From Jeremy

by Sue K.




Lee Crane threw his cover on the bunk and sat down beside it. There was an envelope on his pillow. It had come while he was gone. He saw the postmark and felt a wash of sadness fall over him. It was from Jeremy. The boy who had been buried yesterday. Jeremy’s last letter. For several moments Lee couldn’t bring himself to touch it. The memories of the past few days were just too fresh, too raw.

Then he reached out and picked it up, turning it over and opening it up. It was a fairly long one--two pages. Jeremy’s letters had grown steadily longer and much more legible and detailed. He began reading, even as he unbuttoned his jacket and loosened his tie. Then he leaned back against the bulkhead and drew up his knees, hearing the young, innocent voice in the words on the page.

“Dear Lee,

You won’t beleeve what I got! I got on the HONOR ROLL!!! Honest. Mom cried and Dad almost did to. My SEd teacher said I worked hard. She said I could go to more reg. classes if I did this good next 2 months. Please tell the Admiral. I know he wants to know too.

There was a new kid in Ms Lamberts class last week. I told him I new you and the Admiral and he lauffed and said I was just making it up. It made me real mad, but I remember what the Chief told me back when I was on Seaview. I told him kids lauffed at me cause I was slow. I told him I some times hit them when they did that. He said you coldn’t hit someone cause they made you mad. He said you had to think. I gues he was saying you had to be smarter than the other kid. So I decided to be smarter. I know the Admiral is smart or he coldn’t make Seaview or FS1. I know you are smart or you coldn’t be Captain. So I didn’t hit him.

So you know what I did? I asked him to come to my house and see my stuff. And you know what, Lee?? He did. Think someone told him I was not making it up and he wanted to see my stuff and that was ok too. Mike said everything was so cool and he wished he cold see Seaview, too. I told him I was going to work at NIMR someday and he didn’t lauff laugh at me that time.

You said you mite come and see me soon. I hope so. I miss you and the Admiral and all the guys. And Seaview, too. Mom says I am writing better. Do you think I am? I am working on my art, too. My art teacher said I have talent. That’s so cool!!

Mom told me I need to save money so I can go to art school, too. I know she is rite right, so I am sending you what I got for Birthday and Christmas. Would you save it for me? I will send more when I get some. When I am out of school I will have enuff enough to go to art school and then come to NIMR and do mareen marine art for you and the Admiral.

Call me when you get this and when you have time.

Your frend friend, Jeremy

PS Can you tell? I am learning to use a dic-tion-ar-y. Its way cool!”

Lee held the letter in one hand and studied the bills that had fallen out when he had opened the envelope. He counted. Jeremy had to have saved everything he had received, not spending anything. There was twenty-seven dollars. He guessed he needed to send it back to Jeremy’s mother. Then again, Lee thought about what the boy had wanted to do with it. Jeremy had trusted him to save it for him. Jeremy wouldn’t be able to use it now, but what about all the other Jeremy’s who dreamed? And it came to him. A scholarship fund. One specific for kids like Jeremy. He would bounce it off Jeremy’s mother when a bit of time had passed. Lee pulled out the other sheet that was in the envelope and unfolded it. He gasped in surprise at the different rendition of Seaview. It was at once simple and defined. Again, he was awed at the incredible artistic sense that Jeremy possessed. Had possessed. He gazed at the picture and hoped that he would never stop dreaming.



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