The Battle Inside A Soldier
The morning sun was glooming in the sky as the birds sang their melodies. The cold morning breeze kissed the tree leaves as if waking up their lovers from a deep sleep. The world sounded peaceful enough to make you feel the love you always hide; within you. It was such a wonderful morning to fall in love with yourself as well as the beauty in this world.
Major Rudra Singh came out of his bunker looking at the vast mountain terrain blushing with the morning sunlight on its white icy caps. The cold winds sent a chill down his spine as he welcome the new day. It had been a rough week as there were constant firing and shelling from across the border. Today’s morning had something special in it, as it was more peaceful than usual. There was not a single shot fired from last night nor were there any shelling incidents. He had an unusual sense of happiness that he rarely had experienced. It felt as if he was in love.
He opened his wallet and took out the picture of his family. He caressed the picture imagining them right beside him. He looked at his wife’s face, remembering how her lips felt against his. Her warm body against his cold one and the way she embraced him into her warmth; made him miss her more. He was thinking about how they met and how that initial meeting turned into a long lasting relationship. He thought about how foolish he was the first time he tried to kiss her, but stopped because he thought she didn’t want to kiss him back. He smiled remembering how she leaned forward to kiss him when he couldn’t mutter enough courage to follow through his initial advancement. All those memories were coming down as an avalanche down the memory mountain. He was thinking about the first time they became one as they made love all night long. Her soft skin still arouses many emotions inside him as he remembered. He was indeed in love.
He looked at his baby girl smiling from ear to ear in the photograph; it was taken on her 2nd birthday. She was happy beyond words as it was the first time he could actually be there to celebrate with her. He showered her with gifts and her favourite chocolates even when his wife tried to stop him. She is now the centre of his universe. Her wish is his command. In his extended family there were always more males than the females so now when females outnumbered him in his family, he absolutely love every bit of it.
He was in his own thoughts when he heard shots being fired. Within a split second, the soldier inside him overthrew the husband, and the father. His mind automatically shut down his emotions as he begun giving commands to his troops. He made sure that everyone was under the safety cover of the bunkers. The peaceful morning no longer felt special as it turned into the same as many previous mornings. The day was yet to uncover the atrocity it has stored for these soldiers.
Major Rudra was in the bunker as he ordered his men to retaliate with the same force. The valley was once again filled with noise of roaring machine guns and the heart wrenching screams of those who were hit. The peace was gone, as the mountains became a battlefield.
The husband inside him tried to peak out but the soldier pushed him away as the battlefield was no place for a husband to be. There was a weird sense of calmness in the soldier that scared the father in him. The father in him wonders how someone can be so calm and composed when death is trying to sneak in from the corner. The soldier just glared at him as he went silent.
The father panicked, as he was not certain whether he would ever be able to see his girl again. He wanted to think about his daughter especially as the husband scared him about death roaming around trying to snatch one more target. The soldier in him was now being ambushed.
“Shut the fuck up”, the soldier shouted at the father and the husband within him.
“I cannot be a father or a husband when I have to be a soldier.”, he explained.
“But why do you have to be the hero when you can just leave and be us”, the father and the husband protested.
“I have responsibilities.”, the soldier tried to put some sense into the other two.
“They are your responsibilities too.”, they both said at the same time.
The soldier was about to say something when he stopped as the thought of his wife and daughter made him think; more deeply. The father and the husband looked at each other with a smile as they have finally made the soldier think about something more than his duty. The soldier was still silent.
“Money isn’t everything. You can earn more than this if you just leave this dangerous profession and start a business where you would be safe. You can see your wife every day. You can watch your daughter grow.”, the father and the husband express their points.
The soldier still had nothing to say.
The other two were pretty much sure that they were able to change the mind of the soldier at last. The soldier has never been so silent in his life. He was contemplating what they have said. He knows that whatever they have said is true and he could indeed have everything that they have promised. He could have a safe secure job and have his family too.
Then Rudra heard one of his men scream in pain as he was shot. He immediately pushed the inner discussion aside as he went attend his wounded brother in arms. He pulled him inside the bunker and took his place at the gun. He began firing. His instincts kicked in as his mind no longer had the opportunity to have that discussion.
After an hour, the firing stopped so Rudra sat down near the machine gun. The moment he sat down, the father and the husband came to round up the soldier again. Just this time the soldier had something to say,
“The safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first, always and every time.
The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.
Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.”, the Chetwode motto was the perfect reply to mum the father and husband in him.
The soldier in him smiled.
The soldier in him, ALWAYS WINS.
The Battle Inside A Soldier By Dee Kay, is a tribute to all the brave soldiers around the world who are serving their country. Thank you for your service.
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Categories: Short stories