I Will Always Remember
Deafening roars, and earth shattering explosions echo through the air, pulsing. All around me the screams of my fellow comrades pierce through the deafening thunder of war. Something explodes just to my left, instinctively sending me rolling away, coating my body in the thick sludge of debris and mud littering the battleground. Rising from a crouch, I look up to survey the area. Explosions rock the earth beneath my feet, and trenches run lines throughout the field. Despair, and depression hang thickly in the air as this war, seeming so pointless now, lives to wreak havoc yet another long day. Then as if in slow motion, a small black orb rolls to a stop at my feet. The slow tick tick screams loudly in comparison to the now muffled battle field. With wide eyes I turn to run.
Barely suppressing a scream, I sit bolt upright, breathing laboured and heavy. Frantically I look around, kicking off the sweat drenched sheets, and trying desperately to make out my attacker in the dark. Slapping the night stand I find my glasses and slip them on, seeing my surroundings with calming clarity. I am home. I am lying in my bed, my wife soundly sleeping beside me, with the moon shining brightly in the cold night air outside. It was just a nightmare. Though it is a nightmare that I have had every single night since the day I was discharged, nearly sixty years ago, it was especially bad tonight however.
There are somethings in life that you never forget. Sometimes things do not just “go away with time.” Not a day goes by that l do not remember the four years I spent in that long war, in which so many, too many of my friends did not return home from. Even the ones that did were never the same, I suppose I was not either. Despite how much I hate it, how much I loathe it, the time I spent away in Europe has shaped my life severely, and I remember that now as the click and scrape of my prosthetic leg rings throughout the room.
As quietly as I possibly can I make my way to the sliding glass doors on the other side of the room, slipping through onto the snow covered porch. Breathing in the crisp November air, and looking at the cloudless sky calms, brings me back to reality. I know that my nightmare was not real, but at the same time, it was. Those same screams had rung my ears before, and that same black orb had rolled to my feet, only it was nearly six decades ago, but to me it was happening all over again.
Quietly, so that I do not hear, a warm shape comes and presses into my side, wrapping a comforting arm around my waist. Leaning into that touch helps me to remember that I am home, that I am safe, and most importantly, that I’m not alone.