Seeing Gail Again by @LFarmerWrites is a Snuggle Up Readathon Pick #travel #adventure #romance #give
Title: Seeing Gail Again
Author: Larry Farmer
Genre: Travel Adventure Romance
Jericho is a Marine fresh from combat in Vietnam who must now fight the war at home during the anti-war Age of Aquarius. To get away he sets off for the most tranquil place on earth, the Lake District of England. There, as if waiting on him, is Gail, a mother-earth type, seemingly cosmically linked to him as her Prince Charming. They find peace and depth of love until the Yom Kippur War breaks out in the Middle East pushing Jericho to seek his Jewish identity in Israel's cause. They never forget one another. Years later they come to grips with the destiny still calling them that was never fulfilled.
“Will I be melancholy today?” Gail mused aloud as we walked toward the train to London that I was to catch.
“I’ll try to be grateful for having you back in my life again. And that I’ll be seeing you whenever. Hopefully once every month or so.”
“That’s how I feel,” I replied. “Until this weekend, you were out of my life. And now you’re in it more than ever. I can only think of the future.”
“Is there a future, love?”
“Nothing but,” I replied.
She forced a smile onto her face and nodded slightly.
“You must stay longer next time.”
“I know. But I’m still learning my job right now. I can’t afford to take off more than a couple of days. I spent Friday night and Saturday getting to you: —Bern to Basel, Basel to Paris— first class so that I could unfold the seats into a bed and sleep a few hours—, Paris to Calais, Calais to the white cliffs of Dover on hovercraft, Dover to London, London to here by Saturday afternoon. It’s a haul, but I’ll get to Bern by tomorrow.”
“We can meet in London next time, if you like,” she offered. “See the queen, if you like. We never saw the queen like we hoped.”
“We’ll talk. We’re already talking. That’s what keeps me going right now. You’ll comfort me the whole train ride, just thinking of you.”
“You’re just trying to keep a stiff upper lip. Which is good, but it’s such a long journey. I do hope you think of me, but I’m not expecting it.”
“But I love trains. And Texas is as big as France, so I’m used to travelling. I can handle it. And I’ll be thinking of you, for sure. It’ll preoccupy my emotions.”
“The train will be leaving soon,” she said as she gave me a slight push from our embrace. “You better get on now. Then stick your head out the window so we can be star-crossed lovers like in the movies.”
“I love England,” I said before breaking loose from her to board. “Now even more. My girlfriend is British. I love that. I have a British girlfriend. That’s special.”
“This is really it, isn’t it, love?” she said while raising her hand to touch mine as I stretched it out to her from the train. “But no more wars to run off to. Or adventures. No more melodrama of heartaches. This time only fond farewells as lovers. At last. To think we had to be in our thirties before figuring out what we already knew.”
“We took the scenic route getting here,” I teased.
The train suddenly made a small jerk, and the wheels squeaked on the tracks as they began to move.
“I’ll walk beside you, and we’ll clutch hands, pretending we’re in love,” she said, grinning. “Is this what we’ve dreamed of all our lives? We’re doing it, love. Romantic drama in abundance.”
My smile broadened as my reply, while. The train began to picked up a little speed, and we were forced to let go of our grip with each other.
“I love you, Jericho,” she said, exuding emotion.
“I love you, Gail.”
My mind scrambled. I couldn’t stand good-byes. I needed more than hope. I needed plans to see her again. Solid ones.
“Gail, listen. You’re on the dole. I’ve got a job. Arrange somehow to come stay with me. Not just stay, but for a purpose. To work this out between us faster. Somehow we’ve got to get married.”
“Just like that?”
“I want you in my life.”
“Do you always get what you want?” she asked with a laugh.
“Yes,” I answered.
“As long as I’m what you want,. I’ll arrange to come to Switzerland. I can manage a few days now and then. Do you think we’ll make it? What if we aren’t up to marriage? What if we fail in our courtship?”
“We’ve known each other for eight years,” I mocked.
“But over half the time was figuring it all out,” she replied.
“But now we have, Gail. I’ve known forever that I wanted you. I never got over you. What other reason to not wait anymore after all that? We’ve paid our dues. Now comes the courtship in earnest.”
The train picked up more speed, and we were forced to let go of our grip with each other. Gail and she began a jog to keep up.
“Goodbye, love,” she said. “We’ll talk about this.”
“Talk, hell,” I answered boldly.
“If we worked out, I’d have to give up my life on the dole,” she said with a laugh.
“We’ll live on love,” I joked in return. “You’ll love Switzerland. If any place is more beautiful than the Lakes, it’s Switzerland. Beautiful in a different way, though. Majestic, in your face, bombastic beauty. The Lakes were tranquil. Idyllic. The Alps are the same but different.”
“Goodbye, my love,” she said while blowing kisses at me. “Goodbye, darling. I’ll do it. I’ll come stay with you. We’ll have a courtship. We’ll be happy. But how will I work there if we do make it and get married? I don’t speak German.”
The train picked up more speed—, enough, finally, that Gail had to stop running from the futility of it.
“Neither do I,” I yelled in reply as she began to fade into the distance. “You can teach in a Montessori school or something. Or keep getting pregnant, perhaps, and raise our kids. Whatever suits you.” I began to wave frantically. “I love you, Gail. I love you, Gail!”
I watched her diminishing figure until I couldn’t see her anymore. Then I closed the window and plopped down in my seat to savor the glory.
“I love you, Gail,” I whispered to myself one last time. “I’m going to marry you someday. Someday soon.”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon – as paperback, audiobook and ebook: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=seeing+gail+again&ref=nb_sb_noss
The Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/books/seeing-gail-again
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There was the war in Vietnam, but for those that returned there was the war at home. It was beyond PTSD, Jericho needed to find himself. A friend recommended a supposed Shangri-la known as the Lake District of England near the Scottish border. And Shangri-la it was, especially with the entry into his life of Gail, a mother earth type, that became his soulmate. As if meant to fulfill some cosmic destiny. Only the Yom Kippur War could cause him to leave her, but leave he did to fulfill his Jewish identity. Seeing Gail Again tells the rest of the story. They never forgot each other and destiny was not through with their plans.
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I was born and raised in Harlingen on the border with Mexico on the southern tip of Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico. I was raised with old school values on a cotton farm. After high school I went to Texas A&M and was in the Corps of Cadets there. I quit in the middle of my senior year to join the Marines in the hope of going to Vietnam. I also served in the Peace Corps in The Philippines. I travelled around the world between these two events in my life and saw enough to need to relate it. I worked for eleven years in Switzerland. I married there and raised two of my three children there. I now work for Texas A&M. And finally have time to reflect on my life and its meaning. And write about it.
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