Blood On His Hands

Listen, guy, I don't know what kind of crap you're trying to pull with me, but I'm going to tell you right now that I'm not budging on what I said. You can rant all you want about the draft, but this war is still unjust.

As for your little family back home in Washington? If I were you, I'd find a way to get to them however I could. If you really love these people, that is. What about Canada? I hear it's actually pretty balmy... in summer.

Please don't write back.

Rose.

+

Adam smirked and stashed the letter in his pocket. This little girl wanted to play hardball? Fine.

He wasn't the kind of person to be so adamant about something, but he decided that as long as he was probably going to die here, he'd bite back. What did it matter, anyways?

He leaned forwards onto his knees, sitting on his bunk before the first meal of the day. If you could really call it a meal. He clasped his hands together and pressed his intertwined fingers to his lips, closing his eyes gently. A face swam in his mind's eye, coming slowly into focus. It was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. She had dirty-blonde hair and the most vivid blue eyes. They seemed to see right into Adam. He smiled slightly as he watched his wife, his Linda, laughing, holding their son in her arms. The tense, angry fist in his chest relaxed, and he exhaled. He opened his eyes. There.

"Hey, Wagner," called a booming voice behind him. Adam turned around to see Brian Wesley coming towards him from the other side of the barracks. He held an envelope in his hands. "This just came for you. I think it's from your wife." Adam's heart sped up, and he reached impatiently for the note.

"Thanks," he mumbled, ripping it open with his index finger.

"By the way, we're going in today," Brian added, but Adam had stopped listening.

When the letter was through, it fluttered from his hands to the ground. Adam's eyes were wide. He felt completely numb. His chest seized up, constricting his airways, and his heartbeat was in his ears. He looked down at his hands, barely noting the blood on them from a paper cut from the envelope. The letter lay bloodstained at his feet as he put his forehead in his hands, his body shaking.

+

Dearest Adam,

I hope you're doing okay. How are people treating you there? I really wish you were home with us.

I would say how good things are here, but I know how much you hate it when I lie blatantly to make you feel better. There's something wrong with Julia.

She has a disease. It's bad. I don't know if the doctors have a cure for it or anything. I wasn't listening after the pediatrician said the words "highly fatal"...

I am so, so sorry, Adam. I love you so much. I really wish you were here.

I can't write anymore. I've got to go put the children to bed.

Love always,

Linda.

The End

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