An awkward encounter in the park
New York was full of public green spaces: Prospect Park close to the Musgrove house, Green-Wood Cemetery near the dry cleaners, and of course Central Park in Manhattan.
She had gone to see an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and then went for a long walk on the endlessly winding trails, when she happened upon Henry and Louis walking with Freddie.
“Anne!” Henry exclaimed. “What on earth are you doing, walking alone in Central Park?”
Anne gave them a nonchalant shrug. “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m walking alone in Central Park.”
Louis took her arm. “You idiot! Well, you’re going to have to stick with us.” He gestured at Freddie. “Have you met Anne? She’s our brother’s wife’s sister.”
“We met at your brother’s house, and we already ascertained that we went to Cornell at the same time,” Freddie nodded civilly to Anne.
“Hello,” Anne answered her nod with a weak smile.
“We’re asking for details about Freddie’s glamorous career as a pilot. She’s frustratingly close-mouthed about everything,” Henry complained.
“Well, you know military personnel can’t say much about what they’re doing. Why are you asking?” Anne chastised the both of them. Her eyes met Freddie’s for a moment, and Anne’s voice dried up and withered away to nothing. She remembered when she was the one asking Freddie the questions, and Freddie would answer her with a laugh, “Well, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”
“Well, what I can tell you is that the recruiters really aren’t lying when they say ‘It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure,’ ” Freddie offered.