I’m so excited with how my new book is going I wanted to share the preface with you lovely people, so here it is. I hope you enjoy it!
10th April, 1944
“Will, just say hi. It’s going to be too late after today.” Mark raises his eyebrows at me outside the window of the butcher. I’ve already bought the meat mum asked me to, so I can’t go back in. He’s right though. “Go on.” He prompts, but Lily has already finished and is saying goodbye to the butcher’s daughter Abigail, she turns around and catches us watching her.
Her checks blush red softly and she drops her eyes to the floor as she walks out on the street.
“Afternoon Lily.” My heart is pounding, as I try to keep my voice even.
“I’m going to get this home to Mum.” Mark says abruptly and walks the other way.
“I can’t believe it’s your birthday tomorrow.” She smiles up at me holding the brown paper wrapped package to her chest.
“I know.” I rub at the back of my neck like I always do when I’m nervous.
“Have you got anything planned?”
“I’m enlisting tomorrow.” I blurt out, I watch her from the corner of my eye. She stops walking, turning her whole body to face me.
“You’re leaving?” My heart beats faster as I realise she’s sad about it.
“I guess so.” I answer nervously. I didn’t expect that she’d be sad.
“Oh. I didn’t know.” She watches her feet, speaking quietly.
“I want to help. I want to do anything I can to help. It seems like the right thing to do.” I smile at her. “I’ll probably get called up tomorrow anyway.”
She lifts her eyes. Her father didn’t have to go, he was too old. Lily is the youngest of seven children. “Maybe.”
We stop outside my house. Lily lives a few more streets down. It’s nicer down there.
“I’m glad I got to see you before I go.” I stop. I want to say more, but my throat feels blocked.
“Did you know that Abigail is getting married?” She asks when it’s clear that I’m not going to say anything else.
“No.” I laugh. “Anyone I know.”
“Don’t think so. He’s not from town. I’m going to be her bridesmaid, she chose yellow for my dress.” She laughs shaking her head.
“She knows that you hate yellow doesn’t she?”
She looks at me with one eyebrow raised, wondering how I know she hates yellow. “Her Mum made her chose it, because it matches the hat she wants to wear.” My face screws up, Abigail’s mum is horrible, Lily looks up at me and laughs. “I know. I’m going to match her mother.” She whispers laughing again, then stops. “I’m really sad that you won’t be here to come with me.”
My throat thickens again. “I would have.” My words come out tangled up.
The curtain of the living room twitches, mum must be looking for me. “Well I better get this home, mum will be waiting.” Lily says.
“Okay. I’ll see you when I get back.” I stand up straight.
“Be safe Will.” She moves up to her toes and kisses me gently on the check, and moves quickly away. I stay frozen in place until she rounds the corner, waving at me for a second.
“I saw that.” Mark pulls his arm across my shoulder. “Miss Lily and Will.” He shakes his head.
“Go home Mark.” I shove on his back and he runs to my door and lets himself in.