WORLD WAR II


(CLAIRE, a woman in her middle twenties, reads the following letter.)

 
May 7, 1945
 
Dear Phillip,
 
My darling, where are you? It was announced today that Germany has surrendered and the city burst into celebration. People were dancing and hugging in the streets, and a spontaneous parade wove its way through the city to Parliament Hill.
 
Our shop foreman called us together and the boss announced the news. They shut the plant for the rest of the shift and Ruth and I walked for a while with the crowds. Then we did some shopping. I hope this news will have some effect on the rationing. I dream of being able to buy sugar and butter once again.
 
Ruth and I talk a lot about our dreams these days. One of mine is to continue working after the war, to contribute in an economic way to our marriage. I am sorry to broach this in a letter, darling, but I was afraid I might not have the courage to tell you to your face. Things have changed, dearest. Women have proven during this war that we have a place and a role outside of the home. Ruth is even talking about going to university. Can you imagine? I really hope you can meet her soon, she has become such a dear friend.
 
Some nights when she visits we sit and listen to your Guy Lombardo and Don Messer records. You will be happy to hear that I bought Guy Lombardo's newest record for your collection. It is really great and I knew you would want it. Do not worry about the money, Prime Minister MacKenzie King announced on the radio recently that he was introducing something called the "baby bonus" and I figured with the six children we were planning on having, we would soon be on easy street!
 
Oh darling, where are you and why haven't I heard from you? Ruth says the R.C.A.F. is very prompt about notifying wifes if anything happens so I know I shouldn't worry, but I do. I love you and miss you so very much and the war will not be over for me until I can hold you in my arms once again.
 
Your loving wife,
 
Shiela