2.5 Timely Reminiscence

by Matt P.

“So I understand you have two daughters and a son? Which school are they going to?” Marshal Alexander asked as Walter settled himself into the man’s office. It was the largest in the station but not excessive, and kept neat with what Walt now knew was a military precision. Framed pictures sat in regimental rows on the desk, and the walls held a diploma as well as a USMC honorable discharge certificate and a picture of a young African-American man in Marine uniform with lance corporal insignia standing next to a man that even Walter recognized as General Lewis “Chesty” Puller, legendary Marine.

“They’re going to Eisenhower.” He explained, as he looked at the picture.

“It’s a good school.” Bill offered with a smile and a nod. “I’m a graduate myself, as is my nephew.” He grinned when he noticed Walter’s eyes on the picture.

“I’m sure they’re making good impressions, as always. Tell me that isn’t you with Chesty Puller?” Walter asked, looking back to the Marshal as if to count the gray hairs in his beard. They were not rare in the short hair.

“Hell no, how old do you think I am that I was a Lance Corporal in Korea? My father.” Alexander said fondly. “Couple of years before I was born.” He settled back and looked at Walter. “So. United States Army, Special Forces, Ranger. Retired after 20, and joined the Kansas City PD. After almost 3 years you applied for this job. We don’t get a lot of people moving from the big city to our humble little stretch of occupied northern Oklahoma, Major.” The way he said it made it a question.

“Kansas City was good, but we needed a change.” Walter said simply, shrugging. “With their mother gone I thought they could use a place closer to some family. Their grandparents live here, and their mother was from here.”

Alexander blinked. “Who was it, if you don’t mind me asking. We’ve gotten bigger but there’s enough small town left here I might have known her.”

Walter shrugged. “Doesn’t hurt me any. Rhiannon Aquino, her parents are Filip and Tianna Aquino; they’ve got a farm out near the state park.” At that Alexander blinked again in apparent surprise, speechless for a moment.

“Annie Aquino was your wife? Well all the gods and little fishes, I didn’t expect that.” The Marshal said with a chuckle and a shake of his head. “She couldn’t wait to get out of here and see the world. And now her kids are back.” He gave a little laugh again. “She was a feisty one. Your girls must be a handful.”

Walter smiled wryly. “They certainly can be.”