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“Michael, Michael wake up we are under attack!” I yelled trying to wake up my bunk buddy. It was December 7th 1941 and I was awakened by the sound of bombs going off. Running out of the building I saw six Japanese aircraft carriers. This attack on our Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii wrecked two U.S. Navy battleships, one minelayer, and two destroyers beyond repair. It also destroyed a hundred and eighty-eight aircraft causing personnel deaths over of two thousand, four hundred and two killed, one thousand, two hundred and eighty-two wounded. My buddy Michael was one of those who lost his life that day.
A couple days later I was on a plane one my way back home to San Jose, California. I was not looking forward to returning home. It was the last place I wanted to be. Before I left for the Navy my girl friend told me she was in love with my friend Michael. Leaving seemed like the best thing to do. Seeing her is going to be so hard now that Michael is dead, I don’t know what she is going to do. The whole flight home I could not sleep because those thoughts just kept going through my head. At the airport I was greeted by my Mom and Dad and younger brother William. I’m not going to lie, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to see them. “Honey I’m so glad your home safely,” my mother said starting to cry. “I’m so sorry about Michael. I know he was your closest friend.” I told my mom I was fine but nothing had hit me yet. Nothing hit me until a couple days later. I was numb, I didn’t feel anything, and I knew my family was worried.
Christmas Eve I was getting bread for mom and it was the first day saw her, Johanna since I’ve been back. She went and stayed with her grandparents so she could go to college and she was back for the Holiday. She was walking down the street and she looked like she was lost. I wanted so bad to talk to her and ask her how she was doing, but I just couldn’t get myself to. Things ended bad before I left and I didn’t know if she could ever forgive me for all the things I said to her, so I just kept walking trying to keep her from noticing me. I finally got home and all the rest of my family was there when I got back. My mom pulled me aside, “John, Johanna is home for the holidays and I talked to her earlier and she said she had no plans for tonight so I invited her. I hope you don’t mind but honey she needs you, I can tell.”
I stood there and I couldn’t decide if I was more excited or mad. “Mom she doesn’t need me. She needed Michael remember?” “Don’t be like that, I know hunny she hurt you but she’s been through a lot since you and Michael left. You forgave Michael why can’t you forgive her. She needs a friend.” As my mother finished Johanna walked in.
“Hi everyone,” she said with a big smile on her face. My heart dropped she looked more beautiful then ever. I don’t know how I could stay mad at her. My mom was right, if I forgave Michael then why can’t I forgive her? She ran over to me and jumped into my arms. “John, it’s so good to see you. How have you been?” I hugged her back and I never felt so good, but it then hit me that Michael was gone. I let go, “I’ve been alright, its nice to see you to,” then I walked away and started talking to my other family members. I couldn’t take it anymore with everyone inside, so I went outside to get fresh air. Every thing that had happened on December 7th was going through my head. I tried to keep Michael with me the whole time, but he was so scared and didn’t want to leave the building. I got him to follow me to the airport but that was the last time I saw him. I felt like I needed to leave him if he was just going to be a coward. Right after I got out of the airport, it was bombed. I regret leaving him with everything I have. I broke down right then and there and started crying hysterically, it was the first time I cried since that day.
“John, are you okay?” I heard and I felt someone hugging me from behind. I tried to stop crying, but I couldn’t. I turned around and saw Johanna. I fell to my knees and held on to her so tight. “I’m so sorry Johanna I didn’t not mean anything that I said that day, I didn’t mean any of it. Please, I wish I could just take it all back.” I cried not able to take control of myself. I told her about the day that Michael died. She grabbed my face and pulled me up to face her. “No I’m sorry, and I know that you didn’t mean any of it. I know that you love me and I hope you know that I’m still in love with you.” I finally got myself to stop crying. “You do, but what about Michael.”
“I did love Michael but while you guys were gone I realized how big of a mistake I’ve made.” She leaned in and kissed me and right there it felt like all my thoughts were gone. We hugged for what it seemed like hours then I started to think of what she said.
“Johanna, you know that I always loved you and you were everything to me but while I was gone I moved on. I can only be your friend.” She stepped away and started getting teared up.
“You really feel that way? Alright I understand and I’m very sorry for all that I put you through.” She walked inside grabbed her stuff and said thanks and goodbye to everyone then left.
Later that night I helped my mom clean up and we started talking. “John I know you love her. You always have and I know you always will. Hunny you need her and she needs you don’t let her go.” My mother said then walked out. I sat in the kitchen and as much as I wanted to stop thinking about her I couldn’t. Christmas Day was horrible for me all I did was think about holding her and how good her kiss made me feel but I wanted so bad to be mad at her for what she did. Two days went by and I was miserable. I realized that my mother was right and I couldn’t be happy without her. I left to her house to tell her that I was in love with her and I wanted her to marry me. When I arrived there I knocked and no one answered. I decided I would sit on her porch and wait for her to get back. Not even fifteen minuets later my dad pulled in the drive way and told me that she had left earlier that day to go back to her grandparents. I wasn’t going to give up. I went home, packed, then left as soon as I could to go after her. A couple hours later I arrived to Johanna’s grandparents. I walked up and her grandpa was on the porch.
“She is in backyard son,” he said to me. I didn’t say anything back, I just ran back there because I couldn’t wait any longer.
Finally I got around the house and there she was sitting on a swing. I walked up slowly, I didn’t want to scare her, and started to push her back and fourth and said, “Johanna Marie, I’m sorry about the other night. I need you, will you marry me?”
She turned around and kissed me. It was the happiest day of my life.