Rereading Kit’s words brought him closer to her again. She realised just how much she missed his letters, missed hearing his news. Their correspondence had never been a one-way street. The letters had never been all about her.
Georgina keenly missed knowing what and how Kit was doing. Just last week her father had written to her that he’d run into Kit in York. He’d been pleased to discover that Kit spent his leave visiting cathedrals rather than going to nightclubs and equally impressed that he’d been traveling in the company of a sergeant. He’d assured her that Kit was “looking well”, yet she remembered Don saying OTU training was intense and could be dangerous. Don had also told her it was where a pilot selected his core crew and had explained the importance of crew chemistry.
Don had been willing to die for his crew, and Georgina did not doubt that they would have done the same for him. Kit had been explicit in saying he should have died in Don’s place. Now Kit had teamed up with four other young men and they were bound together by that same loyalty. How had Shakespeare worded it? We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, for he who sheds his blood with me this day, shall be my brother…. She felt a stab of sadness to think that she knew nothing about the young men who were now Kit’s ‘brothers.’ It was as though she had lost something of Kit to them, as if he had distanced himself from her.
The need to write to Kit seemed so overwhelming that Georgina tossed aside her earlier resolutions. She found some clean writing paper and yanked the top off her pen. Then she stopped herself. What was she doing? After six weeks of silence, she couldn’t just write! A letter out of the blue would only confuse and upset him at a time when he needed to concentrate on training. Just because she desperately wanted to be in touch with him was no excuse to upend his life again. What was it her father had said his letter? “Kit’s a very fine and sensitive young man, Georgina. It would not be right to toy with his emotions.”
No. The decision not to correspond with Kit had been correct. The break was necessary to protect them both from becoming more deeply attached to one another. It wasn’t about misleading Kit (as Fiona thought) or playing with his emotions (as her father implied). It was sheer self-defence, as Philippa had understood so well. She couldn’t deal with losing the man she loved again, so she mustn’t fall in love in the first place. She could not allow herself to feel the same way about Kit that she had felt about Don. And the only way to ensure that didn’t happen was to keep her distance — at least until the war was over. Maybe then, if he still wanted her, if he was still alive….
She made herself return the bundle of Kit’s letters to the lower drawer, berating herself mentally: “Focus on your profession, G. You’re failing as a teacher. You can’t maintain discipline in the classroom. Your pupils lie to you for fun. You are likely to get a bad assessment. You can’t afford to start up a hazardous relationship. It’s time for you to concentrate on your own life and your own goals. How are you going to turn things around here at Kirkby Grange?”
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