Wonders are all over the world. But the little ones that we come across in the most unexpected ways excite us the most; Like chopping a bunch of coriander leaves for cooking and coming across it’s tiny bunny shaped flowers; Or finding that there’s a kind of spinach growing in your backyard that blooms the prettiest little flowers.
My Dear Darling,
I cannot believe we parted only last sunset. The hours feel like days and I miss you terribly already. I think the sight of you waving me goodbye with tears, in that beautiful blue gown we had tailored last month, is going to stay with my eyes for a long time to come. I have slept not a wink through the night and it is only the first day. I hope you manage to bear our separation better than I do.
Our train just crossed the second city. I sit here on my bunk with my fellow soldiers, writing to our loved ones. Crumpled blankets and creased pantaloons even before the fight begins. I am sure the parchments and this tiny vial of ink will become my most precious treasure through this battle.
This letter will reach you fast as I am not so far away from you. It pains my heart to think that the farther I get from you, the longer it will take for my letters to reach you, and even longer for your correspondence to reach me.
Everyone here is still consumed by the sadness of being separated from their love. But naught can a man do when a duty as this one calls. I wonder what happens when the fear settles in, when they know in their hearts that every minute they pass could be their last. That day is inching closer and closer. As soon as we reach the encampment, our battalions would be assigned and we would be off to war. But I promise you my love, I will come back to you. You are the one thing that will keep me fighting with strength drawn from our love, every moment. So until I return, take care of yourself. I will write again in the nearest opportunity.
Soldier in love.
I am the maker… I am the destroyer…
Four years ago:
Me: Hey, wake up!
Sister: It’s 6 am! Go away!
Me: No! Wake up! I really need to finish this homework.
Sister: Then finish it.
Me: I’ve been writing most of the night. I have more difficult diagrams to draw. You just have to copy the text I give you.
Sister: No way! Go away! I need to sleep! I came in late from work last night.
Me: I know! I won’t bother you again. Please?
Sister: (Sigh and get up) Fine. Just this once.
Brother: Sister, I need your help.
Me: (Look warily at the clock. 11pm.) What is it?
Brother: Just copy these pages in this classwork notebook.
Me: No way!
Brother: Please! I need to finish this! I have a lot to study.
Me: It’s late and I’m tired!
Brother: I know! Just this once! I won’t ask again.
Me: Ugh.. fine. What is it.
Four years ago, 1 day later:
Me: (whisper) Are you sleeping? (Poke)
Sister: What now?!
Me: (My prettiest smile)
Brother: Where is my dear sister?
Me: Oh. My. God.
Brother: (Devious smile)
Four years ago, I must have known.
Ever took a closer look at the shirts we wear everyday?
It has been months. We’ve run out of our rations days ago. My troop of once mighty soldiers now scrawny is the only regiment left, and the enemy knows it too. While it searches for us like a wolf stalking its prey, we huddle in the dark hole, planning our last ditch effort to win the war. It was only a matter of time before we died anyway.
We were hurt, tired, hungry and scared. We had no firearms save the small throw dagger each. There wasn’t much to plan either. “Infiltrate. Blow up.” A fellow soldier repeated after me. Stupidest plan ever. I know. We need to pick up weapons and explosives from the enemy soldiers we kill on the way to their command center.
We set out quiet as mice, inching our way out of the hole and into the enemy camps. At least five of us had to make it to the command center with enough C-4. I signalled a final goodbye to my best friend and we spread out.
It took me four blood baths to reach the center. I was lucky to have gone undetected through that mess. I looked at my watch, hiding in whatever shadow I could find. Ten minutes to mark. Time to set the bombs.
The moment I had to put my biggest trust in my soldiers ticked closer. Six…Five…Four…Three…Two…One. I pressed the trigger and the east side of the camp exploded into an inferno, the heat wave throwing me back several feet. My ears ringing and head pounding, I looked up. The entire camp was ablaze. My team had come through.
One by one we gathered in the old abandoned school amidst the loud silence of grievance and quiet cries of pain. I turned hearing my name to see my friend rushing towards me. Relief washed over me hard and fast, it almost hurt physically. We found a quiet corner to debrief.
“We lost three.” He said. Though they were good men lost, it was much lower than I anticipated.
“One lucky day I guess. I ran into four different groups and made it out.” I said.
“Think again.” Was all he said.
The truth dawned, striking a chill over me as I looked over the old building that had whoever remained alive, injured or not.
“This war is not over yet.” Words came out of my mouth no louder than a whisper.
“Come on! It’s 8 already. Wake up!” My mom’s voice rang loud as a bell.
It is quite difficult to make a portrait resemble the model but I love the satisfaction I get with every progress I make…