This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
“So this is it?” John asked as he stared sorrowfully at his best friend. The two young men stood by the docks, the breeze swaying their hair and coattails.
“No, don’t look at it like that!” George replied, putting his hand on John’s shoulder.
“We’ll meet again, I’m certain of it. One day I’m going to become a soldier and travel overseas to the colonies and protect the citizens there.”
“And you’ll remember to visit me?”
“Are you sure? I heard there were 13 colonies! That’s a lot! How will you know where to find me?”
“Because your mum told me which colony you’ll be going to, you silly goose!”
“But what if we leave again?”
“You’re like my brother, I’ll travel wherever I need to make sure we meet again.” John couldn’t respond.
His eyes filled up with tears, and he didn’t turn away like he usually did. Before he let a single tear escape his eyes, he ran into the arms of his companion and let it all out.
“I’m going to miss you so much!” John sobbed. George put his arms around John comfortingly.
“Who’s going to play soldiers with me? Or go hunting or fishing?” He cried.
“I’m sure your older brother will do all those things with you,” George said, gently patting John’s back.
“It’s not the same though! He doesn’t like that stuff, he’s not fun like you!” The two pulled away from each other,
“Nonsense, you were always the fun one.” George laughed softly, “Like when you used those branches to make your sister believe you were turning into a buck.” John chuckled as well, wiping his eyes with his sleeve.
“But that was nothing compared to when you made that dragon head out of a barrel and put it on the dog.” The two laughed, even more, reminiscing about their fun together. Of course, their laughter came to an end, and silence filled the air once more.
“I’m really going to miss you, John,” George said with his head hung low. John sniffled a little bit, nodding in return.
“Come now, buck up!” George said, giving John a hearty pat on the arm. John gave a weak smile, then turned to the sound of his mother’s voice in the distance.
“Come along, John!” She called. John turned around to follow her when George cried out.
“Wait!” John quickly turned back around. George was fumbling through his pockets until he pulled out a pocket knife.
“Take this.” He said, holding it out to John.
“I want you to have this.”
“John, not your pocket knife! That was your fathers!” John argued,
“I know… But I want you to have it.”
“No, I can’t, I–”
“Remember when we climbed that really tall tree back in the woods?” George asked.
“And how we marked our initials on the very top of the trunk?” John nodded, “Well, I want you to find a big tree when you get there and carve your initials in it. Then when I’m older I can use that to find you, and then I’ll add mine there too.”
“…You promise?” John questioned.
“I promise.” George replied with a grin, “Now you better get a move on. Don’t want to keep your mother waiting.” John smiled and nodded, putting the old pocket knife in his coat. George smiled and waved to his friend until he couldn’t see him among the sea of people setting aboard the ship to the new world. His smile slowly faded and he closed his eyes,
“Farewell, John… I know we’ll meet again.”
“COLLINS!” An abrupt voice interrupted. George, now in his early twenties, sat up from his cot rubbing his eyes, greeted by a soldier in a red military coat.
“We’ve arrived.” He said, marching off, continuing his duties and waking all the other resting soldiers. George slipped on his coat and drowsily walked to the deck of the boat for departure.
So this is Boston… He thought as he gazed over the ship’s railings. As he walked to the gangplank, his dream still lingered on in his mind. It had been nearly 10 years since he had last seen John. As he departed from the boat, he looked at his reflection in the harbor waters. He wasn’t the same child anymore. Would he be able to recognize John after all these years? Would John be able to recognize him? Would they truly be able to meet again? He took a step onto the docks and repeated to himself in a whisper the words he said all those years ago;
“I know we’ll meet again.”