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Only an Ocean

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July, 1946

Molly looked into the usually bright blue eyes of one of her closest friends and tried to swallow past the hard, horribly painful lump in her throat. On impulse, she leaned in and gave Emily another vicious hug.

"What are you all bawling about?" Ricky asked sharply, though Molly's peripheral vision caught him brushing away a tear from beneath his own eye. "It's not like Emily's dying, she's just going back to England."

"Ricky's right." Mother said softly. "London isn't a world away."

"Only an ocean." Brad added, trying to help.

An unexpected laugh bubbled out of Molly's throat at the little pest's comment, but the thought also brought on another wave of tears. Emily stepped closer to her and wrapped Molly in another hug.

"I'll write you every day." Emily promised. "And one day, maybe I'll come back and see you all again. Or maybe you could come to London and meet my family. Wouldn't that be fun?"

Molly nodded, halfway ashamed of her tears when she knew that Emily had family eagerly waiting to see her again in London. "But it's so far. It seems like a whole different world from Jefferson."

"It does seem like it, and it is, in a way. But it's really not across the galaxy, I promise."

Molly forced a smile through her tears as she gave her friend a final goodbye squeeze. "Only an ocean."