Last year, he had hopes of starting a new life with a new bride. For better or for worse, the marriage never happened, and it painted his whole attitude a dark shade of gray. But this year things were going to change. He wouldn’t spend another day pining over a lost love he was better off without. He was in school to get his Master’s degree in history. To heck with women. All they did was complicate life.
Moving past the crowd of boys and girls lined up for new student orientation, he couldn’t help noticing that the young freshmen all had the same expression on their faces. It was the same mixture of excitement and anxiety he’d experienced himself ten years earlier.
Ten years? Had it been that long since his first day as a freshman at Georgetown University? He’d gone to school with plans for becoming a history teacher, but life did have a way of taking unusual turns. It was during sophomore year that he’d become interested in the school’s R.O.T.C. program. At the height of the Depression when he’d worried about finding a good-paying job after college, the Army seemed like the way to go.
Still, he couldn’t get the dream of being a history teacher out of his head, so he’d gone on reserve duty to attend graduate school. He was lucky to be in school for a second year when many reservists were being pressed back into service. He had a gut feeling that America’s involvement in the war in Europe was inevitable. It was a thought he kept pushing to the back of his mind.
As he entered the office of student records, he looked in the direction of Katie McNeill, the pretty, young lady who worked at the desk next to the window. He’d remembered her from the year before and had seen her around campus a few times. If he hadn’t been mending a broken heart, he might have asked her out.
The sunlight shone through the open blinds, illuminating the soft waves of her shoulder-length, golden hair. She looked like an angel, but even angels could bring a man nothing but trouble. He looked away before their eyes met.
Her coworker, a middle-aged lady with a streak of gray hair and a nametag that designated her as Mrs. Russell, came to the counter to assist him.