Soldier's Story : Chapter 2

(Part 1 from 1. Fiction.)

*** Chapter 2

I take a deep breath, “I am alive” I say in my head. I take another deep breath just to make sure that my head isn’t playing any tricks on me. I then start to move my fingers and feel sheets beneath them; I am on a bed but not at the hill side village. I try to move my other hand but cant and so I wiggle my toes a little, I am on a bed but I don’t know where I am. I then start to open my eyes with trouble almost as if I haven’t used them in a long time. As I open them I see bandages on my left shoulder where I got shot, I try to move my hand again but can only move a little bit. I then look around the room and see that I am in a hospital building. I am on the base when I first got here, I am alone in the room but that doesn’t stop me from looking around. I then see a figure on the window he’s asleep, my eyes focus and my brain process what I am looking at. Mark is sleeping against the window and his barely visible beard has grown a little.

I take another deep breath and I close my eyes just in time when Mark opens his. I then hear my step brother Alan walk in as he checks my bandage I open my eyes and look at him, I stay looking at him but he hasn’t notice that I opened my eyes. I then take my right hand and place it on Alan’s forearm, Alan then notices me looking at him and his eyes start to water. “Your basic motor functions are working…your fine” Alan says while placing both of his hands on my head. Mark gets up and walks next to my bed “Your brain works but please Adrian form a word” Alan says looking at me worried. I grunt and say something that I couldn’t understand myself, “What? What is it?” Alan says while still looking at me. “O..OU….OUCH” I say with a horse voice. Alan starts to laugh and holds my hand, I give a smile and Mark start to laugh as well. I then look at Mark giving him a look of ‘thank you’ but I don’t linger on my stare like I used to. I look at Alan “After you where shot I patched you up as I could” Alan says knowing what I was asking with just my stare. “Mark and I then called in a helicopter to transfer you here” Alan finishes “A couple of more hours and you would have been…” Mark starts but doesn’t finish the sentence.

“We got them Adrian…all of them” Alan says “Apparently they thought you where someone important and did everything they could to kidnap you” Mark says “Which explains both raids” Alan says. We then hear a knock at the door, a woman about Alan’s age comes in. she has dark long black hair, dark skin, a , and there is something familiar about her dark brown eyes. “I heard little Davis is here” she says while walking in. “I am Jennifer Rodriguez” she says while looking at me. Then it clicks she’s the sister of Jose Rodriguez, aka the gentle giant. Jennifer is a baby surgeon but she has potential, that’s what I heard from Alan and Mark. “All right guys let Adrian get some rest” Jennifer says and smiles at me. I smile back and drift into sleep, relieved that I am still alive.

For the next couple of weeks I was getting physical therapy by an insanely cute Iraqi-American soldier nurse. Kareem is his name he has Dark skin, black short hair, manly eye brows, muscular arms but not as big as Mark’s and his voice was ever so mesmerizing. I notice that he would handle me with care while his other patients well not so much. We made each other laugh and flirted like crazy when we were together on our exercises getting my left shoulder and arm to move again. Jake would visit me almost everyday “Orders” Jake says when I asked him why he came to visit me everyday. Alan was busy doing his rounds, for the weeks that I was in therapy Alan and some of the other guys that were stationed in the hill village were transferred here to the base. The base itself is huge buildings, hangers, planes, a place to train, a real gym and many other things. I would always walk around in my free time and I would always go to the same vendor. His name is Mohammed a mid-thirty Iraqi man who sells DVD’s (pirated). He knows me by now and I know him Mohammed has a son and a wife who he never brings but he always tells me that his wife is shy and doesn’t want to meet soldiers.

We both talk about everything even though both of us are from different cultures, but we always learned something new in each others culture everyday. For instance I know now that the men in the village kissed me on the cheek and held my hand is a sign of respect a norm around here. For the next couple of weeks Jennifer and I got really close as well both of us are the same in so many ways. I even came out to her, that’s how much we grew close to each other. Jennifer was that hungry surgeon and I was getting impatient that I wanted to help out around the hospital. I would mostly tag along with Jennifer helping her asses patients, we made a pretty good team together. We became known as the twins seeing that we never left each other side when Jennifer was on duty.

Alan wanted me to go home and get my therapy back in the states but I didn’t want to go I fought him for three days. I told Alan that I would be more useful here on the base than just sitting around back home, but as always Alan argued against me. I know he is more worried about my safety but come on sending me home alone won’t be any better. So I decided to talk to Dr. Collins the head surgeon and well respected doctor on base. Jennifer got me in to see him and I told him my situation, “How do I know you can handle the pressure” Dr. Collins asks me with a serious tone. Dr. Collins kept to himself no one questioned his methods because he has saved a lot of soldiers from death. “I can sir…if you know my brother and how hard he works I am just the same if not better” I say. Dr. Collins looks at me for a while and sees the hunger in my eyes to help out. “Ill think about it” Dr. Collins says while getting up and walking me to the door.

Mark and I started talking again but it is always short conversations because I don’t linger too long with him. One late afternoon I was visiting Mohammed, both of us were talking and laughing telling jokes. Mark stands next to me, looks through the DVD’s and looks at me; I look at him but quickly look away. I bid good bye to Mohammed because it was getting late and he wasn’t allowed on the base after dark. I start to walk away but Mark grabs my arm and stands in front of me; he just looks at me but I look away from his eyes. “Look Mark it’s not that I am not grateful for what you did and I thank you for that but we can’t…” I start to say but can’t finish the sentence. “We can’t what?” Mark says leaning in a little. “Don’t Mark…Just don’t” I say while I walk away leaving him behind, for some reason as I was walking away I had the urge to look back but I didn’t. it was at least two weeks later and I could move my arm again, Dr Collins hasn’t giving me an answer, Alan is always on shifts, Mark tries to talk to me but I ignore him, to my surprise Jennifer is defending Mark, and I have never felt more alone. Jake is the only one I can go and talk to, I promised myself that I wouldn’t tell Jake anything about Mark and I.

Jake has always been there for me and I see him as my brother now and so I decide to tell him everything. At first I thought Jake was going to be disgusted by what I was telling him but he just simply hugged me. We talked for hours it took me by surprise that Jake was so understanding and was willing to talk to Mark for me. I shook my head “Ill handle Mark” I said to Jake, it was around one in the morning when we finished talking. Jake walked me to my room that’s in a building next to the hospital and hugged me. I went to sleep that night feeling at ease and peaceful; knowing that I will take a chance with Kareem tomorrow.

It was around noon when my last appointment with Kareem was taking place. We were in the same small room where we would always do my physical therapy. The appointment itself didn’t last long because my arm was back to its normal self. Both Kareem and I were alone and his dark eyes where on mine checking me out. Kareem extended his arm to say good bye and I grabbed his hand ever so gently, we stay looking at each other for a while. Kareem then comes closer to me and in one quick move presses his lips against mine. We make out for a minute while our hands are exploring every inch of our bodies. Kareem would grab one of my legs and pull it up to his waist, we are both out of breath but that is not enough to stop us. Kareem presses his lips against mine harder and harder while he rubs his dick against mine. Kareem then turns me around to a massage table while he rubs his eight inch hard dick on my .

My back is on his stomach but our lips are still attached to each others, Kareem then pulls down my pants and grabs my ass. He then pulls down his scrub pants and his dick slaps my ass, he then breaks away from our kiss and spits into his dick. Once his dick is lubed up with his own spit he comes closer to my lips and we resume kissing. Kareem then stick his eight inch dick in my ass in one quick motion, I moan in pain but Kareem doesn’t care and he starts to fuck me hard. I moan in pain again and again but Kareem thrusts keep getting harder and harder. Kareem then picks up some speed but doesn’t pull away from my lips. Kareem then thrust his hips harder, he has his dick all the way up my ass as he shoots his load in it. Kareem lets out a long moan in between our kissing; he then pulls his dick out and pulls up his scrub pants. Kareem then gives a quick light slap on my right ass cheek and says “Thanks” and he walks away out of the room. I am left there alone wondering if this was a mistake, typical man doing what ever he can to get what he wants and once he gets it he leaves you behind. I pull up my pants and as I do all I can think about is Mark.

Three days later several platoons of soldiers are getting ready to go out into the city. It’s their usual rounds on keeping the city safe from our enemies. Kareem has been ignoring me and Alan wants me to stay in the base. But I can’t stay in the base so I force my way to tag along with one of the platoons that are just going a few miles away from the base. Alan is mad at me but Jake says he will watch over me, with that said Alan is at peace but I know that Jake has to go with another platoon. We all depart our ways it was suppose to be an easy day, all the soldiers on the humvee even said that we should be back with in an hour. Alan’s humvee left first, then Mark’s, then Jake’s and finally mine. I had my helmet and vest on and to tell you the truth not the most comfortable clothing I ever wore but I know how well these things do there job. I even have a small hand gun that Alan gave me and a knife that Jake gave me just in case if anything should happen. My team consisted of three other soldiers who where no older than me but yet they seemed more mature and advance in age than me. We would talk and joke about everything, sometimes we would stop somewhere in the city to talk to the locals. On our last stop we were a good seven miles away from the base, the three soldiers and I walked the street a little talking to everyone. As for me I talked to the children who learned how to speak English through school, they where all interested in me because I was the first civilian they saw from the states.

As the other soldiers where getting into the humvee a small boy at around eight years old holds my hand and pulls on it. “What’s wrong?” I ask the boy who is scared to death and yanks at my arm leading me away from the humvee. One of the soldiers calls out my name but before I could turn around an RPG hits the humvee and explodes the vehicle to a million pieces. Two of the soldiers died right in front of me while the third soldier is crawling away from the burning vehicle. Everyone around me runs away screaming as bullets start to fly by my head. I stay motionless for a while because my brain hasn’t processed what just happen, I then snap back into . I run across the street and pull the injured soldier into a small grocery store; bullets are hitting the wall outside. I check the soldier’s wounds; he has second degree burns but nothing to fatal. I pull out my small gun and point it at the door way shaking the whole time “What do we do?” I ask the soldier who is radioing someone. “The whole city is going to shit” he says while looking at me. The whole city is attacking us and it will be a matter of time until we are either caught or shot.

Just then a man with a gun comes through the door way but is shot dead by the soldier before the man can fire his weapon. “What’s your location over” the soldier says while I am looking at the dead body that lies on the door way. “Copy…Davis we are heading west” the soldier says but before I can answer another man comes through the door way shooting everywhere. I point the gun at the door way and pull the trigger three times. I manage to hit the man and he falls to the ground dead, as I point the gun at the door way both of my hands are shaking and my breath is uneven. I look to my left and see that the soldier was hit and he is bleeding from his neck. I quickly put my hands around his neck to stop the bleeding but its no use the soldier dies in a matter of seconds. Just then more bullets start to come through the door and start hitting all around us. I take my bloody shaking hands away from the soldier and look at him; I then look at the man in the door way that is dead because of me. I was about to have a break down but some how manage to put the feelings aside and focus on my survival. I then close the eyes of the dead soldier and grab his rifle; bullets are still coming through the door.

I look around and see that there is a back window leading into an alley. I know that I have to head west if I want to survive this, I know that in his last good deed the soldier wanted me to head west because that is where Alan is. So with out thinking I fire a couple of rounds outside and run towards the window, I open it and force my way out into the alley. I can hear gunfire and screaming in the distance, I also hear more bullets coming into the store. As I am walking down the alley my breathing is uneven and I have the rifle pointing in front of me. My hands are still shaking but not enough for the rifle to shake, I turn the corner people are running and cars are passing by. I take one step and then another I don’t know where I am headed but all I know is that I must head west. My breathing is all I can hear by now, uneven and my mouth is open taking in as much air as it can. Bullets then start to land on my right side as two men with guns are shooting at me; I aim the gun towards their direction and pull the trigger. I must have unloaded half of my bullets on them but I manage to kill both of them. My breathing becomes more uneven as I look at the two bodies of the men that I shot. I then look both ways as I am crossing the street no one is at this part of the city, but as I head west the gun fire is increasing. I turn a corner and then another, I don’t know if I am still going the right way but I just keep moving I just keep on breathing.

As I am in another alley I hear some footsteps quickly approaching I turn around and see some one with a gun pointing at my head. Everything slows down for that instant and I point the gun at this person and pull the trigger. Two bullets fly from my rifle to the person that has the gun pointed at me; my last two bullets are enough to kill the person that has the gun pointed at me. As I look at this person dead on the alley I begin to notice something that stops my heart. It’s only a teenager; a teenager is holding a gun and is dead because of me. My eyes water and a tear begins to come down my face, “What have I done?” I ask myself in my head. All I can do is look at the dead body of this teenager and feel disgusted with myself that I have taken a life of someone who has barely lived. I was to busy to notice that there where more footsteps coming from behind me and when I noticed it was too late. I felt a fist hit me on my face and I fall to the ground, I try to get up but I am kick down and then kick in the stomach. The vest absorbed most of the impact but some got through that it knock the wind out of me, as I look up I see three figures in robes. I try to fight back but all three men are hitting me and yelling at me in their own language. After a while of me getting hit I am tied my arms, legs and mouth are tied with duct tape. All three take me into a building that isn’t far away from where we were, I was been lead down hallways one after another.

Up the stairs and finally into a room close to the top of the building, I struggle and fight with all of my strength. All four of us are in a small room; a hole is on the floor leading into a room down stairs. My vest and helmet are ripped away from me like it was just a light piece of clothing. One of my captures who is wearing a red turban turns on a big light that is aimed towards me, the second and biggest of my captures who is wearing a black turban is holding me with a machete on my throat, and the last capture who is wearing a blue turban is pointing a camera at me. The man in the black turban starts to speak in his language almost screaming into the camera, it’s not hard to figure out what the intention is. I am going to die in front of the camera; tears start to come down my face. I then remember that Jake gave me his knife and is in my right shoe, I slowly move my tied hands down towards the knife. Luckily for me none of the men notice what I am doing and in one quick motion I pull out the knife, pull my throat back away from the machete and stab the man in the black turban in the leg. The man in the black turban screams in pain and pulls away from me, I quickly get the machete.

The man in the blue turban runs towards me but I quickly swing at him and manage to stick the machete through his heart. The man in the red turban tries to push me down but I push him away from me and he hits the wall. I manage to free my legs but before I can do anything else the man in the black turban grabs me from behind and throws me to the opposite wall. Before I can get up he grabs me again and throws me to the opposite wall. As I try to get up the man in the black turban picks me up by my neck and is holding me high above the ground. I try and hit him in the face but he is too strong and I am running out of oxygen fast. I then stick my thumb into his eye, at first it doesn’t seem to bother the man but as I dig in deeper he begins to scream in pain. He lets go of me and grabs his eye and in that moment I grab the knife that’s still on his leg. I take it off of his leg and stab him in the shoulder with it. The man in the black turban screams in pain but its not enough to bring him down, he then pushes me to the wall while he tries to take off the knife from his shoulder. I quickly run towards him with my hands still tied and snatch the knife from his hands. I then start to stab him in the heart over and over again, he tries to push me away but I just keep digging the knife into his chest. The man then falls to the ground and I am on my knees on his side still digging into his chest. I then put my whole body into it; all of my upper body is going up and down along with the knife. I am then out of breath and hold the knife high above my head, waiting to see if the man is still alive. I then hear gunshots from behind me and cover my head with out thinking.

I turn to see that the man in the red turban is dead with bullet holes on his back. I then look at the hole that leads downstairs and to my surprise Jake’s upper body is visible. Jake is full of dirt, my guess is that he lost his platoon as well just like me. Then the door to the room opens both Jake and I look at the door and see more Marines. “Friendly’s” one of the Marines says. There are at least five Marines plus Jake and I, all of the Marines look at me shock to see what I have done to the man in the black turban and the man in the blue turban. Jake is the first one to move, he unties my hands and then my mouth. I quickly hug Jake on the verge of crying, “Not here” Jake says while pulling away from my hug and staring me straight in the eyes “Not here Adrian” I then nod my head and get my vest and helmet on. I then take the knife and place it on my shoe again, Jake then hands me his small gun. “Alan” I say to Jake “We have to get Alan” I say out of breath. “It’s too dangerous” Jake says. Not dangerous for the Marines but dangerous for me. “I am not leaving with out Alan” I say while heading for the door. Jake then puts his hand on my shoulder; he then tells the Marines that we are heading towards downtown which isn’t far away. All of them agree, “No one gets left behind” Jake says “Oorah” the other Marines say back. As we are heading out of the building some of the Marines stare at me and nod at me. My best guess is that it’s not everyday they see a civilian willing to risk his life for a Marine.

But it’s not just any Marine it’s my brother and I wont stop until I know that he is safe. As we are heading through the streets of the city the gunfire can be heard all around us. I stayed in the middle of the seeing that is where Jake wanted me to stay. My hands still shaking and my breath still uneven, but I felt a little better knowing that I am not alone. It took us about twenty minutes to reach the downtown area because we got shot at twice by a group of bullets. As we reach the downtown area we came to a place that had a big circle in the middle and four streets heading in different directions. We where been fired at and we had to push through the line of fire to get into one of the buildings. All of us ran like hell into the building I was the first one to go in. as I am catching my breath I hear a noise coming from a room in front of me, I quickly point the gun in front of me. To my surprise I see Mark and he has his gun pointed at me, we stay looking at each other for a while. Seconds later the rest of the Marines come through and Mark leads us into a large room. It appears that we are in some restaurant/hotel except that the hotel entrance is caved in and the only entrance to this building is a huge hole in the wall.

Mark has about ten other Marines with him, “Are you okay?” Mark asks me while looking at my bloody vest. I nod “Where is Alan?” I say to another Marine who has the radio. “He’s fine” Mark says taking a step towards me “He’s in the opposite building across the street” Mark reassures me. I just look at Mark, “Davis come in” Mark says while grabbing his throat to talk into the radio. “Davis come in” Mark says one more time. “Davis your brother is here…he’s safe” Mark speaks into the radio one more time while looking at me. Then the Marine with the radio hands me this telephone handle “Hello” I speak into the handle. “Thank god your all right” I hear Alan’s voice on the other end. “Just stay there I am coming to you” Alan says. “No stay where you are” I say back. “Adrian…” Alan begins to say. “Alan we don’t know who’s out there. Just stay where you are I am fine and ill look after these guys don’t worry about me” I say reassuring Alan as best I can. “All right be safe okay” Alan says to me before I hand the handle back to the Marine.

I treat the wounded as best I can two of them I manage to get them back on their feet and back into the fight. The other two needed medical attention but they are not in critical condition, as I finish the last bandage on the wounded Marine I sit down. My hands begin to shake as I play back the events that lead up to this moment. Some of the Marines look at me while other explain what they saw on the room they found me in. I look at Mark as he is hearing the story and his face is expressionless, I don’t know what he’s thinking but what do I care. I then feel someone sit next to me on the floor, “You all right” Jake says to me while looking into my eyes. I exhale, wipe my sweaty palms on my pants and shake my head while giving Jake a smile. “Listen to me Adrian” Jake leans in a little “You did nothing wrong…you did what you had to do to survive” Jake looks into my eyes. “No one will hold that against you” Jake says “YOU did what you had to do” Jake says while pointing his finger at me. I swallow my feelings and nod my head, I know what Jake is talking about and I respect him for trying to calm me down. But for now I will deal with the feelings later we are not out of the line of fire just yet.

Mark is the one who interrupts our conversation stating that Jose, aka the gently giant, is on his way. “Alone” Jake asks. Mark nods his head; Jose had the same fate as all of us except he is the only one who survived in his platoon. Five minutes later Jose is in the distance, the gunfire has died down but it’s no secret that the enemy is waiting for us to drop our guard. All of the Marines that could move headed for the entrance of the building and are waiting for Jose to run into the building. I on the other hand am with the two Marines that have the greatest of wounds; we are on the back of the restaurant in the kitchen and all I can do is listen. At first I don’t hear anything, then all of a sudden gunfire starts and it lasts about a minute. All I can hear are the guys screaming and then I hear loud gunshots almost like a machine gun or something. Just as quickly the gun fire stops and everyone is screaming for a medic, the medic on the team is one of the Marines that can’t move. I take a deep breath get on my feet and walk to the front of the restaurant. My heart stops on what I see next, it’s a scene that I know all to well.

Jake is on a table bleeding from his chest, a bullet manage to penetrate his vest and land on his chest. My breathing becomes uneven and tears begin to start coming down my face but I don’t feel them. Everything then becomes silent I can’t hear anything; I know that everyone is screaming at me for help but I can’t hear them. Flashes of what happen that day when my parents died comes back to me and it paralyses me. My breathing them becomes uneven and I can’t move a muscle. Mark is the one who steps in front of me and snaps me back to reality, I look at him and he looks at me. I then realize that I am not helpless like I was on that day when my parents died. I then run into the kitchen to pick up the bag of medical supplies. I run back to the front of the restaurants where Jake is, “Everyone off” I say to all of the Marines that are trying to help Jake. All of the Marines step off and give me space to work, Jake is looking at me. Jose on the other hand is on the corner walking back and forward, I think he is blaming himself for what happen to Jake. I quickly turn Jake on his side and see that the bullet is still in his body near his heart. I put on some gloves and try to stop the bleeding that’s coming out of his chest.

I then notice that there is water on the back of my hands. I look at my hands for a second and look up thinking that the roof is leaking. “Where is the water coming from?” I say out loud. Jose then points at my face “Your crying Adrian” Jose says from the corner where he is standing. I then try to wipe my tears away but my hands are full of Jake’s blood, I then look at Jake and know the one thing that can make him feel a bit better. “Mark” I say “Get your sleeve and wipe my face” I say while looking up at the ceiling. Mark’s eyes kind of lit up and quickly came by my side and wiped my cheeks gently. “Thank you” I say to Mark. I then look at Jake’s face and he is more relax but not too much. “You’re going to be fine Jake” I say to Jake while looking him straight in the eye. “Don’t tell me lies Adrian….You will tell me if I am dying….don’t give me that bullshit when we tell someone it’s going to be all right when it’s not” Jake says kind of pushing the words out. Jake then grabs my arms and looks at me “I promise I will” I say to him while pulling my arm free and piling the bandages on top of his chest. “Mark stay next to Jake please” I say while trying to find the bullet. Mark stands next to Jake holding his shoulder, I glance at Mark and his face is full of concern. The one thing I know is that Mark and Jake have been best friends since they where kids, Alan was added to their group when they met a couple of years ago. The bleeding would stop for a time but then it would get out of hand and then it would stop again. I then realize that Jake needs surgery in order for him to survive. I then tell the Marine with the radio to get a helicopter over to our location so that Jake could have a chance.

All of the other Marines where either guarding the hole in the wall or looking out the window, by now it was late in the afternoon. After about five minutes I walk to the Marine with the radio but he tells me something that I didn’t want to hear. “They say that the area is to hot…backup will be here in one hour” he says hoping that would be some good news to me. “What?....No…N..N…NO” I say almost screaming to the Marine. “We need to get him into a hospital now he can’t wait that long” I say with a loud shaky voice. “Let me talk to them…give me the radio” I say while I try to take the radio from the Marine. The Marine with the radio resists me “GIVE ME THE FUCKING RADIO” I scream to him. “I am sorry” the Marine with the radio says to me while pushing me away. “Damn it” I say “DAMT IT…DAMN IT” I scream louder and louder. By this time I look at Jake and Mark and both are looking at me. My breathing is so uneven that I am on the verge of passing out, Mark and Jake are looking at me and I am looking at them. On the verge of crying I turn away from everyone and stare at the wall. I have my back towards Jake and Mark; I start to cry silently because I know what’s going to happen. I try to breath but it seemed that I couldn’t, tears begin to come down my face one after another. My hands begin to shake and for the first time since I got my nursing degree I don’t know what to do. I then gather myself up; I wipe the tears from my cheeks and take a couple of breaths. I then open my eyes and take one last deep breath, I turn around and take off the bloody gloves. I just simply walk back and stand next to the table Jake was in. I look at Jake and tried to tell him what is going to happen but nothing comes out.

I open my mouth but nothing comes out, Jake is looking at me and Mark is the one who breaks the silence, “Adrian please don’t” Mark says knowing that I can’t do anything more. “Adrian please your superman in this…there has to be something you can do…” Mark says to me but can’t finish the sentence. “I am sorry…I am really sorry” I say almost in a whisper. “But the heart is my kryptonite” I say while glancing at Mark. I then stare at Jake and he is staring back at me, “Yes Jake…you are dying” I say while trying to hold back the tears. Jake looks at me and he is on the verge of crying himself. “I just want you to know…that I will be here with you” I say while placing my hand on top of his. “Mark…and I and the whole squad will be here with you” I say while grabbing Mark’s hand and placing it on top of mine. Mark has his hand on top of mine and I have my hand on top of Jake’s, Jake then takes a deep breath. “Mark…you know what to do right?” Jake says with a shaky voice. Mark is looking at Jake and then nods. “Adrian will you please go with Mark…and please tell my parents that I fought bravely” Jake says while trying to hold back his tears. “You are the bravest soldier I know Jake” I say trying not to cry. “Please Adrian” Jake says while looking at me with red eyes. “Okay” I say “I know that it’s a lot to ask but promise me you will go with Mark to my parent’s house” Jake says while looking at me. “I promise” I say almost in a whisper.

Jake then places his hand on top of Mark’s “You take care of each other…Okay” Jake says while looking at me and then at Mark. “Okay” Mark says in a shaky voice. I then for the first time look at Mark, actually look at Mark. We both stay staring at each other for a while and I can feel Mark’s hand squeeze mine gently. I then look down at Jake and nod my head, Jake forces a smile across his face. “I never told you this Adrian but your not bad for a civiliiiiiiiiii” Jake says but doesn’t finish the sentence because death came for him. I then start to cry silently and place my forehead next to Jake’s. Mark places his hand on top of Jake’s head and closes Jake’s eyes. Mark then places both hands on his head and walks away with teary eyes; I then gather my strength and place both of Jake’s hands on his chest. I turn to look at Jose and he is motionless as well as expressionless.

About ten minutes later back up arrives with a lot of humvees and trucks, the helicopters do their job in covering us while we load up the wounded and Jake’s lifeless body as well. All of us fit in one of the trucks, as we return to base all I look at is Jake. The truck swings me back and forward gently but that isn’t enough to distract me. I can feel Mark looking at me but that too isn’t enough to distract me. As we reach the base all of the soldiers including Mark get off, I am the last one out. I take a deep breath knowing that I would have to face Alan, knowing that Jake was Alan’s best friend. As I get off the truck another truck parks a couple of feet away and the first one to get off is Alan.

He spots me and runs towards me, but before he can hug me I extend my hand and take a step back. “What’s wrong? Jesus are you okay?” Alan says while he looks at my bloody vest. I just look at him with teary eyes, I open my mouth but nothing comes out. I finally said something that is the basic saying if someone dies in a hospital “I….I did everything I could” I say with a shaky voice. Alan looks at me for a while confused to what I am saying to him, he than looks past me. The other soldiers are unloading Jake’s body, Alan’s face softens and his eyes become watery. Alan then looks at me “Okay….Okay” he says looking around as if trying to figure out something. Alan then looks at me “but are you okay” Alan says almost in a whisper. I stare at him for a while “I killed people today…” I begin to say “I killed six people today….one of them was a teenager…two of them I killed with a machete and a knife…and….and…and that doesn’t bother me.

It doesn’t bother me at all” I say while trying to hold back my tears but have a shaky voice. “I am over that, it doesn’t bother me one bit….what bothers me the most is that I broke rule number one” I say while looking into Alan’s eyes while tears are coming down my face. “How the fuck did I get attach?” I ask Alan “Damn it….Damn it….Damn it” I say and I break down. I fall to my knees and wrap my arms around my stomach and cry like that day I lost my parents. Alan quickly kneels in front of me and hugs me, I cry for about a minute out load. At this point I don’t care if anyone was paying attention to my conversation and I don’t care what they thought of me.

I then gather myself up and take a couple of deep breaths. I then pull away from Alan and stand up; I take off my vest and helmet. I then hear a radio in the distance that another truck is coming full of injured soldiers “ETA two minutes” the voice in the radio says. “I am scrubbing in” I say to Alan who stands up. “Adrian you can’t” Alan begins to say. “No I am scrubbing in….the hell like I am going to stand in the sidelines for this” I say to Alan. “Like hell I will let another soldier die in front of me” I say while passing my Alan. The truck came all beat up and full of bullet holes, I am the first one to help unload the injured soldiers. For the rest of the night I work tirelessly to save every soldier that crosses my path and all of the injured soldiers have Jake’s face.

Chapter 3 coming soon…

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