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January 29, at I never told her. Whether she had similar keepsakes of past lives, past lovers, tucked away in a secret corner of the house or somewhere in her heart. No, I loved her first vibrantly, dizzily, exuberantly- and then steadily and surely.
We grew up together, grew old together, through children and grandchildren and the steadily ticking hands of time. She passed peacefully on a November afternoon, wrapped in white and with the steady thrumming of machinery enveloping her fragile frame. She was mine and I hers.
But this is not a story about her, for I have told plenty.
This is a story about before. And before she made her way into my life and stayed there, there were others- some fleeting adolescent escapades, some fraught with tension and distrust, and even a few I might have loved.
But there was only one who even came close to comparing to what I felt for her. It was he who the letters were from.
We stumbled into each others lives when we were barely grown, just boys really. But the sort of grief that surrounded us grabbed us by the shoulders and shook us into a premature, unsteady adulthood. It was a time of dogged death, and fear always. A sort of madness gripped us all, a morbid ecstasy.
We danced faster, laughed harder, loved more wildly, fraught with terror and recklessness. Every moment felt like it could be the last. The carefully balanced hierarchies of civilised British society, the rules and order and structure that had seemed so immutable started to fall apart like a house of cards.
Poor and rich suffered alike; women handled machinery and men were sent off to be butchered by the millions.
I had been blessed with a dodgy leg from birth, and so I sat at the sidelines and watched, helpless, as the number of friends I had rapidly diminished. I waited for good news from the front. It was at a party that we first met, one that was filled to the brim with titled aristocracy and so left me feeling distinctly out of place.
He took pity, I suppose, or perhaps interest. He was skinny, with knobbly knees and a smirk that smelled of cigarettes. We became friends fast, and lovers gradually.
The first time we kissed, we were drunk under the stars. Sitting in my tiny back garden smoking cigarettes, shivering from the cold and talking deep into the night. We were in fits of laughter about something or other, when he leaned over and touched his lips to mine, briefly and giddily.
He tasted slightly of rum, and my stomach twisted slightly in what could have been desire or fear. Our noses knocked together and that set us off again, laughing so hard we cried. It was only a blessed few months we had together. He talked a lot, and I mostly listened. He wanted to be an actor, after the war.
He had a defiant glint to his eyes and a caustic wit. He told me about philosophy and literature.
He was much cleverer than I ever was. I wonder how they would have gotten along, had they ever met He got up called up eventually, of course. His family name could only keep him safe for so long.
He sent me letters from the front whenever he could.Graduate or executive selection test? University admissions test? Before you take an assessment you can find free psychometric test & questionnaire practice questions on many of the websites listed below.
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