showtime.
Paul sat back, warming to his topic. He described growing up in Stilton and spending time at his best friend’s home. He had good memories of those days, and that feeling of contentment was what he’d hoped to recapture once more. Having MJ in his life hadn’t been something he’d expected, but he wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. What he omitted was how lousy his own homelife had been, focusing on Mama and Papa Summers, Ron, and MJ.
“The day I left Stilton was one of the worst days of my life. Reconnecting with her through the pen pal program was something I didn’t expect, but I’ll be forever grateful for it. There were times back then when MJ drove me crazy, but I would’ve done anything for her. Now, it looks like I’ll finally get my chance.”
Louis Rich chuckled. “Well, I’ve seen your bride, and I can attest that tomboy has grown into a beautiful woman. I have to admit the way you reconnected was amazing, and judging the way your face lights up when you say her name, I’d say you’ve fallen hook line and sinker.”
Paul felt his face heat. He’d done a better job than he’d expected.
“Now, we still have a few minutes before I release you to meet you lovely bride, can you tell us a little about your service. From the bio I accessed, you were in the army ten years. How does it feel leaving that life behind?”
Paul swallowed. “I enjoyed my years in the service, protecting our country and its assets on foreign soil,” he said.
“What was your assignment overseas?”
“It might be easier to answer what wasn’t,” he said and laughed. “For the most part, I spent my time working with the military police, since I was a lawman before I enlisted, but on my last tour, I was assigned to the embassy in Kabul.”
“You decided to leave the service after that posting.”
Paul gritted his teeth and tried to smile. He didn’t want to talk about Kabul, not now, not ever.
“I did. I was injured during my last tour, and decided to get out while I was still more or less in one piece. I wouldn’t have been able to serve in the same way, and I’m not really cut out for a desk job.”
“Your record states you were ambushed on duty and that civilians with you were killed—a teacher from the local school and two Afghani children. Can you tell us about that?”
“I’m afraid I can’t,” he said, weighing his words carefully.
Irritation flashed in Louis Rich’s eyes. “Can’t or won’t?” he said.
“I can’t tell you what happened because I don’t remember it all,” he lied. “I was escorting the U.N. teacher and two of her students, and we were attacked by snipers. I was shot three times, passed out and that’s it. The first bullet hit me in the right shoulder, the second creased the left side of my head, while the third one blew out my knee. The memory loss is slight and confined to the events surrounding the ambush itself. Sorry.” He shrugged.
“I don’t suppose you could explain how escorting those civilians was part of your embassy responsibilities?”
“It wasn’t. The ambassador’s wife and Fiona Scott were friends. They visited the embassy at least once a week to collect bread, milk powder, and other non-perishable food for the girls at the school. That particular night, I was off-duty within the hour. The three had stayed for a meal, and the ambassador asked two of us to escort them back to the school. The streets of Kabul can be dangerous at night, especially for women and girls. That’s all I can tell you.”
“Thank you for your candor, Lieutenant. Now, what say we go and join your beautiful bride?”
Paul smiled and nodded. If he’d survived Kabul and this interview, what was a noce civil?
“I have another surprise for you first. Look who’s here to join in the festivities?”
The curtains parted and out walked Mama Summers.
Shocked and pleased, Paul stood and opened his arms to the woman who’d been more of a mother to him than his own.
“How did you manage this?” he asked, seconds before the reality struck him. “Does MJ know you’re here?”
Louis Rich chuckled. “Not yet, but Mrs. Summers is here to walk her daughter down the aisle.”
Paul smiled. MJ might’ve managed to avoid an asthma attack so far, but this might well put her over the edge.
That’s it for this week. Please take the time to check out the other selections on Tuesday Tales.