Meeting Shaw

Evans was sitting in the Squad’s tent flipping a pen. A General somewhere in Newacre had decided that a selection of the soldiers involved at the Strongfield recovery should be interviewed psychiatrists, to see how it was affecting everyone. First Squad was selected because of the 202nd’s extensive combat experience and use as Shock Troops. Evans had gone first then came back to the tent. There would be nothing to do until the whole squad was done, so Evans just had to wait.

After a few minutes Gibson came in. She waved, “Sergeant? Do you know anyone from the 351st?”

“Yes, are they in town?”

“Yes Sergeant. I gave one of them directions to us. It was a Lance Corporal… Shaw I think?”

Evans smiled, “Oh that idiot’s coming by?”

“At least I ain’t a fucking farmer!” Lance Corporal Shaw walked into the tent.

“At least I ain’t a fucking farmer Sergeant.” Evans corrected before standing up and extending his hand, “How you doing Jack?”

Shaw took his hand and shook it, “Getting by. And you Jimmy?”

“Well this is the closest I’ve been to home since I joined up.”

“Yeah, you should get back there. Everyone in Halton talks about the great hero James Evans. And your parents want to see you more.”

“Hey, I have a wife and kids in Medway now, I have to go see them on leave. Anna’d kill me if I spent all my time avoiding her.”

“Yeah, that to,” Shaw smiled, “You go off to war and marry some exciting foreigner. Izzy seemed pretty disappointed that you’re not available. And once those medals started rolling in it got worse.”

“Really? I always thought Izzy liked you. Always hanging around and muttering your secrets together.”

“Lord, now I know why they made you Sergeant. You’re fucking thick. Our only secret was she wanted to get me to hint to you to ask her,” Shaw laughed, “Hey, you free tonight? One of the old hands in my platoon got their hands on quite a bit of whiskey and we’re getting plastered.”

Evans turned to Gibson, “Kid, can you go to the Captain and get orders?”

Gibson nodded and ran out. Evans turned back to Shaw, “I guess we’ll find out when she gets back.”

Nodding, Shaw asked, “How old is she?”

“Nineteen I think, Why?”

“We had someone in our platoon named Austin. After he… After Belaya Valley, we met his parents. He was seventeen and had lied about his age to join the army when he was fifteen,” Shaw looked sadly at the ground, “She looks young Jimmy. You should talk to her. Make sure there isn’t a family that’s gonna get news that their kid has died before she’s 18.”

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