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June 1938

Jack Maynard looked in horror at the bleeding and battered body of his fiancée. What had she done to deserve this kind of end to her life? Kneeling beside her, he felt for a pulse and was surprised to find a very faint one in her neck. He automatically went through the motions of checking her airway and looking over her body for injuries. There were two gunshot wounds, but, they had pierced her stomach. Things didn’t look good and Jack had no way of stemming the flow of blood. He knew that she didn’t have much longer left to live.

“Jo? Jo? Can you hear me?” Her eyelids flickered and opened a little, her mouth attempting to form words. “Shhh, don’t try to speak, darling. I’m here. I’m not going to leave you. I promise I’ll never leave you.” He held tightly onto her hand as he gently eased her body onto his knee. Her groan as he did so, made him aware that she was in immense pain. “I’m sorry, Jo. There’s nothing I can do for the pain. Just hold onto me.” He felt her weakly clasp his hand and he stroked her matted hair gently away from her face with his free one.

“I love you, Joey. I wish I’d been with you when those bastards did this to you. I might have been able to help you more.” Jack continued to stroke her hair and hold onto her, hoping that his presence was comforting to her. He could hear her breathing becoming more laboured and knew the end was near. He closed his eyes briefly, trying to stop the tears from falling. A slight croak made him open them again quickly and he looked down at Jo in his arms.

“I love you, Jack. Don’t ever think that I didn’t.” Jo paused, breathing with difficulty, now. “Go on and get to safety. Promise you’ll live life for both of us.” Her eyes closed once more.

“I will Jo, I promise. I’ll never forget you. Ever!” This time, he couldn’t prevent the tears falling as he heard Jo breathe out her last and her body relax as she left him forever.




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