The girl’s first language isn't English, it’s Russian. The soldier’s native language is English. This is the story of their life.

I'm a soldier stuck between fulfilling my debt to my country and leaving my close ones alone. If this doesn't rip me apart, then the bullets from the enemy’s guns will.

It has my heart aching, my head spinning, but if I don't subdue the thoughts and feelings, I'm going to get killed in the war zone. 
My squad will soon be picked to departure and all my thoughts are about the people I'm leaving behind. 
I'm telling my friend "No matter how much I think about it when I return, life and my relationship with the people close to me will never be the same. I can forget about the word normal. It won't exist for me and it doesn't exist for me now when I'm having to leave my close ones behind while I go fight a war that's not ours. 
I've trained many years in the art of combat, but no amount of training can save me from the wounds I'm having to inflict on myself with my departure.

My return will be accompanied with actions and not words. I will have fought off the enemy, but the war wouldn't be over. Once again on the verge of insanity waiting to be called up by my country to serve, but I'm afraid I won't be able to handle it anymore.

The coldblooded soldier that I used to be is slowly beginning to crumble. the foundation that used to hold up any form of attack is now being broken by the emotions that stir within me. Scared that there won't be a next time, the next time will be last of what's human left in me. 
The peaceful ocean currents will become tidal waves during a furious storm and the boat that my squad's on will be destroyed by the waves and no will know what happened with those 10 soldiers. Forever lost in the ocean.

If I manage to survive, holding onto some cargo to stay afloat until our sergeant sends out a rescue mission to find us and get us to safety, I will no longer be strong and every childhood emotion never felt will come bursting out. One person will be able to bring me to my senses and that person will be in shock when they see what happened to the soldier they knew before the war had started.

Girl: “It sounds not so good. I'm worried, but I know, that your squad will win, and you will come back like a heroes and everyone will be proud of you.”

Heroes? Maybe, but the war will have had its effect. There will be one person who I will want to see if I do manage to return in one piece. That person will be the only one who will be able to save the person that lives in me. 
Therapy won't help, I will never trust any strangers. When my country has given up on me and thrown me to survive on my own, I will have turned to this person as the only remaining person who will have known of this "hero's legacy" before he was a "hero".
The fate of the soldier resting in the hands of one person and they determine the outcome. Returning is always harder than leaving, especially when your departure killed the person you were and replaced him with a robot who follows orders.

Girl: “Who will be this person?”

The one who knew the soldier before he was given a medal and proclaimed a hero. There's only one person who exists like that.

Author: Alex Katanski
November 11, 2012 

Continue on next page