Feb 19, 2021

Fiction Historical Fiction Romance

Author's Note: This is a collab I did with Radhika Diksha, I wrote Julie's perspective and she wrote Jay's. She is such a wonderful author so please check out her work. I'll put a link in the comments below. Thank you, happy Friday, and I hope you enjoy!

September 2, 1939

I haven’t stopped crying since the letter came. My tears blotted the ink, making it spread across the paper,   smearing the words. Jay’s hands crumple the corners as he holds it with clenched fists, his face has maintained a stoic expression since we read it, barely responding to my pleading.

Being seventeen, he had been forced to register for the draft, but we never prepared for the worst-case scenario. For him to be picked so soon when he was still so young. I was chosen too, my expertise making me an effective nurse. Someone to heal all those wounded in the bloody battles. A small part of me is happy to be able to offer my services to my country, but I’m terrified.

I told Jay I loved him as we parted. I wore a deep blue jacket tucked around me, keeping out the fierce bite of the wind. We whispered fleeting promises as trains hurried by beside us, tears darting across my icy skin. We promised that this wouldn’t be the end.

January 1, 1940

I have to be strong for the rest of them. Hiding my winces as I bandage a mutilated leg or burnt flesh. I bite my lip as I weave a thread through their skin, trying to mend the broken, of body, mind, and heart. But there are too many bodies, too many I couldn’t save. It seems my job will never be over.

Today Jay came by the clinic, him and his fellow soldiers carrying more stretchers between them. The soldiers on them writhed and cried out in pain, but as I rushed them off to beds, what I noticed were Jay’s eyes. A deep forest green, with more ghosts in them than I could have ever imagined. He pulls me into his arms, stroking my hair and whispering condolences as my tears soak his camouflage uniform. 

The other nurses tell me I am lucky to have Jay here with me, they don’t understand. They don’t understand that every day I wish he was safe back home, sheltered from the terrors of war. That way I wouldn’t have to pray for his life every night, it would be better that way. Despite all the danger, though, I’m glad to see him again.

As the war carries on around us, as bombs scorch the Earth and bullets rain down upon us, we find peace in each other’s arms.

October 3, 1940

It was my birthday today, not that it means much in the middle of a war. Jay tried to make it mean something, though. Jay and a few soldiers made a small treat for me, an attempt at a cake, with bread, chocolate, and peanuts. The gesture means a lot to me right now, I haven’t had a reason to smile for a while now. 

I see a little light in his eyes as they laugh and sing to me, It’s a relief after seeing the agony on his face so long. I’m starting to believe that we might make it through this. Together.

August 12, 1945

Jay is coming home to Amsterdam today, and I don’t know if I can wait another minute for his arrival. I have almost forgotten what it is like to live without the burden of constant danger and death. I think I have learned to appreciate the small things now. After the war, I feel blessed to have a safe home, food, and a warm bed.

This will be a new beginning, a time to repair or relationship. To love again. Hopefully, we can find ourselves again, to go back to a resemblance of our old lives.

May 5, 1947

During the war, I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be truly content with my life. Today I said “I do” in front of the altar and donned a wedding ring on my finger. I vowed to spend the rest of my life by Jay’s side, despite everything trying to tear us apart. The war, our scars, our memories. 

Our wedding was a bubble of joy amidst all the chaos and destruction. Something to hold on to at a later time when I start to lose hope again. Maybe someday I’ll be able to build up enough happy memories to outweigh the painful ones. It would probably take a lifetime, but I hope it’s possible. It would definitely be worth it.

April 3, 1948

I have been working as a governess lately to try to scrape up some money for us. The pay is meager but at least it’s something. Times are tough right now, so even small things can make all the difference. Even the children are sad, their spirits suffocated and their hearts broken from the loss. 

I see the remnants of the war everywhere now, in the children too. They mimic the fighting in their innocent games, having no idea of the true terrors out there. The girls bandage their dolls ‘broken arms’, pretending to be a nurse healing a fallen soldier. They ask me if I was afraid on the battlefield, telling me I must be very brave.

Being an actress was always my dream, to wear a beautiful costume and stand under the spotlight. I wish I lived a different life sometimes, but no matter what I would have liked, I’m stuck with this one. Maybe that’s still a possibility, sometime in the future. Jay tells me not to lose hope, that we will heal eventually.

September 9, 1948

I just found out I was chosen for the lead role in an upcoming movie. I didn’t expect things to go this well for us. Maybe I’m being too optimistic, but it seems things are starting to look up. The money we’ll receive from the production will definitely be an added bonus. 

 Jay is also finishing his education at a University, something I am proud of him for. He has always encouraged me to follow my dreams, being such a supportive husband, I want to return the favor.

I’m slightly afraid to start acting, afraid that I’ll fail drastically. This is a different challenge than before, and I’m slightly hesitant to take it on. But nothing can be quite as terrifying as the war, can it?

December 14, 1949

I walked down the red carpet today, with Jay watching and clapping from the crowd. He put on a smile but it didn’t quite reach his eyes, I’m worried I have hurt him. My publicity team has advised I keep our relationship quiet. They say that I will do better as an actress if people view me as a young, single woman.

I hope he knows I love him, that marrying him was the best decision I ever made. That our relationship shed light on my darkest days.

I’m trying to follow everyone here, to do what everyone is telling me, but I’m lost.

January 2, 1950

Jay seems to have forgotten about what we used to be. These days, it seems he doesn’t trust me anymore. He says the fame has blinded me, but I can see as clear as ever.

He told me to leave today, yelling to cover the break in his voice, I hope he didn’t mean it. I really am trying to do what is best, but I am being pulled in so many directions I am afraid I might break. I’ll try to find a way to show Jay how much he means to me, I hope we can repair this.

It seems wherever I go, pain follows me.

February 11, 1950

I announced our relationship to the media today, I’m sick of hiding it. Jay has been the light of my life for as long, I’m glad to finally be able to show how I feel. If this makes me a less desirable actress, then so be it. Jay deserved better than being hidden behind my fame.

I explained all we had gone through to the crowd. From when we went to war as teenagers to this very day. Our story is a painful one, that’s for sure, but it is ours.

January 1, 2001

We entered a new era today, and I hope we can start to enjoy our new life. The war, that nightmare we survived, will always be a part of our life, but it does not define our life. We have a small part of our minds reserved for dealing with those memories, for working through those late-night thoughts, but it does not consume us. We’re moving on, someday we might be able to look back without any tears in our eyes. We don’t forget the pain, we learn to cope with it.

Jay’s laugh is finally starting to sound like it did before the war, full of carefree joy. I would even dare to say we have never been happier. I will be forever grateful for all that Jay did for me.

He surprised me with sweets when I needed it most, he forgave me for my mistakes, he told me he loved me over and over again. He was the one thing that kept me fighting through everything, the one thing that made waking up in the morning worth it. Jay, I will love you always, until the day I die and after that.

I can say one thing for sure, I finally have no regrets.

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106 comments

Radhika Diksha
11:39 Feb 21, 2021

2 new stories would love your feedback on it.

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Nora Ouardi
22:27 Feb 19, 2021

🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞 I loved this story! The way you put the dates just made it more sophisticated, in my opinion. The story is gives almost like a vulnerable atmosphere which I love! Overall, great story!

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Maya Emerson
20:36 Feb 20, 2021

Thank you, Nora! :)

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Nora Ouardi
15:52 Feb 21, 2021

;)

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Maya Emerson
15:28 Feb 19, 2021

Radhika Diksha's Link: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/radhika-diksha/

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Wow! I love this perspective! This was an awesome collab and write!

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Maya Emerson
20:36 Feb 20, 2021

Thanks, Karina! :)

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Insane Freak
19:49 Mar 27, 2021

Why do I keep thinking you're talking about me whenever I read Jay? Anyways, wonderful story as always!!!

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01:25 Feb 27, 2021

🦊

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Nainika Gupta
17:58 Feb 26, 2021

🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊 ...

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Maya Emerson
18:22 Feb 26, 2021

WOW hehe Ooh, and also, I love the songs of the week in your bio. :DD

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Nainika Gupta
18:30 Feb 26, 2021

hehehehe i couldn't resist and oooh have you seen that song??

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Maya Emerson
18:38 Feb 26, 2021

Ooh yeah I watched The Nights and Lean On. Lol I had seen Avicii before but not the other one until you put it up. They were great, though. :))

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Nainika Gupta
18:55 Feb 26, 2021

yES :))) heheh

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NAINIKA‘SBACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

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Maya Emerson
17:53 Feb 26, 2021

OMG SHE IS OMGGGGG YAYYYYY THANKS FOR TELLING MEEE

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Maya Emerson
18:23 Feb 26, 2021

:DDDDDDDDD Have any ideas for the new prompts?

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Maya Emerson
18:49 Feb 26, 2021

Wow okay, I read it. 🦋🦋🦋🥔🥔🥔 (the whole thing) To be honest I'm a little confused, sorry! I never heard of No Straight Roads (shame on me) hehe *awkward laughter*

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Bucky Barnes
15:20 Feb 23, 2021

Maya, I am trying to comment less, but I heard you were having a stressful time in life. Let me know if there is anything I can do. I'm always here.

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Maya Emerson
16:12 Feb 23, 2021

Hey, thanks. I'm alright, just taking a short break from writing and reading on Reedsy. Thanks, that's sweet of you. You too. <3

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Bucky Barnes
17:49 Feb 23, 2021

Okay. I understand. Let me know if you want to talk about anything.

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Maya Emerson
20:01 Feb 23, 2021

Thanks :)

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Izzie Q.
00:14 Feb 23, 2021

Maya, I really felt your bio!! I really hope that everything is ok and YES we will pull through together <3 youre a super good writer and this community is lucky to have you!!!

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Maya Emerson
00:32 Feb 25, 2021

Thanks, Izzie. :) <3 It's okay, I'm fine. :D Thanks, you too! :))

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Izzie Q.
01:49 Feb 25, 2021

awww hi!! how was your day?

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Maya Emerson
01:55 Feb 25, 2021

Great actually! It was sunny for the first time in a while and even though it's February it feels like summer hehe. How about you? :D

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Izzie Q.
02:09 Feb 25, 2021

omg yeah!! the sun showed up where I am too and melted tons of the snow! it was sooo nice to have bright weather once in a while, i threw open all the window curtians haha but yeah, my day was good tysm for asking! whats your favorite season? fav type of weather? only bad part was that i ate brownie that had walnuts snuck into it T-T do you have a fav dessert or least fav food?

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Maya Emerson
02:18 Feb 25, 2021

Haha that's so fun!! :D Hmm, I like summer off from school but I LOVE snow sooo idk. Oop are you allergic to walnuts? Hmm I like this one pizza place where you can cut the pizza with sissors. XD What do you like? :D

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20:57 Feb 22, 2021

Maya? Are you okay?

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Maya Emerson
21:09 Feb 22, 2021

I was just about to ask you that :(

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21:11 Feb 22, 2021

:( Well my answer would probably be no. Yours?

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Maya Emerson
21:16 Feb 22, 2021

Same D:::: Are you at least surviving, you know? Like- idk how to put it.

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21:17 Feb 22, 2021

:( Yeah, I am I get what you mean. Do you want to talk about anything? It's all so sad.

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Maya Emerson
21:20 Feb 22, 2021

Yeah :( I'm just watching funny videos but every time I laugh a little I start crying. Oop D::: Do you? Ik D:::

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We will KEEP GOING! The Reedsy Team WILL ENVER BOW TO THE DOWNVOTERS/OTHER ANNOYING BUTT CHEEKS! HAZZAH! Sorry, got worked up just now, orenda and Nainika left, although nainika says she'll come back in a moths or two or three.

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Maya Emerson
00:16 Feb 25, 2021

LOL yessssss

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I may have to leave too, for personal reasons, but I probably won't

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Maya Emerson
20:54 Feb 25, 2021

Oh no, well we'll miss you if you do. :(

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I think I'll stay for a little while more, especially for Lucid Dreamer.

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Maya Emerson
21:56 Feb 25, 2021

Aw that's good then!!

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02:56 Feb 22, 2021

both of these stories were well written and well thought out! Great job you too!

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22:44 Feb 21, 2021

Hi Maya! I'm not sure if you'll see this for a bit, you said in your bio you've been busy and I know you're talking on the skribbl doc, but I just wanted to check in. You're an amazing friend and you have a way of being this friend that seems to know all the answers and is always there for everyone else. That can be exhausting sometimes/sometimes you put others before yourself, so I wanted to make sure you're doing ok. I know you were very worried about all the...well you know that subject that was being talked abt on the skribbl doc, so jus...

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Maya Emerson
02:46 Feb 22, 2021

Ooh hey, Luna. I just said I'm busy because I have a lot of school work recently XD, but I'm still on Reedsy. And btw I'm going to read your story tonight finally, sorry it took a while. Aw, that's sweet of you to ask, you're a great friend. Yeah, I'm alright, don't worry. Thanks for asking, though. :))) Thanks, you too! <333

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03:09 Feb 22, 2021

yikesXD aw thanks!!! :) Glad you're doing ok!! <3333

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Maya Emerson
04:33 Feb 22, 2021

:))) <333 I'm taking a short break, I'm not leaving it's just for a few days or a week. It's in my bio. :)

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14:03 Feb 22, 2021

ok! It's definitely a well deserved break:) I'll miss you, but take your time and enjoy it!!!:D

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Maya Emerson
02:55 Feb 22, 2021

And how are you doing? With the stuff on the doc and everyone leaving, you alright?

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03:11 Feb 22, 2021

I'm doing pretty good, definitely better then a few nights agoXD It's a shock every time someone sorta deletes everything in their bio and says there leaving, but I can always understand why and know that it's what they need. I'm still more than glad that I made the friends I have on here, even if some of them are leaving:)

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Maya Emerson
04:32 Feb 22, 2021

I know, that's all so true. Same :) Tell me if you ever need to talk, since all of this is sort of well you know. XD <3

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14:03 Feb 22, 2021

Same goes for youXD:)<3

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23:30 Feb 20, 2021

🥞

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Queen Clarion
02:01 Feb 20, 2021

Maya, I think there is a spammer on the doc.

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Danny ~
01:07 Feb 20, 2021

Great story, Maya :) I love how you've managed to keep the theme intact throughout the story...everything's so organized, and I guess the dates helped with that as well. Goshhh, I'm trying to be as serious as I can be for this comment, but the ending! like, the last part...like the whole portion of January 1st, 2001...I mean the whole thing was amazing, but this part....it outdoes the rest... Like the transition from something sad to something just really happy and memorable, I think it takes a great author to do that and this whole story...

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23:08 Feb 19, 2021

Hey Maya! I loved the style of this piece, like letters. I also really enjoyed the ending, it summed up everything really well. Are you still up for a collab? If so, which prompt did you want to do? Jasey :)

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Maya Emerson
23:29 Feb 19, 2021

Hi Jasey! Thanks! Sure, I would love to. Idk, I don't have many ideas for this week, did you have a favorite prompt?

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23:48 Feb 19, 2021

I was thinking either the first one, "Write about an android just trying to blend in with their human companions." and we could have one POV as the android, and one POV as the human companion, or "Your character has just realized the app they’ve been developing has become self-aware. How do they react?" Up to you, also how do you think we should write this out? :D

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Maya Emerson
17:36 Feb 20, 2021

Could we maybe do the second since I was already working on a story for the first? If that would be alright. Maybe we could use a google document. If you have that. I can put the settings on "anyone with the link can edit" so you don't have to give your email, I would just send you the link. Would that work? :)

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23:42 Feb 20, 2021

That works! Send the link whenever :)

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Maya Emerson
04:40 Feb 22, 2021

Hey Jasey, super sorry for the late reply. I'm so sorry about this, but I've been pretty busy lately and I'm taking a short break from Reedsy now. So sorry, but could we maybe do our collab another week? I really don't want to cancel on you, oop :/

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Carole Cobos
19:59 Feb 19, 2021

I loved this. It felt nostalgic and sweet. The girl sounded simple and sensible. Her voice was sort of detached, like she was tragic. The feels definitely caught up to me

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Maya Emerson
20:36 Feb 20, 2021

Aw, thanks! :D

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Queen Clarion
14:49 Feb 19, 2021

Oooh, I absolutely love this! This was a great take on the prompt, and it's a great collab and story!

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Maya Emerson
20:35 Feb 20, 2021

Thanks, Ivy! :)

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