A Wished-For Love, Chapter Thirteen

I left the Command Master Chief’s office practically walking on air. I wasn’t going back to Vietnam. They said I needed a break and would be replaced by another Chief who needed the time in-country. The tension had drained from me like shedding a layer of skin. The feeling of doom lifted from my shoulders and I felt twenty pounds lighter. What a relief. Sam … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Thirteen

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twelve

Dense clouds of cigarette smoke assaulted my lungs as I made my way to the exit, already missing the scent of the beautiful woman I’d left in the back room. I had reached the door when I heard my name called above the screeching noise of the jukebox. “Frank! Hey, Frank. Over here.” I waved my way through the smoke; Sam gestured to me from … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twelve

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Eleven

I’m glad Frank didn’t see my mouth hanging open as he left. By the time I collected myself the door had closed and shut him out of my sight. I understood then what people mean when they say their heart sank. I had lost something wonderful and my body was letting me know what a fool I had been. Instead of smiling politely and gazing … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Eleven

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Ten

I stayed behind after George left and played pool with the barmaids. When that grew tiresome I went into the bar and nursed a warm beer while deflecting playful propositions from the girls. It didn’t take long before they caught on and stopped pestering me to buy them drinks. I’m no prude, but I was never one to pick up women in bars; heck, I … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Ten

A Wished- For Love, Chapter Nine

George’s iron grip dug into my shoulder while his other hand crushed mine in a hand shake. “Hey, Frank, great to see you, buddy. Come on in and join the party.” I looked back to see if Marie might be following me. She wasn’t. “Come on, come on,’ George said tugging my arm. “Don’t be shy. You know everyone here, don’t you?” His southern accent … Continue reading A Wished- For Love, Chapter Nine

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Eight

. Book Two Chapter Eight Olongapo, Philippines 1970 Frank and Marie The orange-red sun was setting on another sweltering day in the Philippines when our C-130 touched down at Cubi Point Naval Air Station. The war in Vietnam was nine-hundred miles behind me and I could finally relax as the target on my back melted away. The creepy feeling that I was a sniper’s target … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Eight

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Seven

I pumped my fist. The stars had aligned in my favor. The Gods had smiled on me. Clean living; that’s what did it. I could have kissed Steve. “What happened? How did he break his leg?” “He fell off a jeepney.” “How do you fall off a jeepney?” “Yeah, that’s what I asked. He was drunk and coming back from Subic City with some other … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Seven

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Five

Shit River. Whatever the official name for the brown sliver of putrefaction that separated Subic Bay Naval Station from Olongapo, the Sailor’s crude, but descriptive, nickname stuck. I held my breath to avoid breathing the noxious odors emanating from the slow moving, vile smelling, lumpy ribbon of waste. Halfway across, a Sailor in civilian clothes tossed a few pesos to the river princesses sitting below … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Five

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Four

I rolled my eyes and shook my head when the gate screeched. I had done so the same thousand times Tom had promised to bring home oil for the hinges. The gate would screech again when he returned from work and I would know he had forgotten the oil once more. His proposal the night before at Grande Island surprised me. We had talked around marriage … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Four

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Three

“Baluuut. Baluuut.” The trembling voice of the old Filipino squeaked across the courtyard and through the bedroom window. “Baluuut. Baluuut.” I yawned and rubbed my face and squinted at the clock through one eye. The numbers swam in the dim light, but the balut man was never wrong; he came every morning at five. Memories of the weekend floated up from the fog of sleep. I … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Three

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Two

Whatever thoughts lay hidden behind Aida’s wide, brown eyes, my words pushed them away. The long hoped-for proposal had barely left my lips before Aida’s face broke into a smile so bright the moon might have blushed with shame. When she could no longer contain her emotions, when the smile alone could no longer express the rapturous joy overflowing her tender heart, Aida’s eyes filled … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Two

A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

(. Re-written in First Person Past POV.) Book One Chapter One Olongapo, Philippines 1991 Aida I lived while I knew Susanna and I died when her soul withdrew with a sigh. She brought meaning to my life, meaning and purpose. And having brought meaning and purpose to my life, she took them with her when she died. They were the only things she ever took … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-Two

I glanced up at Sasi’s balcony as I approached her building. Her rooms were on the top floor directly above the pool. I wasn’t surprised to see her waving to me. I returned her wave and walked faster. When I looked again she had gone. I pushed through the revolving door and strode through the lobby. The clerk called out but I ignored him; I … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-Two

A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

This is the final edit of chapter one. Feedback is welcome. Would you continue reading? Invocation Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam 1970 They say you don’t hear the bullet that kills you. How could anyone know that? Because, they also say, bullets move faster than the speed of sound. By the time you hear the sound of the bullet in your back, you’re dead. What if … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

. Olongapo, Philippines 1991 Aida, sweet and lovely like the opera, a pretty and petite Filipina in the full bloom of her twenty-one years, searched bare-footed for treasure among debris washed ashore by the late storm. She collected her treasure, a bright and colorful smörgåsbord of seashells, pebbles, smooth-worn glass, and curious shapes of driftwood, in a net bag that let sand fall away rather than … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

A Wished-For Love, Second Beta Review

I can’t count the times I’ve been asked by a writer to provide “an honest” critique or review of his work. Invariably, I think to myself, “What? I’m going to give you a dishonest review? I’m going to lie to you?” I think what they mean is they don’t want me to spare their feelings. I never ask for an honest critique. Last month, I … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Second Beta Review

A Wished-For Love: First Beta Review

The last three weeks have been a pleasant vacation from writing and posting. The break presented an opportunity to catch up on chores and reading, both of which suffered from lack of attention. I needed to step away and take a breather after finishing the novel that consumed so much of my life since first putting pen to paper in December 2013. “A Wished-For Love” … Continue reading A Wished-For Love: First Beta Review

Sasi and Tom, A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-One

I’m pretty happy with this chapter 🙂 Ten minute read Tom grinned when Sasi waved and called to him from her balcony. He returned her wave and walked faster. When he looked again she had gone. He pushed through the revolving door and strode through the lobby to the elevator. The clerk called to him but the words didn’t register. The elevator doors opened and … Continue reading Sasi and Tom, A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-One

Sam and Susanna & Tom and Aida

Like two red eyes, the imperfections in the ruby blinked in the sunlight. He pressed the jeweled medallion to his chest to keep it from swinging on the necklace. The sun burned his back as he walked along the rock-strewn beach hunched over looking for seashells. The best ones he placed in a red, plastic cup that smelled of San Miguel. “Look, Aida.” he called. … Continue reading Sam and Susanna & Tom and Aida