The Folded Flag – Part 10

Fold nine, to the right, is a tribute to women and Mothers.


We were scheduled to play a poker game, but we had about an hour before we were supposed to meet. I decided to grab a shower, since we had been crawling around in the dirt most of the day: got to practice your combat crawl. Pepper was sitting at a desk, writing a letter. Letters were what we lived for, those days. Those little pieces from home were more important to us than almost anything. The difference with Pepper, though, was he made the time to reply to every letter he received. The rest of us read, and reread our letters, cherishing every word, but wrote back only sporadically.

I walked over to Pepper and plucked his glasses from his face. I stuck them on my own and looked around through the weak prescription.

“Who you writing to?” I asked as I placed his glasses back onto his head.

“My mom,” he said, readjusting the frames.

“Oh yeah?” I said. “Tell her hi for me.” Pepper stopped writing, and looked up at me. He cocked his head to the side and smiled.

“Thanks, Thatch,” he said. “That will mean a lot to her.” I stood there and looked over his shoulder as he went back to his letter. He broke off whatever he had been stating and scrawled, Thatch says hi. That was it. Three words, and he went back to whatever he had been writing before. As I moved away, though, those three words really made me think. Thatch says hi. No other explanation. No mention of who I was. That shouldn’t have been a real surprise. Pepper wrote to his mom every couple of weeks. It made me wonder, though. Apparently she already knew who I was, since he simply wrote, “Thatch says hi.” What had he said about me? Knowing Pepper it had all been good, and probably not at all what I deserved.

Had I ever mentioned Pepper to my mom? To anyone in my family? When had I even written to them last? I cast a final look over my shoulder as I walked from the room. Pepper still sat bent over his paper. I decided I was going to make my shower a very fast one, and then I was going to write to my mom.

 – S.D. Bullard


~ by sdbullard on April 28, 2012.

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