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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Live, Love, Lose - 57. Chapter 57

Shift to Paul's POV for this chapter :) 

Paul went to see George at the university. His parents had told him about Carl’s desire to join the war. He wouldn’t listen to anyone. Never had he thought he’d be so stubborn. He was mad. No one willingly went to war. George was the only one who could talk him out of this stupid decision. He couldn’t fail anyway.

As soon as he laid eyes on him, he dragged him with him to a spot where they could have a private conversation.

“What is it now?!”

Paul definitely wasn’t in the mood to deal with his shitty behaviour.

“He told you…”

“You already know. Then why haven’t you done anything yet?”

George didn’t reply.

“I’m talking to you! Just answer!”

“He knew it was nothing serious! Wait…What are we talking about?”

This couldn’t be unintentional.

“What do you mean ‘what are we talking about'? Didn’t Karl tell you how he bloody wanted to join the war?!”

He looked shocked by his words. They hadn’t been thinking about the same thing at all indeed. He was left speechless for a while. He was looking confused, and Paul assumed it was no use shouting at him.

“He didn’t tell me about it. Why should he have anyway? We’re not husband and wife.”

No. He shouldn’t start like this. Paul didn’t like bad starts.

"You must talk him out of it! He can’t go to fight! He won’t listen to anyone, but I’m sure that if you ask him to stay—”

“I won’t.”

His answer was curt, cold. If he thought he was going to end the conversation there, he was mistaken.

“You’re just as reckless as he is.”

“It’s his decision. It’s none of my business. And what makes you think I can make him change his mind anyway?”

If he kept going on like this, he would end up slapping him. He swore he could.

“Because of what you had. You created a strong bond—”

“We didn’t create anything. I told you it was just a fling. There were no feelings or such things. So stop with that.”

He wanted to leave, but Paul held him back. He wouldn’t let him go anywhere before he accepted to dissuade Carl.

“If he dies while at war, it will weigh on your heart and haunt you for the rest of your life!”

He could only wish this would be enough to convince him. He looked impassive, but his words affected him, he knew it.

“I don’t care if he dies! I don’t care about him! He means nothing to me! So leave me the fuck alone! It’s not my fault if none of you can hold him back!”

He was the one to be left speechless this time. He couldn’t believe what he heard. But it seemed that George was as stubborn as Carl.

He could only shake his head at him.

“You’re a real bellend.”

He hoped he would kick himself later for his attitude. There was nothing left to say. So he just left.

*

In the evening he came to see his parents and talk about the situation, but didn’t tell them about the conversation he had had with George earlier. It was pointless.

“But we cannot let him go. If we cannot talk him out of it, then there must be another way.”

“And so what do you suggest Margaret? That we should tie him up, gag him, and lock him away in the cellar so he won’t go to war?”

“If this can prevent him from dying, then let’s go for it.”

His father looked thoughtful. Hey, he was the one to bring up the idea. It went silent for a while.

“No, we cannot force him to stay. He would bear a grudge against us if we did.”

“He’ll thank us later.”

He would end up understanding they did that for his own good. It went silent again.

“Listen, I do not want to let him go as much as you do, but…I guess we do not have a choice…”

“Of course, we do! You know war more than anyone else! So you should try to talk to him again.”

“I am afraid it would be useless. I could ramble on and on about the most disgusting horrors, he would not change his mind. His determination is one of the strongest I have ever seen. He is just like your uncle in this regard.”

If only he could be as lucky as his uncle and not die at war. But they could never be sure. There would always be that risk hovering over them like an unbearable weight they could never get rid of.

“One must experience war to realise their mistake. You cannot believe it unless you see it with your own eyes.”

And if something happened to him, they could never know. They weren’t his family.

He suddenly thought about something.

“Well, since we can’t force him to stay, we’ll make him join the RAF. That way Arthur will be able to look after him. At least for a while. You just don’t become a pilot in the twinkling of an eye. If we’re lucky enough, the war will be over before he can officially end his training.”

His parents were staring at him as if they had just had some kind of revelation.

“This is the best option we can think of,” his mother spoke up.

“But we need to let him know first.”

“I’ll ring him up.”

“Could you do it now, please? The sooner the better. But if tonight is not the best time to call, then it can wait.”

“No, don’t worry, Mum. It should be alright.”

He headed for the phone, and as he did his grandmother approached him.

“So, what is the situation with the Danish boy? Could you get him to change his mind?”

“No, Grandma. He’s pig-headed. There’s nothing to be done.”

Sympathy was written all over her face.

“But he is quite young. He cannot enroll if he is not of legal age to be able to join the war.”

“He’s eighteen, so legally he can enroll.”

She was silent for an instant.

“I thought he was only sixteen or seventeen.”

“Well, he’s not. But I wish he could have been.”

They went both silent afterwards. It wasn’t a pleasant conversation for either of them.

“Well, now if you’ll excuse me, Grandma, I need to call an old friend of mine.”

“Yes, of course. I will be in the living room.”

He nodded and after one last look at him, she left him some privacy. He took the receiver and dialed the only number he knew he would answer. It rang a few times. He picked up at the tenth ring.

“Hello?”

“Hey. It’s been a while.”

His words were welcomed by silence.

“Paul. To what do I owe the pleasure of so sudden a call from you?”

It was best to go straight to the point.

“I need you to do me a favour.”

“Of course, you would say that. I knew it. What else would you call for otherwise?”

“I’m sorry, but this is really serious. I don’t have time to make small talk or anything else. A human life is at stake.”

It was silent for a few seconds.

“What do you mean 'a human life is at stake'?”

Even if he couldn’t see him, he knew he was frowning as he spoke. He knew him too well.

He let out a small sigh.

“Listen, I’m gonna try to make a brief summary of the situation. My parents and I welcomed a Danish teen into our home. He left Denmark after it was annexed by the Nazis, and now he wants to join the war, and no one can make him change his mind about it…and since we decided we couldn’t force him to stay with us, I thought he could join the RAF, so you could keep an eye on him during his training. We just don’t want him to risk his life. If he died my parents could never forgive themselves for being unable to hold him back just to save his country. You’re the only one I can ask this, for I trust you and I know he’ll be in good hands with you.”

He kept quiet, but he could hear noise after a few moments, noise that showed he was embarrassed.

“This…this is too great a responsibility. I cannot do that. I am not the right person to be in charge of a teenager; you should know it by now.”

“No, please! Don’t say no. Do it for my parents.”

He was silent again. But he could hear him exhale loudly at some point.

“I will do it. For your parents.”

It was the only thing that could make him smile in that awful situation.

“Thanks, mate. You’re the best.”

Another silence. He knew what it meant. He was so predictable, had always been.

“There are already many Danes who have joined us, so at least he will not be too lost and confused with his countrymen by his side.”

Well, it would be the only positive point.

“That’s good to know. How many of them are there exactly?”

He was curious.

“275 men.”

He couldn’t help smiling at his answer. Arthur had always had a good memory for numbers.

“I’m sure he’ll be happy when I tell him. Well, Imma not going to disturb you any longer. But I’ll call you back to tell you when he'll arrive exactly.”

He was silent again for a little while.

“Fine.”

It was already getting late. He certainly had better things to do in wartime.

“Give my best wishes to your parents.”

“I will.”

“Goodbye.”

“Wait!” He said it just in time before he could hang up.

“What it is?”

He couldn’t help feeling nostalgic about the old times.

“I miss the time when we used to hang out and talk about anything and everything.”

As expected, he didn’t reply instantly.

"It's your fault. You ruined everything."

Before he could even say a word, Arthur hung up. He sighed as he hung up and then went upstairs. He found Carl alone in his room. He was playing chess, alone of course. It was much more uninteresting when you played all alone. He came near him and sat on the edge of the bed in front of him. He examined the game thoroughly. Yes, there was definitely something he could do to help his other self win. They exchanged a brief look.

“May I?”

He didn’t speak, only nodded slowly as he was focused on the game. Paul kept staring at him for a little while. Okay, maybe he had got a bit angry at him to make him change his mind. Or rather because he wouldn’t. He played.

“We’re not mad at you. We’re just too worried.”

Carl was still focused on the game, on his next move. He played after a few moments of reflexion.

“We’re really gonna miss you.”

He looked up, seemingly intrigued by his words. It may have been part of the things he still didn’t understand. Well, he couldn’t understand everything, it was normal. At least he could understand basic things, so this was good.

“When you’re gone,” he imitated someone who walked away with his finger. “it won’t be the same without you. Even if it hasn’t been even one year that you've been staying with us, you've become a part of the family.”

But he didn’t mean to make him feel guilty. He only realised it at that moment, but he guessed it mustn’t have been easy for him to make this decision. If he was so stubborn about it, it wasn’t out of recklessness and foolishness.

He pushed the chessboard aside and got closer to him. He wrapped an arm around him and Carl leaned into his touch.

“You will be in the RAF, the Royal Air Force. My friend Arthur is in it, remember?”

“Yes.”

He had a good memory too.

“He’s a Group Captain. He’ll be in charge of you. We’ve known each other since we were schoolboys. He may not look very friendly or talkative at first sight, but you can rely on him. He’s trustworthy.”

He kept quiet afterwards and held Carl closer to him. He only wanted to make the most of the time he had left with him before he went away. A long while later they resumed the game he had started on his own, and surprisingly enough, Carl was the one to win. He’d never thought he’d be that good.

“I see my father taught you well.”

Carl smiled at his remark. Finally. He preferred to see him smile, even if he wasn’t that talkative.

“I’m sure you’ll get along with him. You’ll be able to play chess with him too. He’s an excellent player.”

He still didn’t say anything, but that was alright. He was sure he understood what he meant.

“Good night.”

“Good night.”

He stood up from the bed and left the room.

Now he needed to tell his parents about the conversation he had had with Arthur.

Hey! :) 

So... Any thought about this?

Have a good day/evening/night and take care ❤️

Copyright © 2021 LittleCherryBlossom26; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

Things are being resolved and that is good. There is a basis for optimism in the short run.

George is still a bounder and cad and unable to see Carl as more than a fling for whatever reasons he has (  a strong connection to Nathan , a desire to turn off his feelings, etc.).

Paul worked out a deal with an old friend ( flame?) to get Carl into the RAF . Arthur is a senior officer and might look after him and will undoubtably like him and be remined of Paul. It's great to know 275 Danes are in the RAF so Carl will have friendly company.

But as a farm hand, he won't be properly educated or have the background for advancement like college educated Danes, I expect. However war shortages and the rapid need for people as the bombs are falling may give him a brighter future than he would otherwise have. Carl is naturally smart as his improving chess playing skills show.

But, the RAF might not be a safe choice. George could be in danger as a pilot or gunner on a fighter or bomber. I can see Carl volunteering for dangerous duty since it will directly help defeat the Nazi's.

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4 minutes ago, scrubber6620 said:

Things are being resolved and that is good. There is a basis for optimism in the short run.

George is still a bounder and cad and unable to see Carl as more than a fling for whatever reasons he has (  a strong connection to Nathan , a desire to turn off his feelings, etc.).

Paul worked out a deal with an old friend ( flame?) to get Carl into the RAF . Arthur is a senior officer and might look after him and will undoubtably like him and be remined of Paul. It's great to know 275 Danes are in the RAF so Carl will have friendly company.

But as a farm hand, he won't be properly educated or have the background for advancement like college educated Danes, I expect. However war shortages and the rapid need for people as the bombs are falling may give him a brighter future than he would otherwise have. Carl is naturally smart as his improving chess playing skills show.

But, the RAF might not be a safe choice. George could be in danger as a pilot or gunner on a fighter or bomber. I can see Carl volunteering for dangerous duty since it will directly help defeat the Nazi's.

Well about the number 275, I completely chose it at random😅 But it will be much easier for him if he receives Danish help :) 

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My bf told me in debate practice, you are told to cite a specific number, it is believable --even if you have to make it up. Saying about 200 or so is not believable

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2 minutes ago, scrubber6620 said:

My bf told me in debate practice, you are told to cite a specific number, it is believable --even if you have to make it up. Saying about 200 or so is not believable

Yeah, that's what I thought :) 

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Ugh, our sweet Karl is going to war.  I was hoping he could be talked out it.  But, maybe there will be a smart, handsome, sexy Dane in the troop with whom Karl can friendship, and more.   George……I hope a bomb drops on his head!    And Paul…..you little scoundrel.  Sounds like someone has played an inning or two for the other team 😉

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Paul's discussion with George was well written, but disappointing on a personal level.  That George is so self centered and heartless is disturbing.  Paul's initiative to get Karl into the RAF may be inspired.  Karl's lack of education may mean he will be placed into positions of ground support, rather than in a plane. That would definitely be better for him.  That there will be other Danes to talk to might at least help  him to adjust to the military life more quickly.

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7 hours ago, raven1 said:

Paul's discussion with George was well written, but disappointing on a personal level.  That George is so self centered and heartless is disturbing.  Paul's initiative to get Karl into the RAF may be inspired.  Karl's lack of education may mean he will be placed into positions of ground support, rather than in a plane. That would definitely be better for him.  That there will be other Danes to talk to might at least help  him to adjust to the military life more quickly.

And by being introduced to other Danes Karl will naturally start getting underground news of his country, countrymen, and possibly family.

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