There was only him left now. He stood in the
cemetary and stared in
silence at the newly risen cross. He had lost so
many friends and each
time he lost a little piece of his heart. The Lt.
had died during the
evacuation of Vietnam and the others just seemed to
A loud crash in the sky hearlded a downpour of rain.
The cold water surged
over him making soft plip sounds on the newly covered
grave. But the
soilder stood as if at attention. The rain mingled
with the tears
streaming down his face and seemed to somehow calm
his erratic thoughts.
Baker had been the last to leave. A hit and run
driver just outside his
favourite beach had killed him. God it made him feel
so helpless, so angry
and tired. He had no-one to blame, no way to take
revenge. This wasn't
Vietnam, this was America, and truth be told he never
wanted to kill a
living thing ever again.
The lone soilder finally turned and walked away from
the grave. He trudged
back to his car and drove away without looking back.
He staggered inside
his front door, not knowing or caring how he got
home. His mind was far
away. Back in the mud and the filth of Vietnam with
all of his comrades.
Myron, Marvin, Marcus, Scott, Alberto & Danny. They
had seemed so young
and full of hopes for the future. He remembered the
night they had drunk a
few beers and talked well into the night about their
plans when they
returned to the world.
Pain lanced through his chest and he sank to the
ground, his body shaking
with soul shuddering sobs. He sat for what seemed an
eternity as the day
turned to night and the birds stopped singing in the
trees. Suddenly he
sat up and moved quickly to the cupboard in his
bedroom. He reached under
some clothes and right at the back found what he was
looking for. He sat
down on the bed and lifted the gun until the muzzle
rested on his forehead.
As he fitted his finger to the trigger a knock came
at the door. It
sounded dull and far away as he concentrated on his
task. A window
shattered and someone was calling his name. His
finger squeezed the at the
trigger as Katie ran into the room, and screamed
"Daddy" as he urned half
in shock. He dropped the gun and buried his head in
her shoulder, as she
threw her arms around him.
No words where spoken as she shakily picked up the
gun and placed it in her
bag. Then like a dam breaking her words tumbled out.
She had been looking
for him and trying to track him down, just as he had
done with his father
when he was her age. She had finally found him at
the cemetey and had
followed him home. She had been trying to build up
the courage to knock
when she saw the gun through the window. She had
broken the window with a
rock and climed through. They sat and talked until
the glint of sun showed
on the horizon.
As he stood silently next to his daughter and
listened to her excitedly
tell her mother, that she had finally tracked him
down. He felt a small
sense of beloning and with that small glimmer of hop,
he didn't feel so
utterly alone. Katie turned to him and with a smile
held out the receiver,
he took the receiver nervously and held it too his
ear. He heard the voice
he could never forget, the voice beloning to his
Tears pricked at his red & swollen eyes, he hugged
his daughter tight and
smiled. The pain would never fully go away, but the
healing of his mind
and soul had begun.