It was like winter wonderland. It felt good to be home again. It was December 1946, a little over a year since the war ended. He didn’t think he would make it but he did.
He looked around him, at the snow covered landscape. Never again would he take this place for granted. He touched the right side of his face. The skin felt rough. The explosion which had killed his buddy had scarred him for life. It had changed his future too. The girl he was going to marry couldn’t cope with the scar or the stump which used to be his right hand. Maybe it wasn’t fair to expect her to look past the scarred, crippled person man he had become and remember the young man whom she had pledged her love and fidelity to.
He learned from his father that she had married a banker. He sighed. He had survived the war only to lose his girl. Life stank sometimes.
He thought of his buddies who didn’t make it and the girls they left behind. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he should be thankful. So, he wasn’t a handsome bloke anymore and he couldn’t use his hand but he was healthy and he had his whole future ahead of him. He wasn’t sure what kind of work he would do but he decided that he wasn’t going to worry worry about that right now. The holidays were here and he was going to enjoy them with his family. And besides, Roberta, the pretty nurse who took such good care of him when he was in the hospital was joining the family for the festivities. She was getting a ride with his brother and his family. He glanced at his watch. They should be arriving at the house at any minute.
He turned and headed back to the house, his heart racing at the thought of seeing Roberta. In the back pocket of his trousers was a little black box. He hoped that this would turn out to be the best Christmas he’d ever had.
“Any day above ground is a good day. Before you complain about anything, be thankful for your life and the things that are still going well.”