1940s–Returning to London

Lydia Jacoby, Writer

The war had just ended. It was September 1st, 1945, and President Harry Truman, only seconds ago, announced to all of America the unconditional surrender of the Japanese. Maria sat on the scrupulously clean couch with her best friend Elizabeth and their caretaker Sal. Much to their keeper’s dismay, the girls had dragged the couch across the room in order to huddle around the radio together. The ridged voice of President Truman filtered through the speakers, engulfing the room in radio static. They could just make out his monotone proclamation that the war with Japan was over. Elizabeth and Maria jumped up causing the overly-perfected couch to moan in protest. The young women held each other, crying with joy.

Despite the defeat of the Nazis in Europe, the world, up until that moment, was full of chaos. The chaos still existed of course; however, instead of a gruesome fear, the chaos now exuded formerly repressed positivity. Sal’s reserved nature made her scoff in disapproval while she fluffed the couch. The girls paid no attention, continuing to clutch each other. At that moment, a bridge had been breached. The indefinable amount of time until they were reunited with their families no longer existed. Every step closer to peace brought their families nearer; Elizabeth and Maria were going home.

Breaking apart, the two young women began to laugh, tears still streaming down their cheeks. Sal huffed in annoyance, scowling at their unladylike behavior, before bustling out the door into the undecorated hallway. Elizabeth and Maria, still beaming, clasped hands and hurried after her. Instead of turning into the unfurnished kitchen, as did their caretaker, they grabbed hats off the coat-rack and strolled into the outside air. The sun glinted down, bright and happy as their elevated moods. The beautiful young women sashayed through the streets of New York, arm in arm, looking radiant. Men’s heads turned as they walked by, but they remained oblivious, lost in joyous thought. Maria’s mind traveled across the sea to her little brother, not much more than a baby last she had seen him. She thought of her gorgeous mother, whom Maria, at eighteen years old, resembled more and more every passing day. Her mind wandered to her father, who told her on their last meeting that he knew they would meet again. He was right, thought Maria, blissfully. As she and Elizabeth meandered down the city roads, their hearts flew far away: back to London.