Walter

Walter

A Chapter by C. William

While on vacation, we’ve found an amazing little place, that is only open for breakfast. There is always a line, waiting to get in, and the wait is definitely worth it. Sitting at our table, we watched an older gentleman, come through the door, and immediately head to an empty table near the back. He was obviously a regular, and every worker, he passed, stopped and greeted him by name. That is how we met...WALTER

When you grow up in a small village like Middlefield, there aren’t many options for your future. If you are really lucky, and your parents planned early to save, you could escape to the college a few hours away. Most kids ended up taking over their parent’s farms or going to work at the local factory, which means, very few people managed to escape the town that they were born in.
Walter was one of these kids, a teenager trapped in a small town, dreaming of his escape. Unfortunately, his parents just managed to scrape by, between the the farm, and the money his Mom made, working part time at the convenience store in town. The only luxury they ever managed to save up for, was a short vacation that they managed to take, at the end of summer, once all of the crops were in. This year was going to be a special one. His mom had picked up some extra shifts, while one of her coworkers was out on maternity leave, so this was going to be a bigger and better trip! Through some special deals, they managed to get a condo on a quiet beach in Florida, for the weekend. Even better, Walter begged and pleaded, until his parents agreed to let Betty, his high school Sweetheart go along. Of course, she got to share the spare bedroom with his little sister, while he got to sleep on the couch, but he didn’t expect anything else. He was just thrilled that he didn’t have to spend a whole weekend without her.
It was an amazing trip, swimming in the pool, playing in the waves, and walking on the beach. On the last night, Walter and Betty, managed to take a walk on the beach, without a sibling tagging along. They walked along, ankle deep in the surf, under the beautiful colors of the setting sun. It was at that moment, Walter knew what he wanted for his life. He took Betty in his arms and made her a promise for their future. Some day, he would buy her a house on that beach. They would take walks every day, holding hands as they slowly make their way down the beach.
Walter never forgot that promise, but the first step was getting out of Middlefield. He knew, without some help, he would just end up on a tractor, planting corn, or working the line in the auto factory. It was, with that sunset over the beach in mind, that he left, less than a week after graduation, for his basic training, in the Navy. After four years, on a week long leave, between changing duty stations, Betty agreed to marry Walter. Two years later, Walter’s Mom covered Betty’s shifts at the convenience store, while they went on a quick honeymoon. It was a small ceremony, and an amazing weekend, but come Monday, Walter kissed his now wife goodbye, before starting the two hour drive back to the airport, and back overseas.
Walter was nearing his twenty years of service, which meant he got to return to his wife full time, and collect his military pension, when the United States announced they were joining the war. Betty was very understanding, when Walter explained that it was the wrong time to leave his crew, feeling that he would be abandoning them, when they needed him the most. It was another ten years before Walter finally returned to his loving wife, getting to enjoy the home she had built for them, knowing he didn’t have to leave in a week on another tour. It wasn’t a house on the beach, but it was a beautiful two story country house, down the street from his parent’s farm.
The next summer, Walter surprised Betty by taking her back to the same beach that they had visited as teenagers, some thirty years earlier. They stayed in a beautiful little apartment,, that was just an empty patch of sand, the last time they visited. The walk down the beach was a little slower this time, but they still held hands while walking in the shallow water. Betty was shocked when Walter steered them up to a cute little coral painted condo, where the Realtor’s sign was covered by a big red SOLD. Walter started saving a small portion, from his very first paycheck to his last, whether it was a hundred dollars or just a couple dollars. It was all for this very moment, just to see that look on his wife’s face. They returned to their home in Middlefield, to begin the preparation for the move. It was at this time, that they got the devastating news.
Every morning, you can find Walter, leaving his condo, walking the half mile down the beach to have breakfast at his regular table. When he finishes his breakfast, it’s a quick walk next door, where he opened his own real estate office. Walter always regrets that Betty never got to share their new home. His goal, as a realtor, is to make sure that he helps his young couples keep their dreams and promises.


© 2020 C. William


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Added on July 25, 2020
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