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Historical Fiction - Love and Perseverance I was just...

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Love and Perseverance I was just getting ready to call my boys and my parents in from the fields one September evening in 1943 when a man came to the front door. I knew something bad was at hand. No one used our front door. I’d had a bad feeling for days now and I hadn’t gotten a letter from Billie in nearly six weeks. I forced myself to answer the front door despite the raw feeling I had deep inside. I opened the door to a tall uniformed man with dark hair and eyes. His uniform was neatly pressed and I thought about how my Billie’d looked very much like that the day he left to fight in the war. “Mrs. Tolliver? Are you Mrs. Tolliver?” I heard the man say as if I was dreaming. I just kept thinking about how this couldn’t be happening. “Yes,” I replied unsteadily, “I’m Mrs. Tolliver.” The man had come in a black car. There was another man with him. The other uniformed man was walking up the steps now to join the first. The two men introduced themselves but for the life of me, I can’t remember their names. “Mrs. Tolliver,” the first man continued, “may we come in? You may want to sit down.” I stared at him for a second before motioning them into the house. I shut the door and lead them into the living room where we all sat down. “Mrs. Tolliver,” one of the men said, “We’ve come to talk you about your husband.” I’ll never forget the words as long as I live. They hit me harder than any falling object ever could. I knew immediately that the sick feeling I’d been secreting from my family for days had been a premonition. “The ship he was on,” the man continued gravely, “was sunk by enemy planes. Many of the crew died, some were rescued and still others were reported to be on life rafts. We haven’t been able to locate all of the rafts
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Mrs. Tolliver. Your husband was seen by other crewmembers on one of the rafts so we are assuming he is still alive. Mrs. Tolliver your husband has been officially listed as missing in action.” I felt the heat drain from body and I began shaking. “I understand,” I told them. “I think I need to be alone to discuss this with my family now if you don’t mind,” I said as I stood up. I walked to the door without waiting for their response. I opened the door and turned around as one of the men said, “ certainly ma’am. I’m truly sorry. But ma’am, I need to tell you that we are still looking for your husband. The Navy will continue to search for him and the other crewmembers.” I nodded politely and turned back toward
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