A Waltons Story

(The Waltons Fan Fiction)

By: Kristi N. Zanker

 

Disclaimer: All publicly recognized characters, settings, etc. are the property of Lorimar Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. I, in no way am associated with the owners, creators, or producers of The Waltons. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

15.

The Sunday Afternoon

 

It had been awhile since John-Boy and Daisy went out to lunch together. They found a small intimate café downtown. They were glad it was open on a Sunday afternoon. Most of the places in their neighborhood were closed every Sunday. John-Boy smiled to himself as they poured over the menu. He thought of his mother, and wondered what she would say if she knew he went out to eat at a restaurant on a Sunday. He could hear her now; Sunday was going to church and then resting. He told Daisy what he was thinking about, and she giggled.

It was crisp cool early December afternoon. There was no snow on the ground yet. It was too warm for that. The other night they had been talking about the holidays and how Christmas was nearly three weeks away. Millie had offered to watch Melissa while they went out for the afternoon.

John-Boy’s thoughts shifted as he decided on soup and a sandwich. He was glad things were better, but a wedge still stood between them. They realized that if they didn’t bring anything that had happened during the past year, they would be okay. At the same time, John-Boy also knew that this was not the way to solve a large problem. His father’s words churned in his mind, about what he said when dealing with trust and love. John-Boy still loved Daisy, but had less trust in her.

After lunch, they decided to take a walk around their neighborhood. The streetcar let them off a block from the apartment building. Instead of going down their street, they turned the corner. John-Boy slipped Daisy’s hand in his.

“It’s beautiful outside. Not too cold, not yet,” he said.

“The snow will be here before we know it,” Daisy said.

“Yes it will.”

He stopped walking for a moment and turned to Daisy.

“Why are you stopping?” she asked.

“We’ll eventually work everything out. I know we will,” he said. “It hasn’t been easy, but it’s getting better. I didn’t mean to spring that on you, but I’ve been thinking about us for days.”

“I love you,” she said. “I know it hasn’t been easy for either of us. But I do love you, very much.”

“I love you, too, Darling.” John-Boy gave Daisy’s hand a squeeze.

They walked in silence for half a block. John-Boy loved the quietness of the afternoon. There weren’t many people out on the streets, compared to when they were at the café. It was peaceful. Cars passed by every once in awhile, while others sat parked, lonely on the street. A little girl’s face peeked through the curtain of a brownstone. She waved to John-Boy and Daisy, who in turn, waved back. A boy sped by on a blue Schwinn bicycle. Newspapers were left in the doorways. When they turned the corner again, they heard kids playing “kick the can.”

“When Melissa starts school soon, I hope she will make some friends,” said Daisy.

“I’ve seen girls her age around here. She’ll make friends soon enough,” replied John-Boy. “And they’ll ask her to play “kick the can” or jump rope.”

“You’re probably right.”

Both of them peered at more apartments as they strolled by. Six empty milk bottles sat in the metal basket in one of the doorways.

“That reminds me,” said Daisy. “I need to get our empty bottles ready for the milk man tomorrow.”

John-Boy nodded as they turned on their street.

“This was very nice. We should do this more often,” said John-Boy.

They still clasped each other’s hand as they walked up the steps. John-Boy opened the first door into the brownstone and held it for Daisy. She smiled up at him. He let go of the door. Just as Daisy got out her key to unlock the other door, he placed his hands on her waist and turned her around.

“John, what are you—“ she began to say.

Before she could say anymore, he kissed her. Daisy’s back was against the door. When they broke apart, she hissed at him, saying that someone may come in.

“No one’s here,” he murmured and kissed her again.

“John Walton, what are you thinking?”

“I’m not thinking anything,” he said with a grin on his face.

In truth, he had been thinking about the other night, when they spent most of it awake and having fun. That was one aspect in their marriage that was greatly improving. They had begun to make love again after so many months of lying side by side, not touching at all. For several weeks after Daisy came home from the hospital, John-Boy had not made any attempts. At first, he was so angry about the deception, he didn’t even want to look at her. After he cooled down, John-Boy waited for her to give an okay signal.

After three months, Daisy did nothing. There were times, during the night, that John-Boy would feel so frustrated that he would do his best to help Daisy get in the mood too. When the resentment subsided, there was no denying it, he missed her so much. On some nights, he would press himself against Daisy, who lay with her back to him often. He would then put his arms around her waist. He’d wait a few minutes and then his hands would start to wander to the places he knew that at a certain point, she wouldn’t be able to resist him. Sometimes, she pushed his hands away, telling him to stop, and he would by rolling over and giving an exasperated sigh. Other times, they both were too far gone. After making love though, John-Boy would feel guilty. He wished it could be better between them, outside of the bedroom. He knew there was much more to a marriage than what goes on behind closed doors. For now, he just wanted to take her upstairs.

John-Boy took Daisy’s key and unlocked the door. As they both climbed the stairs, they heard a door slam and then Millie stood at the top of the steps, as if the greet them. However, the look on her face, read everything but a greeting.

“Millie, what’s wrong?” asked John-Boy.

“Did something happen to Melissa?” asked Daisy.

“No, no, she’s fine. She’s taking her nap. It’s just horrible, just horrible,” Millie replied.

“Millie, please tell us what happened?” asked John-Boy.

“We’re at war. The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor.”

“Where’s that?” asked Daisy.

“It’s in Hawaii,” answered John-Boy.

“We’re at war!” Milled said again. “Come on, children, listen to the radio with me. No one can be alone with this news.”

John-Boy felt a pit in his stomach. Mary Ellen had written him a few weeks ago about Curt going to Pearl Harbor and his eldest sister had plans to visit him, but hadn’t told Mama yet. He wanted to go in and call home right away. But instead, he followed Millie and Daisy. He didn’t want to believe the news, but the announcer on the Atwater Kent radio had other plans. It really happened. They were officially at war. All any of them could do was sit in silence and listen, listen as everyone’s future unfolded right in front of them. The entire nation must be listening, he thought.

John-Boy lay motionless in bed, trying to sink in the news and trying to grasp that the country was now at war. It had been rumored for so long that the United States would eventually enter the war, but no one expected it like this.

After listening to the radio for two hours at Millie’s, John-Boy came home and called his mother. He told Daisy he wanted to be alone while he called his family. He then talked with everyone. Mary Ellen was worried about Curt. They all wished everyone was home on the mountain right now.

“Why is it so cold in here?” asked Daisy.

“I guess they didn’t stoke the furnace,” he answered, not even looking at her.

Work was the last thing on anyone’s minds, even the super’s. John-Boy knew he had to go though. The Associated Press must be in chaos after hearing of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“I’m getting an extra blanket,” announced Daisy who got up and found one in the closet. John-Boy watched as she unfolded and shook the blanket. She laid it across the bed.

“I hope Melissa isn’t cold,” she said.

“If she is, she’ll let us know,” he replied.

They both lay side by side not saying anything. John-Boy broke the silence.

“It’s strange, isn’t it? Everything here is the same, and yet, out there”—he pointed out the window—“is different.”

“I hope they won’t ask you to go.”

“If they do, I’ll do my part. I’ll probably write or something. And I’m sure my brothers will too.”

“I can’t see you killing anyone.”

“No one really wants to go to war. It’s just something you have to do, especially now.”

The rest of the day had been forgotten. The news of the war stuck to their minds all night and into the next day. The next morning, after getting dressed, John-Boy turned the radio on in the living room. Before heading to work, President Roosevelt was going to address the nation and John-Boy did not want to miss a word of it.

John-Boy and Daisy listened as Melissa played with her doll on the floor. The President called it—the attack--a date which will live in infamy. He always knows the right thing to say, thought John-Boy. That day will forever be instilled in people’s minds. He knew he would never forget it. While listening, he pictured his family gathered around their radio, hearing the very same words.

When John-Boy came home from the work in the evening, the phone rang. Curt Willard, Mary Ellen’s husband, was dead. That was what his mother told him over the phone. He wanted to talk to Mary Ellen, but his mother told him that now would not be a good time. He spoke to his brothers, who were adamant about enlisting. They then told him what his father had said to them. They were not to sign up, not right now. John-Boy told them to listen to their father and to not do anything drastic. Jim-Bob got on the phone and told John-Boy what he had done. He went to enlist, but was turned down for being underage. While at the recruiting office, he was given the telegram about Curt.

*~*~*

Several months after the New Year, John-Boy received a letter from Elizabeth. She talked about school and how the class was beginning to learn the names of foreign lands and places the war was being fought. She wrote about Mary Ellen, who was strong in dealing with Curt’s death. But that wasn’t what made John-Boy shudder. He read the last three paragraphs over and over.

…When I came from school today, no one else was around in the house. Jason was in class, Ben was working in the mill with Daddy, and Jim-Bob was fixing a flat tire on his car. I hear things, like tires, might be rationed. That’s what Mama said. Jim-Bob had better not get another flat for awhile. Mary Ellen was taking John-Curtis for a walk. I had passed her on the way from school. She told me Erin was at Fannie Tatum’s, answering the phone. I called for Mama, but there was no answer. I went upstairs and found the bedroom door shut. I thought I heard her crying. I knocked softly. She didn’t tell me to come in, but I opened the door anyway, just a little bit. I wanted to see if she was okay, and ask her why she was crying.

She was lying on the bed, with her back facing me and crying—saying over and over, ‘My boys are going to war. My boys are going to war.’ I ran outside to get Daddy. He came in right away and shooed me out of the house.

I’m scared John-Boy. I don’t want any of you to go to war and not come back. Curt is gone. Everyone’s going to go away. No one will be left here.

Love,
Elizabeth

Copyright © 2005 by Kristi N. Zanker

 

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Copyright © 2014 by Kristi N. Zanker

 

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