A Bright Future
By: Jennifer Cook
Margaret and David had been inseparable during their high school days. It was in the early 1940s, and the United States was deep in the war. They found it comforting to have someone to talk to, and be close with. Both of their fathers were fighting overseas. When they got the news that David’s father was killed in action, they wept together. When Margaret’s father arrived home safely, they celebrated together.
Margaret and David slowly drifted apart in the couple of years after graduation. David moved from their hometown outside of Chicago, and found a job in New York City. Margaret was sure they would stay in touch, and eventually be together forever. However, time passed, and it became longer and longer between their letters to each other. It had been twelve years since David had left. Margaret had a few relationships, but nothing serious. She always had David, her first love, in the back of her mind.
Margaret had a family connection with a big Chicago law firm. She was able to get a secretarial job that she enjoyed, and that kept her busy. For the last few months she had been seeing William, a lawyer at the firm. William pursued her for about a year, but Margaret played hard to get. In April, she finally gave in and agreed to have dinner with him. She was surprised by how much fun she had. He was very handsome, and was a complete gentleman.
They kept their relationship a secret for almost three months. Margaret knew things were getting serious when William asked her to go with him to the firm’s 4th of July party. Going by herself, she’d just be a secretary from the firm. Going on William’s arm would make everyone see her in a different light.
William and Margaret arrived fashionably late. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to see them together. There were rumors of someone new joining the firm, and everyone was having a splendid time. The party was at the extravagant home of George Collins, one of the partners at the firm. William had been to the estate before, so he suggested to Margaret that he give her a tour before the fireworks show. Margaret was feeling giddy. She felt comfortable with William, and she knew that he just adored her. He took her up to the attic, which George’s wife had transformed into a cozy library. William had it set up for a private moment between the two of them. They talked for awhile, and he poured their drinks. Margaret was hoping William would propose to her. As she took a sip, he turned close to her.
Just then, the door opened. George was standing there with a man. “Oh, I didn’t realize you were up here. I’m just giving our newest lawyer the grand tour. William and Margaret, I’d like you to meet David Robertson.”
Margaret locked eyes with him, and dropped her cup to the ground. All she could do was whisper, “David,” just as the fireworks show began.