Where It All Started
Collier felt deeply alone. Salty air streamed through his open window. His nostrils flared with its aromatic scent while his mouth filled with its taste. Normally, he would have found it invigorating. But tonight, an emotional numbness had settled over him. Needing time to reflect, he had decided to drive the longer route home, along the coastal road. He slowed down. The lookout point lay ahead. Popular with young people, parking locations at this time of the evening would normally have been at a premium. Tonight, his was the only vehicle. He turned off the ignition. Below the menacing ocean roared. White froth topped massive crests of waves charged toward the shore. It was an angry ocean that bullied and smashed against the rocky shoreline. Yet, the preciseness of its raucous rhythm proved soothing to Collier and he laid his head against the back of the seat. Breathing deeply, he closed his eyes and let the sounds wash through him. Time to reflect. Not only on what Menzies had told him but on how peace efforts had been squandered and irresponsibly allowed to drain away.
Many young men and women will soon suffer and die. I fear Richard may be among them. He recalled the apprehension and despair, and even the excitement and occasionally the panic when the lunacy of war was declared on September 3rd. The same day the cruise liner Athenia was sunk by a U-boat. It’s been slightly more than a week since British troops landed on French soil. America has declared its neutrality. South Africa and Canada have stood alongside us and declared war on Germany. His mind drifted to yesterday, September 17. Russia invaded Poland and the British aircraft carrier Courageous was sunk by a German U-boat. Is my despair unfounded? Or is it a momentary phase of insanity? If ever there was need for a stiff upper lip it’s now!
He sighed and draped his arms over the steering wheel. Menzies revelation still stung. The anger from betrayal surged inside him. He had been duped into believing one thing while another was occurring. His fists hammered the steering wheel. He stared out onto the wild surf barreling toward the shore. I should have kn...