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You Know Damn Well You Were

Kiley jumped an inch from the seat when Mark finally spoke to her.
“Have you heard from Colonel Deacon recently?” Mark asked casually.
“Yes. Bob writes every week. Don’t worry. He’s very careful on censorship. I don’t know anything I shouldn’t,” Kiley quipped.
“You needn’t be impudent,” Mark growled.
“Was I?”
“You know damn well you were. You know more on confidential and censored material than Deacon ever would,” Mark barked.

Kiley jumped an inch from the seat when Mark finally spoke to her.
“Have you heard from Colonel Deacon recently?” Mark asked casually.
“Yes. Bob writes every week. Don’t worry. He’s very careful on censorship. I don’t know anything I shouldn’t,” Kiley quipped.
“You needn’t be impudent,” Mark growled.
“Was I?”
“You know damn well you were. You know more on confidential and censored material than Deacon ever would,” Mark barked.
“Sorry general,” Kiley oozed sarcastically.
“Don’t apologize like that,” Mark growled. “You make me nervous. It isn’t the real you.”
Kiley decided to hold back her sarcasm this one time. “Actually Bob writes to me every week just like your wife, Martie.”
“You’re not so smart, Burke. I don’t get a letter from Martie every week. I’ve been fortunate to have only received two since I’ve left,” Mark snorted.
Kiley was truly confused. “But you do get one or two letters every week. I put them in with your mail every evening.”
“What?”
“Don’t you get them?”
“No I don’t,” Mark stated. “You aren’t making this up are you?”
“Of course not,” Kiley barked. “I would have no reason to make up a story like that. You truly receive one or two letters a week. You send out one or two letters every week.“The hell I do!” Mark roared. “The only letters I send concerning Martie are to my divorce attorneys.”
“Divorce..?” Kiley choked. This was a complete surprise to her. All of the staff knew of Mark’s wife, Martie. No one had ever hinted Mark wanted a divorce. There was not even a hint of trouble in the marriage. Kiley did put those letters from Martie on his desk in the evenings.
“I started divorce proceedings before I was sent to the European Theatre,” Mark shared. “We agreed to keep up appearances until Debbie was old enough to be on her own.”
“I heard your daughter is in her second year at Radcliffe,” Kiley inserted.
For no explainable reason, Mark continued. He was revealing his private thought and pain. “Debbie is the one wonderful thing that came from our marriage. I would live this marriage all over again knowing I had her. Martie didn’t want anymore children after Debbie was born. She hated the pregnancy. She hated the labor and delivery. She hated the responsibility of being a mother. Her father paid for a nanny. I certainly couldn’t afford it on a captain’s pay. Her father paid for servants. I was made to feel inadequate constantly in everything.”
Kiley didn’t know what to say. She thought it best to say nothing. There are times when a person needed to only listen.
“Everything was controlled by Martie and her Daddy. I had to take assignments I didn’t want because it would elevate my career. I had to become part of a social class I didn’t even care for. Martie was out to control my career and me. She did. I did become inadequate. I had to break away or all that was left of me would die. Before the war broke in England I was happily on my way to rebuilding my life. Martie was living with her parents in California and I was living in Texas on a military base. Things just snowballed from there. Here I am.”
“How is Debbie handling the separation?” Kiley asked conversationally.
“Debbie told me no matter how we tried to hide it from her, she knew we were unhappy. Debbie even told me she understood why I was miserable in the social soirees. She liked my parents’ home a lot better. She confessed to me that Martie’s parents were stiff and rigid. Even she couldn’t have fun around them,”

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