After the War.

After the War.

By:  apoeunice3  Ongoing
Language: English
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Mary had given everything to the war. Her dedication, courage, time and her will to be happy. But, the horrors of the war was one thing she took back- a present she could never return. She is also plagued by doubts and a conscience haunted by the words of a bitter brother. Faced with regret and shame, Joel mourns his brother’s death. But he believes that if she had not been Johnny’s nurse, his brother would still be alive. Can they, thrown into the same boat and faced with circumstances too big to handle alone, work together to save everyone?

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26 chapters
Chapter 1.
CHAPTER 1Mary looked out of the window, watching the scenery change as the stagecoach rumbled and shook with each bump it rode over. It was over-the life she had gotten accustomed to was over.Anyone watching her would think that she was taking in the scenery, but she wasn’t looking at the houses and vast land space as much as she was thinking about how different everything felt.It was quiet. Things had not been dead for a long time, and now, as she felt the coach rumble, even the noise it made could not compare to the humdrum she had lived with for a long time. She should be happy, be glad that it was all over, but she could not find the energy to smile.“Why do you look so gloomy? You ought to be happy- the war is finally over. I never thought a time would come when I saw my wife and children again, but now, I can finally go home to them. The last time I saw my wife, she was carrying our little one. She begged me to
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Chapter 2.
CHAPTER 2Joel stepped off the ship as it docked at Boston Harbor, a big smile on his face. Right from where he had been seated in the ship, as soon as he had got on the ship from England, all his thoughts had been about home.He was finally coming back home to his family. It had been a long time- years of medical training in England and he had not seen them, not once.He wondered how his town would look like, different from how he left it or still the same? It had to be different though, because he knew that change happened everywhere.  The houses must have been replaced with newer ones and some people he knew may have left to start a life somewhere else.But that was not the only reason why he was happy. He was coming back after a long time of being away, as a hero. The most educated man in his town. He had worked hard, found a way and had gotten admission into a university in England. How many people from his town had
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Chapter 3.
CHAPTER 3Joel followed his mother into that house, his heart pounding fiercely. What was the news she wanted to tell him that made her look so grieved? Had something happened to his father?“What is wrong? What happened?” Joel asked again.His mother pointed to a chair.“You have to sit down,” she said.Joel sat at the edge of the chair and waited for her to speak.“We received news last week,” his mother began.“Is it father? What happened to him?”“No, it’s not your father. When I and your father heard that the war was over, we were very happy. It meant that you could finally come home to visit and Johnny would come back too. We left the door open each day for him because we hadn’t gotten word from him in a long time and we did had no idea when he would come. Then, a letter arrived.It said that Johnny had been killed in action.”Joel
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Chapter 4.
CHAPTER 4Mary looked at the family in front of her, taking in the look on their faces. She would see grief clearly etched in every line and sorrow like a flag. They looked like they had lost everything and had nothing left.“Good day,” she said.“Yes?” the older woman asked.“I’m sorry, can I come in? I’m not going to take much of your time. I have something to give you,”The woman shoulders rose and fell.“Okay, come in,”Mary followed her inside the house and stood, waiting to be told to sit. She did not want to seem rude, and it was their house.“Please, sit,” the son told her.Nodding, Mary took a chair.“I’m really sorry for coming when this clearly looks like a bad time but I have news to tell you. I think you would want to hear it.”“Okay?” the father asked.“I worked in the war as a volunteer nurse. My job
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Chapter 5.
CHAPTER 5Joel refused to believe that the woman sitting down had tried all she could to save his brother. She was here because of guilt, nothing more.The Johnny he knew would have fought hard to stay alive but he also knew that the amount of people they must have treated everyday would be more than the nurses and doctors could handle. She would have taken one look at his brother, looked at other patients around and left him there.The only thing he could not answer was why she wanted him to believe so bad. Well, he would not. He would not believe her lies or allow his parents to believe the same thing too.“What is your qualification?” he asked her. She must have been a novice without any experience except from the ones she learnt during the war. Maybe she had given Johnny the wrong vaccine.“Excuse me?” Mary asked him.“What is your qualification? Your level of experience? Did you go to any
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Chapter 6.
CHAPTER 6. Mary stared at the door as Joel slammed it behind him and felt tears well up in her eyes. How could he not believe her that she had done her best? She still carried the guilt- it haunted her every day since Johnny died, blaming herself even when she knew it wasn’t her fault for not being able to save him. She had almost given up nursing after his death, too consumed by grief to continue, but the realization that there were others she could save had kept her working. She had worked harder than ever, refusing to rest, in a bid to tip the scales in favor of the soldiers who survived. Shaking, she placed her hands on both sides of the chair and lowered herself into the seat, not trusting her legs to keep her standing.
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Chapter 7.
CHAPTER 7.  Joel paced around his room, clenching his fingers in frustration and running his hand through his hair. He’d tried to get down to work, sorting out his medical journals, without much success. It was the sixth time he had tried to read the journal, or do much of anything today, and every attempt had failed. His mind had either wandered off, leaving him staring at his illegible writing when he realized it, or a memory of the past with his brother had flashed before his eyes, leaving him tired, angry, and frustrated all at the same time. The cloud of grief that had descended over his family had not left, and he could see it in his mother's eyes when s
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Chapter 7.
CHAPTER 7.  Joel paced around his room, clenching his fingers in frustration and running his hand through his hair. He’d tried to get down to work, sorting out his medical journals, without much success. It was the sixth time he had tried to read the journal, or do much of anything today, and every attempt had failed. His mind had either wandered off, leaving him staring at his illegible writing when he realized it, or a memory of the past with his brother had flashed before his eyes, leaving him tired, angry, and frustrated all at the same time. The cloud of grief that had descended over his family had not left, and he could see it in his mother's eyes when s
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Chapter 8
CHAPTER 8Mary woke up clutching her bedsheets. Coming to terms with her environment, she sighed and got up from the bed. It was way before dawn, but she knew that going back to bed and trying to sleep was futile. Sleep had eluded her for the months since she had returned home. It was a routine she was used to- going to bed late, waking several times during the night, and eventually abandoning the idea of going back to sleep. She quietly walked into the kitchen, hoping to at least get something to eat. If she couldn’t sleep, she might as well do something else, and food was what held the most appeal to her.She opened the plate that was covered on the table and saw the sandwich her mother had made the night before, but she hadn’t had enough appetite to eat. Who knew food could look so much better when you couldn't sleep?  "Mary." Her mother's voice startled her, and she promptly dro
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Chapter 9
CHAPTER 9Joel looked outside the eastern window of his office and sighed. The view never ceased to amaze him. It was therapeutic- soothing and calm. It was also a place where he knew he could be himself without worrying about the ghosts of the past.He had moved to Cherry Springs, California, a month ago under the recommendation of a doctor he had met after he realized he could no longer sit at home without giving his folks much to worry about. And he hadn't had a chance to regret it, not one day.At the crack of dawn, he took a walk each day, taking in the scenery and clearing his mind. The wide-open prairie and the view of the mountains held him spellbound every time. He would breathe it all in for a couple of minutes and begin his daily walk to a river he had stumbled on the first week he’d moved here.He would stand by the river and watch it flow, admire its simplicity, and feel the tension the previous day had
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